The highly anticipated sequel to Deadpool is finally out in cinemas this week! Our favourite thing about the new film? Marvel Comics superhero Domino, who makes her on-screen debut in the film and whose superpower is being able to control her own luck. We spoke to Domino-actress Zazie Beetz to find out more about the character, why girls should embrace the superhero genre and how Black Panther has paved the way for more diversity in the industry…
How do you feel being the first person to bring Domino to life on screen?
It’s a lot of pressure! I had to try and bring to life a character that people had grown up with and feel very strongly about. I just tried to have fun with it and trusted what was happening on set. It’s been an honour and a very exciting process to take this character off the page.
What was your initial reaction when you read the script for Deadpool 2?
It’s super funny of course, but what I really liked about it was that it also has an emotional element. The first film does too, but this one really doubles down on that. It’s offers a really nice juxtaposition to the comedy, making you care so much more about the characters when you learn about their vulnerabilities.
Would you say luck is a superpower?
Yeah! In the movie we make fun of it too – I mean what even is luck? It can take on so many forms, but in a way it just enhances everything you do. I guess it’s intuition, and following and trusting that. It ends up serving the film very well. You’re not watching someone regenerate or throw fire or something along those lines, but it has it’s own cinematic quality. We came up with these amazing choreographies that are just so fun and pretty to watch.
Who was your superhero growing up?
Honestly my mum and dad. They both sacrificed a lot for me and were always there for me. They offered me the best childhood.
What was your favourite scene to film?
I really liked to opening scene a lot, when I’m introduced. It was just this fun, playful thing to do. It’s such a big deal being introduced in a Marvel movie, so there was a lot of pressure! We did it a bunch of times and in different ways, tweaked it and tried to figure out what was working for it.
Films like Black Panther have really changed the world of superheroes recently, and have brought more diversity in terms of race and gender. How do you feel being a part of the bigger movement?
It’s an amazing experience. What I really appreciated with Black Panther is that it has this female army made up of really strong and intelligent women. None of the men are pandering to them or placating them – they truly have this equal force. That was something that was also important while we were shooting Deadpool 2. We wanted to make sure Domino is equal in her ability and her intelligence. I entered this industry during a time when there was a huge shift in how we socially address women and people of colour in the media. It’s a huge responsibility to also take ownership of that and to act as a platform. I tried to do it with as much grace as I could.
The superhero genre tends to be more aimed at boys. Why should girls go see Deadpool 2?
This is the beginning of introducing women as a force. Still now in the superhero universe there aren’t many women available and I think seeing that they can be just as strong and useful as their male counterparts is amazing! There’s also this idea that women aren’t as sexual or as crude in their humour or their desires – but we totally are! There’s still this narrative of trying to keep us pretty and less dangerous. Of course we’re interested in the kinds of jokes that feature in Deadpool. That also makes me think that when something like Black Panther, or female-driven stories like Ocean’s 8 come out, people instantly assume “that’s for a black audience” or “that’s for a female audience”. But for so long we have all been identifying with this one male story that comes out all the time – we all had to identify with that because there wasn’t much else around. Why shouldn’t you be able to identify with these new stories now then, no matter who you are? I love Ocean’s 11, and that’s all men. Now with Ocean’s 8 there seems to be this subconscious notion that it’s a film for girls, and not for men as well. That’s crazy to me. But luckily now there’s a bunch of turning that stuff around on its head!
Deadpool 2 is out in UK cinemas now.