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60 seconds with Christian Slater

The Mr Robot actor, 48, talks about voicing Deadshot in animation Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay, building a Lego London and being ‘geek’ cool

This animation is a bit more adult than the 2016 Suicide Squad film, isn’t it?

Yes, I found it to be quite shocking — I mean, they really didn’t pull any punches, it definitely earned its R rating. There were some choices that set them apart from the movie in the lengths they’re willing to go to.

If Deadshot walked into a bar, what’s the first thing he’d do?

Oh wow. He’d tell everybody to get out. I would imagine them all running out the door, leaving him alone with the bartender and everybody taking him very seriously. He’d say in the quiet confident way he speaks: ‘Get out.’

What made you keen to voice him?

I’ve always been a huge comic book fan, a huge superhero fan. I do love the character and I liked the Winnebago they were driving around in — usually the machinery is so hi-tech. That showed you what the Suicide Squad have to deal with: they’re the bottom of the barrel, the lowest of the low, they have to do their best with very little.

Childhood dream: Slater wanted to be Superman

What comic books did you like as a kid?

Man… I read Batman, I read Superman. When I was a little kid my fantasy was being Superman. When I was three my mother made me a Superman cape and I wore it out — there were holes in it.

What else were you obsessed with when you were young?

I loved all the shows that were on at the time, Star Trek, Starsky & Hutch [laughs], I loved CHiPs — I thought they were all a lot of fun.

When did you decide you wanted to be on screen yourself?

Well, I started doing theatre at the age of nine — that was my foundation in this business. I did play after play after play. Then I got a manager and eventually I landed the part of Adso in The Name Of The Rose with Sean Connery. There I was, playing a 13th-century medieval monk out in Germany and London. I was a 15, 16-year-old kid having that experience, which was pretty overwhelming and special. I’ll never forget it.

A lot of people associate you with 1980s and ’90s films. Are you nostalgic about that era yourself?

To some degree. I’m very proud of a lot of those movies. Heathers is definitely one that stood the test of time. True Romance is definitely one people still seem to enjoy.

And now, of course, there’s Mr Robot.

I love doing the show, I love playing that character and working with Rami Malek is great, he’s a phenomenal actor. It’s a timely show, almost ahead of its time in terms of things that are going on.

What else do you have going on, work-wise?

I just got back from London, where I was doing Glengarry Glen Ross. I loved that. I love doing theatre and plays in London — the audience was extraordinarily receptive. It’s funny, my son and I built some Lego the other day — he built Buckingham Palace and I built the London landscape with the London Eye and Parliament and Trafalgar Square. It turned out pretty well. I love Chelsea, Primrose Hill. I miss London, I can’t wait to come back. But right now I am taking a break in Los Angeles and doing the usual things: going to the gym, spending time with the kids, hanging out with my wife, walking the dog and generally relaxing.

What word is often used to describe you and how accurate would you say it is?

One of the words people have used is ‘cool’, which as far as I’m concerned is pretty inaccurate.

Cult hit: Slater in True Romance

How so?

Well, if being a geek is cool then I guess I could be considered cool. I like sci-fi and fantasy and love the movies and comic books. I enjoy pretty much all the stuff I’m involved in.

Are there any indie movies in your past you would urge fans to check out or revisit?

I really love Pump Up The Volume. It was very relevant to many situations going on and even more relevant today, 30 years later. We haven’t really moved on — in a way, a lot of the problems have got so much bigger.

Any characters you’d like to revisit in a sequel?

I’d love to see what happened to that guy in Interview With The Vampire. I’d be curious about that.

Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay is on Blu-ray and DVD now