New Brunswick

Actor, former wrestler Robert Maillet lands role in Deadpool 2

Robert Maillet of Sainte-Marie-de-Kent says it has been a thrill to play the role of Sluggo, a mutant mercenary, in the latest Marvel movie starring Ryan Reynolds.

Maillet describes working with superstar Ryan Reynolds on the blockbuster action movie as a 'thrill'

Robert Maillet of Sainte-Marie-de-Kent plays the role of Sluggo, who is in prison alongside Deadpool, in the new movie Deadpool 2, which stars Ryan Reynolds. (20th Century Fox )

Robert Maillet has been keeping a big secret for nearly a year.

The seven-foot-tall actor and former professional wrestler from Sainte-Marie-de-Kent scored a small part in one of the biggest action movies of the year — Deadpool 2.

"This was a great opportunity," Maillet told Information Morning Moncton.

"It was crazy for me ... I knew Deadpool, the first one, was a huge film, a huge hit, and the second one was the most anticipated film of the year. Plus it's a Marvel film as well."

Maillet had to agree not to tell anyone outside his family about his role as Sluggo, a mutant mercenary.

In the film, Sluggo is in a futuristic prison known as the "ice box" with Deadpool, who is played by superstar Ryan Reynolds.

"It was like a glorified Halloween party," Maillet said of the elaborate scenes he filmed in Vancouver for eight days last July and September.

"For me the thrill is working with [Reynolds] ... watching him work, being in character, pitching out lines in each take." 

'It's a huge honour'

Since retiring from professional wrestling in the WWE, Maillet has had roles in many films, including Sherlock Holmes, Pacific Rim and 300.

He worked with Deadpool director David Leitch on the set of 300 back in 2006.

He thought I was going to give it a couple of days to think about it, and I just said 'Yes' before he finished his sentence.- Robert Maillet

At that time, Leitch was part of the stunt team on the movie.

"I even have a picture with him and me on set on my wall ... so it's kind of cool he's turned out to be a big-time action director," Maillet said.

When the two met in Vancouver, Maillet said, he was very nervous, wondering if Leitch wanted him to audition or if he would offer him a role.

After some catching up, Leitch asked Maillet if he would like to play the small part of Sluggo.

"He thought I was going to give it a couple of days to think about it, and I just said 'Yes' before he finished his sentence," Maillet said.

"It's a huge honour ... whatever small role I have in the big film is a big deal, so I said yes right away."

Maillet said watching Reynolds, who is also a writer and producer on the film, work was a thrill. (20th Century Fox/The Associated Press)

Maillet had to contain his excitement and tried not to "act like a geek," but his 13-year-old daughter couldn't keep her emotions in check when he told her the big news.

"I told her and she screamed with glee. The idea that I'd be working with Ryan Reynolds was pretty cool for her."

Maillet made the final cut

Maillet and his daughter saw the movie during opening week at a Moncton theatre.

He knew one of his fight scenes with Deadpool had been cut from the film and was anxious about whether he had made the final cut.

"I was relieved I was in the movie ... when I saw the scene in the film finally last week, I was pretty happy with how it turned out."

Maillet, who stands out in a crowd, said movie-goers at that showing "got their minds blown."

"It was kind of a nice surprise ... see me in the film and then I'm in the audience as well."

Maillet's latest project is a film for Netflix called Polar. It's based on a comic book as well and is about a hitman trying to hunt down another hitman.

He will also be part of of the cast this summer at Pays de la Sagouine in Bouctouche.

Maillet said his character is based on his own life, growing up as a "giant" in the Acadian village.

with files from Information Morning Moncton