Ewan McGregor was able to improvise some of Black Mask's best lines in Birds of Prey. McGregor has been praised for his portrayal of the villain in the team-up movie. Margot Robbie is clearly the lead star in the movie as she plays Harley Quinn, but she has an excellent supporting cast propping her up. Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Ella Jay Basco also star in the comic book movie.
When it came down to shooting Birds of Prey, it seems like the attitude was pretty relaxed when it comes to the dialogue. The action scenes were choreographed out perfectly, but the actors were allowed to take liberty with their lines. According to director Cathy Yan, Ewan McGregor especially took advantage of this. She explains.
"He also added lines. I like to work to a point where it's a real collaboration between the actors, and we'll have fun on set, and it's very open. And what was great is that Christina (Hodson) was not precious with the script either and quite supportive of that. So we were just like throwing ideas around. He'll come up with a line and I'll go 'I love that line! Let's add it in.' That happened a lot, and he's just wickedly funny. I also think because he really understood the character, he really got it. He understood the background of the character, the chip on his shoulder, the desire for power the desire of control."
Ewan McGregor is comfortable as Black Mask in the movie and is perfectly over the top. As for the rest of the cast, they were able to make changes to their dialogue too. Cathy Yan promoted a fun atmosphere on the set, according to Ella Jay Basco. She had this to say about one particular day on the Birds of Prey set.
"We had this one scene where Margot [Robbie], Jurnee [Smollett-Bell], Rosie [Perez], Mary [Elizabeth Winstead] and I had to improv the majority of it. That entire day we were laughing, making jokes, and having a great time. The director Cathy Yan, told us to do a bunch of silly things that made us smile the whole day. The location was also near a Shake Shack, so in our spare time we just ate burgers, fries, and a bunch of other junk food. That day was super fun and didn't feel like work at all."
Birds of Prey is not doing so well at the box office, which is strange since it is doing so well with fans and critics. The studio is hoping that a quick title change for theater chains will help matter, but even that doesn't appear to be working. Many believe that the movie should have been promoted as a Harley Quinn movie, since the majority of fans wanted to see Margot Robbie back as the villain.
Margot Robbie portrayed Harley Quinn in 2016's Suicide Squad and was one of the rare bright spots of the production. While the movie made a killing at the box office, it was torn to shreds by fans and critics, which is pretty much the opposite for Birds of Prey at the moment. Regardless, the studio is hoping that word of mouth advertising will give the movie a slow and steady climb at the box office in the coming months. The interview with Kathy Yan was originally conducted by CinemaBlend.