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Secret Invasion's Kingsley Ben-Adir Modeled Gravik On Real Cult Leaders

In the wake of their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut via 2019's "Captain Marvel," the shapeshifting aliens known as Skrulls are back at the forefront of the franchise. On the Disney+ series "Secret Invasion" — the one with the immensely divisive title sequence — a faction of rogue Skrulls aim to not only wreak havoc on Earth in secret, but invade and take the planet for their own. One of the figureheads of this mission is Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir), who has rallied fellow Skrulls to his side using all too real persuasion tactics.

During a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Ben-Adir revealed that he modeled Gravik on real-world cult leaders, specifically in the way he uses the wants of the downtrodden and disillusioned to bolster his cause. "The righteousness of what he's doing is this complete crock of s***, and it's just how he uses and manipulates people. He is testing everyone constantly, and that becomes quite fun to play," the actor shared. He also touched on the discrepancies between Gravik's words and his actions, which leads some to question his true motives.

Of course, Gravik isn't that great at hiding what he's really at. Ben-Adir hasn't sugar-coated it, his character is miserable, and he wants the heroes of "Secret Invasion" to witness his destruction.

Gravik isn't someone to mess with

Gravik has the potential to be one of the more fascinating MCU villains to join the franchise. Not only is he a Skrull, thus giving him an edge over the good guys on "Secret Invasion" in the form of his shapeshifting ability, but as we now know, he operates as a leader in similar ways to real-life cult leaders. Additionally, Kingsley Ben-Adir has pulled back the curtain a bit further to reveal that there's much more to Gravik's entire operation than meets the eye. He's out for blood, and he wants to make sure his enemies see his carnage unfold.

"He wants to inflict as much pain and misery and suffering on anyone and anything, as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) witness it," Ben-Adir told TV Line of his MCU counterpart. He goes on to explain that Gravik is about ensuring that his enemies suffer in the same or similar ways that he has. While they may not know the exact reasons for his vengeful personality, evidently, Gravik is still charismatic and believable enough to sway his fellow Skrulls to his side and amass a sizable fighting force. Simply put, he's not someone to mess with.

"Secret Invasion" is available to stream exclusively on Disney+.