SUPERMAN: MAN OF TOMORROW Exclusive Interview With Brett Dalton About Parasite And Wanting To Play Lobo

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alum Brett Dalton talks to us about playing Parasite in Superman: Man of Tomorrow, and reveals which comic book characters he would love to tackle in a live-action project...

Superman: Man of Tomorrow is now available on Digital and arrives on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK this Monday. To mark that, we were recently given the opportunity to catch up with star Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) to discuss his role as Rudy Jones/Parasite in the DC Comics movie.

Giving the iconic villain a human side helps differentiate this version of Parasite from others we've seen on the small screen, and that added depth makes his story all the more compelling to follow. 

Dalton delivers a terrific performance in the animated feature, and we went in-depth with Dalton to discuss his voice performance, how it differed to his work on the Until Dawn video game, and which comic book characters he would love to play in a live-action setting somewhere down the line.

Needless to say, we want to extend a huge thank you to the actor for taking the time to speak to us, and make sure to click HERE to check out our Superman: Man of Tomorrow review. 


Hey Brett, how are things? 

I'm doing alright, all things considered.

That's great to hear. I hope you're keeping safe with all the craziness going on in the world right now! 

I am, yes, thank you for asking. Being a family man, it's not the worst thing in the world to have the excuse to be at home with your family, so it's been pretty cool. 

Awesome. So, I feel like most actors would kill to be part of a Superman movie, but how did you land the role and what was it like for you to learn you'd be playing this iconic bad guy?

Well, I did actually have to kill for the role [Laughs], so I guess you got wind of the casting process! I do agree with you, being part of something this big and iconic is a dream come true, and I didn't train as a voiceover actor, so any time I get the opportunity to flex those muscles, I feel like it's a real win for me. It's such a totally different thing because you're bringing to life something without the visual counterpart when you're doing it, so it is just all about how much you can bring using your voice and then when you see that matched up with picture, it's kind of like a magic trick. It's pretty crazy, so I was very happy that they wanted me to cross the stream from Marvel to DC, and  having been killed off by my fellow Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I certainly had an opening in my schedule [Laughs], so I was like, 'Yes, absolutely, I would love to do that.' It was really cool and I think when I saw the cast attached too, I thought these were suggestions of people they'd like, and they told me, 'No, no, no, these guys are all signed up for this.' I was just honoured to be working with such amazing fellow actors. 

For me, this was probably my favourite version of Parasite on screen as we get to delve into that human side as well as the monstrous one, but what was it like for you to balance those two halves as an actor?

Voice wise, I felt like they were pretty different. It's not like a shape-shifter going from one person to the next and putting on different accents or something like that. What I was responding to is probably the same thing you were, and that was that we really got to see the man within the monster. He's not a born villain. He's a soldier. You can tell from the very beginning, without giving too many spoilers away, but he's interested in helping other people out. You can tell he has a good heart, and he's always looking out for other people, keeps his head down, does his work, but is aware of the people around him like the little guys that others might overlook. To have this character, this really solid working class guy, for him to make that transition into this monster is kind of like a tragedy. I know that he goes after Superman, but this event happens to him, and he starts out as one thing and is completely overtaken by this other entity that is hell-bent on this thirst for power, and who's more powerful than Superman? That becomes his target, but even that's not enough, and it's just this black hole of insatiable thirst. Somewhere deep inside all of that is still that guy with all those memories and that's a really fascinating too because he doesn't just absorb people's power, he absorbs their memories and traumas and whole emotional past. That's what I thought was really cool and what the film did really well. They gave him his moments, and he's not just like a big scary monster of the week we kind of care about for a second before he's gone.

When you're recording your lines as Parasite, are you having to drastically alter your performance or are those changed down the line in post-production to reflect Rudy's transformation?

They did a little bit with, not the lines themselves, but some of the screams. Those had a little post-production magic on them, but outside of that, that was all me. I think the thing I'm most happy about is, speaking of moments, there's that one moment when he goes and gets the chance to revisit his life for a second even though he's turned into a monster. That whole thing, I really wanted to just let the scene run, and I was very happy I was able to hopefully show in a series of grunts how much the guy still cares about his family and that he was not in charge of his life once he was infected by this parasite, it was the parasite taking over. In that moment, he realises that his life as he knew it is then part of the past, and he can never go back. That feels [Laughs] like something we can all relate to as we grow older, and sometimes turn corners and stuff, and it's very sad, but I think also one of the things that make him human and very relatable. 

I loved your work in the Until Dawn video game, and was curious how working on that differed from an animated movie like Superman: Man of Tomorrow

Well, that is such a big question. What is like the quick answer? They're definitely different. With a video game, you have a camera mounted to your head that's essentially doing a close up on you the entire time and with this, you have a script in front of you and no camera. I think what I was struck with, though, in both mediums was how much it was able to capture. It can capture a kind of subtlety that is really remarkable and on both projects, I was constantly struck by how real they all felt because of that. Even with this, when I think of animation personally, I think of, you know, The Simpsons and Family Guy, and big choices and funny music, and all of those things. That's what I think of when I think of animation. That's not the project we were involved in for this movie and I remember after giving a very subtle, naturalistic read, [director] Chris Palmer actually said, 'That was it. Lesser, man. That is harder to do than the big voices.' That's what he said. I think the big voices are also really hard to do, and I love everyone who does that, but I think what he was saying is that it's actually difficult to communicate that in your own voice and to say in that, but that is what in this project makes these characters really real. I don't know if that answers your question, but I'm pretty much saying in both of them that I realised that less was more and that as long as I was believing in that, the audience would as well.

I thought your performance in Until Dawn was incredible, so I was very curious how it differed and that's a great answer, thank you.

Thank you for watching that. We were all really impressed with how that came out too. It was pretty amazing. They pretty much put you in a big black room, and they're filming at all times giving you prop guns and prop logs to jump over, and rehearsal blocks, and you are just going to town with all of these other people who are similarly just diving in head first. It's a pretty amazing thing, but kind of felt like theatre class all over again.

On another note, you've had a taste of both the Marvel and DC Universes now, but are there any superhero or supervillain characters, in particular, you would like to play in future? 

Oh man, I thought you were going to get me into trouble there because you said "DC" and "Marvel" and I'm thinking you were going to ask me to decide which is better [Laughs]. Thank you, though, I'm very appreciative you even ask that. My God, there's so many good characters and I think that there's probably a character for everyone. Lobo I've always particularly been a fan of. He's played very beautifully here by Ryan Hurst in this movie, but I'm kind of old school when it comes to comics. X-O Manowar was one I was in love with when I was young. Spawn. I know those are Image, but there are so many really wonderful characters out there, and I think when the right character comes along, that's probably going to be the decision for me, not just if it's DC or Marvel. It's just whether or not it really speaks to me, but probably in the villain world they seem to have the most fun! 

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