Zazie Beetz, a German-American actress best known for her role of Vanessa in the critically acclaimed FX series Atlanta, is featured in Deadpool 2 as Domino, one of Deadpool’s new teammates. Newcomer Julian Dennison, a New Zealand actor best known for his roles as Kevin in Paper Planes and Ricky in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, appears as Russell “Hot Stuff” Collins, another new character coming to the sequel which is now in theaters.
Screen Rant got a chance to talk with both Zazie and Julian on press day, where we discussed how hard it was to keep their roles a secret from their friends and family, how much research went into their respective roles, and what it was like being mutants.
SR: Guys, I love this film. This film has way more heart than I expected it to and it’s hilarious.
Zazie Beetz: Yep!
SR: So how was it being mutants and were you fans of the X-Men franchise and how hard was it to keep this role a secret from your friends and family?
Julian Dennison: I didn’t keep it a secret.
Zazie Beetz: Yeah. I didn’t either.
Julian Dennison: Yeah. I told everyone and, like, New Zealand is such a small place probably everyone knows everyone to be honest? We have like one cop for the whole country. But yeah, I told everyone, but it was so small that word didn’t get out. I had fun playing a mutant. I never thought I would. Like, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would. It was really cool.
Zazie Beetz: Yeah.
SR: Your breakout film Hunt for the Wilderpeople was great.
Julian Dennison: Have you seen the film?
Zazie Beetz: I’ve seen not the whole thing. I’ve seen scenes of it.
SR: It’s amazing.
Julian Dennison: [laughs] I’ve seen the trailer!
SR: [laughs] This obviously has a lot more action in it, so how was it stepping into this compared to that?
Julian Dennison: Way better catering. Way better catering. Uh, no, it was a bigger budget. It was on such a bigger scale. Not like Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I guess sort of like Ricky Baker and Russell for outfits, except one shoots fire out of his hands.
Zazie Beetz: That was your first acting gig right?
Julian Dennison: No, that was my third.
Zazie Beetz: Your third.
Julian Dennison: My first film was Shopping when I was nine. My second was Paper Planes. That was this Aussie film and then I did this right after. I did like a ‘Don’t do drugs and drugs’ with Taika Waititi the director.
Zazie Beetz: Good for you.
Julian Dennison: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I was like eleven at the time and we were imitating our dads or something. I thought it was really cool. Not my actual dad. He doesn’t do drugs. But, no. It was such a bigger scale and it was amazing and it was the biggest film I’ve done. So it was just a fun experience.
SR: Now your character Domino is going to appear in X-Force. Was there any specific runs that were featured with Domino that you took into this film?
Zazie Beetz: I’m sorry. Can you say that question again?
SR: Were there any comic book runs that you studied?
Zazie Beetz: Oh! Um, you know what, no. I kind of jumped around. I couldn’t tell you from the top of my head which series from which version. I had the original where they were all introduced and I had one called Civil War and then there was another. I had a couple, I don’t know what they were, but they were like 10-page or like little short ones. I guess a lot of those thick books are like multiple stories altogether and I had a couple of the single stories and I had some other ones that had varying art. I sort of just did all of them because they were, you know, this movie wasn’t adhering to one specific storyline. And I asked if there was anything specific and they didn’t specify, so I took a little bit here and there. I went to a comic book store and asked the guy working there, “Where can I get the best essence information of the character?” And he picked out a bunch for me. And then I just read a bunch online on her. I googled and read her background. There were also a couple, I don’t know which cartoon it is, but there were like a couple of cartoons. I don’t know if it was an X-Men cartoon, but older cartoons.
SR: X-Men: The Animated Series. Yeah.
Zazie Beetz: And I watched a couple of episodes of that and stuff like that. So I sort of reached into multiple mediums on that.
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020