Brianna Hildebrand on Deadpool 2, playing an LGBT Superhero, and her love of Kristen Stewart.
I remember seeing Brianna Hildebrand for the first time in a small indie film called First Girl I Loved which premiered at Sundance in 2016. At the time, I wasn’t aware of Brianna’s work as it was still before Deadpool had arrived in theaters. After seeing First Girl I Loved, I was immediately drawn to Brianna as an actress because there was something so fresh and unique about her. Brianna had this on-screen presence that felt unlike so many other young actresses in Hollywood. I was blown away by her performance in First Girl I Loved and then seeing her less than a month later in Deadpool, I knew that she was destined to become a bigger star.
In 2017, Brianna starred in Tragedy Girls which I adored. It was one of my favorite films of 2017 and is now one of my favorite horror comedies. With Deadpool 2 opening in theaters this weekend, I knew that I had to try to get an interview with Brianna so I could discuss her career and how much I admired all her work so far. Luckily, I was offered the opportunity to chat with Brianna earlier this week and we had a great 15-minute conversation about various topics including how Negasonic got a girlfriend, and her hope to one day work with Kristen Stewart.
Scott: Hey, how are ya?
Brianna: Good, how are you?
Scott: Not too bad, thank you for taking a few minutes of your time to talk to me today.
Brianna: Yeah, of course.
Scott: First, I want to say congratulations overall on the career so far.
Brianna: Thank you. I try.
Scott: Yeah. I’m curious because the first movie that I think I saw you in was First Girl I Loved, which I saw at Sundance. I just remembered the response that everyone had from that film and they came up to you afterward, and everyone was crying and sobbing. It was such fond Sundance memory. So kind of starting off from there, was that before Deadpool or is that after Deadpool?
Brianna: That was after Deadpool. Deadpool was my first feature film to shoot. Though I went from that into First Girl I Loved.
Scott: How was that process for you? Going from a big studio film to something small that was smaller. If I remember correctly, I think First Girl I Loved was filmed in the Valley, right?
Brianna: Yeah, it was. It was filmed in LA. It was a 25-day shoot. Yeah, it was really cool. Before I worked on Deadpool, I had only filmed a web series and short film so, going into First Girl I Loved from Deadpool … It wasn’t a relief, but it was comfortable for me because I was used to working on lower budget things. Actually, filming Deadpool, I was terrified at the beginning especially because I was the only newcomer to a feature film, like a film of that length. It was pretty easy, and it was fun. It was a fun to do both of them.
Scott: How did you get the role of Negasonic in Deadpool?
Brianna: I just auditioned. I had an audition and about a week later, maybe a couple days, I got a callback. The initial audition was just by the casting director. The callback, I think Tim was there if I remember correctly. Yeah, he was. That was about it. Then, it was all wrapped and we were ready to go.
Scott: You are an actress whose career I’m looking forward to seeing growth over the next couple of years. I’ve seen all your work since Deadpool, First Girl I Loved, and I adored Tragedy Girls. You had such dynamic personality in that film. You were just such a badass. I loved it. When working on a big film like Deadpool and Deadpool 2, one of the biggest things about seeing you in these roles is that you play such a great female character in these movies. Is that important to you? And how do you think that will impact future superhero franchises?
Brianna: Absolutely. I think that’s important. I think superhero films in general, have this ability to kind of empower people. I think it’s especially cool to be able to see such a young girl as a superhero because it is something that we don’t see very often. I feel like, especially in the teenage years of being a girl and becoming a woman, those are some hard years. I think maybe if I were growing up and I saw like a really cool teenage superhero, I would be inspired, and I might feel more confident in the things that I’m doing and the things that I want to do with my life. Obviously, I’m not sure but I feel like we kind of have more of a sense of what the audiences want. Now, as far as superheroes go, at least in Deadpool, I think that, hopefully, it can inspire other directors and writers to put younger superheroes into their work. Especially female superheroes because I think it’s important. It can do a lot more. I know it’s just a superhero movie, but I still think movies do a lot more for people than we really realize.
