The New Mutants: Henry Zaga Talks Roberto and Being an X-Men Fan

The New Mutants finally made it to the big screen this weekend after three long years and many delays for a bunch of different reasons. The movie is looking to bring in around $8 million its opening weekend, which at any other time would have been terrible, but we're in a pandemic, so it's all right, to say the least. One of the titular new mutants is Roberto da Costa, aka Sunspot, played by Henry Zaga. Bleeding Cool got the chance to speak to Zaga about his character, and he was a fan of the X-Men cartoons and movies before getting the role.

Bleeding Cool: Roberto is one of the more unknown X-Men characters. People may not have heard of him. How would you explain him to somebody who maybe hasn't heard of the character before and is coming into this movie completely fresh?

Henry Zaga: Cocky, but full of love. Roberto is a Brazilian soccer player who is traumatized by his powers. They manifested in a very tragic way. And that changes his life forever. So he gets put away in this institution with other people of his age that are also there for similar reasons.  That's Roberto in a nutshell. He uses comedy to overcome his fears.

The New Mutants: Henry Zaga Talks Roberto and Being an X-Men Fan
Henry Zaga as Roberto Da Costa in The New Mutants. Credit: © 20th Century Fox/20th Century Studios/Disney

BC: So there's obviously a lot of special effects in this movie. Did you have to wear any of the crazy suits or anything to make the fire appear? 

HZ: I wore a funny onesie that had these crazy graphic-looking dots everywhere. Literally everywhere. And I obviously looked really funny doing it, like, ridiculous. But you have to look like a badass. You know, you're this very strong fire=man. So it was fun. It's really an exercise for your imagination. 

BC:  Were you at all familiar with the source material when you got the role? Were you an X-Men fan? 

HZ: I was an X-Men fan. I wasn't familiar with the New Mutants before my first audition. I grew up watching the X-Men cartoons and watching all movies, watches. And the other Marvel characters like Spider-Man, I was obsessed with Spider-Man. I was obsessed with Batman from DC. I met Josh without knowing that he was directing the New Mutants movie. And a month later, I got the audition. I was like, "oh, that's why I met you." Crazy, because I didn't know there was a Brazilian superhero in X-Men. So being the nerd that I am, I went to the store and bought all the comics. I was like, "OK, homework time."  I was just amazed that such a level of imagination existed. And I didn't even know it affected so many people, including Josh. So, yeah, it made me an instant fan of Bill, of Chris Claremont. 

Summary: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

The New Mutants, directed by Josh Boone, stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Alice Braga, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga. It's in theaters now.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at
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