SUICIDE SQUAD - Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

How Margot Robbie got into Harley Quinn’s head

Margot Robbie did many of her own stunts for Suicide Squad, and has the injuries to prove it. “I had less layers to hide padding and stuff doing stunts, so that made it a little painful,” she said. But according to her, that wasn’t the hardest part of playing Harley Quinn.

“The emotional stuff was definitely the more difficult part. Exposing my most vulnerable side in a room full of strangers, at that point, that was incredibly hard,” she recalled. “Trying to figure out the dynamic between Harley and Joker and why she was so devoted to this guy that tries to kill her occasionally.”

To help get herself into the mindset of one of DC’s most iconic characters, Robbie looked to the comic books, of course — but also to TED talks on schizophrenia (because “Harley needs to be wickedly intelligent, but also psychotic”) and a play called Fool for Love. “That, for whatever reason, helped me unlock the whole feeling towards Joker,” she said.

SUICIDE SQUAD - Jai Courtney as Boomerang

About that time a naked Jai Courtney chased David Ayer around set

Courtney seemed generally relaxed and low-key in person at the press conference, but according to his co-stars, he was quite the animal on set. “Everybody asks, like, who was the guy that would kind of keep us together, and from my point of view, I saw Jai as our go-to guy to liven it up,” said Adam Beach. Sometimes, apparently, “liven up” meant stripping down. “I’ve done love scenes in quite a few movies, but I’ve never had a co-star that I’ve seen naked more than Jai,” said Smith. “He just had a really, really hard time keeping his clothes on.”

Once, the cast told us, a naked Courtney even chased Ayer around set. Courtney explained his side of the story:

David used to like to come and visit base camp, where our trailers all would be, and he would just open the trailer door. … One time, I was getting out of the shower, and he came in and he opened the door and was like ‘Sup, dude,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, what’s up?’ You know, it was an opportune moment, so I dropped the towel and went after him. … I never got him!

According to Leto, there’s even photographic evidence of the incident. “I saw something interesting when I was on the set. I saw a photograph of the naked man running after David Ayer who had a look of abject terror,” he said, smirking. And while Warner Bros. probably isn’t eager to release that photo to the public, Leto would very much like them to. “Can we start like an online poll or a charity drive to release this photo?” he asked with a grin.

SUICIDE SQUAD - Viola Davis as Amanda Waller

Why Viola Davis tapped into her inner eight-year-old

If you’ve seen the Suicide Squad trailers, you’re already aware that mastermind Amanda Waller might be the scariest and most ruthless of them all. Viola Davis revealed that her research included a book called Confessions of a Sociopath, which had been recommended to her by Kinnaman… as well as getting in touch with her inner eight-year-old.

At 8, I could beat somebody’s ass. I could beat somebody’s ass, I was just always angry, because people were always teasing me, I was bullied. And I remember that was the first story I told David when I met him, he was like, ‘Oh yeah, Viola, tell me about your childhood.’ I said, ‘Well David, I remember when I was eight years old, I kicked a lot of ass.’

And so there was a part of me that had to tap into that, because with women, with me, I’m always apologizing. I’m shy. I’m always retreating. I never tap into my power, and Amanda Waller is not that. She is unapologetically brutal.

And as Kinnaman can attest, it did the trick. “She did not retreat at all,” he said. “It was pretty much every day that me and Viola had together on set, David would call on her to come and stand behind the camera, and then she’d just stand behind the camera and yell mean things at me. She’d be like ‘Hey Joel, Joel, Flag! You little bitch. Punk-ass bitch.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, okay. Good morning.’ That was my experience.”

Suicide Squad Reactions

Why David Ayer wanted a diverse cast

Among other things, Suicide Squad is unusual for its diversity. It’s not every day we see a superhero movie cast that involves Asian, Latino, Native American, and black characters, not to mention multiple female leads. But Ayer said that for him, it was a natural choice.

I grew up in South L.A., I grew up in a really diverse neighborhood. I was the only white boy, that’s how diverse it was. It’s the world I know, it’s the world I live in, but it’s also the world we all live in. I feel like onscreen, you know, kids need to see people that look like them. My wife is Latina, my kids are Latino, so it’s important for them to see faces like theirs onscreen. And this is also, it’s a global business these days.

It comes naturally to me, but I think in diversity is strength. We need to be a lot more inclusive in film, we really need to work on that, and in our world in general.

Ayer also made a point of including interesting and powerful female characters in Suicide Squad.

I think what happens in film a lot is the male voice — and by voice I mean the character, the depth of the character, the performance of the characters, the resolution of the arc of the characters — is incredibly developed and very often the women are underdeveloped. In this case, I wanted women that had voices and had power and were powerful as women. As the father of daughters, I think it’s important to give them examples that you that you can speak up in a role, and you can have a viewpoint.

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