Scott: Oh, I completely agree. Do you remember the response that Wonder Woman got? That was just huge. There was this level of female empowerment that after that film was released went really strong for the rest of the year. It’s funny because Me Too happened right after the release of Wonder Woman. A lot of people don’t talk about that, but that movie came out and then, it was all about fighting back about sexual harassment and standing up for equal rights. That became such a huge movement after Wonder Woman.
Brianna: Yes, that’s such a good point.
Scott: Yeah. I think it’s terrific to see that kind of focus happening nowadays. Anyway, in the first Deadpool movie, we get the interaction between you and Deadpool which is such a dynamic chemistry. You’re both very different but I loved the interaction between the two of you. In the second film, and I’ll admit this to you, one of my biggest disappointments about the film was the lack of your character because I love that back and forth between the two of you and it wasn’t in this film as much. But at the same time, I will say that having Domino in the film was like, “Oh, now we have another great female character that’s going in to be involved in this franchise as well.” I’m hoping that you have more of a role in X-Force. Did you sign on for that yet?
Brianna: I don’t really have any information about that. I haven’t been contacted about it or anything. I would love to do that. I think Domino’s role is amazing. I was so excited to see Zazie as Domino. I think she did a great job.
Scott: What is it like working with Ryan Reynolds?
Brianna: This is like my most asked question. Ryan is amazing. He’s hilarious. He has this ability to make everyone feel comfortable. We were under stress the first time around but the second time around, I think it was a little bit more intense because we had expectations to live up to. I think Ryan was really feeling that. But one thing that’s really cool about him is that he has the ability to kind of turn on this fun-loving, funny side of him that makes working on set just such a joy. Everybody is just in a great mood if Ryan’s on set. He’s a really fun guy. It’s been great working with him.
Scott: Did Blake come on set at all?
Brianna: She did. She came by with the kids. Both dressed in their superhero clothes, their little superhero outfits, which was adorable. We took a lot of photos and they hung around set for a little while. They are the cutest kids. I can’t believe how cute they are.
Scott: Yeah, they seem like such a happy couple, those two. They kind of balance each other out too.
Brianna: It’s so crazy how perfect they are together.
Scott: I completely agree. In terms of these two films was there any difficulty for you at any point? Was there a scene in particular? It could be from the first film or the second film. If not was there a scene that you just couldn’t get through because Ryan or someone else was making you laugh so much?
Brianna: Yeah, there is a scene in the first movie where Negasonic answers the front door of the mansion. We had written lines for that. I’m pretty sure an improv made the cut. But because we did the written lines a few times, Ryan’s like, “Let’s just improv some. Let’s see what happens.” I had a really hard time getting through all of the improv. I’m pretty sure that they made the bloopers or the extra deleted scenes on the first DVD, but that time, in particular, it was very hard for me to keep a straight face.
Scott: So according to IMDB, Deadpool 3 is apparently already green as well as the X-Force Movie. I’m surprised they haven’t signed you on to it yet. I highly doubt that they would make either movie without you at this point.
Brianna: Yeah. I’m sure too, even if they had. I wouldn’t really be able to talk much about it. We’ll see what happens.
Scott: That’s very true. I know that you’re someone who identifies as queer. To have your character in this movie, a big mainstream release, have a girlfriend is very new to big budget films. Was that your decision or was that something that was always in the script?
Brianna: I’m not sure if it was always in the script but I did get an e-mail from Ryan a few months before I even read the script saying that they were thinking about giving Negasonic a girlfriend. I was just so ecstatic about it. I replied and I was like, “This sounds amazing. I only hope that it’s not made such a big deal that she has a girlfriend and it is only mentioned.” I think they did a great job of presenting their relationship in the film.
