*For any actor, your debut on the big screen is a moment to remember. For Ray Fisher, that moment is more of an event as a member of DC Comics’ iconic Justice League.
Not bad for a guy who will be alongside Ben Affleck’s Batman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Ezra Miler’s The Flash in the highly-anticipated “Justice League” movie, which currently occupies movie theaters nationwide. As Victor Stone / Cyborg, Fisher will not be lacking in providing super-powered assistance to help his fellow JL members save the world.
Which suits the New Jersey native just fine, considering how far back his love for DC’s finest goes.
“It feels oddly kismet,” Fisher told EURweb regarding his involvement with “Justice League. “I’ve been a huge fan of these characters since I was a kid. I’m as big a fan as anybody else. I think part of this for me is the wheel kind of coming full-circle in that what I loved as a kid is now sort of married to what I love doing professionally and what I love s an adult. I feel extremely fulfilled and just grateful [for] the opportunity.”
Set in the aftermath of the events of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the Zack Snyder-directed “Justice League” finds Batman and Wonder Woman mourning the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) while recruiting Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash to combat a powerful threat to the world.
As if “Justice League” itself didn’t command enough attention, playing Cyborg adds more eyes on Fisher, who received “just about everything Cyborg-related” from Warner Bros. and DC Comics to go over as he immersed himself in the role to make sure he did Cyborg justice after getting past the “most nerve racking time,” which Fisher revealed to be his audition for the role.
“Once you actually book the role, you see that people have faith in your ability to portray the character. That’s when I’m able to sort of settle in to it all,” said the New Jersey native, who mentioned that although his “mom never really got us comics growing up,” he “was huge into the animated shows and the film series of just about everything.” “Cyborg, being as popular as he is, the way that I was able to sort of mitigate any stress that would come about from that was from focusing on the story and just tell the story as effectively and as interestingly as the pages would allow me to. So I sort of get in work mode and just like put my head down and I try not worry about the distractions. And luckily we’ve got a great director and we had a great, we got a great team that catered to making sure that everybody ended up looking and sounding appropriate in the final product.
Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Cyborg first appeared in DC Comics Presents #26 in October 1980. Victor Stone was a star athlete when he suffered a grave injury to more than half of his body.
To save his life, Victor’s father Silas, a scientist, replaced the damage done to his son’s body with cybernetic parts. “Justice League” marks Cyborg’s second appearance of the character in the DC Extended Universe, following his cameo in “Batman v. Superman.”
“I love the levels, the depth that the character has,” the entertainer shared about his reason for playing Cyborg. “He is the only member of the Justice League who cannot take off his costume. He is Cyborg 24/7. Playing around with the psychology of that as an actor…the idea that he has a very [separated] relationship with his father is interesting to me. Unlike most comic origins, where you’re dealing with parents who, you know, are not around, you’re dealing with a character whose parent is around, but doesn’t have an interest in him. I think it’s a very unique spin on an origin story. And it’s not until Cyborg has that tragic accident that threatens his life that his father finally starts taking any sort of interest in his son. It’s something that I think resonates with what we would consider to be nontraditional families and I think it’s not what we would consider it to be, but what is considered to be a nontraditional household. And for that kind of story to be told and that to be the origin, even in the 1980’s, of Cyborg… is very powerful.”
Cyborg’s relationship with Silas, played by Joe Morton, is touched on in “Justice League.” Working with the “Scandal” star proved to be a real education for Fisher, who praised Morton as “a consummate professional,” amidst navigating through various things on his plate.
“What was great about Joe is, even in shooting the one day on ‘Batman v Superman’ that we shot, he’s a consummate professional. Like me being able to sit back and just watch him work, watching him fly from shooting ‘Scandal’ to go to shoot a day or two on ‘Justice League,’ and fly back and work on his play and then fly back and do some more ‘Justice League’ and then fly back and do ‘Scandal,’ my head was spinning trying to figure out how the man does it,” Fisher said. “And so I ended up having a conversation with him and I asked him, ‘How do you manage keeping it all straight?’ And he says, ‘Working adds and it flows. When you get that heat, you’ve gotta maintain that.’ Luckily, I’ve been able to sit back and watch a consummate professional just come off and slay it. Every take, every time. Always prepared, always on time, always in the moment dealing with the real. And those are lessons I will not, I will never forget.”
