Marvel Cinematic Universe, or simply known as MCU, has grown to become one of the biggest names in the comic book industry today. They are literally everywhere; movies, television, video games, and literature. It boasts of some of the biggest and highest grossing Box Office blockbusters, most of which came in the last decade. Some of the biggest titles that have been reeled out of their studios include The Avengers, Wonder Woman, Iron Man and the movie that brought to life ever girl’s superhero fantasy in King T’Challa, the record-breaking and setting Black Panther.

Being one of the biggest, if not the biggest names in the industry, makes companies be very wary of their reputation. With the need to conserve their reputation and the ever-present threat in the form of the DC Extended Universe, Marvel has set very stringent rules for every actor and actress whom they enlist to play our beloved superhero characters.

Anybody who plays the lead character in any of the films quickly becomes a celebrity and is thrust into the limelight. This new superstar status also sets you up for intense public scrutiny which always finds its way back to the studio’s doorstep. The stars have to watch what they say and do so as to keep the devoted fans, producers, and writers happy. Here, are 12 things Marvel actors can do, and 12 they can’t to remain superheroes:

24 Abide By Their Months-Long Promotional Schedules

Let’s admit it, we all love to watch interviews and fun videos of our favorite superhero stars answering in-depth questions about their roles, and every controversial incident in the movie. However, if you stop to think of how many of these Q&A sessions they have to do, and how many times they must answer the same question, you begin to realize that it must be pretty exhausting. Our stars, however, show up for every interview and answer every question with enthusiasm that they are required to. It is amazing how they don’t get overwhelmed with boredom and fatigue. (Source: DailyDot)

23 Can Go To Drastic Measures For Intense Role Training

To make the movie as real as possible, actors sometimes have to go through rigorous training and learn new skills, so as to fit into the character which they have been cast into. During an interview with Time Magazine, Krysten Ritter, who plays the role of Jessica Jones in the television show Jessica Jones, spoke of the rigorous training she had to go through for the role, which included circuit training and boxing. She had to start doing push-ups and gym work to get into the type of conditioning that allowed her to do all her stunts. (Source: Time)

22 Be Overly Cautious

During movie shoots, accidents can happen, just ask Jeremy Renner, who fractured both his arms while shooting a stunt for the movie Tag. For this reason, every Marvel franchise actor and actress is insured in the event that a catastrophe occurs on the set. That being said, they are encouraged to be overly cautious when shooting, having to sit out some stunts in favor of their body doubles. This can be very boring, especially if you have a character like Black Widow who is known more for her butt-kicking than dialogue. (Source: TheStar)

21 Can Take Long Hours For Make-Up

Doing hair and make up for some actors can be a long and arduous process, depending on the complexity of their character. Think of how long Dave Bautista has to lay still so that he can be transformed into Drax the Destroyer. Another star whose character has to take a lot of time being made up was Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence. As one can imagine, becoming Mystique can take quite a while in the dressing room, especially if the production team wants to utilize as many practical effects as possible, taking up to seven hours before she could appear as Mystique. (Source: Io9)

20 Read Entire Character History

Before one can begin work on recreating the role for which they have been signed on to the Marvel universe, they are actually required to read through the entire history of their character. By that they mean, find a comfortable couch and read as many comics book ever written about your character as possible. You are required to read until you not only understand the character but become the character. Because there are hundreds of comics on each character, one may not read all of them, but are required to dive in real deep. (Source: Youtube)

19 Can Sign Multiple Franchise Contracts

One of the more strict rules that Marvel Universe imposes on the actors that portray its superheroes, is locking them into their role in the franchise. Basically, they have to sign a contractual agreement that they will agree to multi-movie appearances. While that might sound great for their career and a fantastic way to cash in on some serious money, being locked into their Marvel role over a long period of time can be burdensome, especially if there are other film projects they would rather work on that end up conflicting with Marvel Universe movie filming. (Source: Deadline)

18 Leave The Stunts To The Stuntmen

What makes the Marvel movies so outstanding, have to be the action sequences, fighting scenes, Steven Rogers doing that insane twist flip in Avengers: Age of Ultron and of course, when everything goes kaboom. And as much as we would like to think it is our beloved characters who performed these awe-inspiring fetes, truth is that all the stunts are done by professional stuntmen, as the stars are contractually obligated to avoid stunts that could cause bodily harm. A bit disappointing but hey, at least they make Scarlett Johansson look good. (Source: DigitalSpy)

