Stefan Kapičić – The Man Behind the Metal

March 20, 2019
FilmInk chats to Deadpool’s Stefan Kapičić about how he got into acting, what it was like to play Colossus and what we can expect to see from him in the future.

Stefan Kapičić is a German-born, Serbian-raised actor best known for his role as Colossus in the Deadpool films. Aside from his work in the Marvel universe, Stefan Kapičić has had over 70 roles in theatre, film and television. His latest role is in the series Love, Death & Robots, which is out on Netflix now.

Stefan had a creative upbringing. With an actress for a mother (Slobodanka Žugic) and a basketball player for a father (Dragan Kapičić), a ‘normal’ career path wasn’t really in the pipeline. “My mum was a very successful actress. When I was born, she decided that family was more important to her than chasing and pursuing her career – but thanks to her I was exposed to acting from a young age. I did some performances when I was in high school, and it was just something that felt right for me, something that I just loved doing.”

After high school, Stefan studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts – one of the most respected drama schools in Eastern Europe. “The course went for 4 years, and it’s so competitive – thousands of people audition, and they accept only 10 people per year. In the second year of my studies I got a role in the national theatre, and then I started doing full theatre performances. From then on, it was just going from one performance to another, then I started filming things, doing TV shows and films. And now I’m in Los Angeles for a beautiful project, 20 years later! [laughs]. When I talk about myself as an actor, theatre is really my first love.”

Although theatre is his lifeblood, the highlight of Stefan’s career so far has been playing Colossus in the Deadpool films. “I’m a huge comic book fan,” Stefan remarks, “and combining my love for acting with my love for comics is such a highlight for me. This movie – and the incredible success of it – has changed my life. I’m really thankful to Tim [Miller], the director of the first film, who saw my audition and said, ‘this guy needs to be Colossus’. Sometimes when you work on projects, you’re just tired and don’t really ‘feel’ the project, but on Deadpool 1 and 2 I really had the time of my life.”

Since Stefan comes from a theatre background, you may think that playing a CGI character would have him right out of his comfort zone. But actually, he tells us that the process wasn’t as strange as he thought it would be. “The only difference, really, is that I had to put a mo-cap suit on rather than a costume. And also, the final product wasn’t me, so I didn’t get to actually see myself on screen.

“Working in mo-cap did take some getting used to,” he admits. “Especially in Deadpool 2, I had a bigger and more physical role than I had in the first film. I had mo-cap cameras in my face, capturing every movement I made. You can actually see when you compare Colossus in the first and second film, the second one looks more like me – the chin and nose. It was a tough process, but acting is acting, really. It’s beautiful.”

When Stefan looks back on the making of the Deadpool films, it’s hard for him to pick one favourite memory, because the whole experience was so much fun. “It’s rare to have a project where everybody works together so well – where everyone comes to work with a big smile on their face. One of the greatest things for me was the chance to work with Tim Miller, because he’s someone I admire a lot – a real visionary. And of course, working with Ryan [Reynolds] and the rest of the cast was just a pleasure.”

If Stefan had to narrow it down to just one memory (coz we pushed him pretty hard), it would have to be his fight scene with Juggernaut. “The funny thing is, I didn’t know that Ryan was going to be playing Juggernaut. They didn’t tell me. So, when Ryan started getting ready for the fight scene – getting into the Juggernaut character – I was like ‘what are you doing?’ [laughs]. And then we got to work on this really cool fight scene together. He got to get out of his Deadpool character and do something different, and it was so much fun. I’ve always wanted to see a Colossus and Juggernaut fight scene, and I got to do one with Ryan Reynolds [laughs]!”

One question on the lips of many a Colossus fan is whether the character will be returning for X-Force. Although Stefan can’t say for sure, it’s looking pretty likely. “I can’t really say anything until it’s announced,” Stefan says. “But, you know, X-Force was kind of established at the end of Deadpool 2, and Colossus is a big part of Deadpool, fans love him… Let’s just say we’ll definitely see a lot more of Colossus in the future.”

Aside from his role as Colossus, Stefan is thrilled to be part of shows like Better Call Saul and Counterpart, and he is really excited to see the world’s reaction to his latest show, the animated anthology Love, Death & Robots. “It was created by Tim Miller and it’s produced by David Fincher. I’m the lead in one of the episodes [final episode, The Secret War], I can’t wait to see what people have to say about it.”

Stefan is also in the midst of acting in one of the most anticipated video games for 2019.  “Unfortunately, I can’t say anything more about it. But I’m just happy that I’m getting so many amazing projects. I have a few exciting things coming my way, including something I’m going to be producing. I’m really just enjoying doing things project by project. When it comes to my work, I don’t really care about the size of the role or the country it’s being made in. If the project sounds interesting, the script is great and I want to work with the director, I’m really open for anything. I just want to learn from people and explore myself through the character and the story.”

You can catch Stefan Kapičić at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming in April. Melbourne: April 5-7, 2019 | Melbourne Showgrounds; Gold Coast: April 12-14, 2019 | Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre. Book tix here

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