One Magic Word...
Brandon Molale, The Man Who Would Be Captain
years of attending Comic-Con, I've managed to learn enough
composure to not really have any geek out moments. Yet this
year I reacted with incredible force upon being given the
chance to interview Brandon Molale.
talked about Brandon a little over a month ago, upon discovering
that he was in the running to play Captain Marvel. His publicist
refers to him as "attached." Brandon takes it
with more humility and realism, knowing that anything can
happen -- and we hope it probably will.
day before I was to interview him, he happened to stop right
in front of the Illusive Arts booth. I ran around the table
to introduce myself, and couldn't stop being geeky. This
guy could be Captain Marvel. This guy should
be Captain Marvel.
took him over to the DC booth and introduced him to as many
editors and artists that i could, hoping somewhere someone
would know somebody that could hear of this campaign for
Brandon to play the World's Mightiest Mortal. It turns out
that he already has a fan base doing what they can to make
noise. Add our cheers to the din...
I like that enthusiasm. That's what we need. Good, positive,
yes, man, fanboy enthusiasm.
McCaw: So tell us what you know. You've been
in talks for some time? What's going on with this?
Molale: All I
can say is that I'm very flattered to be considered for
this part. Supposedly it's between me and Duane Johnson,
who people know as The Rock. I say, "here I am." I would
like to play Captain Marvel. I want the fans to voice their
opinion. I want them to say we want a superhero to be a
superhero. We've seen Brandon in Dodgeball
and The Longest Yard and Mr. Deeds and
every other movie under the planet…
McCaw: You've worked with the director currently
attached to the project, Peter Levy…
Brandon Molale: Peter Segal!
McCaw: Peter Segal! Yes, I sometimes get him
confused with Shaun Levy, I know I shouldn't…
Molale: I worked with Shaun Levy, too, on Cheaper
By The Dozen!
McCaw: Ah, so that's where I get confused.
Yeah. That was it.
Molale: Thanks for hiring me, by the way, Shaun. Shaun
hired me because of Mr. Deeds. He said "I love
that character absolutely. " And he put me in his movie.
Alex Ross painted him...
McCaw: So you owe your career to Adam Sandler?
Molale: Absolutely. Adam Sandler cast me. You guys know
me as Kevin Ward, the big, foul-mouthed redneck jerk quarterback
in Mr. Deeds - "no, daddy, nooooo!" That was the
first ever movie, Derek, that I got cast as an actor in.
That started the whole train rolling, and that was back
McCaw: What were you doing before that?
Brandon Molale: I started out as
a non-union extra in this business, like everybody else
does. You've got to start out at the bottom and work your
way up to the top. That's how I got started, and that was
my first big break in Hollywood.
McCaw: You worked with Peter Segal on The Longest
Yard. Have you been talking to Peter at all, slipping notes
under his bed late late at night? Calling up whispering,
"Pete! Pete! Shazam!"
Brandon Molale: (laughs)
I won't go that route. I want the fans out there to say
this is the guy (they) want.
McCaw: So tell me, why do you want to be him?
Molale: Who wouldn't want
to be the Big Red Cheese? Are you kidding me? Come on, it's
McCaw: Nice cred. You knew the nickname.
Brandon Molale: It's America's Mightiest
Mortal. Fans. This is your Captain Marvel right here. I'm
ready to step into the boots.
McCaw: Did you read the books as a kid?
Brandon Molale: I'm reading them
now. I was a big Batman fan. I was a big fan of the Adam
West Batman series. My favorite episode was when they were
in the Batcopter and had to climb down the Batladder and
the shark attaches to his leg…
The inner geek is coming out in me now
as we speak.
McCaw: So you've been reading the books now.
What has appealed to you? Anything surprise you about the
looks a little animated...
