Suicide Squad Cast Rehearsed Together for 6 Weeks Before Shooting

Superhero movies are big business: We're not saying anything revolutionary here. But certain [...]


Superhero movies are big business: We're not saying anything revolutionary here. But certain superhero movies wind up showing you a different level of dedication, and it pays off on the big screen. For instance, director James Gunn has spoken openly about the value of full-cast rehearsals in his process, something he'll do for several weeks before shooting a second of footage, and that paid off in the fan-beloved and critically-acclaimed Guardians of the Galaxy. As it turns out, director David Ayer subscribed to the same philosophy for Suicide Squad.

During a set visit last summer, producers Richard Suckle and Andy Horowitz talked extensively about how close the cast of Suicide Squad had become, and pointed out that they had done quite a bit of rehearsing before ever stepping onto the set.

"The had spent six weeks together rehearsing, and going over lines, and [generally] knee deep in the movie" when they all came together in costume for that first official "line-up" image, Horowitz told and other select press on the visit. Suckle added, "most of the actors were here five and six weeks ahead of time. We had rehearsals every day for several hours, and it was a big part of building this team and building the camaraderie."

That camaraderie was something every member of the cast and crew we spoke with during our day on the expansive Toronto, Ontario, Canada set mentioned.

"I've honestly never worked on a film where the cast enjoys spending [so much] time with each other," Suckle said. The producers showed up to supervise set development in January, 2015, with the cast joining them "sometime in March" for a shoot that didn't start in earnest until May. "It's a long time to spend with people. You're working nights, you're working long hours. Everybody truly loves being together."

That meant the cast and crew hanging out off set, too, at team-building golfing trips, and back stage at Comic-Con, where the full cast and trailer reveal happened last July.

"It was funny because even at Comic Con, when we all walked in backstage and there's all the other cast for the different movies there, it was sort of like everyone got quiet because all the cool kids are here, because all the other actors in all the other movies ... Not just DC movies but other movies ... They couldn't believe that this group of people were all so friendly and they actually like spending time together," Horowitz said with a laugh. "They hang out on and off set. It's been amazing. We've never seen anything like it where everyone on our cast loves each other and gets along, hangs out when they don't have to. It's been an amazing group."

When we observed the actors on set, it was apparent from the get go. Every time there was a cut, or if Ayer or an assistant director was talking to one actor, the others were joking around, talking, and genuinely enjoying themselves in the background.

"We're kind of this rambunctious little family," Jai Courtney, who plays Boomerang, said during an on-set interview. "It's been one of those bizarrely kind of pleasant experiences. Often, I mean we've all had I think varying kind of experiences on films, and spoke about it early on where it's like you get on a film project sometimes and you know it's good and you're working with a great group of people. There was something happened early on, probably the rehearsal time we were afforded and I think that meant there was just this period of concentration where we got to kind of trust each other and couple that with this just kind of this lucky accident of the group that was assembled and we have just had a whole load of fun."

Margot Robbie, the early stand-out in the film as Harley Quinn, noted that the circumstances of their shooting helped, as well.

"I think it also helps that none of us are from Toronto, so when we finish a day of work you kind of turn to each other like, 'What are you doing now? What are we doing this weekend?'" she pointed out. "A lot of people are married with kids and stuff, if we were shooting in their hometown they would go home to their significant other and their kids and their life and their friends that they've known forever. Since we're all away from home you kind of like stick together even more than you normally would."

Director DavidAyer agreed, saying it's "shocking" how "the chemistry between the actors" grew so quickly. "They're thick as thieves," he when asked about any surprises of working on the film. "They're scary together. They're like this little gang now. They're truly a posse; it's a wonder to behold. That's not normal in this business, sadly, because I think it's a very isolated business.

"You have actors and they go from show to show and travel and live out of suitcases. At the end of the day it's a very isolated lifestyle. I don't think that people understand that. To see people who willingly hang out on set when they're not working, and they're always together, even when they don't have to be. It's rare. It's very rare."

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Once the Squad forms, they're nearly all together for the rest of the film, so it's a good thing they learned early on how to get along.

Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5, 2016.