Interview With Alain Chanoine, “Suicide Squad”

By Ruth on August 17, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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Whether you’re a DC Comics fan or not, you probably heard an abundance of buzz concerning Suicide Squad and its theatrical release this summer. Perhaps you didn’t realize that the marketing strategy for the movie quite cleverly kept a certain character’s casting a secret until the official release of the film. And it just so happens that the actor who imbued Incubus with demonic breath was none other than Canadian actor, Alain Chanoine. While some may think this was his first major role or that he was some overnight success, nothing could be further from the truth. Recently, I had the supreme joy of chatting with Alain about his experiences within his chosen profession as well as the way in which his association with Suicide Squad has profoundly impacted the course of his life.

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RH: When you were growing up, did you ever have any of those moments where you thought, “I really might want to become an actor one day”?

AC: Yes, definitely. Being a kid, like every other kid, I had a lot of imagination. I remember that my favorite game was acting like I was in Miami Vice. I wanted to be just like the dude in Miami Vice, but I wasn’t sure how to get there. And there’s a particular moment when I was about twelve or thirteen, and I was in a park with my friend on a bicycle, and I said, “Hey, I wanna become a cop or maybe an actor.” With the typical mentality of a teenager, my friend said,  “Yeah, but Hollywood is far, and it’s really hard to do it, so you’d better forget about it.” And I was also doing theater in high school. My whole life, I think I wanted to do it, but being from a working class family, I never thought it was an option.

I think a lot of people have felt that way. But it’s pretty cool that you stepped out and followed your dream. So you were studying to be a cop?

Yes, I was studying to be a cop. And this next story is one I love ’cause it was so important in my life. I saw this audition while still studying to be a cop, and I didn’t think I was gonna get it. But I auditioned, and I ended up getting the lead in that big, huge movie that was supposed to happen. I moved to Vancouver to improve my English. And the movie never happened, but I was already in the mix doing commercials, extra work, and stunts. I think this happens to everybody sometimes.  I wanted something, I attracted it to me, and I listened to my gut feeling. I had only meant to be in Vancouver for four months, and I ended up staying like ten years. So I’m just saying that yes, I took the chance, but it’s not only taking a chance. I think it’s listening to what the universe is telling you, around you because everybody receives these messages, but I think we’re so trained to do what we’re told, not what we feel.

So as I was looking through your credits, I noticed you had also done a lot of stunt work in some major Hollywood films. So what was the most challenging on-screen stunt that you ever did?

I’d say the most challenging was not the most difficult. I once did a forty-foot high fall from a four-story high building while on fire. I jumped through a window backwards on fire. And honestly, I wouldn’t do it again. {laughs}

Once you were cast in Suicide Squad, was there anything specific that you did to prepare for that role?

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I think everything is specific as an actor. It’s like painting. You put layer on top of layer on top of layer, and that’s what makes it a real human being. So I just went with what I knew at the time. I didn’t know the character was a demon. I didn’t know it was for Suicide Squad. At the time, I thought I was talking to an employee while being very calm and powerful but at the same time annoyed and trying to get what I wanted. By the time I went to the third auditionI knew it was Suicide Squad, and I knew it was Cara Delevingne and David Ayer. In order to prepare, I watched a couple movies of David Ayer’s. One of them was The End of Watch, which is one of my favorite movies, so I watched it a third time. I watched Fury, which I hadn’t seen at the time. I researched Cara. I researched David. And I knew how dark David’s films are and how he’s focused on characters in his films. And I read all the Suicide Squad. So the third audition was really specific.

During the filming of Suicide Squad, is there a favorite memory from behind the scenes that you’d like to share?

Yes, there’s so many things that happened. Well, definitely the story about how I told Will Smith how he taught me English. It was my mother who forced me to learn English. So I learned English while watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I was very shy the first time I saw Will Smith, but it was a great moment when I got to tell him that he taught me English.

But the other moment was when my girlfriend came on set. She’s pregnant, and she really wanted to meet Will Smith. I saw him, and he was going to set. When Will Smith is going to set, he’s very focused. Coming back from set, he’s more relaxed. But we were leaving, and he was going to set, and I asked if I could introduce him to my girlfriend. And I saw him. He made the decision to take a minute, and he started talking to my girlfriend and asking her how far she was in her pregnancy and touching her belly and being really nice. I remember that moment ’cause it taught me how patient I could be with everybody all the time. He’s just so giving. And I guess I could go longer with that story.

