Black Adam’s Sarah Shahi and Mo Amer Talk Dwayne Johnson’s Performance

With director Jaume Collet-Serra‘s Black Adam Preparing to hit theaters next week which I recently sat down with Sarah Shah and Mo Amer to talk about the production of the highly anticipated DC film. As most of you know Dwayne Johnson and his team worked on it Black Adam film for a decade and the film marks the first time Black Adam has appeared in a film. In the film, you will see his 5000-year-old origin story and why he was imprisoned after using his powers for revenge. Now freed in the modern world, he’s ready to unleash his unique form of justice, but he’s challenged by modern-day heroes who make up the Justice Society: Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone.


During the interview, Shahi and Amer talked about what it was like watching Johnson on set transforming into Black Adam, delivering really tough lines like “just kill them,” what it’s really like to fight creatures, that are added during post-production, and things that might surprise fans when they learn about the making Black Adam.

The film also has stars Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo and Quintessa Swindell. Black Adam was produced by Beau Flynn, Hiram GarciaJohnson and Dany Garcia.

Watch what Sarah Shahi and Mo Amer had to say in the player above, or read our conversation below.

COLLIDER: I want to start by congratulations on the film. It’s gonna be a big hit. I’m sure everyone already knows that. What really surprised me was that I wasn’t sure how hard he was going to go with Dwayne because of his family-friendly nature. But he kills a lot of people doing it, and he really is Black Adam.

SARAH SHAHI: He commits.

He’s in it. And so I’m just for the two of you, if you were a little bit like that, he really kills everyone. All bad guys are just done.

SHAHI: Yes. No, we like that.


SHAHI: Because we want him to erase the inner ties. We want him to kill the bad guys.

America: Sure.

SHAHI: But yeah, I think his performance as Black Adam is just seamless. He has such a great work behind him. But in my opinion he completely disappears in this role. You don’t see Dwayne Johnson. You don’t see The Rock, you don’t see this. You are looking at a fully fledged mythological character, a comic book character that I believe comes to life.

AMER: And the dead pen delivery is like, as a comedian, I was really pleasantly surprised. Right? I didn’t know how he would play it, how he would go about it. When we shot that scene in the apartment, that was the first thing we shot together. And just seeing him deliver such really tough lines and things to say, “Just kill her.” like what Hold tight. It only took me a second to recalibrate and be like, “Oh wow, this is going to be awesome.” Just to see him in it. And you’re right, he’s got it all, he’s obviously got a lot of work to do, but you don’t see The Rock. You really see Black Adam.

I love learning behind the scenes of the making of a film. What do you think you’ll be fans of soon? Black Adam will be surprised to learn about the actual making of the film?

AMER: Ooh, that’s a really good question.

SHAHI: I know. That’s a good question. Just take a look.

AMER: I think the years it took to get there is really fascinating to me. Just like a creator, it is. People just see the final product and they say, “Wow, you know, you did that.” And then when they understand that this has been a 10-year development for DJ. Someone who has had the level of success that he has that is still struggling to work his way through and has the patience to put together such a great team and cast along with all the producers at Warner Brothers is a testament to them. And I think that’s really the heart of the story for me. In the background we just had a ball. We had a ball to make it. We jammed to music the whole time. People regularly hang around my trailer, raid my snacks, sleepovers, BBQs. I think the secret to making something great is chemistry and really being a family. And man, we’re very, very close.

Is there anything you wanted to add?

SHAHI: I mean everything he said yes. Just some kind of manpower needed to get something like this up and running. But then again, I was pretty tickled myself when I learned what it takes to make a film like this. I had never done anything like this. So just the green screen element, it’s a lot. We had fight scenes to do, but there was nobody in front of us either because they were going to be added later as skeletal CGI. So it’s “Huh, huh” over and over again –

AMER: I had a great time. I ruined my wrist. For months I just threw this collie stick everywhere. I thought someone must be there, “Ahh”. i was like a kid And then it was cut and you look around, there’s about 500 people staring at you, just…

SHAHI: Yes, yes, yes.

AMER: You think you’re like, “That was awkward, wasn’t it?” But it was also so much fun.

SHAHI: But yeah, just stuff like that and the green screen and then the cable work. And a lot, there were a few scenes where my character was in an ensemble scene where everyone was there, but for some reason we didn’t have time to shoot my coverage. So we shot everyone else. And when it came to my close-ups, no one could be there for me. So I had to do a lot of my scenes on a wall, basically, or just a golf ball that someone would move around to play.

AMER: tennis balls.

SHAHI: Tennis balls. And that’s how it was, I don’t know, but-

AMER: This is really challenging and proof that Sarah is just such a phenomenal artist and-

SHAHI: Well, I don’t know about that, but I’m just-

AMER: Well, it’s true.

SHAHI: I don’t know anything about that.

AMER: No you have to, you have to use your imagination while going through something like this.

SHAHI: I’m saying that’s something I feel like, if I had seen that behind the scenes, whatever, I wouldn’t have thought of it. “Oh wow. So she was alone when she did that. huh? Cool.”

I have to change diapers. I’m just going to say people would… people don’t really know what it takes behind the scenes to plan with this kind of stuff. It’s just crazy how films are made.

America: Sure.

SHAHI: I know, I know.

AMER: No, there’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of moving parts. And you just have to go along with it and don’t have time to say, “Can I have a second?” no


AMER: This will cause a domino effect.


AMER: You better be ready.

SHAHI: Your second one will cost me a million dollars. Let’s go.

Amber: Exactly.

In this sense, congratulations. I know it’s gonna be a big hit.

Black Adam opens in cinemas on October 21st. Black Adam’s Sarah Shahi and Mo Amer Talk Dwayne Johnson’s Performance

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