If you’re going to take on Nick Fury, you best be strong and smart enough to do it. For Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Gravik, the insurgent leader at the core of “Secret Invasion,” the key to being able to be those things was to also be entirely void of emotional connections.
Two episodes into Marvel’s new series, now streaming on Disney+, it’s abundantly clear that Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) isn’t the Fury we once knew. He’s been changed by the blip and is clearly no longer “the spy,” as Tony Stark once referred to him. Still, he needs to step up to take on Gravik, a skrull who has become disillusioned by the promises of Fury and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and has orchestrated an invasion of massive scale.
Speaking to TheWrap ahead of the series premiere, Ben-Adir teased that over the course of the show’s six episodes, fans will learn why Gravik is so disconnected from everyone. But, just on a base level, he decided the skrull needed to be “as unsentimental as possible” if he was going to be a villain worthy of Nick Fury.
“I think, in order for him to be a satisfying villain, or a villain that holds the appropriate tension to really create someone who Fury has to come up against in a real way — and thematically speaking, the show is trying to tap into trust. Who can you trust?” he explained.
“For me I was like, well, on the subject of trust, really, what happened?” he continued. “What would happen if Gravik is a guy, at this point, who trusts no one and consequently feels no love for anyone or anything? And that we’re meeting him at a point where the feeling of being let down time and time again by leaders or people in charge has, like, hit a breaking point and now he’s like, I trust me and just me.”
That said, Ben-Adir admitted that even in a fictional setting, staring down Jackson is a bit daunting.
“I needed a good amount of warming up,” he said with a chuckle. “And just a good amount of prep. Just make sure you know your lands, and know that the first one or two takes might be a little bit off, or a little bit shaky. But Sam’s great and like he’s with you, and he’s super present and really generous. You’ve got as many go as you need with him. He is right there.”
You can watch TheWrap’s full interview with Kingsley Ben-Adir in the video above.
“Secret Invasion” is now streaming on Disney+.