Me and my girlfriend like five minutes ago were just reading a message on Facebook. A person from the Toronto area–a teacher from the ghetto–she said, “I love my kids. I teach eighth graders. They have too easy access to drugs and guns. You really inspired me. I want you to come and talk to my kids and show them there are other things they can do in this world. You decided to be an actor. You decided to speak English. And if they start using drugs, they can’t do what you did.” I read it to my girlfriend, and we both started crying. And I think I got that from Will. I mean he inspires me. And now from that part in Suicide Squad…I mean there’s like five or six other A-listers before me. But at this point in my career, I’m already able to inspire people. And it’s just an example that Will Smith gave me.

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Since you had to keep your casting a secret for Suicide Squad, how hard was that?

It was hard. Actually, it was annoying more than hard. My girlfriend came on set, so I told her. And my friends knew, and I knew they wouldn’t put it on social media. I wish I had been part of the marketing prior to the movie ’cause there was such a build-up. It would have been so good for me. Still now, even if it was a secret, I get to live the experience twice–through the movie and through doing all the promotion now. So it’s great. It was hard, especially when the trailer came out and people were speculating on my character. But I kept the secret. We signed NDA’s {Non-Disclosure Agreements}. We sign those all the time.

And I’m assuming that you can’t say anything about your upcoming works?

Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff in the works. I’m workin’ on a movie right now. Bigger opportunities have been coming for me now ever since Suicide Squad came out. But I definitely can’t talk about the movie I’m working on right now. And I don’t want to jinx everything else amazing that’s happening in my life right now either.

One last question. With all this new-found success, has that changed things for you personally in your interactions with friends and fans? Are you being treated differently now because of your role in Suicide Squad?

Yes and no, I definitely feel like people want to be close to me. They want to talk to me or congratulate me. I see it only positively. People in my hometown are really proud of me–proud that somebody from their neighborhood is going places. So yes, people want to be close to me, to talk to me, want advice from me. It’s all very positive. I’m a very private person, so sometimes I just wanna be alone. But it’s still very good. And the way I see it, I’ve changed before the change happened. So for me, it’s all a big spiritual experience. The more I work on myself, the more these things will happen in my life.

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Whenever I have the chance to chat with actors, I always make it a point to attempt to discover who the genuine person beneath the actor facade is. And in Alain’s case, he made it absolutely effortless. He is careful to credit all those who have influenced him, and he never pursues the limelight. On the contrary, the limelight has pursued him. His brief time in a simple film that utterly transformed his career is not going to change him negatively in any shape or form. Quite the opposite. He now views his career as a way to inspire, not just entertain. He looks to positive role models within the business, and I believe that he is on the path to eminence not only as an actor, but also as a human being. First and foremost, Alain is the boy who was not from a privileged family, but his choices in his life have earned him the adulation of myriads of fans. The notoriety that his role as Incubus has awarded him is only an opportunity for him to procure more roles that are in line with his extraordinary talents while at the same time demonstrating what a person from any race, creed, gender, or socioeconomic status can accomplish if that individual applies himself/herself and invests the hard work necessary to succeed. I predict that’s Alain’s career is going to shoot through the roof faster than anyone can imagine, and before long, he will be a bonafide A-lister. Similarly, I am fully convinced that his status will never dictate who he is nor how he conducts himself. His humility and gratitude are both something that he will cling to, no matter what comes his way. For this reason, I entreat all of you to follow Alain at the links below as actors like him are most deserving of this kind of fan loyalty. And whether you choose to see Suicide Squad or not, be assured that Alain is one of the bright shining stars in Hollywood whose kindness can never be tarnished.

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

3 Comments

  1. marthalynn August 19, 2016 Reply

    What a great interview! I have been hearing so much buzz about this movie. I don’t know much about the comics world, but between my husband and children I’ve picked up enough to actually enjoy these movies. Getting to know the actor makes me that much more excited to see it!

    • Author
      Ruth August 19, 2016 Reply

      Marthalynn thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I so enjoyed this one as well.

  2. mary czerczyk August 19, 2016 Reply

    My grandson and his wife went to see this movie and they really liked it.

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