Danny Huston has played a variety of roles over the years in a variety of genres. One genre of note is his work in the superhero genre, where he’s played roles in both the Marvel Universe (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and in the DC Universe (General Sam Lane). He’s now returning to the superhero genre in the Wonder Woman film playing General Erich Ludendorff.
Screen Rant sat down with Danny on press day, where we discussed why he likes the superhero genre, what was the creative process working with director Patty Jenkins, and what he thought the message of the film was.
Danny Huston: Hi.
Congratulations on the film. I loved it.
Danny Huston: Did you? Great.
It was so much fun.
Danny Huston: I am delighted to hear that.
And I like the fact that Diana is a superhero that wants to be a superhero and there is good and bad and it’s the innocence of the character that I just love, but you are familiar with the genre. You’ve been in other superhero franchises. You’ve even voiced a DC character, General Sam Lane. What is it about the genre that you love?
Danny Huston: It’s Greek mythology. It’s the origin of story and sometimes we need demigods to look at us to understand what our weaknesses are. It serves the mythological world.
It absolutely does. One thing I had to ask was this film is huge. It’s a time war period piece. There’s a lot of characters, but Patty makes it all work. Can you talk to me about how Patty handled all that on set and just the creative process of working with her?
Danny Huston: Well, I met her for dinner and she told me the story and how she thought it would be made. She is a visionary. Then she described Ludendorff and she showed me photographs and I realized that this was a character that existed in the first World War. That he lost his son. Deeply patriotic and had this objective to win the war as any general would while fighting for his country. And what a great antagonist that would be for Wonder Woman who has this very simple message which is, “Love conquers all,” and how I would see that as a character as very naive and I’m a realist. So there are these opposed points of view, which both kind of make sense, mine more perverse, more diabolical but, nevertheless, set in truth. And to have a demigod from mythological terms look at us from that perspective so that we can see our own weaknesses and the dangers and the pitfalls that mankind has is what storytelling is all about.
Absolutely. You touch upon something really interesting. How much research did you do into this character?
Danny Huston: As much as I could. He’s a fascinating guy. He later aligned himself with Hitler. They tried a coup d’etat. Deeply humiliated by the loss of the first World War. He’s a fascinating character, a terrifying character. Yeah.
I didn’t know much about him. Another question I had was the general message of this film, you touched on Wonder Woman saying, “Love conquers all,” do you think that is the general message of the film? Because I also liked the fact that Ares was like, “I didn’t necessarily, I’m not necessarily telling people. I’m kind of throwing out suggestions almost.” Can you talk about that a little bit?
Danny Huston: Yes. I think it’s fascinating and that was Patty Jenkins’ original concept that she expressed to me was that we think that Diana, Wonder Woman, is fighting against Ares, but actually mankind is just as evil. So that means we have to be introspective and look within ourselves and examine what that means. And, yes, there are always these sort of dueling forces, these demigods in Greek mythology and Hindu mythology, which are forces that are really questioning who we are.
From Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment comes the epic action adventure starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright, directed by Patty Jenkins.
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.