We Spoke To Suicide Squad's El Diablo And Captain Boomerang About Their Characters
Featured image credit: Warner Bros
Suicide Squad stuff has been absolutely everywhere for what feels like years. So the fact that the film actually only came out a few days ago is almost unfathomable.
Today we launched a theLADbible exclusive video with Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Cara Delevinge and Joel Kinneman. Two truths, one lie, and it's up to the others to decide which is which. It's awesome. Watch it here...
The thing is, whenever the film's been mentioned everyone seems to talk about Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Cara Delevingne. I mean, I get it. They're massive names. And here three of them are in this video. However, Suicide Squad is a group of more than just four people. In fact, if you've seen the film you'll be aware that the two characters that we interviewed for this article steal the show. They play two extremely different roles, granted. But fantastic nonetheless.
As you can probably tell, I fucking loved this film. I went to see it thinking that it was going to be terrible (I made the mistake of reading some reviews) but honestly? It's the best superhero (super villain?) movie I've seen in a long time.
Jay Hernandez plays El Diablo, a tortured soul whose superpower is the ability to produce fire. He has decided to abstain from using his powers ever again after his ability got out of control and hurt people close to him.
On the other hand, Jai Courtney plays the character who provides the 'comic relief'. He doesn't really have a backstory - he just is who he is.
So for these dramatically contrasting roles, how did they prepare?
Hernandez said that writer and director, David Ayer (who also wrote The Fast and the Furious, Fury and Training Day), gave the whole cast a lot to think about.
He explained: "There was a lot of rehearsal time spent with David and the cast in group sessions. Some were even 'therapy' sessions. David wanted to get into who we are as people, what defined us and the moments in our lives that we hold on to.
"He wanted us to explore that in front of a group of people that we didn't really know. As a result of this we became really close really quickly because we all knew really personal things about each other. We were in this room, vulnerable, but supported by each other."
Courtney, however, explained that a lot of the preparation for his character was in his head. He said: "I got in touch with a space in my head that was a little more akin to some people I hung out with when I was younger. I would do things like walk through the street and plan robberies of houses.
"Obviously, I never broke into anyone's property but getting into the mind-set of a thief and just getting in touch with that side of your personality [helped in the role]."
A common misconception is that Courtney's role of Captain Boomerang was the part that Tom Hardy turned down - a fair assumption as in character he does bear a striking resemblance. In fact, Hardy's role was that of Rick Flag (played by Joel Kinneman). So what attracted Hernandez and Courtney to their respective roles?
Hernandez revealed: "It's a very different kind of character: first and foremost a villain which is a little more interesting than your standard superhero, and I just figured he was one of the most complex characters.
"Will Smith was asked which villain or superhero he would play if he had the chance - the first thing he said was Diablo. There is an allure to it. He's very troubled and there's this complexity to his journey so yeah I think it's that. We actually didn't get a script until after we signed on, so I didn't realise the extent to which he would be such a gift of a character."
Both actors explained that they didn't see a script beforehand, and that David Ayer was a huge reason behind them choosing to be part of the production. Courtney said: "It was working with David that was the attraction - everyone will say the same thing.
"I was a big fan of his work and had actually auditioned for him for Fury and got close to one of the roles in that movie, so I was aware of what he was doing. He got in touch and suggested me for the part and I was all in. I could see that he was becoming quite prolific as a director and knew he was going to do something cool.
"I have to admit it was a little nerve-wracking as it was 'Captain Boomerang'. My first thought was 'oh fuck, that's the worst name for an Aussie superhero. He might as well ride a kangaroo'. I needed to know that it was going to be handled with some level of care so that I wouldn't look like a complete tool back home, but fortunately in his hands you're pretty safe."
However, without getting a script beforehand you would be forgiven for making certain assumptions about your character. Courtney continued: "I had to discover that he meant every word he said to me about finding this darkness and he told me to get in touch with my 'inner shitbag' and hang out with unsavoury characters. So, of course, I'm getting all actor-y and moody and then I read it and I realise I'm the class clown."
Hernandez wasn't a massive comic book fan when he was growing up - but his brother was.
He said: "When I told him I was coming on to this project, he knew who Diablo was; I didn't.
"He was beyond excited because that was his teen years and he was really into comic books. He tried to make the world premiere but he's in the military so he couldn't. Up until the very last moment he was trying to get them to give him leave.
"Hopefully for the next one..."
Wait, what?! Was that confirmation of a sequel that Diablo will be starring in?
Hernandez quickly corrected himself: "Maybe there'll be another one."
I had to know more - I pressed him further asking if there will be a sequel. He ended: "I think there will be."
Fair enough. Despite the critics, Suicide Squad has smashed box office records - earning an estimated $135m (£103m) in North America in its first weekend. Which just so happens to be the biggest ever August box office opening.
There has to be a sequel, surely.
Words by Mel Ramsay