Those looking for more from Morton and Fisher will find what they’re looking for the not too distant future. The pair are more likely to share screen time again with an upcoming Cyborg solo movie. The film, which Warner Bros. announced in October, is scheduled to be released in 2020. While he could not “speak specifically” on the Cyborg movie, Fisher did say that “there is a lot of healing left to do” in the metallic warrior’s relationship with his dad.
“I’m excited to be able to explore those avenues,” said Fisher. “We’ve only just scratched the surface, I think, in ‘Justice League’ and I think that every character across the board has opened themselves up to emotional growth with respect to the future films. And I’m excited to delve into it and obviously to be working with Joe again would be a dream.”
With the idea of keep going, persistence and being consistent being takeaways from working with Morton, Fisher spread the love to his “Justice League” cast mates to reveal that flexibility was the thing he took away and learned about from his co-stars, who he had no problem working with each other on the film.
“It was great. I mean, about being an actor is that you’re able to sort of take things from all of the actors that you’ve ever come across. And I feel like that this is no different than it’s been in my entire career. I’ve been in constant awe of the people I’ve been blessed to work with and obviously who have had great success in the film industry. But we’re still all coming from a similar place in that it is a team film and being able to build these characters and build that kind of camaraderie, both off camera and on screen is something that I think is super important, “ Fisher stated.”
“One of the greatest things that I’ve been taught throughout this entire process is flexibility,” he continued. “There are people who have been in this game much longer than myself. And one of the things that I’ve learned by way of just watching is to stay flexible because you never know what may pop up. Jason, Ezra, the entire crew was super, super welcoming. Even though this is my first go at something like this, it felt like I had been in it for years because they just make you feel so comfortable.”
The comfort of being among his new friends yielded to some light-hearted moments for Fisher. Despite the good vibe, the comic book hero fan admits he felt a different way when first saw his fellow “Justice League” stars fully suited up as the their respective characters.
“It was bittersweet,” he expressed. It was sweet because all the costumes that my cast mates had on were pretty cool. It was bitter because I’m wearing some pajamas. I’m wearing a CGI onesie. [Laughs] So it was nice to get the immediate gratification of seeing them all suited but having to wait for me to see what the final product of what Cyborg would look like in the movie. I was excited. I was like, ‘Listen, I’ll just get my birthday present later.’ Whenever anything would drop and I’d see what they’ve done with the visual effects, that was worth the wait, man. It really was.”
The wait may have been worth it, but dressed in something less than heroic, Fisher was not immune to his “Justice League” cohorts, who weren’t shy about poking fun at their onesie-wearing co-star.
“I mean nothing too harsh. I think they were kind of jealous because my costume was the most comfortable,” Fisher mentioned. “So on the days where it was real hot, I got my licks in. and on the days where it was super cold or we’re shooting at night and I’m outside in this onsie, they got their licks in. it was a concerted effort. We were the Justice League of mocking each other.” [Laughs]
The love and laughs Fisher got on set wasn’t his only gain. The actor received the ultimate co-sign recently from his portrayal of Cyborg from the superhero’s co-creator Marv Wolfman. The famed comic book writer was among the notables on hand for the “Justice League” premiere. It’s a no-brainer to believe the occasion and Wolfman’s approval was truly priceless.
“I actually got to meet Marv Wolfman, the creator of Cyborg, at the premiere of ‘Justice League,’ which was really special. I haven’t been star struck often in my career, but that was definitely one of those times,” Fisher shared. “He was honestly one of the sweetest people I could’ve met. I think he looked like a proud father watching his characters come to life on screen. And there’s obviously a bit of nervousness that comes along with the creator of the character itself. I mean, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for Ben Affleck to meet [Batman co-creators] Bill Finger and Bob Kane and have them voice their input on Batman. But Marv, he was excited to be there. He was excited for me to bring it to life. He was extremely complimentary, which to me, I was like, ‘I’m not worried about what anybody else thinks. If the creator of it says I did an ok job, I’m content with that.’
“Justice League” is in theaters now. To see the trailer for the film, scroll below.
Chris Richburg is a freelance writer based in Southern California. Contact him via RichburgC72@gmail.com