In Deadpool 2, Zazie Beetz is the cool kid. To be fair, she probably always was the cool kid anyway. The Atlanta actress makes her own kombucha and body butter and, during a recent appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, she gifted the host with a hand-knitted hat for his newborn baby. She's crafty and creative and slightly reserved, which falls in line with her character Domino, Deadpool 2's newest mutant.
Domino's power is that she's lucky. There's some debate as to whether or not this is an actual superpower, but Beetz is confident it is. (It's mainly Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, who thinks it isn't.)
"A lot of people, when they find out she's lucky, they always do a little bit of a double take and ask again what I mean by that," Beetz told Refinery29 Tuesday at a press junket for the film, "but I don't know — it was always clear to me from the beginning that it's a pretty advantageous thing."
She added, "You can think about directly in terms of gambling. Guns backfire on her, and she doesn't get shot. She can just sort of move around the world and everything falls into the place she needs them to fall to." For example, after one of the movie's biggest explosions, Domino lands gracefully on a giant inflated panda while her compatriots suffer painful consequences. Domino is the embodiment of hakuna matata — she doesn't have a care in the world because, well, why care? It's all going to work out in the end.
Later, Refinery29 spoke to Beetz over the phone about Deadpool 2, a potential Domino spinoff, and her personal attachment to kombucha.
Refinery29: Was being in a large-scale comic book franchise always a dream for you, or was it Domino specifically that drew you to the role?
Zazie Beetz: "I think it was Deadpool that drew me to Deadpool. I never really as a kid — I wasn't so much into huge comic book movies. There also wasn't so much out. Spider-man was kind of the thing. I liked that when that came out, but growing up that wasn't so much my focus. I was much more of a musical girl. But watching Deadpool, the first one — I think it's such a new kind of take on the whole superhero universe. It's just so aware of itself. Which I really appreciated. Also, Deadpool being the voice of the audience and kind of analyzing all the things coming up, questioning the authenticity of something. It's really unique to do that. It's breaking the fourth wall, which is such a huge tool. It's such a cool take on it all. I was super happy to just be a part of it in any capacity. [And] I think Domino is such a cool character. To be able to originate the live action version of a character is a pretty special honor. I was super excited about that."
There's a moment later in the film when Domino reveals she was raised in the same place as the troubled mutant Russell (Julian Dennison). Is this something you'd like to explore, perhaps in a Domino spinoff?
"Oh, yeah, I would love to. Of course, it all depends on how audiences like Domino and if they want to see more of her. And then discussions on a spinoff would maybe happen. But that is something I really wanted — if we were to explore Domino, I wanted to explore her origin story. To explore her past more, because I think it's super interesting. The darkness within that would be a cool thing to explore for her character. Especially since she comes across as so light. There's more behind that."
Yeah, she's so chill and unflappable. Even her appearance — she's never dirty or mussed up.
"That was on purpose. They kept me very beautiful because she doesn't get hurt. Nothing happens to her. It's sort of a joke."
Did you have a shorter time in the makeup trailer because of that?
"I had shorter time in the makeup trailer because I didn't have prosthetics. Ryan [Reynolds] and Josh [Brolin] — if their face or hands were showing, they had to get the whole thing done. I never had that. It was a standard 45 to an hour, doing the makeup. The thing that took the longest was drawing [Domino's signature] spot on every time. Because the rest of my makeup was pretty pared back. I didn't need to get dirtied up."
How would you compare the humor of Deadpool to the offbeat humor of Atlanta?
"I think it's very different, actually. Atlanta functions in a more authentic sort of way. The humor comes from life and the reality of absurdity within life. And I think Deadpool is a very heightened universe. [It's] very aware and commenting on itself. [It's] a discussion with the audience. Atlanta also functions a little more in sadness than Deadpool does. Deadpool is sort of quicker and wittier. The rhythm is faster. I think they're quite different, actually, even though [they're both] still offbeat, but offbeat in different genres. Deadpool's humor is that offbeat-ness, but specific to the superhero genre. Atlanta just challenges the tone of half hour comedies and sitcoms and what that means. And that there can be realism within the monotony — realism and comedy — within the monotony of life."
Women tend to die in superhero movies. What do you think it says about Deadpool that Domino, one of two women superheroes in the movie, has the superpower that she can’t die, like James Bond?
"In a way, my power is similar to Deadpool's. I mean, he can regenerate, so he can't die. And I can't die because it just won't happen. I wonder if that's also why we can meet eye to eye. Domino doesn't so much put up with his humor, his coping mechanism, because I'm also experiencing that and handling it more maturely."
Things just sort of work out for her.
"Yeah. It just works! She's lighthearted but I also think that [power] also can kind of be — that could also enter sort of this place of nihilism and unmotivation, because what is she motivated for? What does she have to try for? She doesn't have to try to do anything. It all just works. The interesting question is, what does that mean for her willingness to care about anything at all? And I think Deadpool has sort of a similar thing. He just sort of deals with it and addresses it in a different way than Domino does. "
I hear you make your own kombucha. What's your secret to great kombucha?
"I don't know if mine is very great yet, but I do have a nice one that — I think it's just sort of patience. Nice, steady, room temperature, and a dark place. And that's all that it really asks for. You have to sort of wait it out and keep tasting until you have something you like. It's pretty easy — I read this article where they were talking about sanitation within making kombucha. They were like, honestly, people have been making this for so long. Like, thousands of years in much dirtier conditions. And everyone was fine. So, it's sort of the easiest thing to make at home, which is why it lends itself to so many people trying it out. But, yeah! Just keeping her undisturbed and letting the kombucha do its own little thing."
It's like having a small pet.
"Yeah, it is. That's what's really nice about it. You don't want it to die, [so you're] cleaning off your scobe, and making sure it has the right space to be in while you're traveling. Making sure it's taken care of. Yeah, it's like a little pet."
Do you keep it in your trailer at work?
"No. In my trailer? No. My boyfriend and I, we were travelling back and forth. But if you keep it in a jar with, like, starter scobe, and you just keep it at room temperature and in a dark place, and sort of just check on it every now and then, it usually is fine. It'll just grow more by itself. And then you just maybe take away bad bits if there are any. But it's pretty self-sufficient. Also, if it's not too young, it's militantly durable. It's super easy to make."