Throughout nearly two decades of X-Men movies, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine as sliced and diced his way through all sorts of cannon fodder, even highly trained ninja assassins in the character’s previous solo outing. In Logan, which takes place in a very different 2029 where mutants are all but extinct and the X-Men are a thing of legends, Wolverine faces a new type of enhanced enemies: cyborgs.
The Reavers, as they’re known as, are a long-running villainous group in Marvel Comics, and are essentially mercenaries with cybernetic enhancements. The leader of this mutant hate group, Donald Pierce, is played by Boyd Holbrook (Narcos) in Logan who helps bring a sense of realism and grit to the otherwise over-the-top character from the source material.
We had the opportunity to with down with Holbrook after seeing the movie (read our Logan review here) last weekend to talk about the role and experience.
What was your first reaction to getting the story pitch or reading the script?
Boyd Holbrook: I didn’t read the script until I got to New Orleans. I auditioned, which is similar to what the pages where, but I think I got a call three months, yeah, I was doing Narcos in Columbia, so I put myself on tape, as I do a lot of things, and I got the call about three months after that. They said, “You got it.” And I was like, “OK I kind of forgot about that.” But yeah, good surprise.
Donald Pierce has a pretty lengthy history in the comics as an X-Men supervillain. For the film version, did they give you a lot of backstory and history of this character going in or was that something you sort of thought up?
Boyd Holbrook: I did. I prefer having that my own. I was given a great script to work off of. James Mangold and Scott Frank – Scott Frank I’ve actually worked with before as he wrote and directed a film called Walk Among the Tombstones – so I was familiar with their work. When I was able to work with them it just sort of inflates everything a lot.
The character of Donald Pierce, I just found this out last week, he’s introduced in the 80s but he was based on Donald Sutherland’s character from M*A*S*H, Hawkeye Pierce. I don’t know if you knew that and I was going to ask if that was a source of inspiration…
Boyd Holbrook: No.
Because I could see a little bit of that in the character, how it’s written.
Boyd Holbrook: Interesting.
Logan rounds out The Wolverine Trilogy, so to speak, but there are many, many other X-Men films in development. I was wondering, now that you’re in the franchise, as a viewer, what are you most excited to see coming from this franchise next.
Boyd Holbrook: I’m just really interested to see what Dafne [Keen] does next. You’ve got a 12 year old girl who’s spectacularly talented and if she never acts again a day in her life, that’s fine with me too. I’m just so overwhelmed, or I guess confused, how someone so small and so young can do such terrific things.
This character, he seems like a pretty loyal company man to the research company he works for…
Boyd Holbrook: Absolutely.
You think he’s motivated more by money or by hatred?
Boyd Holbrook: No, I think if the hatred, if there’s any, comes from the lack of not having my pet project that I’ve worked so tirelessly on. I think that’s what it’s all driven from. We have a character-driven movie here, rooted in a lot of real valued relationships.
My last question comes from my colleagues: You’ve played a really badass supervillain now in this franchise, is there any superhero you’ve love to play?
Boyd Holbrook: [deep breath] No…I don’t know?
You like playing villains more?
Boyd Holbrook: I think villains are great to play but that has its life as well. You can’t always play villains.
In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
James Mangold directs Logan from a screenplay by Michael Green and Scott Frank & James Mangold and astory by David James Kelly and James Mangold. Logan is produced by: Hutch Parker, Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner, and stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, and Dafne Keen.