Actor Sam Heughan is perhaps best known by genre fans for playing Outlander's hunky Jamie Fraser, but there's no time travel involved in his latest on-screen effort. Heughan plays Jimmy Dalton in the upcoming superhero comic adaptation Bloodshot, from director David S. F. Wilson, offering up a modified super-soldier to combat Vin Diesel's nanomachine-augmented hero. Now SYFY WIRE has some of the details on how he got into character in order to kick ass and chew (lots) of bubblegum.
No, really. When chatting with SYFY WIRE at the Bloodshot junket, Heughan was ready to chat about a distinctive tic the actor brought to the role to make Dalton feel more real. It just happened to be about gum.
“I always thought that he'd broken his jaw in the explosion where he lost his legs," the actor explained of Dalton. "I thought, you know, he suffered other injuries as well. I was trying to play with his jaw. Like he's always feeling some sort of pain there. And I even used, there's a little bit of scarring. I think during the operation of getting his exoskeleton, when they’re drilling into his brain and his back, I think he's lost a bit of himself. For me — I sound ridiculous — but there's this kind of dinosaur, kind of prehistoric quality to him. I think he's a mouth breather.”
That gum became such a key component of Heughan's performance that it was integrated into the very set of the film itself. “I said to [director David S. F. Wilson], ‘Can I put my gum on the table?’ and he was like, ‘Of course, he's done this a hundred times, so we should put loads of gum on the table,’" Heughan explained. "So I was sticking all this gum under the table.” That's attention to detail.
Aside from making his gum-addicted character appear realistic, what was the other big worry for the actor during the shoot? "Not punching Vin in the face is probably the part I was most concerned about because, you know, if I punch you in the face, then this movie could be on hold for a few days," Heughan said.
Heughan joins Diesel, Guy Pearce, Eiza González, Toby Kebbell, Lamorne Morris, Talulah Riley, Alex Hernandez, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesso when Bloodshot hits theaters on March 13.
Reporting by Tara Bennett.