The Strange Connection Between Marvel Movies And Bad Vegan

Netflix's new docu-drama series "Bad Vegan: Fame.Fraud.Fugitives." details the rise and fall of Sarma Melngailis, the disgraced face of a once-popular New York City vegan restaurant. According to Vanity Fair, her restaurant, Pure Food and Wine, was a favorite hangout for celebrities of all walks, and Melngailis became the "poster woman" for a high-class, vegan lifestyle. That all ended in 2016 when Melngailis and her husband, Anthony Strangis, were arrested for embezzling millions of dollars from the restaurant and defrauding investors.

As "Bad Vegan" follows Melngailis' path during this scandal, interesting connections are revealed. Actor Alec Baldwin was a frequent patron of the restaurant and reportedly had an unrequited crush on Melngailis. Vanity Fair reports that when Baldwin told her he wanted someone in his life, she suggested he get a dog. The official trailer for "Bad Vegan" also mentions other stars, like Owen Wilson, who would just walk in the back door of the restaurant.

Other connections were more surreal, including the so-called "family" — unseen entities whom Strangis claimed were watching their every movement and judging their readiness to ascend to a supernatural plane of immortality and wealth. Melngailis also notes that her husband felt he had a connection with a certain god of thunder: Thor.

Sarma Melngailis' husband was obsessed with this actor and his Marvel role

Sarma Melngailis says throughout the "Bad Vegan" series on Netflix that her husband, Anthony Strangis, was very vague about his past, alluding to being a former military operative and spy. He once told her, "I do what I do so people like you can sleep at night" and portrayed himself as a kind of superhero. She said Strangis also implied that he wasn't human like her but was a mythical figure who had moved through time and space to find her. 

If you're thinking this sounds like something out of a movie, you're not far off. Melngailis shares that her husband watched a lot of films and "had a thing for Chris Hemsworth." She also notes that he talked of a brother with unlimited power whom he feared would kill him. Melngailis eventually made the connection that Strangis thought of himself as Hemsworth's character, "Thor," from the Marvel movies franchise, and that he was in a never-ending, good vs. evil battle with his "Loki"-like brother.   

Vanity Fair journalist Allen Salkin says in the Netflix docu-drama that he's certain Strangis was never deluded, but in fact knew that everything he preached to Melngailis about "the family," his mythical status, and this brother was "bullsh**." However, it was easy for Strangis to persist with and sell these claims because he had been "in love with the world he created."