Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2016 by Angie Han
For months now we’ve heard about how tight the cast of Suicide Squad is, and that camaraderie was definitely on display at the film’s New York press conference this weekend. The stars, director David Ayer, and producers Richard Suckle and Charles Roven talked about the pressures of making the film, the lengths they went to in order to research their roles. They also talked about the unusual and welcome diversity of the Suicide Squad line-up, and some of the crazier on-set antics (one of which involves a naked Jai Courtney).
Read everything we learned from the Suicide Squad press conference below.
Jared Leto would love to keep playing the Joker
Jared Leto famously kept himself separate from the rest of the Suicide Squad cast throughout the production, the better to develop his performance as the Joker. And it sounds like a painful process indeed. “It’s kind of like giving birth out of your prick hole,” said Leto when asked about creating his character. That said, he continued, “For me, it was the role of a lifetime. I had so much fun playing Joker. I could easily just play the Joker a couple more times and retire.”
How David Ayer manipulated his cast into bonding
As for the rest of their cast, their intense closeness is no accident. Will Smith good-naturedly described the regimen of “manipulation, domination, torture” that Ayer put his stars through to help inform their performances. “We all got in the room, and he had, essentially it was much more like therapy than it was a character creation. So you know, we sat and talked about our lives, and we got really close with our triumphs and tribulations and trials. And then at the most opportune moment, Joel [Kinnaman] described it best, he would completely betray us,” he laughed.
“I needed these guys to feel like they’re best friends on camera, and when you’re with your best friend, you share secrets, you talk about your inner life, there’s a way you talk to a really close friend, and I wanted them to have that energy,” Ayer explained. “And the fastest way to get there was to have them beat the hell out of each other, share their secrets.” Cracked Leto, “It’s also how you start cults.”
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje might have eaten his assistant
… Okay, so he probably didn’t. But Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was apparently so intensely creepy as Killer Croc that Smith felt compelled to ask about it. “I think as a cast, we have a question, and I think Adewale should answer this question honestly once and for all,” Smith joked. “Did you eat any of your assistants?” As everyone laughed, Smith continued, “We all think you ate him.”
On a more serious note, though, Akinnuoye-Agbaje talked about breathing inner life into his bizarre-looking character.
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, where it’s very easy to have a punchline that he’s ugly, but he says, ‘I’m beautiful.’ And it sends a statement when a crocodilian reptilian black man could say ‘I’m beautiful,’ about acceptance. I think in this kind of drama that’s very fierce and quite bold to make humane statements.
On the next page, Margot Robbie discusses the challenges of playing Harley Quinn, Viola Davis explains how Amanda Waller became such a badass, and David Ayer talks diversity, and Jai Courtney finally tells the time he got naked and chased his director around the set.