Exclusive Q&A And Behind-The-Scenes Clip With Deadpool’s Morena Baccarin
Out of the total 3,864* superhero movies released in 2016 (so far), one has stood out so much so that critics have proclaimed it as a revolution to the genre: Deadpool. The merc with a mouth stole our hearts – and a few other body parts – back in February with his glistening irreverence, gunfights with bad guys that don’t magically not have blood, and of course, that special charm only Ryan Reynolds in a lycra bodysuit can deliver.
Reynolds wasn’t the only killer part about Deadpool, though – in fact, the real standout of the film was arguably his love interest: Morena Baccarin as Vanessa. A refreshing head-turn on the ‘damsel in distress’ trope that was, in a few ways, more badarse than Deadpool himself, it’s safe to say that all of us at BLUNT fell totally head over heals for the character. Thankfully, we just fell onto the cinema floor and not a busy highway full of bloodthirsty gang members… Yeah, we got the lighter end of the deal.
Anyway, to celebrate Deadpool‘s release on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD, we had a chat with Baccarin about the process of bringing Vanessa to life, dealing with Ryan Reynolds on set, and how working on the film was a surprising breath of fresh air. We also have an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip exploring Baccarin’s work on the film – and her show-stealing character – so make sure to check that out as well.
Oh, and by the way, keep an eye out on BLUNT tomorrow for details on how you can win a copy of Deadpool on Blu-Ray, plus a limited edition print from the film – you know you want to.
Vanessa doesn’t mess around. How much fun has she been to play?
It’s been so rewarding to know that’s been the case. When I read the script, I was like, “Finally, a girl in a movie who’s not just like, ‘Save me!’”. She’s struggling a little bit when they first meet. She’s a prostitute who has come upon some hard times, but she’s a survivor. She’ll do whatever it takes to survive. She meets Wade in a bar and some guy smacks her ass. She really gives a damn, and Wade is sort of taken aback. They start talking and they just connect over their mutual dark humour. Her ability to keep up with his shtick makes it love at first sight for both of them. They have this immense chemistry together.
The film plays with the very notion of cinema and its tropes. Was that an element that appealed to you?
For sure. It plays with every convention. We break the fourth wall, and we don’t care who we’re offending. The jokes they’d come up with on the spot… I was like, “Oh god, can we really say that?” They’re like, “YES.” It was so fun to be in a movie where I didn’t have to edit myself or worry about what I was doing. As a female, to not be like, “I have to be proper, or a certain way,” you know, it was really fun to just let it all go.
It’s a very meta read on the damsel in distress; in many ways she’s a lot more capable – and probably saner – than Wade in the movie.
For sure. [laughs] She’s definitely saner than Wade. But I think she likes his crazy, and she says in the movie, “Your crazy matches my crazy.” It’s true; they just fit together. The proposal scene was so fun. We had a couple of hiccups on the day; trying to figure out how to keep it funny but still tell the story of two people who have fallen in love. In order for some of the humor to land and be brutal, you have to feel a deep connection there. We wanted it to be funny but still have a couple of serious moments in there, and it feels like we got a little bit of both.
How did the role come to you?
I auditioned for it, just with some sides because they didn’t give me the script right away. I met with the director and we hit it off, so I tested for the studio. At that point I got to read the script and was thrilled it was so good. [laughs]
How quickly did you find the chemistry with Ryan?
It was relatively quick. The day we tested, we rehearsed first with Ryan and it really solidified it. At that point it was one scene, and it didn’t take long to learn, so by then I was sick of it. When we finally shot that scene, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t do this scene anymore.’ So it was fun that we got to reinvent it together on the day. Ryan was just incredibly fun and so hard-working. Every scene we tweaked and perfected and really worked-on on the day.
“I think there’s more need and desire for more interesting female roles (…)
I don’t want to be all kumbaya about it, but I think it is gradually changing.”
There’s lots of Green Lantern references in the script for Ryan. Did the script change at all when they cast you?
No, my character stayed pretty much as she was originally. We tweaked some scenes and put in some moments, but nothing major changed.
Half of the lines in the movie aren’t in the script. Did you enjoy the improvisational aspect?
At first it was terrifying because it’s tough to keep up with Ryan Reynolds. He’s the funniest, quickest human being ever. But then you just go with it and allow yourself to relax into it. Once you’ve got the character down it becomes really fun. There was a lot of freedom and you start to have ideas and want to play around with things.
The project has been in the public eye for so long, and you took the movie to Comic-Con, which I imagine wasn’t a first for you…
Not even a little bit [laughs]. I’ve been there far too many times! To be honest with you, I haven’t had a lot of interaction with the Deadpool fans yet but am looking forward to it. The only stuff we got to do with the Deadpool audience was screen the trailer, which had a phenomenal reaction. It went really well. I haven’t yet had any one-on-one moments with them, like I have with Serenity and Firefly. I have a feeling the Deadpool fans are going to be a bit like Deadpool. Not too serious and completely unabashed.
I remember the outpouring of love that greeted Serenity a few years ago, and I get the sense that Deadpool fans are similar in their passion for what they love.
I know, Serenity was crazy and something I’d never experienced. You’re right, with Deadpool it feels there’s a built-in audience of people you don’t want to let down, and there’s already a lot of anticipation for it.
This is Tim Miller’s debut feature. How was he to work with?
Tim was really amazing considering how much he was juggling. If you hadn’t told me beforehand that he was a first-time director, I wouldn’t have believed it afterwards. He was really with it and gave us really great notes on set. We loved teasing him, because he’s the kind of person with no filter. Whatever goes into his brain comes out of his mouth. You’re like, “Did you just say that out loud to me? We’ve only known each other 24 hours…” [laughs].
You’ve had an eclectic and varied career, which is a rare gift. Has it been hard fought on your part to find these kinds of fully-developed roles?
I feel that I’ve been lucky, but it’s no coincidence that the majority of work I’ve done has been genre-based stuff. I think the majority of strong female characters are in genre movies and shows.
Why do you think genre roles are the ones getting it right?
Genre is a made up universe and it’s a world where you can put on paper what you would like to see reflected. I think there’s more need and desire for more interesting female roles. With realistic things, it’s somehow harder to put that out there. I don’t want to be all kumbaya about it, but I think it is gradually changing. There have been several articles in The Atlantic and The New Yorker about women working more and earning more, and I feel like it’s slowly changing. There’s always a lag, though, between that change happening and it actually being seen.
What is actually next for you?
Gotham. I’ll be busy with that until March of next year. And then maybe Deadpool 2 – you never know!
Check out Deadpool’s awesome package – out now via 20th Century Fox. You’re Welcome.
Grab a copy on 4K Ultra HD: JB Hi-Fi | Sanity
Blu-Ray: JB Hi-Fi | Sanity | Target | Big W
DVD: JB Hi-Fi | Sanity | Target | Big W
Digital HD: iTunes