Where Wolverine got his enhanced skeleton and claws from the Weapon X program, Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool got his superpowers from a much dirtier, seedier offshoot program. That's a big part of the story of the first Deadpool film and the focus of much of our conversations with the cast and crew of the film when we visited the Vancouver set in May.
The first pitch for the Deadpool standalone movie didn't include an origin story until star Ryan Reynolds explained to writers Rhett Reese and Paul Warnick that it needed to. It needed to erase the "Deadpool" featured in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and explain who and why Wade Wilson is the way he is.
And a big part of that is due to the actions of Deadpool's two main antagonists: Ajax (Ed Skrein) and Angel Dust (Gina Carano). We spoke with Carano about joining the Deadpool movie and playing the rage-fueled super strong mutant known as Angel Dust; fighting with a massive CGI Colossus; working with her friend in first-time director Tim Miller; getting serious about the comic books with Ed Skrein, and more!
Tell us about Angel Dust.
Gina Carano: She is… well, when I talked to Tim about getting the job, I did a little bit of research and there wasn’t as much on this character, so it gave me some room to play with it. So this is actually my first look. My second look is much more extreme. It’s, I don’t know, a year to five years after, and Mohawk with the braids on the side. So she’s very fashion forward.
Gina Carano: What she’s known for is having extreme adrenaline issues. Which, I don’t know. Have you looked up Angel Dust before? It’s kinda like a PCP and people kind of rage on it. I think that’s very fitting for my character. She’s got extreme strength and adrenaline.
Her strength gets stronger as she gets…
Gina Carano: More pissed off, yeah. [laughs] I think that me and Ed [Skrein], he actually took me to my first comic book store when I got here. We were going over our characters. It’s a really beautiful, I think, relationship. My character trusts Ajax with everything. She pretty much only really responds to him. He was created a certain way to be the way he is. In our backstory, he kinda created me and showed me everything. And I do the same thing to everyone else.
So he’s responsible for giving Angel Dust her powers?
Gina Carano: Yeah. That’s our backstory. In our relationship, he’s everything. He’s the one that taught me.
How is working with Tim Miller on his first full-length feature?
Gina Carano: He’s actually just incredible to work with. I’ve known him for about a year and a half. He called me up and he’s like, “Hey, I’ve got this role for you. I don’t know if you are interested. But it’s yours if you want it. She’s a very strong, silent, physical character.” But it’s really fascinating this being his first film that he’s directed. And watching, after I’ve worked with so many different levels of directors, he’s really just… he’s a natural. I think that he’s doing such a phenomenal job on this that he’s going to be able to do whatever passion projects he wants to after this.
And he’s honest. He knows exactly what he wants out of everybody and he obviously loves this. I brought in a project to him when I knew him and I was like, “Hey, what about this about angels and demons?” He’s like, “Oh, that’s good. That’s great. No.” He was like, “Let me show you this Deadpool five-minute short that we did.” He was pushing it from back then. And they’ve been working on this for so long. So it’s really cool to see him do…he’s very passionate about Deadpool.
And he’s hilarious. He’s awesome to work with. He’s a natural. Did you guy talk to him already?
Gina Carano: Well, tell him I hated him, but I really absolutely adore him. [laughs] I absolutely adore him. He’s such a pleasure to work with.
Earlier we were talking about Colossus as a character who is going to be CGI afterwards. How do you play that in your head?
Gina Carano: It’s a lot different than most of the fight scenes and the physicality that I’ve had before. I’ve never done anything with CGI, let alone I’ve never done anything with a 6’8” man as far as physicality goes. And then, on top of that he wears these big, massive boots. So it makes him taller. And then he wears this ball on the top of his head because he’s in a CGI, gray suit the whole time. And all of my movements have to be so much bigger.
My physicality and my adrenaline and my strength has to match this guy. So everything that I do has to be legitimately strong. Usually, I’ll get a fight scene and I’ll see the stunt guys do it, and I’m like, “OK. I’ll make it my own, make it a little bit more fluid.” Well, this one I’m like really relying on the stunt guys to be like…because everything they do is like old-school martial arts movies. And now I’m kinda like, “OK. There’s something to that for this character.”
Andre [Tricoteux], the guy that plays Colossus, has just been… he’s the biggest sweetheart. He is Colossus to me. Andre Trikotuly? Tricoteux. I’m so bad at names! He’s been such a pleasure to work with. At some point I actually crawl on top of him and he’s standing up. So I’m like 8, 9 feet in the air just looking down at the world like, “This is what your life is like normally! This is interesting. Different perspective!”
But it was really cool. I’d have to do the fight scene with him. And then I’d have to do it by myself, which I felt a little silly at first. I look like I’m fighting this massive thing that’s not there and it’s like a weird dance. But everybody came up and they’re like, “It’s really cool to see you do this by yourself.” I think they should just cut it together just for my own…like see me just fighting air, but like this massive giant in my head.
The weird thing is every time I did it, I’d fight with him and I’d do it by myself, and it was almost like he was still there. I’m down with the CGI work. I was a little bit of a skeptic before. Sometimes you see CGI and you are like, “Ehh…” Now I’m kinda getting into it. I usually like to fight somebody and have it be fluid and physical. But this is honestly such a fun, cool job for me. I’m stoked. I’m like, “I don’t want to leave Vancouver! Are you sure you don’t want to put me in anything else, any other scenes?”