Stefan Kapičić is a veteran actor who has appeared in many TV shows and movies, but he is probably best known for his role as Colossus in 2016’s Deadpool. He reprises the role for Deadpool 2 and in the lead up to the sequel’s release, I had the pleasure to sit down and talk with Stefan about creating Deadpool‘s Colossus and his love of the character and comics.
At first sight, Stefan is an imposing figure, standing at over six feet, four inches. However, imposing as he seems at first glance, he quickly dispels that with a warm smile and friendly disposition. Stefan is well spoken and intelligent (he speaks five languages!) and he studied acting at the University of Belgrade. He’s had a varied and successful career all over Europe, with lead roles in several TV programs and many stage productions.
So, pull up a chair and read on for my conversation with Deadpool 2’s Stefan Kapičić!
Can you walk me through the casting process that you went through to get the role of Colossus?
Well, it started–it was like, well, now it’s more like three years ago when we were doing the first one. And y’know, I was doing a theater performance in Kiev in Croatia – which people may know as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones – so I just received a regular audition to self-tape myself. So y’know, I didn’t know what the film was because the working title was Wham. I thought, ‘Well maybe that’s some George Michael thing,’ so I was like, ‘let’s do this.’
So, I did a few takes and sent it back. I just focused on the play because I thought, as an actor, you receive so many of these things and you never know what you are going for. But then again, I received a call from 20th Century Fox’s Christian Kaplan and he was like, ‘We love you. The director loves the way you did this. Can you change some of the things?’ They still did not tell me what’s going on.
They changed some of the names and I was like okay… because I’m a Hollywood geek, you know? So I’m like, 20th Century Fox is filming Deadpool at the moment, so it’s possible that they want me for something. And I’m like, okay, let’s see what this can be. They want a specific accent. I mean, there is only one possibility that it can be – Colossus. You know it’s definitely not Kraven the Hunter. Even though I would love to play him anyway, we even resemble [each other] a little bit. But the thing is, I did it because I was geeking out. I did like 140 takes which I sent to my wife – my girlfriend at the moment, but now my wife. I sent it to her, she was in another city. So we needed to take four of those 140 takes, we decided. And there was a famous monologue at the end of Deadpool when Colossus is trying to stop Deadpool from killing Ajax.
Oh yes, I remember that scene. When he is talking about what it means to be a hero?
Yes, we did 140 takes of that one, so then we sent it back to Fox. I started working on a play. But y’know, 20th Century Fox called back and they said, ‘The director wants to meet you and he wants to do a test shooting with you, it’s for Deadpool and you need to fly in right away.’ I had a little gap between two performances, which was like three days, so I flew from Dubrovnik to Los Angeles. I arrived, slept that night, went to Fox and met [director] Tim Miller and the producers and everybody and, y’know, we started working. It was supposed to be four hours, but it took like nine hours because they loved it. They said, ‘We’re going to call you back and tell you what we decide in a few days.’ So, I went back to the plane and then arrived two hours before my performance and I just got into a costume. We went to the stage and I was like, ‘Oh my god was this a dream!?’
Thank God it wasn’t a dream because they called seven days after that and they said, ‘You’re Colossus.’ My dream came true, y’know, because as a comic book geek, I always say that playing Colossus is an Academy Award for my inner child. I made it in this way. Thank God that people love the way we made Colossus. Thank God, I’m reprising my role in a franchise like Deadpool. This huge franchise and the whole world is crazy about Deadpool, which is beautiful and because it’s an R-rated movie. Sometimes, I still think is this a dream? Because Deadpool changed my life. My role of Colossus changed my life. I’m living the dream. Traveling around the world from Australia to China to Europe, meeting fans and doing comic-cons and y’know, it’s something unbelievable for me in so many ways.
It’s a beautiful job in a beautiful role but then again, it’s a superhero, it’s something that I was dreaming from the first moment that I grabbed – when I was like five or six years old – when I grabbed my first Marvel Comic. And that was Wolverine #50. I’m a huge fan of the X-Men. Yeah, I just bought the first appearance of Colossus, Storm, and Nightcrawler, and I got like mint issue, which is signed by the late, great Dave Cockrum, who was the original artist of Colossus.
Do you do the motion capture for Colossus or just the voice?
Yes, yes I do both, especially in the sequel. I did so much of everything regarding the acting and, y’know, facial expressions, everything that, y’know, we worked much more on the… well, you will see when you see the movie so we can talk much more about it. You will see the differences between the visuals of Colossus.
Very cool. Do you find it a challenge to act when wearing the motion capture costume on set?
It’s interesting having that costume. Like this, y’know, cameras in your face and all of these things. It’s something new, it was something new for me because I’m in this job like 20 years and I’ve done so much of the theater and TV shows and movies, but having this opportunity and y’know, it’s just a new experience. It’s the same innate-wise, y’know, working all these things in the post-production process which lasts for so long. Which you have to repeat so many things and do many different actions. But it’s the beauty of making Colossus.
How was it working with Ryan Reynolds? He seems like he’s a pretty easy-going guy.
It’s just a God bless. I know him well personally, he is a great person, he is a lovable guy, down-to-earth. He is an extremely funny person and humble and he is always there to help you, to give you an idea. He is a master of improvisation. He owns the character of Deadpool, so it is really easy for him to do his job. But then again, to think about you as an actor and see what would be better and give you advice or a suggestion that you could take or not. I always take, because it’s always so crazy funny and original.
Colossus is played as the straight man to Deadpool. Was it difficult not to laugh on set with some of the scenes that you guys did?
I always laugh with Ryan, but he is a professional who will never do something that can jeopardize your process or the way you’re doing the scene, he is just so experienced. As I said, y’know, you have somebody who’s like extremely clever and extremely fast and when he will make the joke, but the joke will not jeopardize your performance. So that’s the beauty of working with him.
Do you have a favorite Colossus moment or a line that you’ve done from Deadpool that’s your favorite?
It’s the final monologue. Y’know, the four or five minutes, that’s all it takes because it’s like a philosophy. It’s really, it’s something that’s true. It’s like something that is really true for people who listen to it because that’s all it takes, y’know, four or five moments. It’s like a life lesson in so many ways. It’s something that I really think about, that’s the monologue that got me into this role and this path. There are always those who ask for my Colossus voice and I always say (as Colossus), “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It shows you Colossus’ character because he cares, he is like a father figure. Y’know, and he is just a proper–not a boy scout, that doesn’t sound good, he is like an old soul, he is a hero in every single way that you can think of. It’s something that I really adore that I have a chance to portray an original and real superhero in Colossus.
That is very true, the way you’ve portrayed him has really made him come to life a lot. He was he was one of my favorite characters from the from the first film, mostly due to your portrayal.
I’m really extremely proud of the job we did in Deadpool 2 and it’s not really a job, it’s a dream.
Is there anything you would like to do that you would like to tell your fans before Deadpool 2?
I’m just going to warn them that they need to be prepared that they will be geeking out. That they are going to get crazy because the things that they’re going to see, they are not expecting. Whatever they heard, whatever they think is going to happen, the things that we’re bringing are going to be like ten times bigger than what they have heard.
I know that as a comic book fan that really excites me a lot.
You will see what I’m talking about very soon.
I want to thank Stefan for taking the time to talk with me about Deadpool 2 and his role as Colossus. Deadpool 2 is in theaters this weekend, so make sure to check it out!