Will Smith has staked much of his acting career on playing heroes, as the actor, musician, and producer has consistently been one of Hollywood’s biggest box office draws of the last two decades thanks in large part to picking roles that cast him as a do-gooder. As it turns out, that’s also one of the main reasons why he decided that Suicide Squad was the perfect fit for him.
As Smith tells Entertainment Weekly, his decision to play assassin-for-hire Deadshot in the DC Comics film was based on two factors: his desire to work with director David Ayer and wanting to challenge himself by picking a role outside of his comfort zone.
“I had never played a character that legitimately didn’t give a f—,” says Smith. “It’s very freeing not having to carry the moral spine of the movie.”
Smith says that he spent considerable time working with Ayer to try and get in the right head space for the role. In the early stages, he had a hard time relating to a character who could people without remorse.
“I couldn’t find a model to understand what would make someone comfortable killing another person for money,” says Smith. “David walked me through that. He found a book for me (The Anatomy of Motive by John Douglas), and I worked through getting into the mind of serial killers. Once I accepted the [notion the author puts forth] that it feels good, that really exploded the idea in my mind of Deadshot.”
It also helped that Deadshot isn’t just a killer, but a loving father as well, which was a trait that Smith was eager to explore.
“His Achilles heel is his daughter,” Smith says. “He loves this little girl and that creates this bizarre conflicting mindset where he enjoys killing people but that’s something this little girl doesn’t want from him. She wants a daddy.”
For his part, Ayer is proud of the actor’s accomplishments and believes that Smith discovered something about himself and his range as an actor by playing Deadshot.
“I’m so proud of what he did in this,” says Ayer. “I think that’s going to be one of the suprises [of the movie]. It feels like he found something new. He found a different gear in this.”
Smith and Ayer are set to reunite this October when they starting shooting Bright, a fantasy film based on a script by Max Landis that also stars Noomi Rapace and Joel Edgerton. “He’s one of the best actor’s directors I’ve ever worked with,” Smith says of his Suicide Squad director.
Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5.
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)