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17 Can Be Secret Actors

Apart from keeping a lot of details about upcoming movies a secret, not only from the Marvel fan universe but the actors as well, the franchise also has at times kept the identity of some of their cast members and the roles they are to play a secret. Remember Michael Rosenbaum, the charmer who played Lex Luther in Smallville? Well did you know he was cast in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2? He was but the character he was brought on to play was a well-kept secret. (Source: ComicBook)

16 Accept Thorough Background Checks

Just like any serious job position, every MCU actor is also required to go through an extensive background check. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor said that he underwent a background check before being allowed to play Ebony Maw. He said that they combed through everything so that they would know how to manage a crisis in the event that it arose. Disney is, after all, a family network. (Source: Entertainment)

15 Can Have Real Life Similarities To The Characters They Are Portraying

We can all agree that Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr, is the very life of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only because it was he who signaled the beginning of the franchise, but also because his brazen, billionaire bad boy image, coupled with Bruce Banner’s quirkiness give the comic relief that every movie needs. If you know Robert Downey Jr well enough, you will also notice the similarities between his personality and that of the character he plays. It is like Marvel pay Robert a ton of money to go in front of a camera and be himself. Talk about landing the perfect job. (Source: Telegraph)

14 Can Bargain For A Level Of Authenticity

Would you have believed that Chadwick Boseman played the role of an African King in Black Panther if he shouted “Wakanda Forever” in a deep southern accent? Probably not. With every role that they portray, the actors can negotiate – albeit limitedly – for the level of authenticity of their character which they desire to bring out. The film recreated Wakanda by having an all-black cast and Chadwick insisted on using an authentic African accent because the nation he ruled as King T’Challa, was never colonized by Europeans. (Source: HelloGiggles)

13 Can Do Last Minute Cramming

During the Seattle ACE Comic-con in June 2018, Elizabeth Olsen, who plays the role of Scarlet Witch in The Avengers revealed some very interesting information about Marvel. To read the entire movie script, each cast member was taken into a windowless room without their cell phones and could not leave until they have read the entire script. This is a good strategy, especially if you do not have a lot of time to go over the script before shooting begins. The scripts have some false things in them to keep the stars from leaking anything out. (Source: AberdeenNews)

12 Can’t Cross Over Between Competing Franchises

It is advised that you should never sleep with your enemy in the same bed, and Marvel take this statement very seriously. Their biggest rival to date, is the DC Extended Universe, or the DCEU, home to the justice league and pretty much everyone who is in the league or an enemy of it. Chris Hemsworth, who plays the blond hammer-wielding god Thor, claimed during and Comic-on in Australia that it was illegal for them to take up roles from DC while enlisted to Marvel, a claim that was later confirmed by some of his co-workers. (Source: Screenrant)

11 Can’t Miss Reshoot Schedules

Marvel has been on the receiving end of criticism from actors that have played supporting roles in their movies. The reason for this criticism has to do with their strict rules against missing reshoots, irrespective of whether or not you are involved in another project. One such actor is Idris Elba, who was called in to shoot the role of Heimdall in Thor: A Dark World a day after he had come from an 8-month schedule for Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom. Having back to back shoots can be grueling but it is Marvel’s policy. (Source: Telegraph)

10 Can’t Change Their Likeness

As well as having to attend endless press tours and interviews, the Marvel stars also have to give up their likeness for the purpose of promotion and marketing of the movie as well the franchise. Obviously, in order to drum up excitement and anticipation for a movie; posters, billboards, and merchandise are made, and the actors in the films have to allow for their pictures and likenesses to be used. This means that as long as the movie is running, they cannot change their look in any way that will cause them not to resemble the character they portray. (Source: CBR)

9 Can’t Deviate From Diet Restrictions And Workouts

Marvel has been doing a fantastic job so far in recreating the comic book characters, making them look as close to the original character as possible. In order to achieve a more authentic portrayal of their superhero characters, Marvel Universe actors and actresses need to not only look the part but also play the part effectively too. So, they often have to go through intense training regimes and even learn new skill sets, and this is not optional. If you are playing the role of a god like Thor or a physically perfect experiment like Steve Rogers, you have to do serious work out to maintain the chiseled body look that represents your character. (Source: TheTalko)

