Brianna Hildebrand auditioned for an acting role that called for a moody teen.
Her reaction: “I got this.”
She definitely got it.
Hildebrand won the part of Negasonic Teenage Warhead in the movie “Deadpool.” She was spot-on as the moody teen hero who had hilarious exchanges with the glib title character, played by Ryan Reynolds.
Hildebrand is a fresh face among celebrity guests at the 2018 Wizard World Tulsa pop culture convention, which began Friday and concludes Sunday at Cox Business Center. She took part in a Q&A session with convention-goers Saturday and provided details about life experiences that she channeled while making “Deadpool.”
Hildebrand, who is from Texas, said she left home when she was 17 to move to Los Angeles and pursue music. She needed a change of scenery.
“I was just in a really bad place in high school,” she said, indicating that she was dealing with family issues and fell in with the wrong crowd, drugs included. She described herself as “real angsty” during that period and as someone who listened to rock/metal music and only wore black.
So, when it came time to breathe life into Negasonic Teenage Warhead....
“I just channeled 'teenage me' with the angst,” she said.
Hildebrand knew as a child that she wanted to be an entertainer. Though music was the reason she moved west, she was advised to try acting while she was there. She took classes and gave herself a deadline that she needed to book something by a certain time, or else. Along came “Deadpool,” an action comedy about a Marvel comics character that grossed more money than any R-rated film in history.
Hildebrand was asked about “having” to shave her head for the job. She countered that she didn’t “have” to shave her head. She willingly shaved it a year before the "Deadpool" audition and kept shaving it. (Her hair is back now.)
Hildebrand wasn’t familiar with source material before winning the role, but cast mate Ed Skrein supplied her with comics. She was absolutely familiar with the actor who played Deadpool. She 'fessed up that she had an “insane” childhood crush on Reynolds and, while in high school, photoshopped herself into a picture with him. She said she brought 26 copies of the photo to the set on the first day.
It was a full-circle moment for her, but she said Reynolds responded by saying “That’s weird.”
Hildebrand called it a solid icebreaker because it let Reynolds know she was weird and it set a tone that that it was OK to be weird around each other.
As you might expect, there was laughter during the making of the film, but the teen making her feature film debut also dealt with anxiety and felt like she didn’t belong.
“I didn’t know anything really,” she said. “I was so lost.”
Hildebrand said there were many nights when, crying, she called her father. She also leaned on the vets.
“I was lucky to work with seasoned actors the first time around,” she said.
It’s safe to say the rookie did good work since she was asked to revisit the role in “Deadpool 2.” She said she was definitely more confident in who Negasonic was in the sequel since the character had been “living with me” for a while. She said she was ecstatic when Reynolds called and asked her how she would feel about Negasonic getting a girlfriend in “Deadpool 2.”
Hildebrand would like to know more about Negasonic’s back story. Why is she so cold and closed-off?
Will the roots be explored in the future? A panel moderator asked if she knew anything about a possible X-Force movie and her possible involvement in such a project.
“There is nothing I can say about any of that,” she said. “But also I generally don’t know.”