Scott: I completely agree. I think so too. Going back to the beginning of our conversation, when you do a movie like Deadpool or First Girl I Loved, and you get that kind of reaction from girls coming up to you after the screening and crying saying, how they’ve never seen a character portrayed on screen, or how much it affected them. What does that mean to you as an actress?
Brianna: It means so much. It’s always great to know that someone else has seen themselves in the character that you’re portraying. Especially growing up, I know what that’s like. I watched as many lesbian movies as I could. Most of the time, it wasn’t really accurate, but I mean the love story was there. A lot of the time, they were kind of over-sexualized. They weren’t very many of them either. Yeah, it’s really cool to be a part of something that is so important and kind of revolutionary to film. Yeah, that’s so amazing. I can’t explain how it feels when young girls come to me and they’re like, “Thank you for what you do.” Or “I’ve seen this, and I related to it so much.” It really makes the job that much better.
Scott: I can only imagine. I got choked up seeing that reaction during the Q & A for First Girl I Loved at Sundance. Just the questions where so many women were crying especially now because you’re becoming a bigger actress and a lot of people know who you are. Your career is just starting. I like that you do one independent film then, you do a mainstream film. I think it’s a nice balance of both. It’s great to kind of see you show off multiple sides of yourself in your roles.
Brianna: Yeah, thank you. It’s fun. I’m so happy that I’m alive during a time where I am able to do that, you know?
Scott: Absolutely. I was going to ask in terms of all the things that you have done, a web series, two independent films, two blockbusters, and also, The Exorcist tv show. What do you think are the biggest differences and similarities between all those different mediums?
Brianna: Well, as for the differences, I would probably say the size of the crew. On a bigger movie, there are so many more people involved. On a smaller movie, I can literally be standing right next to the editor all day. There are bigger movies where I’ve never seen the editor before or even met him. The coolest part of doing a film, in my opinion, is that you get to kind of create a mini family with the people that you’re working with. It’s different for independents to bigger films. I mean, for independent films, you’re likely to be spending more time hanging out with the cast, just sitting or probably, waiting to film. But still, that’s one thing that is super cool about working in film, we can establish these relationships and essentially, make friends with people who live in so many different places. Maybe not see them for a couple of years or ever again but for that moment, you kind of created a family. I think that’s really special about working on a film.
Scott: I can kind of see that at least with your films. I have ironically interviewed someone from each one of the films that you’ve been in. Everyone who I have talked to has nothing but nice things to say about you so it is nice to finally get to talk with you personally because I talked to so many other people who worked with you but not you.
Brianna: Ah, that makes me feel good.
Scott: It is great that people have that impression of you. As for my last question, if you can do any project, and if you can star with anyone you would want to star alongside?
Brianna: Oh man. I personally really enjoy dramas a lot. Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of The Handmaid’s Tale. I don’t know man, there are so many people that I admire. I think it might be really cool to work with someone like Kristen Stewart. Oh man, I don’t know.
Scott: Kristen Stewart a great choice by the way.
Brianna: Thank you. I love her. Absolutely love her.
Scott: Talk about someone who has taken on unique projects. She did a whole bunch of small independent films but then became huge with Twilight. Then, after that went back to doing all these amazing independent projects. I think she has done some of the greatest independent work in the last 10 years with some of her films.
Brianna: Yeah. Absolutely, I agree. I think she’s working on a pretty big project right now. I think she’s writing and directing something right now too. I’m very excited for that.
Scott: Well, let’s make that happen. The world needs to see you and Kristen Stewart together in a film. I’m all for it. We need to make that happen.
Brianna: All right. [sarcastically] I’m counting on you to make that happen.
Scott: [sarcastically] Oh yeah, sure. I have all the power in the world. But hey, I can try to promote the idea. Anyway, it was so nice talking with you. Thank you so much again for taking some of your time to talk with me.
Brianna: Yeah, of course. Thank you for talking to me. Thank you.
Scott: All right. You take care. Thank you so much.
Brianna: Yeah, you too. Thanks.
Deadpool 2 is now playing in theaters everywhere!