EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Damion Poitier On JOSS WHEDON And Getting The Call For THANOS In THE AVENGERS
Learn more about the actor behind Thanos in Marvel's smash hit, The Avengers. What was his reaction upon learning he would be portraying Thanos and what's on the horizon for his budding career.
Damion Poitier's roles keep getting bigger and bigger. With guest roles on Parks and Recreation, True Blood and Sons of Anarchy his career is definitely trending upward. Add to that an end-credits scene in Joss Whedon's mega-smash Avengers movie as the string-pulling Thanos and you have to think its just a matter of time before he lands his breakout starring role. We discussed all these possibilities in the interview below including the chances of working with Joss again on the S.H.I.E.L.D. television show and returning in future Marvel films.
Mark Julian: You've appeared on Firefly, Angel and Dollhouse prior to The Avengers. What's your relationship like with Joss Whedon?
Damion Poitier: I love Joss. Every time I see him, I get a big greeting and a hug. He's working on so many projects especially these days, that its a shame we wind up sort of being those two friends at a party who have that "How ya been? Good Busy and..." conversation and then a million things interrupt. But I am always so thankful for the opportunity to work with him and catch up. Now professionally, I mean wow - as an actor you hope to be able to work with brilliant directors on fantastic projects - its what you do it for. If you've followed him or worked for him you knew that he would become THE Joss Whedon to the world. It's nice when someone so widely admired so often finds a place for you on their projects over the years...
MJ: What was it like getting the call for Thanos and the level of secrecy you had to maintain?
Poitier: Well the call was for "Man #1" and I had no clue what was going on till I went in for the Life cast. I honestly thought I was going to be Kl'rt or the Avengers version of him - there were quite a few variants on that theme in Secret Invasion. Then, shock at the spoiler, revving of mind and connecting of dots about the shape and future shape of the Marvel U. Absolute Horror and dismay that I had to keep this to myself - not just because of the contract written in blood for the life of my firstborn if it leaked - but because I have a great dislike for spoilers, particularly those who spoil on certain projects and Avengers definitely qualified as one of them. So over all not as difficult to keep my mouth shut as all that.
MJ: Since your face is covered by prosthetics, any chance you'll turn up in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot in a different role?
Poitier: Wait WHAT??? They are making a SHIELD Pilot? I knew DC and Red Circle were bringing him back but to see Joe Higgins on the small screen... That is the Shield you are talking about right? I do know that it is going to be a really great project. I've seen first hand what the Whedon/[Maurissa] Tancheroen team brings, they are great writers and cool people, you know it's in good hands.
MJ: Recently, you've had some spotlight guest roles on shows like True Blood and Sons of Anarchy. Do you feel like your big breakout role is right around the corner?
Poitier: The field is so wide open right now on what hits and launches folks I'm almost obligated to say yes. The trick is setting up a career and not just 15 minutes. I have a few things I feel are in my corner and am working hard to build a few more, but most important is that I continue working hard at my craft. Its a good feeling to say that I've become an even better actor than even I was then, and while I can't say I can control the future, its nice to feel that confident about all that I can bring to every role that comes my way.
MJ: Ultimately, where would you like your career to lead?
Poitier: I want to act in, write, produce, and otherwise be a part of making the stories I've always wanted to see told. I've been incredibly fortunate in that regard so far, but of course there are still a few things I'd like to participate in. You never know what will happen next. I love that I've been able to be a part so many projects that I'd be a huge fan of even if I never got the chance to act in. And now we have Millar running Marvel FOX, another Star Wars movie, James Cameron doing Avatar, Supernatural and Arrow on the CW, Grimm and Revolution at NBC, A lot of fun stuff happening at Sy Fy, Walking Dead and a a bunch of other great Zombie projects getting off the ground so there's plenty of fertile Genre ground to play on. There are also A Great Deal of things that I'd like to see that aren't being done... It's an Amazing time to be an actor who is a fanboy. Though for all I know, I'll connect with some character and wind up being hailed for my performance in a Lifetime movie. I really just love what I do.
MJ: You've previously acknowledged that you're a big comic book fan. What are you reading these days?
