Film

Ed Skrein: Deadpool's very British villain

Rapper turned actor Ed Skrein says Deadpool shows comic book films are cooler than ever

Why are British people so good at being evil?

That’s a very good question that I don’t have a really good answer for. Sometimes we can be very sly in our delivery and we have such sarcastic black humour. That could contribute somewhat. Also, our history of literature means we’ve had some pretty incredible villains and dark characters created over the years, and people have possibly hung on to them as a model for creating villains.

Isn’t it just that British actors are the best and can play anything, be it good or bad?

I will let you say that. It’s a very interesting question. I will go to the top of a mountain and rub my chin for a couple of days to work out what the real answer is.

Deadpool became a bigger success than anyone could have imagined and has changed comic book films. What were the ingredients that led to its success?

First and foremost, everything starts with the material. Ryan [Reynolds] and me and the director are taking a lot of credit for this movie, while this has been material that has been around for years. Comic book writers are not as respected as novelists in mainstream culture and I think that’s a shame.

Was timing important? We’ve had so many comic book adaptations, was it time for something different?

With every success timing is an important factor. Again, it’s that Deadpool was represented properly rather than going out of our way to make a violent, funny movie. He just is that way. Now the wonderful stories I’ve been reading for decades in my comic books are being represented accurately in movies. I love that the new Spider-Man is so young and fresh-faced and funny. I also loved Black Panther in Civil War, and those movies will be very different in their approach, as they should be, which will take them further from the moulds we’ve had up until now, which perhaps people are becoming tired of.

Is it wrong to categorise comic book films as its own genre since they can cover so many styles?

It’s like saying Futurism, in regards to painting, or using hip hop as a bracket. Inside those you have so many different approaches and factions of people who are doing it in different and varied ways. The fact superheroes have super-powers should be an alluring and a fun thing but they should all be based in reality and based in human emotion. That’s what works so well in Deadpool, it’s based around love.

As a comic book fan did you ever think these stories would become mainstream?

When I grew up I was one of the few reading comics in my year. I was one of the few who was into hip hop. And now… Everyone knows about the Marvel universe, to me it’s a wonderful thing. Alright, not all of it is great but I’ve always had to search and filter to find the good stuff. I definitely couldn’t have foreseen a world where comic books and hip hop were so commercial.

You were ahead of the trend. What else did you like that will become the next big thing? For you to say I was ahead of the trend is so inaccurate. I was running around with dodgy curtains and goofy teeth and really ill-fitting clothes. So I don’t think I was ahead of all trends…

Deadpool is out now in Blu-ray and DVD

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