‘The Suicide Squad’ is a conversation piece

Warner Bros. / DC Comics

By María Estévez, MWN 

‘The Suicide Squad’ is back, reconstructed by director James Gunn with a wild essence of this mercenary group of villains. This time, Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) is accompanied by Idris Elba (Bloodsport), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), David Dastmalchian (Polka-Dot Man), John Cena (Peacemaker), Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher 2), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Juan Diego Botto (Silvio Luna), Alice Braga (Sol Soria) and Peter Capaldi (Thinker).

Metro chatted with Robbie and Elba to learn more.

How different is Harley Quinn in this movie?

Margot Robbie (MR): Well, it’s the same Harley Quinn that people have met before. She’s just in very different circumstances and in a slightly different time in her life. When we first met Harley in ‘Suicide Squad’ by David Ayer, she was in a relationship with Mr. J. and I think she had a false sense of security because no matter what happened, Mr. J. would fix things for her. At the same time, he’s always trying to kill her… The second time I got to play Harley in ‘Birds of Prey,’ they had just broken up. Harley was single and trying to be okay about it, but she really wasn’t.

And this time it goes a little further on and Harley does definitely seem to be okay with being single. There’re a few little romances in this movie, in fact, so that was kind of fun and different. But besides her dating status, Harley is still a crazy lovable self that people have seen before. 

Do you have a favorite cinema memory?

MR: Going to the movies is my favorite thing in the world. When I was a kid, I used to sit on the cinema steps just so I could smell the popcorn and watch the trailers, because it was free. I’d go to a movie whenever I could.

I had a very funny cinema experience recently. I went to see ‘A Quiet Place 2’ with my friends. And my husband who booked the tickets didn’t realize he bought 4D tickets. It’s a very different thing to watch a scary movie when your chair moves. It was so funny and amazing. It was the first time I‘ve been back in the cinema since the pandemic. The 4D experience was kind of unexpected, but I just go to the cinema as often as I can. I’m so happy that theaters are open again and very excited that you get to watch ‘The Suicide Squad’ on the big screen, too.

What are the main themes of the movie?

Idris Elba (IE): It is big blockbuster entertainment. It’s up to the viewers what they take away from it. I don’t want to force anyone in the audience and tell them how to feel about such a movie that I think everyone needs in their life but no one’s ready to see. I think it’s going to be a conversation piece. I think there’ll be multiple themes and multiple takeaways from the movie because James does such a great job in creating multiple characters.

I don’t think there’s one common theme. There’s so much depth in the film. There’s a real empathy storyline and you start to feel what is the Suicide Squad. There’s also a reflection of just living your life, enjoying what you have at the moment, and doing what’s right for you. This wasn’t made because of the pandemic.

MR: Maybe James sees this film fitting into a particular theme. For me, this project was more about individual characters and what they’re struggling with within themselves. And what James does so well, which I think is incredibly hard to do with a cast this big, is to give everyone their storylines and really have their moment. If we’re looking at it as a big picture, there is no action for action’s sake. The action is always tied into the emotional states. And that is the way to crush it. I think it makes it meaningful and more enjoyable and James Gunn does it better than anyone else on such a large scale.

What’s the most challenging aspect of playing a villain?

IE: I guess the most challenging part is to find ways to humanize the character. But if the writing is really good, the challenge is diminished and that’s the sort of area that actors love to flourish in. In this film, I don’t think I’m playing a bad guy, essentially, but a guy that is conditioned to be one person and finds himself in a pretty shi**y situation. It was really interesting. 

Were you into comics before this film?

IE: I was into Spider-Man when I was younger and I probably bought a couple of comics. But like John, I’m not really as knowledgeable as the purists. I wish I could be. I like Superman as well, and I had Flash Gordon wallpaper in my bedroom. Not a comic, but pretty close.

Were you the tattoo artist on set?

MR: I didn’t tattoo anyone on this set. We should rectify that. We should have a little tattoo party. We had fun, but no permanent souvenirs in the way of a tattoo. We still have a premiere to do. There’s time.

What’s the coolest thing you had to do in the movie?

MR: The beach set was the one we started with and that was the coolest set I’ve ever worked on. It was an incredibly big water tank with a wave machine, real palm trees, and huge pyrotechnics. It was like being in a Vietnam war film, which is a genre I really, really adore. It was incredible.

IE: James Gunn never fails to impress me. His sets are incredible. But, for me, the biggest highlight was working with actors and the cast, and being able to watch improvisation that came from James Gunn’s mad mind into John Cena, Margot, everyone who was there. I think the scope of the movie is enormous and when you get a really gifted, passionate group of people together, awesome stuff happens.

‘The Suicide Squad’ is now in theaters and on HBO Max.