The Avengers: Endgame Star Addresses Her Philosophy on Empowerment in PEOPLE's 2019 Beautiful Issue

By Julie Jordan
April 21, 2019 09:45 AM
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Don’t mess with Brie Larson.

The actress, 29, who makes her directorial debut with the upcoming Unicorn Store on Netflix and will be back as Captain Marvel to help save the world in Avengers: Endgame, has upped the ante when it comes to her training.

“Doing something that is physically uncomfortable makes it easier to be in situations that are mentally uncomfortable,” says the actress, whose regimen included deadlifting 225 lbs. and pushing a 5,000-lb. jeep.

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Larson, who is named a Beauty of the Year in PEOPLE’s Beautiful Issue, has also learned to embrace her physique. “I feel very comfortable with the fact that my body will fluctuate and change and that’s important too,” she says. “I’m not trying to maintain a certain image of any kind. This is what the human experience is like. I’m in other countries, I’m going to eat those foods. I’m not going to stop doing that because I’m worried.”

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The star admits she feels more empowered now that she has “a sense of ownership over myself that I didn’t have before,” she says. “And I feel more comfortable speaking up for myself and others around me who maybe aren’t as comfortable using their voice.”

Larson is also appreciative when it comes to choices in fashion. “Clothes are a form of expression and they can be something that makes you feel empowered,” she says. “And for me, because I’m introverted, having something that makes me feel good in public moments is imperative.”

The actress recently ran into Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King at the Women World Summit in New York City, where she even taught them about the French tuck. Crediting Tan France of Netflix’s hit series Queer Eye for introducing her to the technique, Larson posted the encounter on Instagram and captioned her video: “I said ‘French Tuck’ 500 times and my rosacea flared because OPRAH!”

For more from our Beautiful Issue, pick up the magazine when it hits newsstands on April 26 and check out all of our coverage on PEOPLE.com.