Civil War’s scariest character was nearly played by someone else

Civil War’s scariest character was nearly played by someone else

Jesse Plemons plays one of Civil War’s scariest characters — but he was almost played by someone else entirely.

Civil War is already one of the most divisive films of the year, following a group of journalists traveling from New York City to Washington DC across a war-torn America.

The cast is stacked, starring the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, and Nick Offerman — but the most memorable member of the cast is Jesse Plemons as an unnamed ultranationalist militiaman.

Plemons’ role as the cold-blooded gunman is incredibly important, but he wasn’t director Alex Garland’s first choice. The original actor (who he wouldn’t name) dropped out of the movie one week before principal photography began.

“I was standing out on the street when I got the call and I thought, ‘Oh s—. Now, now we’re in trouble,’” Garland told the LA Times, “And so I went to the rehearsal and said ‘Bad news, guys, so and so can’t do it.’ And Kirsten said, ‘What? You should ask Jesse.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, that would be amazing.’”

The director continued, “It was a stunning bit of good luck. That makes it sound like I’m being disrespectful to the other actor. I’m not at all. It’s just the film was very lucky to get Jesse.”

Dunst, who is married to Plemons, reflected on how unnerving she found her husband while he was in character explaining, “I’m going to be very honest — watching him play that role, I was like, ‘Dang, my baby is crushing this role.’ So that’s how I felt. I was like, ‘F**k, he’s a good actor.’ The scenario was very scary, but I wasn’t scared of him. But just looking at the mass grave, all of it around me, was terrifying.”

And Spaeny echoed her co-star’s praise of Plemons’ work as she was acting opposite him as his character’s hostage, saying: “Once we got to that scene, it was very scary for me. So I was down there with Jesse for about half a day with him, completely in character, drilling me, improvising that whole scene. And so by the time we got to the end of that scene, I think we were all really out of it. You do it that many times and it just sort of gets under your skin.”


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Civil War is in cinemas now. You can also check out all of the songs on the soundtrack.

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