*Will Smith and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who both starred in the incredible film “Concussion,” are back together again. Smith stars as Deadshot and Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc in the amazing DC Comics’ “Suicide Squad.” They, along with cast and filmmakers were at the Skylight at Moynihan Station in New York City this week to promote the film.
Smith talked about how much they enjoyed the filming process and how director David Ayer “really has a very interesting process of getting actors into their characters.” “This man made me push in so many ways to get big,” Akinnuoye-Agbaje recalled, “and when I got to the size that he desired for Killer Croc—and I’m thinking I was ready, he said, ‘Now you’ve got to fight Karen (Fukuhara)’” [Laughs].
The training for the action sequences in this movie was intense. Smith explained how it is doing these types of films when you’re in your forties. “When you’re 47, no injury is a mild injury any more. I tore my calf a couple of weeks in. What’s terrible is you do it doing nothing! I wasn’t doing anything. We’re sparring and I stepped back, the door shut and my calf popped.
“You could hear it, people could hear it and everybody was like, ‘Ooh. That’s not good. Whatever that sound was is 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 at significant amounts of money. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this opportunity, ‘Suicide Squad,’ having this chance and maybe not going to be able to deliver the way I wanted to was scary.”
It was more than reading words on the pages for the actors. The had to get into a certain mindset. “We were dealing with manipulation, torture, and domination,” Smith explained. “We all got in a room and it was muck like therapy than it was a character creation. We sat and we talked about our lives. We got really close, talked about our triumphs, trials and tribulations. And then, at the most opportune moment, Joel (Kinnaman) describes it best, he would completely betray us, and betray that trust. He would get a very unique reaction.
Akinnuoye-Agbaje knew what he was up against at the first meeting with Ayer and was up for the challenge. “When David and I first had discussions, he presented Killer Croc with the prosthetics because they were very extensive. My first question to him was, ‘Is anybody actually going to know I’m in there?’ He said, ‘Absolutely,’ because he really wanted an actor that would bring the soul of the creature to life.
“I think with all of us, these are villains with souls and I think that’s indicative of his vision. There’s a beautiful moment in the movie where Killer Croc says, ‘I’m beautiful.’ It sends a statement where a crocodilian, reptilian black man an say, I’m beautiful.’ It’s about acceptance. I think in this kind of genre, that’s very fearless and quite bold to make humane statements.”
“He took it very seriously,” Smith says. He was watching crocodile videos of things and cannibalism. I think that as a cast we have a question I think Adewale should answer honestly once and for all. Did you eat any of your assistants? [Laughs] Just once and for all, we all think you ate him. We need to know.”
“I’ve got a surprise for you,” Akinnuoyo-Agbaje responded. “He’s in your trailer, wrapped in a bow, with a big smile” [Laughs].
Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]
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