Mark Strong believes audience will 'empathise' with Shazam! villain

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 22 March 2019
Mark Strong

Mark Strong

Mark Strong admitted that one of his favourite things about playing the supervillain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana in 'Shazam!' was having a back story

Mark Strong thinks audiences will "empathise" with his villainous 'Shazam!' character Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

The 55-year-old actor admitted that one of his favourite things about playing the bad guy in the latest DC Extended Universe film was "getting to have a back story" and he is sure that viewers will have more understanding of his character's motives to do evil because they have seen that.

When asked what his favourite thing about the role was during a Q&A and screening of the movie at the BFI Southbank in London, he said: "I think it was getting to fly, firing electricity out of my hands getting to have a back-story which is kind of interesting.

"I had a lot of fun actually villains get great threads, they get great lines and like I say you learn a little bit about him as a young boy so even if you can't understand him you can kind of empathise with where he's coming from."

Zachary Levi – who stars as the titular hero – previously praised the film's director David Sandberg for bringing "gravity" to the movie because of the way he has handled the story arc.

The Swedish filmmaker is best known for his work in horror and the actor thinks his director's background stopped the saga – about an orphan boy and his super-powered adult alter ego – from getting "silly" as he was able to keep the story "grounded".

Zachary said: "I think what he brings is the same types of tools and skill-sets that help him to make a great horror film, which is a good command of the camera and storytelling and he's painting really beautiful frames.

"And also making sure there's a gravity to the film which is very much needed to balance out the levity.

The new film focuses on teenage boy Billy Baston (Asher Angel) who is made the 'Champion of Eternity' after being bestowed his powers by an ancient wizard and can become a super-powered adult by saying the magic word "Shazam" – an acronym of the ancient world gods and historical figures: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury.

The movie opens worldwide on April 5.

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