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Is MCU’s CIA Director Val Hero Or Villain? Julia Louis-Dreyfus Responds

Julia Louis-Dreyfus responds to whether MCU’s CIA Director Val is a hero or villain after portraying the character in three different productions.

Thunderbolts star Julia Louis-Dreyfus shares whether she thinks her character, CIA Director Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, is a hero or a villain. Valentina has made appearances in three Marvel productions so far: Black Widow, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Throughout these films, the shady MCU character has encountered villains and anti-heroes, including Yelena Belova and US Agent, as potential recruits for her team, but her initial motives were unclear. However, her motives became more apparent in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, where she desired the nation’s vibranium. Dreyfus is set to reprise the character in Thunderbolts with a much bigger role, which was recently confirmed to be dated for a July 2024 release.


On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Louis-Dreyfus responds to her host’s question about whether Valentina is a hero or villain.

She answers that it’s unclear to her, but she believes that her character is a bit of both. Joking that she has to ask her sons sometimes to explain aspects of the MCU, Louis-Dreyfus admits that she had a hard time understanding Valentina’s full arc when executives were pitching her the role. Check out her full quote below:

“I think she sort of straddles both worlds of good and bad. I think it’s a little bit unclear. It’s certainly unclear to me… when they were telling me about this, the head honchos at Marvel, they’re all wonderful people, and they were explaining to me the character and who she’s gonna be dealing with and this universe and that universe and I’m listening, listening — I’ve had a similar experience as when I’m listening to my accountant tell me about my taxes; I’m trying really hard to focus, you know what I mean? But anyway, I just keep asking my boys, explain to me what this means.”

Related: Thunderbolts May Be Replacing X-Men In The MCU’s Secret Wars

Why Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Is Probably A Villain

valentina in the falcon and the winter soldier

In her appearances so far, Valentina’s motivations are seemingly aligned with state interests, though she often utilizes questionable methods. In the Black Widow post-credit scene, she distorts the truth of Natasha’s death so that Yelena will go after Hawkeye, believing he is responsible. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Valentina recruits John Walker after he is dishonorably discharged from his mantle as Captain America. Finally, in Wakanda Forever, Valentina makes it clear that she thinks the United States should do whatever it takes to get its hands on Wakanda’s vibranium. Valentina is a master manipulator who takes an “all is fair in war” approach, so it’s more likely that she will take on a more villainous position in Phase 5. That position is decidedly murky and complicated, although her shadiness is conspicuous.

Marvel’s Thunderbolts Movie Could Be Val’s Big Moment

Thunderbolts team posing, including Yelena, Belove, Red Guardians, Ghost, Winter Soldier, John Walker, and Taskmaster, with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine

Previously only present in cameos and short snippets, Thunderbolts will feature much more of Valentina. The upcoming Phase 5 movie seemingly has Yelena (Florence Pugh) leading the Thunderbolts team — full of anti-heroes — including John (Wyatt Russell) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan). Given that Valentina recruited both Yelena and John, it would make sense that she’s a larger part of the film as a figure that mirrors Nick Fury, for better or worse. Whether or not she will find herself at odds with these anti-heroes is up in the air, but it can be expected that she will attempt to carry out her plans at any cost.

Valentina is a compelling addition to the MCU because she is an ambiguous and mysterious character that can be explored in the Multiverse Saga, coupled with Louis-Dreyfus’ solid performance. Louis-Dreyfus’ portrayal of Valentina becomes clearer in each film she appears, as seen when she puts on an act with her ex-husband Agent Ross (Martin Freeman) in Wakanda Forever. Ambitious and calculating but difficult to read, the CIA director keeps her true intentions to herself, making it hard to figure out her endgame. In the not-too-distant future, Thunderbolts will hopefully uncover more of the mystery that is Valentina.

More: MCU’s Dark Avengers Can Still Work Despite Its Thunderbolts Issue

Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live

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