Steve Agee Interview: Peacemaker

Our chat with the star!

Peacemaker

1/27/2022 11:07:00 PM

Steve Agee REALLY REALLY hates his dyed beard in Peacemaker . Check out our full interview, breaking down episode 5 and more!

Our chat with the star!

Related: James Gunn Interview for Peacemaker Just to back it up to the idea of Peacemaker in the first place and John Economos being a main part of this team. We meet him in The Suicide Squad, but this is a much bigger thing for him. Steve Agee: No, no I'm just Economos in this. I'm not a shark or anything in this one either.

Do you think you'll put back on that.. is it a leotard? anytime soon? Steve Agee: I'm in. 100%. Steve Agee: That was all improvised. I think in the original script, he's mad at me for framing his father – rightfully so, that was stupid – but in the script, it was just like,"Why couldn't you have framed somebody like Ariana Grande?" And there was one other name, like Tom Hanks or something, and I was like,"You want me to frame Ariana Grande for murder? Are you insane?" But James was like,"Just keep going. Start naming names. Just name people." I mean, we shot it for like 20 minutes of John just shouting random names – sports figures, celebrities, singers, politicians – and I would start to say something and he's just like,"Let me finish!" He just kept going and it was phenomenal. I haven't seen the end credits scene yet, but I think there's more of it in the end credits, seeing him just spouting names.

