Exclusive: Ray Fisher Gives The A to Z Info On His Role As Cyborg In Justice League

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Exclusive: Ray Fisher Gives The A to Z Info On His Role As Cyborg In Justice League
Posted by Wilson Morales

November 15, 2017

Coming out this week from Warner Bros. Pictures is their highly anticipated DC film Justice League, which will be directed once again by Zack Snyder.

Scheduled for a November 17, 2017 release, the film stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

Fueled by the hero’s restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Justice League sees Bruce Wayne enlist the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

The film also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, and Ciarán Hinds as the villain, Steppenwolf.

Also appearing in the film is Joe Morton, in the role of Silas Stone. Stone is the scientist father of Victor Stone aka Cyborg. Morton was first seen in a brief scene in Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

For Ray Fisher, playing Cyborg is his first and biggest exposure to mainstream media. While the New Jersey native also made his first appearance in BvS, Fisher will have a bigger role in Justice League. Prior to films, Fisher, repped by ICM Partners, had been known for his theater roles including the Broadway play “Fetch Clay, Make Man,” in which he portrayed Muhammad Ali.

While promoting the film, Fisher spoke exclusively with Blackfilm.com about getting the role, brushing up his knowledge on Cyborg and working with extraordinary cast.

When did you hear about this movie? Did it come after you or did you have to audition for it?

Ray Fisher: I definitely auditioned for it. I took a trip out to L.A. about six months after I finished production of a play called, “Fetch Clay, Make Man” where I portrayed the late, great Muhammad Ali, and I sat down with the Warner Bros casting folks and they said, “Well, listen, we have something that might be right for you. You know we can’t tell you what it is. There’s a lot of secrecy but, it’s in the Batman/ Superman realm of things and I was just like, “Let’s do it, let’s do it.” Auditioned, put something on tape when I was in New York, sent it over and they showed it to Zack Snyder. He gave me some notes, sent another tape in, and then I went to go test in Detroit while they were shooting Batman Superman and it was probably one of the most relaxed auditions I’ve ever had. Like, it just felt right. It’s hard to kind of describe it was like a zen moment.

So when you knew it was going to be the Cyborg, what was your initial thought and how much did you know about it him?

Ray Fisher: My initial thought was I knew Cyborg from the Teen Titans cartoon show growing up. And that was about all I knew. When Zack had talked to me on the phone before the character was revealed to me and I was to test for it, I started picking up all the comics and reading them because he gave me the iteration he said it’s going to be loosely based in the New 52 situation where Cyborg is a founding member of the Justice League because I didn’t know at the point that he was a founding member of the Justice League. I was like, “Wait, Cyborg is in the Justice League? Since when? I thought he was a Teen Titan.”

And so I went back and was reading what the current narration was and was like, “Oh, okay, cool.” So when I got the role DC sent me a huge stack of all the comics Cyborg has ever been in and I was like reading the new Teen Titans by George Perez and Marv Wolfman where Cyborg was originally introduced back in 1980 and I was like, “Man, this dude is deep.” They were talking about a lot of social issues within his comics, it wasn’t just about being black or white, it was about being human. You know what I mean? And just drawing on that.

What’s the difference from the comic books and the film version?

Ray Fisher: Well, it depends on what comic book you’re reading. I think we touch upon a little bit of Cyborg from all the different genres of him of his incarnations. For me my primary source of motivation was the new Teen Titans George Perez and Marv Wolfman run where you have a guy who’s grounded, deep, real, and he has some very serious situation befall him. Through no fault of his own. I think with Batman V. Superman we just get a glimpse of who he is and being recreated. I think we get a better idea of Silas Stone in that, as well, we just see Victor after the accident. In this we get a sense of the relationship of between Victor and his father, how he came into being and how he came into being Cyborg. And the sort of rebuilding he’s going to have to do mentally to come a part of the team again. I think that’s a really important theme.

When you did the play Clay, you gained weight for this role. What did you do differently, physically, for this film?

Ray Fisher: Well, when I was gaining pounds to play Muhammad Ali, I was doing it on my own. I was literally eating everything I could get my hands on, running every other day, tried to run six miles or so, doing all the push-ups, going to the gym. And, naturally, a boxer has a much different physique and Muhammad Ali didn’t really lift weights, which was inaccurate on my physical side.

But, for this, Mark Twight and Stew Walton, who were my trainers for this film, had things mapped out for me. There was a game plan. I felt like all I had to do was follow the instructions. It’s like baking a cake, you eat the food they tell you to eat, you lift the weights they tell you to lift, and you’ll see the results.

How was it wearing costumes and working behind green screen?

Ray Fisher: It was kinda great. It was weird. It was a little strange at first but I realized quickly, and I had enough time to think about what all this would be, you realize very quickly that, you know what, you just gotta pretend it’s there. Just use all of your imaginative resources to really feel and see what’s in front of you.

