Corey Stoll has played a lot of unique roles, but few have allowed him the opportunity to shrink down to the size of a bug and fight a Marvel hero.
In "Ant-Man," out Friday, the New York City-born actor, who is also starring in the vampire series "The Strain," now airing its second season on FX, plays Darren Cross, a businessman and tech genius who develops his own shrinking suit, called Yellowjacket, which he uses to fight Paul Rudd's Ant-Man.
amNewYork spoke with Stoll.
Were you familiar with the world of Ant-Man?
I was a big comic book fan. I had maybe read a couple comic books with Ant-Man in it. I was not terribly familiar, but knew enough that it was a great idea for a movie and it was kind of amazing that it was never done before. I think the shrinking power is such a brilliant thing for movies.
What was it like filming all those shrinking scenes?
It's two different techniques of motion capture. There's a motion capture just for your body, to get your body language and movement, and then there's a separate rig just to capture your facial expressions. ... The regular motion capture was really fun. I was set up on a basketball court with GoPro [cameras] all around it and I could move anywhere within there and it would capture my movement. Then to catch my face, I couldn't move my head. People would be calling out, "Ant-Man punches the side of your face. Now Ant has grabbed your leg." And you have to add the requisite facial expression for all those things without moving. That was a little weird.
With your Yellowjacket scenes done in a motion capture suit, were you bummed you didn't get to wear the costume?
It's a mixed thing, because I was a lot more comfortable and I could go to the bathroom if I had to, but I didn't get that experience of feeling what it's like. But I couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out. It looks amazing.
What's your take on Darren Cross?
What I first liked about the part, and what I was first sort of drawn to, was his false humility. He's the most uncool guy on the planet, who thinks that he is the coolest guy. It's funny, and it's fun to play. He's the most confident guy in the world who has no right to be that confident. He's just a loser. But it's important that the villain be strong and capable and frightening.
Director Peyton Reed is really known for comedy. How do you think he did with this action turn?
I think he did great. ... The physical relationship between people and objects to each other is very, very important in this movie, more even than most action movies because you're shifting back and forth between two scales. And I think he really did a great job. I think the thing that people maybe weren't expecting was the very real emotional center of the movie. It may be the funniest Marvel movie, but it also may be the most moving and heartfelt.
Your acting resume is very diverse. What do you look for in roles?
I'm looking for a good script, I'm looking for a good director with a definite point of view and I'm looking for a role that excites me. ... Picking out a role where you know you can do it in your sleep is just boring. I think in general the industry wants you to do something they've seen you do before, but when you get that chance to do something you haven't done before, it's exciting and it's scary. And it was definitely exciting taking on this thing. So not only is it going out to more people than anything else I've done, it's also me in a very risky role, acting like a fool.