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Suicide Squad Actors on Playing Anti-heroes

Aug 03, 2016

By: Lynn Barker

In the new film Suicide Squad based on the comic books, a group of strange, unbalanced jailbirds are let out of high security prison temporarily by the head of a secret government agency because of their unique combat talents. Their assignment, stop an evil meta-human from finishing a machine that can lay everything to waste.

Will Smith is Deadshot, an assassin for hire who always hits his target dead on. Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, a brilliant former doctor whose brain was scrambled by the Joker, played by Jared Leto.

Deadshot gets to know HarleyDeadshot gets to know HarleyCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Check out what the gang had to say about their characters and shooting this high action/high imagination film.

Q: What is it like bringing these characters to life on screen and balancing what comic book fans already know about them with what you wanted to create?

  • Jared: For me it was actually the role of a lifetime. I had so much fun playing The Joker. I could easily just play The Joker a couple of more times and retire. It was a blast but you guys seemed like you were having all the fun on the movie.
  • Will: We were really enjoying it. David Ayer (director) has a very interesting process of getting actors into their characters.
  • Jared: It’s called manipulation.
  • Will: Manipulation, domination, torture, yeah. We all got in a room and had, essentially, more like therapy than it was character creation so we sat and talked about our lives and got really close with our triumphs and tribulations and trials. Then, at the most opportune moment, David would (completely betray us and he’d get a unique reaction).

Joker (Jared Leto) terrorizes a victimJoker (Jared Leto) terrorizes a victimCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Were there any injuries or mishaps during filming?

  • Margot: Some mild injuries, Will?
  • Will: When you’re forty-seven, no injury is a mild injury anymore. I tore my calf a couple of weeks in and what is terrible is you do it doing nothing. We’re sparring and I step back to throw a shot and my calf popped and people could hear it and everybody’s like “Oooo, that’s not good. Whatever that sound was, it’s not a good sound” then the doctor told me I was down for six weeks. On a movie like this, six weeks can click off a significant amount of money and I wasn’t gonna pay for it. It was really scary to be in that position. I was like “Oh my God, I have this opportunity, “Suicide Squad” having this chance and maybe not being able to deliver the way I wanted to.

Will Smith as DeadshotWill Smith as DeadshotCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: (From Will) Margot what was the hardest thing you had to do? Everything we had to do except you did it in heels.

  • Margot: Yes, that was tricky and I had less layers to hide padding doing stunts so that made it a little painful. I thought I broke my rib at one point but actually tore the muscles instead of breaking it but it was fine. It was towards the end. I fell off the stage the other day in Toronto and popped up, “That didn’t hurt”. It hurt.
  • But, the hardest part wasn’t the physical side. That’s the mechanical side and it’s challenging but it’s rewarding and fun. The emotional stuff was definitely more difficult, exposing my most vulnerable sides in front of a room full of strangers at that point. That was incredibly hard and trying to figure out the dynamic between Harley and Joker and why she is so devoted to this guy that tries to kill her occasionally. A few things like that, it took a lot to get my head around but the physical side was just more fun than challenging.

Harley shows her craziest sideHarley shows her craziest sideCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Can you talk about bringing humanity and humor into all the mayhem for this?

  • Jared: David (Ayer, the director) was really great because from the beginning it was clear he wanted to do something different and special. He wanted to make something that we’d all be really proud of. I got the sense from him that he was willing to go to all lengths in order to get that and it was a little scary but also really exciting.
  • He’s not only the director but the writer of the film. I was surprised by how much freedom he gave everybody to just go completely f**king crazy. What I thought was really genius about David is he was always looking for the accident, the mistake and embracing that. For Margot and I, there was a lot of humor, a lot of things that I thought were really funny in a really sick and twisted way. He was really wonderful in that way.
  • Will: Adewale really took (the Croc role) very serious. He was watching crocodile videos and cannibalism and all that. I think Adewale should answer this question. Did you eat any of your assistants because there was an assistant that came up missing (he laughs).  

Dr. Quinn (Margot) gets to know the Joker (Jared Leto)Dr. Quinn (Margot) gets to know the Joker (Jared Leto)Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Margot, how did you create more of a backstory and emotional base for your character?

  • Margot: It was more like filling in the gaps because we had an amazing resource with the comic books but there are little gaps in the backstory and things you need to fill in yourself. I watched a couple of talks on schizophrenia amongst a lot of other things but that really helped because the women that were doing these talks were so intelligent, they were professors and Harley needs to be wickedly intelligent but also kind of psychotic so that was helpful. I also got recommended to read a play called “All for Love” about this really dysfunctional relationship and that, for some reason, helped me to unlock the whole feeling toward the Joker. Some things hit home when you are doing all your research and some don’t but it really helped.

Suicide Squad PosterSuicide Squad PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

See Suicide Squad in theaters now!


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