After comedian Chris D’Elia was accused of sexual misconduct, Zack Snyder made the decision to digitally replace his role in “Army of the Dead” with an unusual choice: Tig Notaro.
Notaro had never done major stunt work before (she’s done some light action scenes on “Star Trek: Discovery”). But she found herself pretending she was piloting a helicopter while evading a zombie as well as learning how to handle a prop machine gun in Snyder’s film. And because she was digitally replacing another actor who shot his footage months earlier, she had to act largely on her own in front of green screens and without any other actors.
Both Notaro and Snyder in an interview with Vulture detailed the elaborate work it took to sub Notaro into “Army of the Dead.” And it was a choice that paid off, because Tig found herself trending on Twitter after images of her chomping on a cigarillo and decked out in military garb went viral.
“My phone started blowing up: ‘You’re trending on Twitter! Everybody’s talking about how you’re sexy AF,’ ” Notaro told Vulture Tuesday. “I was so confused. I really thought there was going to be a backlash from me replacing Chris. I didn’t think I was going to be trending for being a badass.”
Notaro was first concerned about trying to replicate what D’Elia did, saying that the two are completely different actors and comedians.
“I honestly thought, regardless of what’s going on in his personal life, that his performance was excellent. But Zack said, ‘We want you to do exactly what you do.’ And, in turn, that’s all I did,” Notaro said.
But Notaro is actually much shorter than D’Elia, so Tig couldn’t simply replicte D’Elia’s movements exactly. So D’Elia had to be completely digitally removed, and shots and angles had to be recreated so that her new movements and dialogue matched up with the other actors in the film.
What’s more she did these scenes nearly all herself, only occasionally leaning on her assistant while he was wearing a green suit. Snyder even presented Notaro with a fake Oscar statuette for Best Out-of-Focus actor.
“Because I was the only one on set, I started to think I was the star of the movie. Then I told Zack that I realized, Oh, not only am I not the star, but a lot of these shots are me blurred out in the background,” she joked.