There’s no doubt about it, we are currently living in the age of the super hero movies, and what a time it is. DC’s most recent film Shazam! is their biggest hit yet, whiched staying on top of the box office weeks after its release, and we got to sit down with one of its stars.
Evan Marsh is an in-demand actor in Canada, known for award-winning films like Giant Little Ones, The Journey is the Destination, and The Space Between, as well as Netflix’s new hit show Northern Rescue. At only 25, he has had a formidable acting career, but he says without a doubt, the highlight was being a part of Shazam!.
“As a superhero fan myself, it has always been a dream to be in that style of film. As much as I love what acting brings, I also love getting to see how it all comes together behind the scenes and in Shazam! it was simply surreal. From witnessing green screen actions, to fight stunt training and wire work, it has easily been the most excited I have been on set to date,” said Marsh.
DC is known for their darker takes on superhero stories, which began with Christopher Nolan’s iconic Dark Knight trilogy. Shazam!, however, goes away from that approach, being a lighthearted and comedic story. The film tells the story of fourteen-year-old foster kid Billy Batson, who by shouting out one word - SHAZAM! - this streetwise teen can turn into the adult superhero Shazam. We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.
“I like how lighthearted Shazam! is for a DC movie. It is doing a complete 180 from the other type of movies the DCU has released and I think that was a very smart move by them. Reading the script had me laughing out loud which is always a good sign. It is a fine line writing a comedy while still keeping it as badass as a superhero style movie needs to be, and I believe they did a fantastic job at doing that,” said Marsh.
In any superhero style movie, you need the guy in high school who torments the lead. In doing so, you establish the status of the lead kids as it shows they are weak and unpopular. Marsh’s pivotal character, Burke Bryer, is just that guy. A pretty nasty dude, Burke is your classic high school bully whose sole purpose is to make your life a living hell. He’s bigger than you, meaner than you, and has more money than you. He and his brother don’t like many people, especially the movie’s main characters, Billy and Freddy. They try to avoid the bullies at all costs but no matter what, the Bryers will find them and make their day much worse. It is a full turn around when Billy gains the ability to turn into a superhero and decides to give Burke a taste of his own medicine.
The set of Shazam! was a one-of-a-kind experience for Marsh. They had to do many things on set that he had never done because of the demanding script and role. One day they would be doing fight/stunt rehearsal for big contact fight scenes, the next they would be on wires 30 feet in the air in front of a green screen. His favorite days on set, however, were the scenes that take place in a carnival, because they built a full-blown working carnival, which meant that in-between scenes, he could be seen playing games with the rest of the cast.
“I loved working with the industries top professionals in each area of film. From props to the cinematographers, everyone was so good at what they did. I am also a big fan of Zachary Levi as I watched Chuck growing up, so getting to chat with him was a very cool experience as well,” said Marsh.
Being such a vital part of Shazam! has been a dream come true for Marsh, and he hopes he has many more opportunities in the future to experiment with the superhero genre. It isn’t every day that you get to be a part of something that has been in people’s hearts and minds for generations, and he can’t wait for audiences to see what they have created.
“I am a big fan of the type of movies the MCU and DCU have been releasing and to be a part of one is surreal. I have been following the press for the movie and watching all of the comic con stuff for it as well. I genuinely believe this movie can do wonders for the DCU because it is very unique and has such fun humor for all ages,” said Marsh.
The story has always been close to Marsh’ heart, as his late grandfather gifted him his comic book collection, and Shazam! was amongst them. This gave the film a whole new meaning for Marsh, who not only saw it as a great acting opportunity, but a way to honor someone he cared so much about.
Shazam! has been extremely well-received by critics, sitting at an impressive 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Be sure to check out the already iconic hit, currently in theatres everywhere.