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'Mrs. Davis' jacked Resistance leader also voices a truly iconic character
"He fashions himself one-third, Tyler Durden, one-third Bruce Willis from The Fifth Element, and one-third having probably from growing up a town over from the Hemsworth family."
In the new Peacock series Mrs. Davis, a nun named Simone (Betty Gilpin) is on a mission to take down a nigh-omnipotent AI that essentially runs the world. She’s not alone on her quest, as there’s a whole underground Resistance devoted to taking down the algorithm, too.
That Resistance is led by a man known as JQ, who actor Chris Diamantopoulos describes as being “passionate about upending and unmasking this seemingly benevolent all-knowing and all-giving algorithm and bringing real truth and harmony to a world that needs it. He's also really passionate about suspenders and skin-tight body suits.”
Diamantopoulos, who spoke to SYFY WIRE about Mrs. Davis ahead of the first four episodes’ premiere on Peacock, says that JQ “fashions himself one-third, Tyler Durden, one-third Bruce Willis from The Fifth Element and one-third having probably from growing up a town over from the Hemsworth family.
“He is the lead in his action movie and he sees himself as the lead in everyone else's action movie as well,” he continues. Diamantopoulos, who recently appeared in the Netflix action flick Red Notice opposite the Rock, has the chops to step into JQ’s suspenders. But, Diamantopoulos has another role that might offer surprising insight into who JQ is. He’s currently the voice of Mickey Mouse.
JQ is a big, outsized character, and Diamantopoulos agrees that he can be cartoony “in the scholastic sense,” adding that there’s a level of pliability to him. It helps that Diamantopoulos’ take on Mickey, who he has voiced in The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse since 2020, is a much more interesting version of Mickey than the somewhat stogey way the Disney mascot sometimes is portrayed.
“We see my Mickey in neurotic spells,” Diamantopoulos says. “We see him deathly terrified. We see him affronted and frustrated, and we see him exhausted and loathsome.
"If you go back to the ‘30s and ‘40s Mickey was in all sorts of jams. He was Jimmy Stewart, he was Errol Flynn, and he was everything sort of in between,” Diamantopoulos explains. “I think JQ is similar in that regard as well. He really does see himself as the Douglas Fairbanks of this, but there are moments where we actually see a real vulnerability and we recognize why all this means something to him.”
Another way that voicing Mickey helped prepare Diamantopoulos for the role? His experience as a voice actor prepared him for Mrs. Davis creators Damon Lindelof and Tara Hernandez’s last-minute instruction that JQ was Australian.
“I was like, yeah, sure, sure. That's great,” he recalls. “And then I realized, God, I'd never even attempted an Australian [accent] before!”
Luckily, Diamantopoulos was able to pull JQ’s Aussie stylings off, as evidenced by the character’s introductory scene, an elaborate slideshow presentation where he explains (what he claims is) the truth about the AI to Simone. It was Diamantopoulos’ first day on set.
That's not a prototypical scene for a television show, you know,” Diamantopoulos’ says. “A six-page PowerPoint monologue with multiple screens and I was controlling the imagery? That was really a lot.”
Diamantopoulos said he made the entire slideshow “part of his DNA” and that he could do it “ten ways to Sunday” by the end.
“It was a perfect launching point for the rest of what the show brought me in terms of an opportunity to perform,” he says.
The first four episodes of Mrs. Davis are now streaming on Peacock. Subsequent episodes come out weekly on Thursdays.