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Adam Brody talks “Shazam” and plays Leighton Meester’s enemy


LONDON (AP) — For Adam Brody, donning the quilted superhero suit in “Shazam!” and the sequel is a dream come true.

“I always wanted to play a superhero. I grew up reading comics,” the actor recalled in a recent interview. “I also just wanted to be in something of that size and scale, be on such a big set, be in outfits that take so long to make and put on.”

He described “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” released Friday, as “just a real Cecil B. DeMille full-size movie.”

The movie revolves around a group of foster siblings who juggle between teens and adult superheroes. Brody plays the grown-up version of a nerdy and bumbling character, but the actor reveals he was a “beach bum” in high school.

“I was a bit of a jock, actually,” Brody smiles. “Anyway, surfers are jocks.”

During those teenage years, before leaving his hometown of San Diego, California, Brody worked at a Blockbuster video store. Add that to his decades-long acting career and you could say the 43-year-old is something of a movie expert.

“I have opinions, but you know, I’m not Tarantino. I don’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the movies,’ he says quickly. although.

In recent years, his film knowledge has expanded into child-friendly territory. Brody has two children with his wife, actor Leighton Meester.

‘As many good ones as you think there are, there isn’t enough. So hard to find,” Brody says of children’s films, in his view, “where values ​​and lessons really come into play and ideally you want to make sure what they’re watching is nourishing.”

While Brody’s filmography currently doesn’t include children’s films, he says it’s a category he’d like to try.

“I am a fan of all genres. There isn’t a genre I wouldn’t or wouldn’t do, but I look for cleverness in the writing and possibly also depth and a voice, a strong POV point of view,” he says.

He goes on to explain that he’s looking for intelligent scripts that bring something positive into the world and don’t “glorify something too negative.”

“It doesn’t all have to be a life lesson,” he says. “But the smarter the project is, the less it is likely to do. You know, I think a lot of the bad stuff that Hollywood puts out there is more unconscious than conscious and the deeper one thinks about their work the more positive or enlightening it can probably be.

Last summer, Brody wrapped filming a new version of the famed 1994 thriller “The River Wild,” starring Meryl Streep and David Strathairn as a couple on a botched rafting trip.

“You know, there’s still a river involved,” he says. “And it’s also a hostage-taking on the river and a race to get to Canada, but the similarities pretty much end there. They are new characters.”

This time, the story is about two siblings, played by Taran Killam and Meester, who go on a journey with an old friend (Brody), who will soon reveal a dangerous side. The movie will be released later this year.

This isn’t the first time Brody has teamed up with his wife — Killam, Meester and Brody played three points of a love triangle on the sitcom “Single Parents” just three years ago — but the script got him thinking.

“This one was interesting because we are opponents. And so I’m chasing her, chasing her and worse for a good portion of the movie,” says Brody. “And I was worried at first, and it wasn’t something I exactly wanted to do. We want to work together, but we didn’t want to play enemies.”

“I was kind of worried that, like, ‘What if we take this home? What if it feels too bad to look at her this way?” he continues. “But your adrenaline is on set and it worked great.”

He says it was the “most demanding” project he’s ever worked on, as an actor and as a parent.

“The hardest part was in a way because Leighton and I were in every scene, we don’t normally work at the exact same time, so we brought our kids,” but he nonetheless characterized it as “a great adventure for the whole family.”

In fact, Brody shares that he wouldn’t be surprised if his kids caught the acting bug too: “It’s a fun job.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.