Edmonton native Nathan Fillion is ecstatic to be a part of James Gunn's new film, The Suicide Squad.
The actor, who stars as TDK, revealed that as a comic book fan, starring in this film meant a lot to him. But more so as a Canadian, it brought back memories of his childhood.
"As a Canadian, it's even more special," he said. "You know, because I think about the kid that was frozen to the sidewalk waiting for the bus in Edmonton in third grade."
"I never would have imagined TDK whipping off his arms in an explosions of movie, I couldn't have dreamt that."
The movie, which premieres in theatres on Friday, follows a group of supervillains who are handpicked by government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to go on a dangerous mission to the island of Corto Maltese and destroy a government project known as "Project Starfish." Fillion joins a star-studded list of actors, including Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Idris Elba (Bloodsport), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), John Cena (Peacemaker) and Sylvester Stallone (King Shark).
In the movie business, Fillion's reputation precedes him. The Castle and Firefly actor is known as someone who's a joy to work with. More often than not, his fun personality easily translates on screen.
"I think maybe what you're sensing is that even on my worst day, I'm having a great day," Fillion said.
"I love doing this job I been maybe I can't hide that fact. I wear it on my sleeve a little bit."
The role 'meant a lot' to Fillion
The Suicide Squad is a DC superhero film brought to life by Gunn's unique filmmaking style. The film is very different than the poorly received 2016 version. Gunn ensured that his entry would be outrageous, over-the-top and delightfully entertaining. The R-rated flick is packed with action, humour and gore, and offers a fresh spin on the comics. Comic book fans are going to love this version of the film, as does comic book geek Fillion.
"As a fan of comic books since I was a kid, every time, every year that passes, every new superhero movie that comes out, you say, 'Oh, there's another superhero I'm not going to be,'" he said.
"We're fast running out of superheroes. But there are villains up the wazoo. There are so many villains, there's nothing but just available employment there. So to have a crack at it, to have a little piece of that DC Universe, as a comic book fan, that meant a lot to me."
Fillion's been accused of being a practical joker
Fillion and Gunn have collaborated on several projects, including Gunn's Slither and he Fillion cameo roles in both of the director's Guardians of the Galaxy films.
The two are good friends, so much so that Fillion showed up on set wearing a shirt plastered with Gunn's face on it. Gunn shared the hilarious photo on Fillion's birthday back in March.
Happy Birthday to my dear friend @nathanfillion, the first person to show up on my set, more than once, wearing T-shirts with me on them. Yes, he had these made himself. ❤️ #TeamTDK #TheSuicideSquad pic.twitter.com/f89rI0rWbt
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 27, 2021
When asked about whether he does this gesture for all of his directors, he chimes: "No. That was a first for me."
"I have been accused in the past of being a practical joker and that's actually not true," Fillion said.
"I will do grand gestures of affection. That's what I call them. They're not practical jokes. No one gets hurt. It's not at anyone's expense. But there is a kind of a grand splash of demonstrative kind of affection, kind of a display. So yes, I had a monstrous face. It wasn't like James's face on the shirt...the whole shirt was his face."
Support for 'Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion'
So is there a Canadian characteristic that Fillion shares with his on-screen character?
"Quiet confidence," he said after taking a few seconds to think it over.
Funny enough, in honour of the Edmontonian actor, a Change.org petition, created by SONiC 102.9 announcer Lauren Hunter, has been going around to try to get a small building built on new green space in downtown Edmonton named the "Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion."
Edmonton + @Sonic1029 are on a mission — a petition mission! 😂 In honour of Edmontonian actor, Nathan Fillion aka T.D.K., they want to name a building The Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion. And #TheSuicideSquad is here for it! 😍 Watch: https://t.co/R0q0yiVXdZ. pic.twitter.com/6Go1VZJRX2
— Warner Bros. Canada (@WarnerBrosCA) August 3, 2021
As revealed in a video by Warner Bros., it seems his co-stars are endorsing it.
“I 100 per cent support this idea, completely. I really, really hope you succeed in this mission, Edmonton. I believe in it," Margot Robbie said.
"I'm intrigued, I'm excited and I'm eager to watch how this story plays out," John Cena added.
The Suicide Squad is now playing in theatres across Canada.