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Freddie Stroma Reveals James Gunn's One Condition For Getting Cast As Vigilante In Peacemaker - Exclusive

Actor Freddie Stroma has had the good fortune of going on many extraordinary adventures in his career, landing such coveted roles as Hogwarts' wizarding student Cormac McLaggen in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" in 2009. After reprising the role in both parts of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in 2010 and 2011, Stroma starred in such films as "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" in 2016, as well as TV series including as ABC's "Time After Time" in 2017, and Netflix's "Bridgerton" in 2020.

Most recently, Stroma stars as Adrian Chase, aka Vigilante, opposite John Cena's title character in HBO Max's "Peacemaker" — writer-director James Gunn's first spinoff series from his DC Comics adaptation of "The Suicide Squad." And while another actor was initially cast and left the role of Vigilante, Gunn luckily found Stroma, whose winning behavior while filming the role of Luke, the hunky college DJ in the music comedy "Pitch Perfect" came into play when it was time for Gunn to cast him as Vigilante.

Stroma says passing Gunn's 'a****le check' landed him his Peacemaker role

Like many actors do on any given project, Stroma auditioned to play Vigilante on "Peacemaker." As it turns out, showing his ability to play the role was only one of the requirements he met for Gunn before getting hired. Stroma was also subjected to a background check of sorts about his previous on-set behavior, so Gunn spoke to his friend, Elizabeth Banks, who produced and starred in "Pitch Perfect."

"I read for two scenes and then got a call that James Gunn wanted to call me, which was a very cool phone call to get," recalled Stroma for Looper in an exclusive interview. "Then it was another callback. We did multiple scenes, and then he was like, 'I spoke to Elizabeth Banks,' because we did 'Pitch Perfect' together and knew each other."

At that point, Stroma's good guy behavior was validated: "As James said, he was like, 'I did an a****le check," Stroma said, laughing. "He was like, 'You always make sure, just in case.' I passed that, which is good. It was crazy to suddenly be working with James Gunn."

The moral of the story, the actor added, is be a good person at work and the opportunities will come to you.

"[It's a] good life lesson. In general, don't be an a*****le," Stroma noted with a smile.

The first seven episodes of "Peacemaker" are streaming exclusively on HBO Max, with the season finale set to drop Thursday, February 17.