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    17 Behind-The-Scenes "Peacemaker" Facts, From *That* Big Character Cameo In Episode 1 To The Opening Credits Dance

    Alas, a real eagle was not used for Eagly.

    Spotlight with Danielle Brooks from Peacemaker with an image of Danielle's character on the right

    I don't know about you, but I was originally a little hesitant when the Peacemaker HBO TV series was announced — which was based on John Cena's role in The Suicide Squad. Well, I don't know if it was the infectious opening credits or the sight of John Cena's ass in the first scene, but I can safely say that any apprehensions I had were immediately shattered. So, I spoke with Danielle Brooks — who captivatingly plays newcomer Leota Adebayo — to find out more about how the series was made.

    A promo poster featuring the Peacemaker front and center with an eagle and the rest of the cast flanking him


    1. The part of Leota Adebayo was written with Danielle Brooks in mind, as James Gunn was a fan of Orange Is the New Black.

    Danielle sitting on a prison bed and looking up at a prison guard in a scene from Orange is the New Black

    2. Two big things drew Danielle to the part: James Gunn as a creative, and the opportunity to act in an action role.

    Leota driving with someone in the passenger seat

    3. However, it was finding out that Adebayo was the daughter of Amanda Waller — played by Viola Davis — that really "sold" Danielle on the role.

    Leota looking at a laptop

    4. Danielle sees Waller as an important figure for representation in the DCEU, as she has an afro.

    Amanda sitting at a desk with a headset on and rocking a small afro

    5. However, the two actors didn't actually get to interact because of conflicting schedules and COVID restrictions — although they have met in the past.

    Viola giving a brief in a scene from The Suicide Squad

    6. Danielle's first day on set involved kissing her onscreen wife, played by Elizabeth Faith Ludlow.

    Leota and her wife holding hands in a living room

    7. Improvisation was a huge part of the shooting process, and Danielle got "hazed a bit" as a newcomer to the franchise by having to improv dialogue on her second day of shooting.

    this scene was my first day working with @thedanieb and she did not disappoint. Here's two minutes of her laughing through a million takes. At the end even @JamesGunn can't get a sentence out without laughing.

    Twitter: @steveagee

    "We have a scene where we meet all of the crew, and James just had me improv this whole speech — which he ends up using," Danielle described. "[Steve Agee] kept recording me, it was making me laugh and throwing me off. James Gunn couldn't stop laughing as he's throwing new sentences at me to repeat. John is trying not to break character and it was just so funny. They made me do this for probably 20 minutes straight."

    8. In fact, Danielle said John Cena's improvisation skills are one of his many talents as an actor — especially in a scene later in the series where Peacemaker has to rattle off lists of celebrities.

    John in his helmet/face mask and suit as Peacemaker

    9. Unfortunately, Danielle missed the final day on set because she was exposed to COVID (but didn't test positive).

    10. To achieve the special effects for Eagly, a green-screen bird in the shape of an eagle and an eagle dummy were used on set.

    11. Danielle originally felt "a little hesitant" about shooting the dance in the opening credits. She was shown clips of John Cena doing the dance during his breaks for reference.

    12. She also had to learn a ton of black ops lingo used in the universe, and she would show up early to set to learn — mirroring how Adebayo is also a newcomer.

    13. Another skill that Danielle had to learn involved how to jump from "explosions," which actually meant falling on a blue-screen mat — there was one take where her gun was accidentally in front of her face.

    14. Apparently, the sound of guns was actually incredibly loud in real life and "tough on my ears."

    Leota pointing a gun as she stands outside

    15. Danielle hopes people notice the outfits that Adebayo and Keeya's dogs wear.

    16. There is an IRL Peacemaker group chat.

    17. Finally, Danielle doesn't know about her future in the DCEU, but she hopes it's "long lasting."

    Thanks for talking to us, Danielle! The first three episodes of Peacemaker are now available to stream on HBO Max.