In ‘WandaVision’, Kathryn Hahn Is Finally Having Her Moment
It was Kathryn Hahn ALL along.
Spoiler alert for WandaVision!
Marvel Studios first TV series for Disney+ should be called ‘HahnVision’.
WandaVision, the post-credit scene posing as a TV series, has cast a spell thanks to Kathryn Hahn’s overly friendly neighbour Agatha, who has pushed fans into speculation overdrive about her true nature.
Well, now we know because in episode 7 it’s revealed she’s a powerful witch, Agatha Harkness (see: dudes on Twitter who have read all the comics for more info).
The episode was so popular it crashed Disney+.
The ‘Agatha All Along’ reveal sets up Agatha Harkness as the series big bad after dropping enough easter eggs to trigger diabetes. It’s also an exciting prospect because Agatha Harkness may continue to raise hell in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) if she’s doesn’t fall to an ambiguous Disney-friendly death.
But the big question here is who is watching WandaVision for anything but Hahn?
Kathryn Hahn as Jen Barkley and Agnes have the same energy pic.twitter.com/SGdcRqZd2f
— ᴬᵛᴬ🐘🐼 🐆🦦 (@ava_martini) February 19, 2021
Hahn has made unforgettable appearances in film and TV for over 20 years but has constantly been relegated to best friend roles, bit parts or TV series that never got a chance to flourish.
The Agatha Harkness reveal is not just a big deal in the MCU but it represents Hahn getting all the attention for once, which is why her moment is overdue.
So, it’s time to look at her greatest hits if you’re new to Hahn or got a handle on Hahn — free name for a tribute podcast right there.
— Marvel Facts (@MarveIFacts) February 22, 2021
I Loved Her In The Thing I Saw Her In
Can you lose a guy in 10 days?
That was the thesis for How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a film where the romantic comedy hit its peak with an outlandish premise based on a bet.
Hahn plays Kate Hudson’s best friend who inspires the whole lose a guy caper. It’s a supporting role so good that it would define the early days of Hahn’s career. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was also such a gigantic hit that Hahn planted a flag in the minds of everyone who showed up. She’d make brief supporting appearances in The Holiday, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!
In 2008, Hahn caused whiplash with her manic, sexually repressed performance in Step Brothers and then a serious dramatic turn in Revolutionary Road alongside a deeply depressed Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Talking to The Guardian, Hahn defines that part of her career as: “I think I was the best friend first, then the randy crazy lady.”
Hahn is like a hyper button on any film or TV appearance she makes. She can push a character over the top but still have an incredible amount of warmth; in the same league as Kirsten Wiig (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids) and Casey Wilson (Happy Endings, Black Monday). Hahn taps into an energy that can be both endearing and unhinged at the same time, and it explains why she’s done so many guest spots on TV shows.
After Hahn’s tenure on the crime series Crossing Jordan, she made scene-stealing guest spots on Hung, Parks and Recreation, Girls, The Newsroom, Kroll Show and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She was also a series regular on Transparent.
Her character on Parks and Recreation, Jen Barkley, a tough-talking hard-hearted political spin doctor is so beloved it spawned a thousand memes.
It was Jen Barkley of Parks and Rec that made me fall in love with Kathryn Hahn. pic.twitter.com/JLV8wOLtw4
— Joshua Conkel (@JoshuaConkel) February 22, 2021
Sprinkled in between is a tiny graveyard of short-lived series with Hahn including the American remake of the British series Free Agents, Happyish alongside Steve Coogan in I Love Dick, a critically acclaimed series that reunited her with Transparent creator Jill Soloway. These shows are frustrating because they answer the call to ‘put Hahn in everything’ but not enough people show up.
Hahn’s reputation after this run meant that even a glimpse of her in anything was enough to motivate an unconscious impulse to point at the screen but she was, somehow, still not a household name despite roles in We’re the Millers, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, This is Where I Leave You, and the blockbuster Tomorrowland. But Hahn’s steady but memorable body of work was about to push her toward the limelight but away from stereotypical supporting roles.
The Good And The Bad Moms
One for you, one for them.
That’s Hahn’s mentality going into the late 2010s as she went from indies like Captain Fantastic to a mainstream comedy Bad Moms (and it’s sequel A Bad Moms Christmas). The latter proved that it was worth enduring a broad American comedy just to see Hahn unleashed.
Then along came Tamara Jenkins’ Private Life, about a middle-aged couple played by Hahn and Paul Giamatti trying to have a child. Hahn gives a heartfelt performance wrapped up in the grind of long-term relationships and the mental exhaustion of trying to conceive. Private Life is career-best turn for Hahn and the film was put forward as a serious awards contender that was – no surprise – completely overlooked. The only saving grace was Hahn’s participation in an actor’s roundtable discussion where she swooned at Rachel Weitz and became a meme.
— lucy (@heylucymay) February 20, 2021
Life after Private Life did mean Hahn could be considered for serious material like HBO’s Mrs Fletcher and I Know this Much is True while still cutting loose with voicework in Apple’s animated musical series Central Park and a heel turn as Olivia Octavius in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
After such a great career WandaVision is like dessert, it’s a chance to relish Hahn’s devilish talents while exposing her to a whole new bunch of fans. Social media explodes after each episode with praise and you can cherry-pick from the long list of recommendations from her resume.
But I guess it didn’t take decades for Hahn to have a moment, we just had to wait for the world to catch up.