Suicide Squad has finally hit theaters, and let’s just say that its best kept secret wasn’t the Fun Tent on set, but the mystery villain’s identity in DC’s highly anticipated flick. Hopefully you’ve seen the movie by now, and if you haven’t– click out– no, really. Spoilers ahead! Those who have watched it and have done their Interwebs research are probably aware by now that the critics aren’t too happy with this film (the fans love it, by the way, wooohoo!). It could be from the lack of a Joker-centric plot, or its PG-13 rating, but despite those debbie downers, the real bait and switch, and super exciting reveal in Suicide Squad wasn’t that we didn’t know who the top-secret villain was leading up to its release, but that the real villain of the story was Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress, a character who was joined by her equally maniacal brother Incubus, played by Alain Chanoine.
The Canadian actor shared the virtual stage with 10+ A-listers, and that has got to be a pretty amazing accomplishment for this on-screen big bad. I probably would have passed out in the presence of such Entertainment royalty (I’m looking at you Will Smith, Viola Davis and Ben Affleck), let alone work alongside them. Not to mention my secret keeping skills could use a little work, and Chanoine wasn’t allowed to talk about his involvement in the film until the day the movie came out– talk about one super (villainous) secret!
It didn’t take Chanoine long to break his silence once his character Incubus was revealed; Chatting about landing the iconic role, hanging out with Will Smith in the Fun Tent, and doing a chemistry read with fan favorite Cara Delevingne are among just a few of his extremely exciting talking points. It’s also amazing that his big break came after a decade of honing his craft as an actor. And if you thought his talent stops there, think again, he also worked as a stuntman for well-known films like Blade: Trinity, Punisher: War Zone, Immortals and X-Men: Days of Future Past. With Suicide Squad, once given the opportunity to shine in a city of stars, he quite frankly stole the show.
From discussing the new technology needed to bring Incubus to life, to his characters good (and bad) habits, oh and just casually kickin’ it with the Fresh Prince of Bel Air himself, Chanoine had some great things to say about his experience in Suicide Squad and beyond.
Get your squad ready!
ALAIN CHANOINE: I don’t really believe in competition as an actor. Nobody can be me better than me, as long as you’re truthful, and that’s the hardest part, to be yourself while being ‘judged’. I offered something to David Ayer and he liked it. I’m very aware though of how fortunate I am as I know many A-listers would have jumped at the opportunity. I had a first audition by tape, a second in person with David Ayer and a third that was really a chemistry read with Cara Delevingne. Next thing you know I’m in the biggest film of the year.
MM: How hard was it to keep this gig a secret? I feel like with a movie surrounded by so much buzz– it had to have been quite difficult keeping things under wraps for a year or so.
AC: Not really as it is always the case, we sign NDAs (Non disclosure Agreement) all the time. I have to admit I’d wish I had been part of the seven month marketing campaign but being the ‘Mysterious Villain’ was also pretty cool.
MM: Speaking of buzz, the critics and the fans seem to have differing opinions when it comes to the movie– why do you think there has been such a disconnect between what the audience thinks and what the reviewers think?
AC: I don’t know, first I was disappointed that the reviews were not good, then the fans started loving it, then I saw the movie and realized how exaggerated the critics were. Became kind of ridiculous so I stopped reading them as I don’t agree with them at all.
MM: You have this alter ego in the movie, do you feel like it was double the work– because in a sense, you had to put on two different facades?
AC: Not really, playing different characters is what we do.
MM: You play this legendary character in probably the most massive film of 2016, any pressure going into this, especially since it varied a bit from the comics? Did you read up on the comics and what Incubus is all about?
AC: Yes, going in with all of these A-listers was intimidating at first but you can’t let it stop you. And of course I read most of the Suicide Squad comics before my third audition.
MM: How important was the CGI work for your character to really come alive on screen? Did you have any idea how the final product would translate?
AC: I don’t know the terms for all that technology but the guys at Sony Image Works were extremely excited about Incubus. After all, they were going to be working on him for a year. In LA as I was sitting in a sphere built of hundreds of cameras and they were telling me: “You’re sitting on the same chair Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise sat on.” I was like: I feel really important but I have no idea what we’re doing right now. The design for Incubus kept changing as we were shooting but Jerome Chen, head of department, kept showing me the new styles. I was very impressed with the final product.
MM: In the movie, Incubus is extremely loyal to his sister, although he’s a villain, do you think you share any of his better qualities in real life?
AC: [Laughs] Yes, family and loyalty are a couple things I pride myself on. I probably share some of his bad ones too! [Laughs]
MM: If you could swap places with any of the other villains in the film, who would it be and why would you choose them?
AC: Is this a trick questions? There’re only ‘Bad people’ in the film! I could not take my eyes off Jared Leto. He’s amazing, and the Joker is one of the best Villains in cinematic history, so yes, the Joker.
MM: Out of all of the amazing talent in this highly anticipated movie, was there anyone in particular that you were super stoked to be working with on this project?
AC: Yes, Will, as he was such an role model in my life.
MM: I heard you learned English from Will Smith when you were younger? Did you know the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song by heart before anything else? [Laughs]
AC: [Laughs] No, I still don’t know it by heart. But yes I would not be talking to you right now if it was not for that show and for Will smith. Creole and French are my two first languages. My english teacher and my mom forced me to watch one hour of TV in English everyday and I watched The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Took me a month to get that Will and Carlton were not brothers. So when I got on set I told that whole story to Will, who I was sure heard similar things in his life. But apparently he’d never heard that one.
MM: Tell me about this Fun Tent, and were there donuts involved? [Laughs]
AC: [Laughs] The donuts were at “Crafty”. On movie sets there’s always donuts but on SS there was a juicer with fresh vegetables the whole time around. So you could get very fit or fat on that movie… I got fat [laughs]. WiIl and Joel built a ‘Fun-tent’ on the studio lot. There was Basketball, Pool, Ping Pong, Darts, Chess, Flat screen TV, a DJ booth and I’m probably forgetting something. It was surreal, I remember playing basketball against my very pregnant fiancée in the fun tent as Will and Joel were playing chess.
MM: That sounds like a blast! What kind of responses were you getting on social media when your character was revealed? Are you getting the hang of Twitter now?
AC: It feels like people were looking for me but could not find me as I was not active on social media. I’ve been going at it and I have to admit, it’s getting fun.
MM: In addition to being an actor, you’re also a stunt performer– what would you say is the best fight scene of all-time?
AC: I can watch the Donnie Yen fight at the end of Flashpoint over and over again. I can’t wait to do one shot just like it in a western film.
MM: Ever since the movie came out, more and more people want to know the man behind the villain– to take a fun spin on that, if you had to construct a specialty pizza based on your personality in real life, what kind of toppings would be on it?
AC: Humm. I wanna say ‘meat lover’ but I wanna go Vegan one of these days so I’m confused cause I ain’t eating no pizza without meat. It’d be like a Haitian meal without Rice [laughs].
MM: Any upcoming projects you can tell us about? If not, anything you want to say to the fans to wrap things up?
AC: I can’t talk about the upcoming stuff yet but to the fans: thank you. Thank you for the support, thank you for being there. And if you’re reading this, and there’s something you ‘think’ that you can’t do, well please know that I was the one thinking that 14 years ago.