She-Hulk Writer Jessica Gao on Importance of That Bar Bathroom Scene

The best scene in the first episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has absolutely nothing to do with "law" or "hulk" in any way. It's also one of those scenes that speaks to the truth of the female experience that only another woman could write, much like the "hair tie?" scene in Birds of Prey did. Right after the accident and turning into She-Hulk for the first time, Jennifer is covered in dirt and blood. She doesn't know where she is or what is going on. She sneaks into a bar and into the bathroom to clean herself up. While she is in there alone, another group of women joins her. They take one look at her, and they immediately jump into action. They tell her that whoever he/she/they are that did this to her they aren't worth it, they begin to clean up her hair and face, they give her a pair of shoes, and when Jennifer mentions that she just needs a phone to use, all four women immediately hold out their phones for her to use without a second of hesitation. That is because there is no one in the universe more supportive and no one who will have your back more than a fellow woman in a bar or club bathroom.

(L-R): Ginger Gonzaga as Nikki Ramos and Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer "Jen" Walters in Marvel Studios' She-Hulk: Attorney At Law exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. © 2022 MARVEL.

Women joke about the "drunk girls in the bathroom in the club," but the truth is if you walk into a bathroom, there is a sense of solidarity within that space. The women around you are there, and they are going to protect you. There is no purer form of friendship or connection than the bathroom. If Jennifer had mentioned that someone out there had hurt her, those women would have found a way to sneak her out of there safely, call the police if need be, or even thrown hands if it came to it without even knowing her name. That is what women do in public spaces look out for each other. During the virtual press conference, we mentioned how amazing it was to see such a pure moment during She-Hulk and asked writer Jessica Gao about the scene and if she was looking forward to bringing more true-to-life moments like that to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"Yes, that scene was so important to me, and there were so many times that it was on the chopping block because a lot of people didn't understand it," Gao explained. "And I was like this is the single most important scene to me in this entire episode because truly, the women's bathroom in any club, bar, strip club, I don't care, like any public women's bathroom is the most safe, protective, and supportive environment. And it's the truth, you know? And women are so often depicted as being catty and bitchy, and, you know, that could possibly be true outside of the bar, but the moment you're in the inner sanctum of the bathroom, like women, just wanna help each other. If you went into a bathroom and said, "This man was bad to me," you would have an entire of women like ready to go and kill him."

It's not surprising that Gao had to fight for the scene to stay in because it's a small moment, but it will speak to women in a unique way. It's just a shame that people didn't understand why it was important when Gao was trying to explain it to them. Gao went on to talk about her own experience of having a bathroom experience where a woman stepped in to help. She had a wardrobe malfunction at the Emmy's, and no one she was texting could come and help her out. So, she went outside and found the first woman, and it was a producer she had worked with before but didn't know beyond a professional capacity. It didn't matter; that producer went right into the bathroom and helped fix the malfunction because that's how things work in bathrooms.

"She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" follows Jennifer Walters as she navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk.

Joining Tatiana Maslany in the Marvel Studios & Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is Jameela Jamil as Titania, a Marvel supervillain with incredible strength and a frequent rival of Jennifer's, Ginger Gonzaga (Kidding) as Walters' best friend, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Josh Segarra, Jon Bass, Anais Almonte, Nicholas Cirillo, and Griffin Matthews. In addition, Mark Ruffalo reprises his role as Bruce Banner/Smart Hulk, Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs) returns as Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination, and Benedict Wong returns as Wong. Emmy award-winner Jessica Gao (Adult Swim's Rick and Morty) leads the writers' room & executive produces, with Kat Coiro executive producing and directing the pilot & additional episodes (E02-E04; E08; E09) of the legal comedy along with Anu Valia (E05-E07). Coiro, Gao, Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and Brad Winderbaum executive produce, with Wendy Jacobson & Jennifer Booth co-executive producing.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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