Freddie Stroma passed the "a-hole check." Peacemaker series creator James Gunn reveals he called Elizabeth Banks before hiring Stroma to play Adrian Chase, the sociopathic costumed killer known as Vigilante, in The Suicide Squad spinoff series for HBO Max. Banks starred in the Gunn-directed Slither and the Gunn-produced Brightburn, working with the Bridgerton actor in 2012's Pitch Perfect. Live-tweeting during a Twitter watch party of Thursday's Peacemaker Episode 4, "Chapter 4: The Choad Less Traveled," Gunn shouted out Banks for verifying Stroma wasn't an "a—hole."
"I should thank @ElizabethBanks who I called to do an asshole check to make sure @freddiestroma was a good guy (I won't work with assholes)," Gunn tweeted during Saturday's #PeacemakerParty. "She worked with him on Pitch Perfect – she told me he was great & she was right!"
Also I should thank @ElizabethBanks who I called to do an asshole check to make sure @freddiestroma was a good guy (I won’t work with assholes) – she worked with him on Pitch Perfect – she told me he was great & she was right! #Peacemaker #PeacemakerParty— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 23, 2022
In another piece of trivia out of the #PeacemakerParty, Gunn said leading man John Cena "nearly fell over" when filming wrapped and the British actor, who plays the American Adrian Chase, reverted to his natural accent.
Fun fact: @freddiestroma spoke in an American accent the whole time he was shooting & hanging with us, for months. @JohnCena nearly fell over when we wrapped & he had a British accent. #Peacemaker #PeacemakerParty https://t.co/Qi15j3PkWE— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 23, 2022
A late addition to the series, Stroma replaced the previously-cast Chris Conrad after the Young Hercules and Patriot actor dropped out midway through filming the DC Comics adaptation spinning out of last summer's The Suicide Squad.
"[Stroma] came in late. We had already shot five-and-a-half episodes with another actor, who's an incredibly talented guy, but we were on different pages about certain things, and I don't think he wanted to continue on the series in the long run," Gunn said in a previous interview with Screen Rant. "So we brought Freddie in, five-and-a-half episodes in, and I reshot all of his scenes...we re-shot. I directed all of the scenes with Vigilante in five and a half episodes."
Five months after recovering from his mission to Corto Maltese in The Suicide Squad, Christopher Smith (John Cena) is back to fighting for freedom — his own.
Recruited by Task Force X shot caller Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) for a world-saving assignment known as Project Butterfly, Smith joins forces with a new squad: handler Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), tech and tactics expert John Economos (Steve Agee), new recruit Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), the unhinged Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) and team leader Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji).
New episodes of DC's Peacemaker premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.