Evangeline Lilly addresses backlash over anti-vaccine rally attendance: ‘I know the beast that I’m attacking’

Evangeline Lilly has spoken about the backlash she received for attending an anti-vaccine mandate in 2022 for the first time.

The Ant-Man star shared photographs from the rally supporting “bodily sovereignty” in Washington DC on her Instagram.

Lilly, in the caption of her Instagram post, wrote that she believed nobody should be “forced to inject their body with anything, against their will”.

She also listed a number of alleged consequences – without furnishing proof – that those who remained unvaccinated were “under the threat of” starvation and homelessness.

This was the same rally where leading anti-vaxxer Robert F Kennedy Jr compared vaccine mandates to life under the Nazis.

Getting vaccinated has been proven and corroborated by experts to be the safest way to avoid the risk of hospitalisation from Covid.

Evangeline Lilly attends the UK Gala Screening of Marvel's ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)
Evangeline Lilly attends the UK Gala Screening of Marvel's ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)

In a new interview with Esquire to promote her latest film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, she recalled thinking at the time: “I know the beast that I’m attacking. I know that I have a little pebble and there’s this fucking Goliath giant. If I shoot this pebble, it’s going to wake the giant.”

She said she asked herself “about six hundred times” whether she should post the photos from the rally on social media and ultimately decided to because she “wanted people out there who were struggling because they were under severe pressure to do something they didn’t want to do to know that they weren’t alone, to know that there were people who actually felt they had a right to say no.”

It wasn’t the first or last time Lilly courted controversy around the pandemic. In 2020, she sparked outrage after announcing she had no intention of self-isolating during the pandemic, claiming she valued her “freedom”.

The actor’s comments were condemned by stars including Sophie Turner and Lilly’s former Lost co-star Maggie Grace.

The actor later apologised for her “arrogant, dismissive and cryptic” comments, assuring fans that she is “doing her part”.

“I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology for the insensitivity I showed in my previous post to the very real suffering and fear that has gripped the world through Covid-19,” she wrote on Instagram.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is in cinemas now.