Interview: Henry Golding on Snake Eyes, and His Ideas for a Sequel

Credit: Paramount Pictures/Ed Araquel

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is the latest live-action G.I. Joe film that follows the fan-favorite character, who’s known for wearing a cool mask and is an expert with weapons and martial arts. In the film, he saves the life of Tommy Arashikage, and this thrusts him into the world of an ancient ninja clan and an evil organization.

Playing the titular character is Henry Golding, who’s known to play charming characters in Crazy Rich Asians and Last Christmas. We had the chance to chat with the actor about the movie, sets, action, and having his own action figure.

Nerd Reactor: So what does it feel like to have an action figure with your own face on it?

Henry Golding: It’s kind of mind-blowing when you put it like that. You go into a movie expecting like, “Yeah, it’s Hasbro. Of course, they’re gonna come out with a toy range.” But when it arrives in front of you, and you’re looking at it, it’s like, “Holy crap! They really got that face right.” And then it starts to sink in. It’s just like, “Whoa! This is immortalized for the rest of time.” This can be buried at the bottom of my daughter or son’s toy box when they’re like 30 years old, and we dig it out, and it’s like, “Remember that time?” But no, it’s an absolute honor to be a part of this franchise, and especially such an iconic character of Snake Eyes.

Nerd Reactor: And for this role, what did you do to prepare for it? Did you do your research or were you a fan before?

Henry Golding: To be honest, I didn’t want to do too much research into the Snake Eyes that we knew from Larry’s pantheon of amazing comic books. I needed to obviously understand the relationships between who I’m meeting in this particular movie. And of course, the motivations. But what I’ve really needed to delve into was the hardships of what our character is going through at the beginning of this film. He’s a broken man, he’s been led on this trail of destruction and vengeance in search of this, this sort of this comeuppance in people who have done him sort of wrong in the past. And it goes through his transition of understanding that this isn’t the do and end-all if he becomes kind of the person that he’s always been dreaming up. He needs to be better. So to see that kind of story arc play out, that was what I had to really research and the effect a certain family has on his sort of direction in life.

Nerd Reactor: And with this movie, your character goes all around the world, encounters different characters. I don’t know if there’s a moment for you on the set where you’re like, “This is awesome!”

Henry Golding: I mean, any chance you get to be on any set is a gift. We get to play in the biggest sandpit possible. And so, as kids, this is kind of what you dream about, dressing up as a ninja, doing combat with like 15 other people. But to be able to see the finished product on the big screen, and with everything involved and with all the talent that was put together, it’s such a joy to be able to sit there and just be in awe of this movie.

Nerd Reactor: And you’re talking about the action and the set-piece. I don’t know if you’re ever wary of just getting hit in the face with all the different like flying punches or katanas swinging around?

Henry Golding: Constantly. It happens, you know. It’s such a frantic, fast-paced dance that you’re doing that, of course, there’s going to be a stray sword that will wack you around. But you have to keep going because there’ll be another one if you don’t block the incoming barrage. But you know, it’s expected. Luckily, no serious injuries. I still have both my eyes and you know, we did good.

Nerd Reactor: Let’s say future movies for Snake Eyes, do you have any ideas that you want to share? Your own ideas on what you think would happen?

Henry Golding: We leave this movie in an area where it wants you to yearn for more. So many people come to like, “When are you making the next one?” Because this isn’t finished; we need more. And I think a lot of the pre-existing fans were like, “This is the film and this is the vibe that we wanted all this whole time.” So to be able to give that to people, to have them be open-minded about this new iteration of the GI Joe universe, I think it’s fantastic. But for me, I want to see where this leads between Storm and Snake. That is my end goal. This relationship is one of the most iconic. Of course, we got to pepper in some Cobra and GI Joes, but for me, the focus is on this blood brotherhood.

Check out the video interview below!

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