Meet the Breakout Star of ‘Captain Marvel’ (Hint: It’s Not Brie Larson)

Captain Marvel
Photo: Chuck Zlotnick/ Marvel Studios.

Anyone who’s seen Captain Marvel knows that the breakout star isn’t Brie Larson—or any of the movie’s actors, really. (Correction: Any of the movie’s human actors.) In fact, the character that won the internet over is a cat named Goose, which leads us to this question: Who plays Goose in Captain Marvel? And what is there to know about the feline? (Warning: There are spoilers.)

Let’s start with who Goose is in the movie. At first, Goose is a stray cat who finds himself on Nick Fury and Captain Marvel’s aircraft as they fly to Louisiana and eventually, space. Goose seems like a normal orange tabby cat who takes a liking to Fury. But like a lot of characters in Captain Marvel, she has a huge secret: She’s not actually a cat. She’s a Flerken, an alien species that looks like a cat but in reality, they’re aliens with huge, monstrous tentacles that come out of their mouth. Our first clue that Goose isn’t our average cat is in Louisiana when Talos, a Skrull leader, recoils in fear when Goose walks up next to him. He then tells our heroes that Goose isn’t a cat but a Flerken. Our heroes laugh it off. Later in the movie, a Kree uses a device to determine the danger of each creature. Humans are low but Goose is surprisingly high. We learn that Goose is, in fact, a Flerken when he uses her tentacles to swallow the Tesseract, a powerful prized possession, and swallows a bunch of Kree soldiers.

Like many details in the movie, Goose’s character comes from the comics. In the comics, the cat’s name is Chewie (based on Chewbacca from Star Wars), but in the movies, her name is Goose, which is inspired from Top Gun, according to USA Today. Though the tentacle scenes, of course, use CGI, Goose is played by a real cat named Reggie, a 12-year-old feline. “With any movie that we’ve made, and obviously we’ve never made a Marvel movie, but you can’t really guess how the audience is going to respond,” director Ryan Fleck told USA Today, adding that he had “no idea” Goose would become so popular. “Goose is a cute cat and people love cats, but it really does feel like it’s taking on a whole new life at this point.”

Since Reggie’s starring role in Captain Marvel, the cat has become a meme and beloved internet favorite, with many sharing his red carpet photos from the Captain Marvel premiere (where he wore a freaking tie) and his movie posters.

Here’s to hoping Goose is in more Marvel movies.