Birds of Prey Star Ewan McGregor Reveals Why Black Mask Hates Harley Quinn So Much

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has quite a lot for fans to look forward to, as it introduces some of DC's most beloved characters onto the big screen. The film's motley crew of female heroes will be pitted against Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), one of Gotham City's worst crime bosses. With just a little over a week away from the film's debut, fans are curious to see exactly how Sionis' path crosses with the Birds, and particularly Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). In a recent interview with GameSpot, McGregor dove into his character's motivations with regards to Harley, and how it ties to his need for control.

"He has to be in absolute control. He's insane when he's not in control," McGregor explained. "We only see him in his club, in his car, in his apartment--or at the end when he's running around. But really I feel like we only ever see him in places he controls. And then Harley comes into this world and she's uncontrollable. It drives him mad. He hates it."

"It plays into the exploration of misogyny in the film," McGregor continued. "He's only ever put up with Harley because she was Joker's girlfriend. So that was the only reason he ever put up with her, because [Joker] was all-powerful. But as soon as [Roman] realizes that Harley's man is out of the picture, she becomes a problem. That makes him a true misogynist. Harley is trying to find her freedom--the emancipation of Harley Quinn, right? She's trying to find her voice. She's not getting her power from her partner anymore."

This notion of Sionis' misogyny is particularly interesting, as McGregor has been upfront about the real-world implications of his character. He's previously dubbed Black Mask the perfect villain for "the time of Trump", and spoken about how unapologetically feminist the film is.

"What interested me with Birds of Prey is that it's a feminist film," McGregor said in an interview last year. "It is very finely written. There is in the script a real look on misogyny, and I think we need that. We need to be more aware of how we behave with the opposite sex. We need to be taught to change. Misogynists in movies are often extreme: they rape, they beat women ... and it is legitimate to represent people like that, because they exist and they are obviously the worst. But in the Birds of Prey dialogues, there is always a hint of everyday misogyny, of those things you say as a man you do not even realize, mansplaining ... and it's in the script in a very subtle way. I found that brilliant."

Birds of Prey also stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, and Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz.

Are you excited to see Black Mask and Harley Quinn face off in Birds of Prey? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will be released on February 7th. Other upcoming DC movies include Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, Black Adam on December 22, 2021, Shazam! 2 on April 1, 2022, The Flash on July 1, 2022, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.