Poitier: Well I'm a voracious reader in general especially of Sci Fi and Fantasy, but comics are my favorite poison so... Whew Big one, looking at the box of my latest unsorted Books I see ... Gold Digger - Fred Perry Antarctic press - my favorite book which is a smash Jam of a lot of different Genres and actually approaching it's 200th issue all written and drawn by Fred himself, Savage Dragon - Erik Larsen - the only Image founder still writing and drawing his own book - and also approaching the big 200, Avengers, The New Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Secret Avengers, Thunderbolts, Uncanny Avengers, A+X, Amazing Spider-Man - Thank/Damn you Dan Slott I Will be picking up Superior -, Avenging Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, Venom, Captain America, Captain America &, The Winter Soldier, Fantastic Four, FF, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, All New X-Men, The First X-Men, Daredevil, The Punisher, The Ultimates, Ultimate Iron Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate x-Men, Hit Girl, The Secret Service, Batman, Batman and Robin, Nightwing, Batman Incorporated, Batwing, Batman Beyond Unlimited, Suicide Squad, Legion Lost, Blue Beetle, Earth 2, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Guarding the Globe, Thief of Thieves, Super Dinosaur - you know pretty much everything Kirkman- , Vescell, Storm Dogs, Secret, Bad Medicine, The Sixth Gun, ShadowMan, The Massive, Jim Butchers The Dresden Files, The Spider, Masks, New Crusaders, and Dungeons and Dragons. Now Alarmingly (cause I haven't actually looked at my pull list in a while and that just alarmed me) that's not all the books I collect, it's just the ones in my unsorted box and a few I remembered to mention...
MJ: You've also said your working on your own graphic novel. How is that progressing?
Poitier: Well that's One of Many projects - and Mediums - I'm writing on/in and my "free time" is fleeting, so slowly. This will be my - Comic book - Opus so I'm not rushing the Ridiculously Extensive amount of world building I'm doing - apologies in advance Future collaborating artist -. I'm going to start with an "in world" Pulp novelization that I will release on the Web free weekly by chapter - once it's done - to build my audience and set the tone, we'll see what happens after that.
MJ: Any upcoming projects fans can look forward to seeing you in?
Poitier: Hmmm. This year has been a blur. I'm not sure what I'm Allowed to talk about... I'm suddenly doing a lot of comedy. I worked two weeks on HANGOVER 3, which was such a blast. Todd Phillips is at the top of the comedy game, and to be a part of a classic comedy franchises is just another thing to cross off the bucket list. Oh on the far more G-rated side of the entertainment spectrum, that came right after doing a significant bit in a few episodes of "Pair of Kings" coming up during the two part season finale - which was a blast because I hadn't done a lot of sitcom recently. But so funny doing a Disney Channel XD show and one of the biggest R-rated comedies within a couple weeks of each other. There's a bunch of other stuff... "GI Joe 2," and "Almost Broadway," are both coming out. Another thing I wish I could talk about, I did a bunch of voice work for an upcoming Capcom release. I don't know if I can even say the title. Also around the Web I am in a series called "Divergence" by Douglas Horn and Dan Southworth (re-airing on Indieflix starting in January) and which is an awesome spiraling Sci-Fi jaunt that I'm upset I didn't come up with, I am eagerly awaiting the release of "Agent 88" By Digger T Mesch- which netted Kickstarter's largest web pilot numbers to date - and in a few shorts that are still getting hits - like Bad Roommate which I wrote co-produced and performed in -there will be more of that soon. And finally I started regularly updating my Facebook Page and Twitter.
MJ: Lastly, what are your thoughts on returning as Thanos in a future Marvel film?
Poitier: You know what Marvel has done has been so fun and unprecedented in terms of film, comics, TV, and everything else. I've enjoyed the process on both ends so much. Obviously I would love nothing more than to come back for a future film, particularly an opportunity to play such an iconic and complex villain. I am looking forward to participating in whatever capacity they choose to utilize me.
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(l-r: Damion Poitier, Star Trek, Dollhouse, Parks and Recreation, True Blood, Sons of Anarchy, Hunter Prey, Marvel's The Avengers)
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