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This interview contains Peacemaker episode 5 spoilers Steve Agee made his DCEU debut last year in The Suicide Squad as John Economos, and he's back reprising the role in the HBO Max spinoff show Peacemaker. Revolving around John Cena's titular character, the show features Economos as part of the team Christopher Smith is working with as he works to take down Project Butterfly and stop an alien invasion. Agee is a longtime collaborator of The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker director James Gunn, a perfect fit for Gunn's trademark sense of humor. As Peacemaker continues its run on HBO Max, Screen Rant spoke with Agee about Peacemaker episode 5, the possibility of more King Shark in the DCEU, and much more. Related: James Gunn Interview for Peacemaker Screen Rant: How's it been? The unskippable opening credit sequence. I gotta tell you every time I see that 'skip intro' I'm like,"get out of here!" Steven Agee: Yeah, you can't. Even now that we're five episodes into it it's still like,"I guess I gotta watch this." It's unlike anything that I've ever seen. When we got the script, I was like,"Wait, there's what? There's a dance number? This is Peacemaker. Why is there? Okay." I learned to just not question James at all. Just to back it up to the idea of Peacemaker in the first place and John Economos being a main part of this team. We meet him in The Suicide Squad, but this is a much bigger thing for him. Steve Agee: I was stoked. We finished The Suicide Squad, literally, just a few weeks before the pandemic hit and we locked down. I had not been working for most of 2020, and James had not been working either. He was bored and he wrote eight episodes in eight weeks. Then he called me, he's like,"Hey, we're gonna do this. They greenlit it." And from the time he told me, till the time I ended up in Vancouver, it was only two months. It was super fast. I was really stoked. Economos was pretty one-dimensional in the movie and, with this, I have a whole arc, which really pays off by the end. I'm really stoked about it. You're pulling double duty in The Suicide Squad. Do you play any secret characters that we don't know about in Peacemaker? Steve Agee: No, no I'm just Economos in this. I'm not a shark or anything in this one either. What do you think King Shark is up to at the moment? What's he doing with his time off, do you think? Steve Agee: I don't know. I imagine he's swimming around the ocean or something. He beat his jail sentence. I imagine that he's probably in the ocean. Maybe he's killing swimmers. I don't know. Do you think you'll put back on that.. is it a leotard? anytime soon? Steve Agee: I would be willing to. I had a really good time playing King Shark. It afforded me the opportunity to work with amazing people like Idris [Elba], Margot [Robbie] and Joel Kinnaman. Had I just been doing Economos, that wouldn't have been the case. So it was awesome. It was a blast. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I wonder if James is going to come to you one day like,"I have a King Shark idea. We're doing a show." Steve Agee: I'm in. 100%. Love that. Digging into Episode 5 a little bit. First of all, stellar presentation on how The Butterflies operate. I thought that was great. My question is, when Peacemaker is yelling all these potential people that you could have put in prison instead of his dad, he's rattling off so much, Doug the Pug, there's so many things in there. Was that all John Cena? Was that all improvised? Steve Agee: That was all improvised. I think in the original script, he's mad at me for framing his father – rightfully so, that was stupid – but in the script, it was just like,"Why couldn't you have framed somebody like Ariana Grande?" And there was one other name, like Tom Hanks or something, and I was like,"You want me to frame Ariana Grande for murder? Are you insane?" But James was like,"Just keep going. Start naming names. Just name people." I mean, we shot it for like 20 minutes of John just shouting random names – sports figures, celebrities, singers, politicians – and I would start to say something and he's just like,"Let me finish!" He just kept going and it was phenomenal. I haven't seen the end credits scene yet, but I think there's more of it in the end credits, seeing him just spouting names. I want a full outtake of that 20 minutes because it was so funny. Steve Agee: I would love to see that as well. Hopefully, it surfaces. We also see in this episode, John and Peacemaker start to find their common ground. I reacted more strongly to it than I thought I would. I really wanted them to get along. How did you react to them coming together? Steve Agee: I was stoked. I keep saying stoked like I'm a surfer. I don't know where this is coming from. But I was really excited because it's all part of the character arc for John Economos, as well as Peacemaker, who in The Suicide Squad was pretty one-dimensional. That movie started off at point A and Peacemaker is a jerk. At the very end of the movie, he's still a jerk. He doesn't change at all, but a lot of the other characters do. That's the whole reason we're doing this TV series, is James wanted to justify why he was the way he is, and he wanted to dig into that. But in doing so, characters like John Economos and Emilia Harcourt also get to develop. I was really happy. I was happy that it was more depth to me. You see a guy who's the butt of everybody's jokes, and then he starts to prove himself and become friends with these people. That's what James does best. He does action and everything really well, but he was really great with character work and relationships. I wonder how much, annually, it costs John to keep to upkeep that beard. Steve Agee: I mean, clearly not a lot because it's so poorly dyed. But at least in this show, we recognize it. When we got to Atlanta to shoot The Suicide Squad, all I knew is James wanted me to grow my beard out, and we got there and he's like,"I want you to dye it, obviously horribly dyed." And we never mention it in the movie. I spent six months in Atlanta. On days off, I would go to Whole Foods or Starbucks and I looked like an idiot with this, and it was never, ever mentioned. I was like,"This is a bummer, man." We shot one scene with John Economos at the very beginning of the