From the start, Deadly Class serves up (often literal) break-neck action. The teen assassins-in-training attending King's Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts tear through the streets on motorcycles, wielding baseball bats and blow guns to deadly effect before kidnapping scrappy street urchins to join their ranks. More often than not, the kids end their days with split lips and bloody knuckles, so it goes to reason that the actors playing them would often find themselves in the same predicament.
When SYFY WIRE spoke with Deadly Class co-stars Benjamin Wadsworth and María Gabriela de Faría, who play Marcus Lopez and Maria Salazar, respectively, the pair had been done filming long enough that their injuries had healed. But the memories, all of which made them laugh and grimace in equal measure, were still fresh.
For example, there was that time Wadsworth slipped and accidentally punched someone in the head (he still feels bad about that). Wadsworth's most significant injuries were usually self-inflicted, a result of him being permitted to do his own stunts. In the pilot, his character Marcus Lopez, who acts as a sort of point-of-view character for the audience, punches a wall. While filming that scene, Wadsworth punched too hard, broke the wall, and split his knuckles open.
"It's not easy to really sell it," Faría says of the kind of faux violence she and her co-stars are portraying. "Because it either looks fake or you really hurt yourself. So there's a sweet spot there."
The pair's co-star Lana Condor, who plays Saya Kuroki in the series, dropped too hard while faking a fall on set and ended up with a mild concussion. Condor is involved in several of Faría and Wadsworth's stories about injuries and training, probably due in part to how much fighting Saya does in the series. Faría, wincing, admits several of her own onset injuries involved Condor, as the two work together frequently.
"Lana once cut my pinky with her katana," she says. "She was really into the fight — and she's always so careful, but this time, I don't know what got into her! She was so into the fight and I was actually scared. I had to pretend to be really mad [in the scene] and I'm like, 'Oh my God!' But she hurt my pinky really bad. It bled so much and was hurt for weeks."
In another instance, one of the other actors was supposed to grab Faría by her hair (most of which is a wig the cast refers to as "the beast" for its size and weight). "He throws me to a different room, but then Lana's katana — what is happening with Lana? — was on the floor and we tripped and fell," Faría says. "[The actor] fell on top of me with his fist right to my head. I tried to play it cool but it really, really hurt."
Not having heard this story before, Wadsworth asks, "You didn't cry, though?"
"Of course I cried!" Faría says. "But just a little bit. Because I didn't want people to realize I was really, really hurt because it wasn't his fault. And I didn't want him to get in trouble, so I tried to play it cool. But that hurt for days."
None of this is to say the pair don't enjoy the training. The pain and blood are worth it.
"Larry Lam, our stunt coordinator, he was really surprised with me," Wadsworth says. "He pulled me to the side once and was like, 'Hey, if this acting thing doesn't work out: Stunts.' He was serious, too."
And Faría, who admits to never having been into sports or anything too active, found new personal strength after going through so much physical training.
"With Maria, I felt like it was really important for her body to reflect her skills and how strong she is. Because it has to be believable that she can take a big guy down. So I started taking some kickboxing classes and also I hired a personal trainer to build my strength. And it was really cool because now I feel way more capable and strong, just from playing Maria."
"I get scared when she gets near me," Wadsworth says with a smile. "She's strong."