Movies & TV Shows

Peacemaker’s Vigilante: Stealing the Show with Style

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Peacemaker's Vigilante

Beware! This article contains a sprinkle of spoilers for Peacemaker through its sixth episode.

Stealing the limelight from Peacemaker himself is no small feat, but Vigilante manages to do just that in the thrilling new HBO Max series. The eccentric and deranged crime-fighter, played flawlessly by Freddie Stroma, has emerged as an unexpected fan favorite, overshadowing even the charismatic John Cena in his portrayal of the titular character.

Peacemaker, the epitome of an antihero from the DC comics, possesses all the qualities that make him an ideal leading man. His distinct appearance, donning a striking red shirt adorned with a dove of peace emblem and a gleaming metallic helmet that could make Magneto envious, screams iconic. His mission is simple, albeit twisted: he will achieve peace, no matter the body count, regardless of whether men, women, or children stand in his way.

With Peacemaker’s inherent appeal combined with John Cena’s undeniable charm and exceptional acting prowess, it’s no wonder that director James Gunn selected this character to headline the first television spinoff of the 2021 DC film, The Suicide Squad.

However, as the HBO Max series nears its completion, with only the finale left to air, a remarkable turn of events unfolds. Peacemaker finds himself eclipsed, not by his trusty companion, the adorable CGI bald eagle Eagly, as cute creatures tend to steal the spotlight effortlessly, but by none other than his friend’s younger sibling turned crime-fighter, Adrian Chase, a.k.a. Vigilante.

Vigilante embodies the same absurdity and comic relief that Peacemaker brought to The Suicide Squad. Although borrowing the name and costume from a DC Comics character, Vigilante takes on a life of his own in Peacemaker as a hysterically hilarious hero with a captivating psychological profile.

peacemaker and vigilante

Much like Peacemaker’s unwavering pursuit of peace, Vigilante seeks justice at any cost. But Adrian Chase’s mind doesn’t quite operate like that of ordinary individuals. To him, any form of illegal activity warrants a death sentence, whether it involves purchasing a dime bag of weed or committing an act of genocide.

Vigilante’s struggle with social cues and expressions is evident, as he sincerely believes Peacemaker’s anguished sobs are merely “face exercises.” He unashamedly invites a co-worker from his restaurant job to an “abortion party” and prefers removing his pants to urinate, citing discomfort from fabric against his bare skin. His lines, delivered with utmost sincerity, include gems like “Dude, my advice – cut it out with the introspection. The mind is a den of scorpions better left running from, not towards.” And when presented with an opportunity to ask an intelligent extraterrestrial a crucial “yes or no” question, Vigilante’s burning inquiry revolves around the alien’s preference for teal.

In short, Vigilante is an absolute delight, a true gem within the series. And nobody understands this better than the actor behind the character, Freddie Stroma.

“He’s so much fun,” Stroma gushes. “He has moments of clarity and moments where he’s completely clueless. It’s apparent when you read the script, and those clueless moments are an actor’s playground. You get to create your own internal monologue.”

While Stroma flawlessly adopts an innocuous American Midwestern accent for Vigilante, it’s worth noting that he hails from Britain and boasts an extensive background in theater and British television since his teenage years. International audiences may recognize him best as Cormac McLaggen, the Quidditch bro from Gryffindor in the final three Harry Potter films. Peacemaker marks Stroma’s inaugural foray into the world of comic book adaptations, and he’s already proving to be a perfect fit.

With Vigilante’s rise in popularity and Stroma’s outstanding portrayal, Peacemaker has found himself sharing the spotlight with an unexpectedly captivating character. As fans eagerly await the finale, the question on everyone’s mind is: will Vigilante continue to dominate or will Peacemaker reclaim his rightful place as the focal point of this thrilling series? Only time will tell.

Peacemaker' Vigilante Actor Freddie Stroma

When Freddie Stroma first laid eyes on the lines for his role, they were cleverly disguised as those of another obscure DC Comics character, Sportsmaster. Little did he know that his journey would take a drastic turn, landing him the coveted role of Vigilante in the hit series Peacemaker. Eager to immerse himself in the character, Stroma delved deep into the comics featuring the incarnation of Adrian Chase, only to discover that Peacemaker’s version bore little resemblance to the conflicted New York district attorney depicted in the pages.

“It became clear that researching in that direction was futile,” Stroma reflects. “James Gunn explained that Vigilante doesn’t pick up on social cues, idolizes Peacemaker, and carries this younger brother dynamic. We embraced these nuances, shaping an eccentric character with a multitude of layers.”

While Peacemaker’s Adrian Chase diverges significantly from previous iterations, the character’s costume remains faithfully adapted from the comics. As Vigilante gradually accepts that Peacemaker’s enigmatic government associates are privy to his true identity (a revelation that doesn’t come without its own set of challenges), he spends a considerable amount of time with his mask off, sporting oversized librarian glasses. This creative decision allows Stroma to further flesh out Adrian Chase’s persona.

“I’m thrilled that we had the opportunity to explore the mask-off moments. It offers an expanded range for expression and communication. Of course, donning the mask also adds a physicality to the role and allows me to experiment with different vocal tones,” Stroma shares.

As of now, there is no official confirmation regarding a second season of Peacemaker. However, Stroma eagerly anticipates a green light to delve once again into understanding his character’s skills, idiosyncrasies, and even his disrupted anatomy.

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