The Walking Dead star and renowned impressionist Ross Marquand says he portrayed Red Skull as The Matrix’s Agent Smith but “with a German accent” when taking over the role from Hugo Weaving in Avengers: Infinity War.
“Last year, last October, [Marvel Studios] reached out to my manager and they said, ‘Does Ross do a Hugo Weaving impression?’ They didn’t mention what the project was at first, for security reasons, and I said, ’I’ve never really tried to do Hugo, but I’ll give it a whirl,’” Marquand said at San Jose Fan Fest.
“And I said, ‘Well, which Hugo are we talking about? [The Adventures of] Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert, Australian? Are we talking about Agent Smith? Are we talking about Lord of the Rings? Because those are vastly different Hugo Weavings.”
Marvel “couldn’t really give much information at first” in the name of secrecy, Marquand recounted, “but they said, ‘Well, try Hugo Weaving with maybe a German accent.’ I was like, ‘Oh, Red Skull?! Okay!’ So I watched Red Skull, the clips a bunch of times, and I just realized that it’s essentially Agent Smith with a German accent.”
Then, slipping into his Hugo Weaving-as-Red-Skull-voice, Marquand impersonated Weaving’s Hydra leader who battled super soldier Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in Marvel Studios’ 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger.
“And then we got there and it was like the easiest day of shooting, it was like six, seven hours of very lovely people working their asses off,” Marquand said of Infinity War, which revealed Red Skull as a ghost doomed to serve as keeper of the Soul Stone on the barren planet of Vormir.
“After the dots were applied to the face and you put on the motion capture suit and the head cam — it took like six, seven hours — we were out of there, it was great. Very easy day of shooting.”
Asked if he’ll reappear as the character in future Marvel Cinematic Universe entries, Marquand answered, “I don’t know, I honestly don’t know, yeah,” before crossing his fingers.
Marquand previously expressed an interest in portraying mentally ill Marvel Comics superhero Moon Knight and appears as Alexandrian survivor Aaron in Season Nine of The Walking Dead, returning with new episodes Sunday, February 10 on AMC.