shoot with Viola [Davis], and then the bulk of it in the control room at the very end. So I had to keep the beard. Even though I was just doing King Shark, I had to keep the beard for the whole few months, and I don't like beards. It was a bummer. But at least in this show, we recognize it and we use it for comedic purposes. I will say, that it does pay off by the end of the show. So, I'm a little bit happier with the beard. Even though it looks even worse. You also have this moment in this episode where you're out of the truck and you use the chainsaw that Vigilante has been wanting to use. Steve Agee: So satisfying. How cool is that moment for you as a character, but also just to shoot it? Steve Agee: It was the best moment. When James sent me the scripts before we started shooting -- we got all the scripts, and then when we went to Vancouver -- Lars our 1st AD sent out a tentative schedule for the whole six months that we were shooting, and I found the date in the schedule where we were shooting me killing this gorilla, and I marked it because that was what I was looking forward to more than anything else in the whole series, was me killing this thing with a chainsaw. I was like,"I don't know how they're gonna do it, but it's gonna be glorious." And we shot it, and it was glorious. I didn't even take into account that, that happens like halfway through the episode. So every day when I would go into work after that, they had to cover me in blood and I was just like,"This is a bummer now." I'd sit there for like an hour and a half while they matched the blood splatters on me. It's still worth it. It was a highlight for me, but you don't think in terms of shooting schedules and,"I'm going to go home at the end of the day, shower and get all this off, come back the next morning, and they're going to do it all over again." What was worse: The dyed beard during The Suicide Squad and going to Whole Foods or the daily blood spatter? Steve Agee: The dyed beard. And not because of the dye, it's just because I don't like having a beard. Once it gets to a certain length, when you eat, sometimes your fork will catch part of the beard and like bring it into your mouth. Beards are horrible. I don't understand them. I don't get it. I don't get the joy of a beard. Alright, I will not grow one out. So no one has seen the finale. No press. It's been held from us. So in a non-spoiler sense, why is that? What can you tease about this finale? Steve Agee: That's a great question. I had to go in to do some additional dialogue recording a couple of months ago, where something in the sound is off and you have to go back into a sound booth and you watch the scene and you have to match your voice up with it. So I had to do some dialogue recording for the finale and I was really excited. It wasn't the final, final scene. I didn't get to see that part. But while I was in there, I asked the sound technician -- and there were a bunch of people watching this on a satellite, just giving me directions to do it more upbeat or more like this. So there were a bunch of people that I couldn't see that were watching it -- And I was like,"Hey, man, can you forward it a couple of scenes to the end, so I can see that last scene that we do?" And there's just a voice that comes over my headphones like,"Absolutely not. You do not get to see that." I go,"I was there when we shot it. I just want to see it finished and edited." They're like,"No. There's too many people around. We don't want anyone to see this." I completely understand why they wouldn't show it to press. Everyone got to see seven episodes. It's too big of an ending, and I think it would be impossible for someone to see it, like yourself, if they showed you the eighth episode, and not tell somebody like a boyfriend or a significant other or a best friend like,"Oh my god. Do you know what happens? You can't tell anybody." That's how it always slips up. James and Warner Brothers and HBO were all like,"No. We want this to be viewed and huge." I remember when we were shooting one scene in particular. The last episode takes place mostly at night and it was about 21 days of shooting at night. It was like three o'clock in the morning, and James was running around with so much energy laughing going,"I can't believe they're letting me do this. I cannot believe they OK'd this. Warner Brothers and HBO must be out of their mind. I can't believe I get to do this." I've worked with James on four or five projects, I've never seen him that excited, that giddy. It's gonna be great. It's gonna be well worth the wait. Oh, man. Wow, that's a good tease. I cannot freaking wait. Steve Agee: There's a song in the finale, that, when we shot it – James likes to play the music on set, especially if there if there's no dialogue. It's like mood music. He'll play it on set over a loudspeaker – And it's the scene in all the trailers of all four or five of us walking in a row in slow motion, right? It's the song that plays over that in the finale. It was such an earworm that someone would show up to work a day or two later and start humming it and everyone in the scene would just be like, “Damn it. I had it out of my head and now you just brought it back in.” So it'll be up there with the opening credits song. Well, thank you so much, Steve. Thank you for your time. I'm so excited to see this finale! Steve Agee: I can't wait for everyone to see it. I can't wait to see it. Like I said, I was there. I'm watching these episodes now. I only saw the first three. So these last two, I've watched with the same schedule as an audience, and t's been amazing because there are a lot of scenes that I'm not in. I'm seeing these for the first time and it's been awesome. I can't wait for the finale. Next: Jennifer Holland Interview for Peacemaker .item-num::after { content: '/ '; } Key Release Dates Share Share Tweet Email 0 Comment James Gunn Trolls Obsessive DC Fans With Peacemaker Episode 5's Gorilla Related Topics About The Author Ash Crossan (133 Articles Published) Ash Crossan is a Lead Content Producer & Host for Screen Rant. With nearly a decade of experience under her belt, Ash joined Screen Rant in 2021 as a lead interviewer. Based in Los Angeles, Ash is a fan of all things Star Wars, Marvel, DC, 90s Nickelodeon and rom-coms. Follow Ash on Twitter: @AshCrossan. More From Ash Crossan