Birds of Prey's Ewan McGregor Came Up With Black Mask's Best Lines

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has been delighting audiences in theaters these past few weeks, with its star-studded ensemble cast and its unique approach to comedy and humor. While every character in the principal cast has been met with a positive response, audiences have grown particularly fond of Ewan McGregor's take on Roman Sionis/Black Mask. While Black Mask is clearly the film's antagonist and has some genuinely evil moments, McGregor's performance makes the character someone you can't help but love watching. And according to a new interview with CinemaBlend's ReelBlend podcast, McGregor helped improvise some of the character's most amusing moments.

"[Ewan] added lines. I like to work to a point where it's a real collaboration between the actors, and we'll have fun on set, and it's very open," Cathy Yan, who directed the film, explained. "And what was great is that Christina [Hodson, screenwriter] was not precious with the script either and quite supportive of that. So we were just like throwing ideas around. He'll come up with a line and I'll go 'I love that line! Let's add it in'."

"That happened a lot, and he's just wickedly funny," Yan continued. "I also think because he really understood the character, he really got it. He understood the background of the character, the chip on his shoulder, the desire for power, the desire of control."

This isn't the first time that Birds of Prey's cast and crew have hinted at the film's improvisation, with Cassandra Cain actress Ella Jay Basco hinting that one of the core scenes between the film's quintet of female characters was improvised.

"We had this one scene where Margot [Robbie], Jurnee [Smollett-Bell], Rosie [Perez], Mary [Elizabeth Winstead] and I had to improv the majority of it." Basco revealed in an interview last year. "That entire day we were laughing, making jokes, and having a great time. The director Cathy Yan, told us to do a bunch of silly things that made us smile the whole day."


Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is in theaters now. 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.