'Shazam!' Star Reveals Inspiration That Helped Get Him Into Character

The latest installment to the DC Extended Universe, Shazam!, was released this weekend, and fans are already loving the newest, light-hearted installment to the franchise. Jovan Armand, who plays Pedro Peña in the new film, spoke to ComicBook.com about the role, and the inspiration that helped bring the character life on the big screen. When asked how he got into character, the actor attributed it to a lot of research.

“Well, preparation for it I obviously had to do a bunch of research, so I did look up the character to try to understand his origin, and I looked up his Wikipedia, everything, you name it, comic books he's featured in. I got a copy of New 52, Flashpoint, and even Kingdom Come, which I know my character's not in, but it was just a good read recommended by Cooper Andrews,” Armand shared.

“That was just my way of preparing for the role, to further understand who Pedro was, his backstory, which there actually wasn't really much to go on. I actually had to create one for myself, and Marta Milans, who plays Rosa, Mama Rosa, she kind of helped, as well. Would give us some questions to ask ourselves as the character to help us dive into the role,” he added.

“I just really channeled my younger days, because I know at the start of my acting career I was very shy. I used to fidget a lot, and was very socially awkward, so I just channeled that same energy, and twitching that I would do, or just little things that I remember doing, and still kind of do, but not as much. I just channeled all of that, and just the shyness, and the reservedness, I just channeled my younger days,” he explained.

Armand is only 18, but his first onscreen acting role was in a short film in 2009. He has since appeared in episodes Shameless, Children’s Hospital, Parenthood, and had a recurring role on The Middle.

Currently, Shazam! is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an impressive 91% rating. Comicbook.com’s Brandon Davis praised the film in his spoiler-free review, saying Shazam! is unlike most of the superhero films that have been released in recent years.

Shazam! is now playing in theaters everywhere. Other upcoming DC films include Joker on October 10th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020.

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