Brandon Molale: I like how people
have different takes on him. I really like Alex Ross' side,
what he has to come up with. Jeff Smith, I believe, has
McCaw: So you've read Kingdom Come and Monster
Society of Evil…
Molale: There's so many ways to have him. I just like
that he battles Superman, because who doesn't want to see
Captain Marvel take on the Man of Steel? That's a classic!
McCaw: Did you watch the Shazam! TV show when
you were a kid?
Brandon Molale: I did not.
McCaw: Is this your first time at Comic-Con?
Brandon Molale: It is. I feel right
at home. My head's on a swivel 24/7. You can't walk down
this monstrosity. If you're not here at Comic-Con, you have
no idea how big it actually is. And when you're walking
around…my head is like…my neck actually hurt after yesterday.
I told my woman I have to stop looking around. I have to
focus on staying straight ahead. There's just too much to
McCaw: What display really caught your attention?
Brandon Molale: The people passing
out postcards with me on there. It's my face saying Brandon
Molale for Captain Marvel. That really shocked me. It left
me in a stupor. I have some really great fans out there,
and thank you, guys, for showing the support over the years.
walking up here into this room, people stopped me and said,
"Hey, Brandon, my name's so-and-so, I'm all for you to play
Shazam, I hope you get the role." It's very flattering.
McCaw: That's really surprising you. You had
no idea how much fans want you to be Captain Marvel?
Brandon Molale: The outpour and
the response is amazing. I've had a lot of people since
April of last year contacting me through my site, saying
"hey, Peter Segal's doing this movie, what are your thoughts?"
I mean, my thoughts, I had no idea what
it was about. They'd say "you should play Captain Marvel."
I'm like, "okay, well, absolutely. But that's the first
time I've heard about it…"
I get emails from people all the time asking
what's going on, what's going on. All I know is that my
reps deal with all my contracts. I just come in. If you've
got a contract right now, let's sign it!
McCaw: So you haven't auditioned, you haven't
read for this…
Molale: John August, the screenwriter who did Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory, he's writing the script
right now. All I know is what I read. So your guess is as
good as mine.
ever bring back Fat Billy, I'm there!
McCaw: Let's hope our guess is better. Okay.
I'm going to give you a dramatic reading right now. Just
change back to Billy Batson. You know what to say. Say it.
Brandon Molale: I would say "Shazam,"
but I like "Holy Molale." Isn't that classic? It's right
there, etched in stone. I think they should change it to
that in the script. (laughs)
McCaw: Seventy years of continuity…pffft…why
Molale: Shazam! (click to actually
hear Brandon say it)
But I wouldn't say that. Billy says that.
McCaw: Oh, yes, he does. He has to say it change
back. He channels the lightning.
Brandon Molale: But he doesn't want
to change back. That's what I've heard the conflict is in
the script. I really like that. People don't know this…
McCaw: You're seven?
Brandon Molale: I'm actually eight
and a half.
I got into acting and wanted to be an actor
because of Tom Hanks. I was floored by his performance in
the movie Forrest Gump. For myself, walking out of the theater,
I was so emotionally touched. I couldn't believe this gentleman's
performance had this profound effect on me. I was in awe
of what he had just done to me as an actor. And I said to
myself I want to do that to other people. I want other people
to walk out of movies seeing what I did and let that touch
and affect them.
So I can honestly say that Tom Hanks is
one of the major reasons why I got into acting. So if they
want to go the route with this script, kind of like a Tom
Hanks' Big where he had the conflict of growing up, does
he stay this gentleman or go back to being the thirteen
year old child?
I love the concept of it. I think it's
fantastic. My inner geek and inner child - that's me. I'm
the guy who has every G.I. Joe figure that was ever made,
with the straight arm, non-swivel. I still have those in
storage. I never got rid of them. I am the inner geek. I'm
ready to do this!
McCaw: He is one of us. This is so awesome.
Brandon Molale: I walk amongst the
geeks. But I'm six five, so my head hovers a little above
the crowd, but I still walk amongst.
McCaw: We've got a lot of six fivers, just
not in such good shape, quite honestly.