Writers and directors of superhero films better do their homework before adapting a beloved comic title into a giant blockbuster. And we’ve seen actors do the same, with Brie Larson posting photos of herself on Twitter reading Captain Marvel comics before she plays the icon. But is it really that important for an actor to know the comics iteration of their character before arriving on set?
Sylvester Stallone, who plays Stakar in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, was present at a press junket attended by our very own Nancy Tapia. Stallone was asked if he had done any research by reading a Guardians of the Galaxy comic book prior to shooting his scenes:
“No. I didn’t. Because it’s, I grew up with a different sort of superhero film, like Elastic Man… So this one I wanted to go in there with a clean slate, and just do what the director wanted done. And, so now I’m starting to catch up on it, but I think that kind of being naive allows you to be directed in the direction they want you to go, without any preconceived ideas.”
When Stallone was asked why he was now catching up on the comics, he was hesitant to answer but, but eventually responded:
“Because I’m an optimist.”
This is far from the first time an actor has admitted that he or she hasn’t read the comics from which the character being played is from. But, this is the first time I can remember when an actor actually gave a good reason as to why not. It may be more important to understand a long running character’s motivations if you are playing Peter Parker, per say, but maybe there is something to allowing director James Gunn to mold Stallone’s performance, as a smaller player, from a “blank slate.”
Do you feel actors should know the source material before arriving on set? Or is it best to let the director do his thing without any preconceived notions? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!