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Ed Skrein Discusses What It Was Really Like Playing Ajax In Deadpool - Exclusive

By the time "Deadpool" hit theaters in 2016, superhero films had become a regular part of the pop-culture landscape, but there was no one in the Marvel Cinematic Universe like the smack-talking anti-hero. When it was announced that the Ryan Reynolds-starring film would be rated R and lean into its title character's profane, violent propensities, fans were cautiously optimistic. "Deadpool" didn't disappoint.

The movie is a gleefully vulgar romp that delighted critics and fans alike. Its strong cast included Ed Skrein as the villain Ajax, the unfeeling manager of the experimental program that turns Reynolds' character into the superpowered Deadpool but leaves him horribly disfigured. Skrein imbues Ajax with a sadistic intensity, making him a perfect counterpoint to the snarky Deadpool. The actor, who's currently starring in the movie "Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon," sat down with Looper to reminisce about his experience on the film, which he said was a "wonderful experience".

A fun and educational experience

As a long-time comic-book fan, Skrein relished the chance to appear in a comic-book movie. "I was like, 'I can't believe, first of all, someone's even asked me to be in a Marvel movie,'" Skrein remembered. "I've been a comic book fan since I was 10 years old, going to the comic book fairs and I have a crazy collection and my Ninja Turtles and Mumm-Ra figures and everything. That they even let me in, that was just amazing."

Skrein also enjoyed the unique opportunities that come with starring in the rare comic-book movie that aspires to an R-rating: "Secondly, [I couldn't believe] they were letting me say all this crazy stuff and do this crazy stuff. I was like, 'This doesn't feel like the movies I've seen so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.' That was amazing."

While Skrein found a lot to love about working on "Deadpool," he revealed that he also learned a lot from watching Reynolds behind the scenes too. "Ryan taught me a lot of how to lead a set with grace and humility and manners and as a true gentleman and as a generous actor," Skrein shared. "Even from his position where he was in his career and where I was in my career, he was a mensch and led by example in showing how an actor should lead a movie."

Skrein's new film "Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon" is available in theaters, on digital, and on demand.