8 Can’t Pursue Other Ventures

Shooting a movie based on a comic book needs to have all the special effects, both stunts and CGI to bring to life the graphics that are splattered on the comic book pages. For this to happen, the actors have to put in many hours of shoots and reshoots until everything comes out exactly as the writers and directors envisioned it. This means that stars cannot pursue any venture that may interfere with the shooting and cost the studio in time and money. The stars are thus discouraged from pursuing other ventures until their obligation to the movie is fulfilled. (Source: ComicBookMovie)

7 Can’t Have Any Negative Public Image

To be cast into a Marvel film is every budding and seasoned actor’s dream. Not only do you get to be part of arguably the biggest franchise in the world today, but are also assured of achieving stardom due to the popularity of the comics. Being in the limelight consequently brings about a lot of public scrutiny which has a direct effect on the company’s image and reputation. Marvel actors are therefore obligated to keep a clean sheet as long as they are signed onto the franchise. (Source: ScreenRant)

6 Can’t Refuse Work With Performers They don’t get along with

In their quest to become the biggest superhero name in the market, Marvel has come a long way, enduring many missteps along the way. The studio has angered actors, fired directors and forced people who do not entirely like one another to put their differences aside and work together. During the filming of Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Jessica Alba had serious differences with director Tim Story, calling him “shallow and s*xist”. The feud was so bad that she almost contemplated leaving Hollywood forever. However, she sucked it up and finished the movie.

5 Can’t Refuse To Wear Uncomfortable Costumes

One of the biggest selling points for superhero movies has to be the costumes. Who does not get goosebumps whenever they give us highlight reels of a superhero dressing up in readiness for the great battle that lies ahead? We identify Thor by his red cape and hammer, Black Panther by his overly technical suit and Back Widow by her leather body suit. While they all look dashing on screen, some of these costumes can be overly uncomfortable, especially when worn for too long. The actors are still required to wear these costumes during long shoots and publicity tours, and it is not optional. (Source: TheMuse)

4 Can’t Spill The Beans

When you know that you are taking part in one of the biggest and most anticipated movies, it is possible to get ahead of yourself. Just ask Tom Holland. When you sign up for a Marvel film, you are actually obligated to keep your mouth shut about what is going on in the movie before its release. Prior to the release of their biggest flick yet in Avengers: Infinity War, Tom accidentally blabbed about some of Spiderman’s actions in the film. He quickly covered his mouth and the panic was visible in his eyes, which tells us that he knew he was in a world of trouble. (Source: Polygon)

3 Can’t Ask For A Lot More Money

If you watched every Iron Man movie, you will notice that one of the stars who appeared in the first movie is missing from every subsequent one. Yes, I am talking about Terrence Howard. Insiders from Hollywood believe the axing of Terrence Howard came as a result of him refusing to sign a new contract with the franchise, a contract that would see him earn a lot less than he did in the first instalment. Terrence refused to sign the contract and demanded to be given a bigger payout, akin to his original contract. When an agreement could not be reached, the studio axed him and gave the role to Don Cheadle. (Source: EW)

2 Can’t Refuse Giving Up The Role

It’s no secret that comic book movies love a good reboot, trying to give a new and improved look to an already household name. This can happen even within the space of just a few years, look at The Amazing Spiderman and Spiderman: Homecoming. Stars who sign on to the Marvel Universe have to be prepared to see themselves cast aside at any given point in order to make way for a new star to take over their character. This can be a hard pill to swallow, more so if you had grown attached to the superhero character which you have maybe portrayed several times. (Source: Screenrant)

1 Can’t Find Out Anything About The Plot Until Shooting Begins

Every dedicated Marvel fan knows that we like to get as much information about every upcoming movie as possible. Not so we can walk around doing spoiler alerts, but it helps in building up anticipation for the flick. The prevalence of the internet and social media has made this all the easier. However, those involved in the film usually like to keep a tight lid on details of the flick and to prevent intricate details being released. They do this by not revealing anything about the film to the actors until shooting begins. (Source: Polygon)

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