It’s an assessment that forms not only the basis of their interactions in Task Force X, the team of imprisoned supervillains in Warner Bros.‘ “Suicide Squad,” but also Margot Robbie‘s performance in scenes with co-star Jai Courtney.
Talking with a group of journalists, including CBR News, last summer on the Toronto set of director David Ayer‘s film, Robbie revealed she jotted notes on her script revealing how Harley feels about each of her teammates. However, Courtney insisted she got his character wrong.
The two also spoke about preparing for their “Suicide Squad” roles, working with method actor Jared Leto, the “rambunctious little family” on set, and launching a potential superhero — make that supervillain — franchise.
Jai, which Captain Boomerang are you playing? Are you George “Digger” Harkness, who was the Captain Boomerang in the “Suicide Squad” comics, or are you a new character created specifically for this film?
Jai Courtney: I think it is somewhat of an amalgamation, I think it’s probably the fairest thing to say. I was curious about that. Look, I have my own ideas, but we haven’t set something up that we are bound by. David and I had a discussion about that early on. So, look, who knows? Within this property, I guess that leaves room and freedom in a sense to kind of go either way. But at this stage, it is not necessarily specified.
What does Boomerang think of Harley Quinn?
Margot Robbie: This I want to hear.
Courtney: He thinks the truth.
Robbie: My note towards Captain Boomerang when he walks in to the script is I think he’s an idiot.
Courtney: Well, you’re wrong. Did she correct herself later on?
Robbie: She has moments where she’s like, “He’s funny,” and then it goes back to her thinking he’s an idiot.
Can you talk about how your characters work together as a team?
Robbie: Well, the Squad’s together.
Courtney: That’s what I think makes this movie so fun is that there is so much antagonism between them all. We all have our roles to play amongst the group. I definitely pick up the kind of class-clown slack at times. Harley has this great line where she says, “Your village in Australia is missing its idiot. You should call home,” which is a great line and does sum up things.
Robbie: I think they’ve got like a brother/sister relationship where they just needle at each other.
Courtney: There is kind of like mutual respect amongst them all at a certain point and that’s not necessarily something that is there from the beginning but when they come around to the idea that they need to band together because in a way they are all they have, that is sort of one of the beautiful payoffs of this ensemble.
Margot, you talked about that note you had about Boomerang. Did you do something similar for everybody?
Robbie: Oh, yeah. Whenever little scenes happen, I just write in the corner of my page what I think about them. At the beginning, I decided how she feels about each character. For some reason, I think she really likes Killer Croc and looks at him like a teddy bear. She just decided, “I love him.” And I think she thinks that El Diablo is the coolest one because he has the coolest superpower. Then there’s a bit of a thing with Deadshot. I think it’s a brother/sister thing with Boomer. He either irritates her or she finds him funny, but then he goes back to irritating her.
Margot, what has it been like for you being the first actress to ever bring this iconic and beloved DC character to the big screen in live-action?
Robbie: Yeah, I’m fortunate to be the first to do it because no one has set the bar remarkably high like they have with Joker, for example. So in that sense it is easier but I’m acutely aware of the fact that there is a massive fan base and you don’t want to disappoint anyone. It’s terrifying, but like I said, it’s nice to be the first one to do it.
Can you talk about the camaraderie on set?
Courtney: It’s been one of those bizarrely pleasant experiences. We’ve all had varying types of experiences on films and spoke about it early on where it’s like you get on a film project sometimes and you know it’s good and you are working with a good group of people. But something happened early on. It was probably the rehearsal time that we were afforded. I think that meant that there was this period of concentration where we got to trust each other and coupled that with this lucky accident of the group that was assembled. We have just had a whole lot of fun.
Robbie: I think it also helps that none of us are from Toronto. So when we finish a day of work you turn to each other and say, “What are you doing now? What are we doing this weekend?” And a lot of people are married with kids and stuff, and if we were shooting in their hometown, they would go home to their significant other, their kids, their life, and their friends that they have known forever. But since we are all away from home you stick together even more.
Courtney: It’s like this rambunctious little family.
Robbie: It’s this bizarre family.
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