Idris Elba and Daniela Melchior say they got a rare opportunity to cultivate the characters they portray in the new DC Comics superhero film The Suicide Squad.
Elba, who plays mercenary Robert DuBois, aka Bloodsport, tells ABC Audio that he and his other cast members learned “very late in the process” that although the script was written, the character with the “central storyline” had yet to be defined.
“We didn’t know. [It could] be any one of a number of characters from the DC Universe,” he says. “So, eventually we found that it was Bloodsport.”
From there, Elba says his “first stop” was to “understand” his character’s background and motivation.
“Where he’d come from, why he’s in jail in beginning of the movie, and such,” he explains. “And then…you pull apart this story [and see] he’s the guy that put Superman in intensive care and that becomes like, ‘Kaaah! What is that about?'”
Elba says learning about who DuBois was helped him to authentically embody him.
“It was a really good place to come from,” Elba says.
His co-star Melchior, who plays Cleo Cazo, aka Ratcatcher 2, agrees, noting that it was a relief that she could have “creative freedom” and not just “go after” her father, Ratcatcher, the man who taught her how to control rats.
“And I love the fact my approach and [director] James [Gunn‘s] approach for this character — it’s really different,” she says. “And I’m really excited to know…if the fans like it, because… not all supervillains have to be born being supervillains.”
The Suicide Squad, also starring Viola Davis and John Cena, is in theaters nationwide and streaming on HBO Max.
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