Deadpool’s Greg LaSalle, motion capture extraordinaire, talks about what it took to make Colossus vomit

deadpool colossus

As the week progresses, many people in the world (except China; sorry, guys) are sitting in anticipation for the upcoming Marvel film, Deadpool. Nerd Reactor has had a chance to see the film at a press screening and has given us its thoughts (click here for that review and click here for the podcast review), but we also got a chance to catch up with Greg LaSalle, the facial motion capture supervisor for the film, and the man, literally, behind the face of the great Marvel Russian giant, Colossus!

LaSalle, the man behind many great faces in motion capture cinema, had a chance to let us know what it took to make the gentle behemoth, Colossus, and all the fun they had. One of the things that we noted was that we recognized Colossus never changing back to his human form. “It was Tim Miller’s decision to do that, but I think that the fact that you see Colossus when Wade (Wilson) is Deadpool, and not when he’s just Wade, kind of speaks to the universe they’re in,” he states. “We don’t see him in his human form, and I think that was a conscientious decision Tim made for the film. To remind people that Deadpool is the one who breaks the fourth wall, and not anyone else.” LaSalle laughs as he mentions, “I’m not too sure, though, I got to ask Tim about that later.”

When it came to what makes this form of the character different than previous depictions in the film, LaSalle was quick to agree that moviegoers are going to be very aware that Colossus in the film is Russian. “You are very aware of that, yes. We wanted to be very authentic with that.” When it came to getting the motion capture down for Colossus, in particular, the facial motion capture, it was a bit different than how most are usually done. “It was different, yes, and not just because of the accent,” he explains, “but anytime I have to play parts where the voice is sometimes pre-recorded, it’s just so important that it doesn’t get in the way of the performance.” Stefan Kapicic, the authoritative voice behind the Russian giant, had actually pre-recorded the majority of his lines for the film, and it was then sent to LaSalle so that he could spend time making sure he could get the facial movements just right. “I would just rehearse, constantly saying the lines along with him, until it was second nature. That way I don’t have to think about the timing of it, just the performance of it and the shapes I’m making with my mouth.” LaSalle explains that it took a lot of rehearsal so that once on set, they could just focus on what kind of mindset Colossus is, and what his goal is in each shot. “Those are the kinds of things that you really want to work on, without having to think about the timing of saying each line. That can be really challenging because you want to make it seamless, and not have people see that you’re face-syncing to a different audio.”

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We got a chance to ask LaSalle what his favorite part for Colossus in the film, and he was quick with an answer: “Getting a chance to have Colossus vomit!” LaSalle explains that even though it’s a bit weird, this was one of his most fun, yet challenging, moments when doing facial motion capture. “Even though the scene goes by really quick in the film, we knew we didn’t want to fake something like that. In won’t look real.” He mentions that in doing this scene, he actually almost passes out! “The challenge was that your whole body has to get into vomiting,” he laughs, “and I had to work myself up to the point where I was hyperventilating and just, literally, was about to vomit, and then they’re like ‘cut, cut’, because I was going to pass out and vomit on the camera!” But luckily, LaSalle was in good spirits when making that scene, and loved every second of it. “It was fun and challenging and difficult. And I love to watch that kind of stuff because that’s the kind of stuff you can’t animate by hand.”

LaSalle said he had a great time making Deadpool and hopes that people will come to love the character of Colossus. “Tim Miller loves these comics, and he was really adamant about portraying this character realistically, but he also understands the technology behind the film. He was able to take the way Colossus looks in the comics and used the technology to bring everything together to create a brilliant character. We hope that people understand that this wasn’t just made to Tim’s liking, but that it appeals to fans all over.”

What are your thoughts about Deadpool? What do you predict how the film will do at the box office? Would you see a Colossus standalone film if one was made? Let us know in the comments below!

Deadpool, starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, and T.J. Miller, makes its way to theaters this Friday, February 12th.

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Eddie Villanueva Jr.
Eddie Villanueva Jr. 313 posts

A movie connoisseur of only the finest films, and an Encyclopod of geek and nerd knowledge. And if you know what an Encyclopod is, you're cool too!