Zazie Beetz has two huge comic book blockbusters to thank for her increased fame. Beetz appears in both Joker and Deadpool 2 and, though both are based on comic book heroes and villains, the two movies couldn’t be more different. The Atlanta actress broke down the differences between the two as well as how they’re similar.
Spoiler alert: Details about Joker ahead may spoil some aspects of the plot.
In Deadpool 2, Beetz plays Domino, a character who is literally the luckiest person in the world. She fights alongside Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, the fourth-wall breaking, Bea Arthur-loving anti-hero. Joker, on the other hand, features Beetz as Sophie Dumond, a single mother and neighbor of Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck, the man behind the infamous Clown Prince of Crime. The two are shown to have a romantic relationship that is later revealed to be a fantasy entirely concocted by Fleck.
Zazie Beetz breaks down the differences
Though both movies are based on superheroes and carry R ratings, Beetz thinks they couldn’t be more different. “While Deadpool is still an R-rated story, there’s a youthfulness to it that Joker doesn’t have,” the German-American actress told the Hollywood Reporter in October 2019, probably referencing the movie’s frequent crass humor. “One is an action comedy, and the other one is a psychological drama. So I feel like comic book is plastered on both, but tonally, it’s completely different.” Beetz doesn’t see either movie as purely “comic book” movies, and instead, she views them as “genre-bending.”
There’s still room for growth in the genre
Movies based off of comic books don’t have to be “one thing,” the actress continued. “They traditionally do span a great spectrum. There’s a lot of adult comics; there’s also very neutral comics.” Both Deadpool and Joker “keep pushing what the expectations are,” when it comes to how superhero movies are perceived. Joker subverts the idea that such movies are inherently silly and juvenile. Deadpool gets “a little raunchier and a little dirtier than what we would normally expect.” As the genre of comic book movies continues to develop, it’s likely that more and more of these types of movies will splinter off the mainstream.
Beetz has had a phenomenal few years since her Atlanta debut. Those successes have also come with their fair share of struggles. For some time, Beetz had a hard time finding roles that didn’t require her to alter her natural hair. She’s also been very open about her battle with anxiety, especially on set. Still, the young actress continues to score big opportunities and it doesn’t look like that will be stopping for her any time soon.