Mark Strong Talks How He Makes Sivana Scary in 'Shazam!'

Mark Strong is no stranger to comic book films with his memorable roles in Kick-Ass, and the Kingsman franchise with Matthew Vaughn. But now he tackles the villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana in Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming Shazam.

Mark Strong as Sivana in "Shazam!" Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Strong spoke to Comicbook.com about Sivana's background and capturing his essence.

"We talked about it and realized that the fun stuff is only gonna work if it's bookended by really terrifying stuff, and the terrifying stuff is only gonna work if the fun stuff is really irreverent. And it's no accident, I think, that that balance takes the fun stuff to kind of a place that we've– it's almost more fun than I've ever seen before, and the same with the darkness, it's gotta go that, it's gotta be properly scary, and the fact that he comes from a horror background was to my benefit. I have to say I feel completely supported by a guy who knows how to make an individual scary."

Sivana brings the film down to earth providing a serious tone acting as a stark contrast to Shazam (Zachary Levi) inhibiting the young goofy mind of Billy Batson (Asher Angel).

Director David Sandberg discussed the importance on staying on the principles of the film.

"The goal was to set up the bad guys as a real threat, so you really, when the kids are threatened you believe it. They could actually get hurt or even die you know, I think that's important in a movie, to really set up the stakes and stay true to that."

Strong credits Sandberg for allowing Batson and Sivana to develop as characters equally.

"As an actor, I think I want to play parts that are tricky, characters that are conflicted and multi-layered and complicated. I think you find that in the villains often, and what's great about this movie is you get to see him as a boy, and you find out where all that complication comes from, because obviously he's being bullied as a kid. So even though you may not like him, when there's an adult manifestation you might as least understand him, and that made this particular part really interesting."

The film also stars Jack Dylan Grazer, and Djimon Hounsou.

Shazam! comes to theaters April 5, 2019.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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