While interviewing Skylan Brooks, I asked how he pulled off the portrayal of the optimistic and energetic Hamster in the film Archenemy. He stated that it was purely method acting. “Well, believe it or not, I was actually sick while shooting this film,” Brooks chuckled. Brooks is not new to the genre of superhero films, he played the super-intelligent Chubs in the 2018 film Darkest Minds.
The young talented actor took time away from his busy schedule to talk with Taji Mag about his new film, Archenemy, and other projects he is working on.
Dapper Dr. Feel (DDF): What brought you to this role and how did you prepare for it?
Skylan Brooks (SB): The film being a superhero, sci-fi film lured me to the role. I enjoy and previously had success in my other sci-fi projects like Castle Rock on Hulu. I wanted to know more about the director’s vision for my character, Hamster. I also wanted to understand the origin of the film and why it was being made.
DDF: Hamster shows optimism and drive, how did you manage to keep those present in the character?
SB: Actually, that was one of the things I worried about when portraying the character. It worried me in the audition. I have a very chill personality, so it was a fun challenge to play this high energy character. What made me really capture the essence of the character was talking to the director. Also remembering, Hamster’s deceased father was a storyteller and that is what motivates him to tell his stories no matter what.
DDF: What was the biggest obstacle to making this film?
SB: Well, believe it or not, I was actually sick while shooting this film. Every time you see me smiling, shouting, and laughing like I was having a good time, I was dying. I actually had pneumonia, bronchitis, and a fever. I had to go to the hospital because I had difficulty breathing at times. It was crazy because everyone else is healthy and I was just so sick. It was brutal but fun.
DDF: What the best part about making this film?
SB: I really enjoy the stunts. Every time there was a big stunt going on, everybody’s vibe changed. The director would be like, “ Okay, you’re going to get sent through this glass table and you are going to get killed.” It was fun and we just laughed through it. There was great energy on set and everyone was fun to work with.
DDF: Is your character, Hamster, inspired by other characters you previously played? I think of the characters you played in The Darkest Minds, The Get Down, and The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.
SB: Not consciously. I tried to draw from a whole different place. That’s interesting but cool you had thought so.
DDF: Who are a few of your favorite comic characters?
SB: Growing up I didn’t really know the comic world as I do now. I didn’t understand the difference between brands like DC Comics and Marvel? I just knew of the comic book characters. I have an affinity for fast characters, that are not necessarily flashy but have this cool attitude. Characters like the Flash, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), and Static Shock. I loved watching Static Shock growing up. He’s just a normal dude from the hood that got powers and didn’t take advantage of the powers.
DDF: What comic book hero would you like to play?
SB: Ah perfect question! I heard there was a Static Shock movie being made, that is way early in development and I would love to take a crack at it.
DDF: Which movie universe do you prefer? DC or Marvel?
SB: That’s a hard question. Lol! I like both of them. Growing up I watched DC television shows, like Young Justice, but I watched Marvel movies.
DDF: What do you think the audience will get out of this film?
SB: I want the audience to understand that heroes have emotions. Max Fist is a hero where he comes from. Beyond his hero complex is a fragile human being that feels forgotten. I think, through companionship and friendship, he redeems himself without his powers.
DDF: How was it working with Zolee Griggs and Joe Manganiello?
SB: Joe is a very intense guy when it comes to playing his characters. Once he is in character, there is no way of breaking him out of it. I appreciate being on screen with that type of experience. Zolee is great too and this is her first feature, I think she killed the role. She’s dope and you can see her on Wu-tang on Hulu. Zolee has great energy and she’s hilarious.
DDF: What’s next for you?
SB: I am focusing on the film but I have a music EP project and music video dropping this month. It’s a fuse of hip-hop and jazz. I am also working on two projects, one of which I am executive producing.
DDF: If you make your own film, what genre would it be? What director would you work with and who would be your co-star?
SB: I would want to do a Steven Spielberg type film with the grit of a Quentin Tarantino and the feel of Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise as a co-star.
If you are looking for a hybrid of the Watchmen and Wolverine comic book genre film, make sure to watch Archenemy. The film has some cool animation, an exciting storyline, and a cool plot twist.
ARCHENEMY is in theaters, and currently available on VOD and Digital.