And if you can’t see what’s in front of you because those things may change, they may decide, “You know what, we think that the sunset should be over here.” So what you were once looking at may not be what you’re looking at anymore. They’re able to build the world around your performance and vice versa.

How did it feel being the newcomer? You’re literally the new kid in this film where everybody else has had films that people had at least seen.

Ray Fisher: You know what, that, to me, that’s okay. I’m glad to have this jumping off point. I’m glad that I’m able to introduce the character because it’s mirrors Cyborg as a character within this film. Not a lot of people know Cyborg’s origin. Not a lot of people know who he is. You know what I mean? With respect to general audiences that are going and seeing these kinds of films. So, for me, honestly, it’s a good chance to be able to show people what I can do. And a good chance to just be a part of the world of it all.

And I grew up loving this stuff as kid, grew up watching everything. Absolutely everything. I didn’t have comics growing up. But, everything I knew from the animated series, from the movies, from just having these kind of conversations and debated about who would beat who from my friends in school. And obviously Batman always won. But, what can you do?

From B.V.S. and this movie, how was working along with Joe Morton?

Ray Fisher: Joe Morton was awesome. Joe Morton is awesome. Constant and Professional. I mean, B.V.S. it took one day to shoot that one shot that we did. Maybe even just half a day. A lot of it was technical. I’m asleep on the table until I’m not. For this, we got to explore the ideas more about that particular family. And you’ve seen him in everything from Terminator, creating Cyborgs there, same thing here, to Scandal. I think his work speaks for itself.

We know you’re going to have your own solo film. You’ve see the reception that Black Panther’s is getting. How does that make you feel? Do you have a greater sense of responsibility knowing you’re going to have your own film?

Ray Fisher: Greater sense of responsibility? Not just yet. I think, for me, as long as the story’s good, that’s my primary focus. Going into a situation where you are the only black member of the team and you are the only member who is, in a lot of ways, differently abled. Because, I think, Cyborg represents that as well, people with disabilities, as well. You want to make sure that you respect those factors. And everyone, in just discussing the character, discussing ideas, everyone was super open and respectful of that. Last thing you want is to be is a caricature of a stereotype. That sort of thing.
The responsibility for the standalone film, I think by the time we get to it, I’ll have had enough experience to hold my own within that regard. But, I think, it all starts with the story. And if it’s a story that I feel super passionately about, if it’s a story that I can hang my hat on and say, “You know what? I’m really proud of this.” I think that shines through. And I’ll be able to focus on that and not the pressure.

With Cyborg, it’s all about technology. How tech savvy are you?

Ray Fisher: Me in real life? I’ve been a gamer since I was a kid. So, I’ve stayed up on the video game technology. I’m getting better with technology at large. Obviously, social media, internet, all those things are huge. But, there’s a whole world of tech out there that I’m sure we don’t know nothing about. I told my mom, I just get her a smart phone recently, I told her, “You gotta stay up on technology.” Because, I feel like that is something that keeps you in the loop. It keeps you in the now. It keeps us sharp. Even though we rely on it to make our lives easier, being able to have that kind of discourse and utilize all those different things is essential.

Part of what makes Justice League that’s hopefully going to carry on between the solo films and hopefully more Justice League films is the chemistry between the cast. How was working along with this cast and who did you bond with the most?

Ray Fisher: Bonding wise, I think, and just because of the nature of all of us stepping into it simultaneously I think Jason, Ezra, and myself had a much different bond. Everybody has been great. And I’ve got to share a lot of great ideas and a lot of great conversation and thought with everybody across the board. But us, being the newbees, I feel like we bonded in a very special way.

You come from a theater background. Any thoughts of going back to the theater world? Or is it all films now?

Ray Fisher: The things is the film scheduling world is a little crazy. There’s been down time where I could’ve gone and done a show but with my life in particular, what I’ve found is that I need to make sure that what I’m doing is something that I’m actually passionate about otherwise I won’t give it my all. And it’s gonna end up being something mediocre. I don’t wanna just take a job for the sake of having a job. I want to make sure that I’m spening my time, my energy, my life, my art wisely. And if I gotta wait three year stretches between those things ill do that. Because I feel like as actors we are constantly unemployed. It wasn’t until I started getting very specific about what it is that I wanted to do and focus singularly on a goal that I didn’t have any success up until that point. Because there’s nothing worse than getting turned down for a job that you didn’t actually want.

There’s nothing more disheartening than that. I auditioned for this play or I auditioned for this movie I didn’t think it was that good they said we’re gonna go in a different direction. Focus on what you want to do and what you’re passionate about. And I feel fortunate now that I have a little bit more of a luxury to do that.

You’re about to get international fame. How do you stay humble?

Ray Fisher: Don’t forget where you came from. You really don’t. I’ve got some of the most supportive friends in the business. I’ve had the privlege of working with some of the greatest actors you’ve ever heard of. And I’ve still got a lot of my friends back home who never let me forget who I am.

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