Interview with the villain of Suicide Squad (spoilers)

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WARNING: This interview reveals another villain in Suicide Squad. If you haven’t seen the movie, chances are you don’t know who that is. You have been warned.

Some of us were surprised to find that the enemy force in Suicide Squad was The Enchantress and her brother Incubus. Portraying the role of Incubus is actor and stunt-performer Alain Chanoine. Although this role may be a game-changer for him, he is no stranger to the film industry, having been in it for 15  years working in hit movies such as Immortals and Blade: Trinity. We got a chance to talk with him about his role in Suicide Squad and how Will Smith unintentionally taught him English!

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Nerd Reactor: How did you get the role in this film amongst an ensemble of A-listers?

Alain Chanoine: I have no idea! [laughs] As far as auditioning, it was in Toronto (I live in Montreal) and it was for a role called businessman. And I didn’t know he was a demon. I didn’t know that I would work with Cara Delevingne. I was just auditioning for businessman! Sent in the tape, they called me for a callback with David Ayer, I drive to Toronto and meet the director. No big deal, I’ve done that so many times. Then, they call me back for a chemistry meeting with Cara Delevingne and I’m like, “Oh!” And then I read on the Internet about her playing The Enchantress and I’m like, “Oh, this is getting serious!” I got along GREAT with Cara; I knew they were looking for a name but it ended up being me. They could’ve cast any A-list actor but I’m glad it was me.

NR: Did you get a chance to work with any of the other actors in the film? I ask because your character is CGI most of the time.

AC: Yes, in all my scenes I was actually there as a reference just so they know the intensity and the other lines that were cut out of the movie. So I got to meet all of them like Will Smith; I got to have a conversation with him. Margot Robbie is so nice she came and introduced herself. I saw Jared Leto but I never got to talk to him. They were always there; I was always there.

There was the fun tent. I really freakin’ love that thing… with big-screen TVs, darts, pool, ping-pong, basketball, and chess. I was playing basketball with my fiance who was pregnant at the time, and it looked a little weird since she was in a skirt [laughs], but it was amazing! That’s the best part about the experience. The role and experience were great, but meeting all these people and seeing how they work, getting to spend more time to see their headspace and vibration was amazing.

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NR: Were you star-struck by any of the actors?

AC: No, I’ve been doing this for 15 years and if I haven’t worked with them as an actor, I’ve worked with them as a stunt performer before. Not these particular A-listers, but a lot of people.

NR: Now, which one of these actors is responsible for your English?

AC: [Laughs] Will Smith! When I was in high school I couldn’t speak English at all. I was going to flunk my 2nd year because of English and the fact that you had to uh… speak it! So my mom and my teacher forced me (physically) to watch an hour of TV every day, and I ended up watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Didn’t know anything about the show, and I thought Will and Carlton were brothers for like a month. I kept watching the show, and slowly but surely, I started speaking English! Meeting Will Smith was amazing. 10 years ago I was going to work on I, Robot and I told myself, “One day I’m going to tell him that story.” So I get on set, we’re just in a big rehearsal with all these stunt people, and I go to him to tell him the story! He was very surprised, like he must hear that stuff every day, but maybe it was the first time he taught somebody English [laughs]. He was very surprised, he was like, “Wow, wow, WOW!” This wasn’t our first conversation, but the first one I got really up close and personal. We were just standing in front of each other not saying anything, and I said, “I’m going to walk away now before you call security.” [Laughs]

NR: What’s your first language?

AC: Creole and French. I say I speak better French than Creole now because I live in Quebec, but Creole is my first language. I mean, my three languages, none of them are perfect. [Laughs] I speak French with most of my friends but Creole with my mom and grandmother.

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NR: What was it like seeing your character come to life with all the digital imagery it took to create him?

AC: I was on set as a reference for the other actors, but then they flew me to LA to do a whole week of scanning, mocap shooting, reference – I didn’t know that so many cameras even EXISTED! I didn’t actually see the whole movie, I saw my parts and some of the reshoots because we had to do voiceover for some of them. I was really happy it looked like me! I know how much work there is; I’ve been waiting for the movie to come out for a year, but there’s people that have been working on the character probably up until the last week. It was really nice to see the final product. These people (hundreds and hundreds of them) are working really hard on these for us, for the fans, so it was very exciting.

NR: What language were you speaking in the voiceovers for Incubus?

AC: Moonspeak is the language. That’s the 4th language I speak now! [Laughs]

NR: Is there any advice you would like to give to anyone looking to pursue acting or stunt performing?

AC: I think I started acting because, like a lot of actors, I was attracted to the business and I wanted to be loved. This craft taught me how to love myself and not care about what other people think. It’s a craft that really builds your character. If you’re not doing it for the right reasons, don’t do it at all. For the stunt work… you better get your ass to training! Same with acting too, if I’m not on set, I’m in class. I don’t mean “acting class” like in a corny way, I mean just the research of the human experience. That’s what I love about this business, it’s the artform.

Suicide Squad is now in theaters and has recently broke the August box-office record for its opening weekend.

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Joey Ferris
Joey Ferris 260 posts

l love to play games and write stuff about them. I can't play something and not tell anyone how I feel about it. Call it a sickness, because it is.