Study Guide

Deadpool Cast

  • Deadpool / Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds)

    Before Ajax gets his sadistic hands on him, Wade Wilson is just your average, run-of-the-mill New York City mercenary with a loving fiancée and terminal cancer. You know the type.

    Once his mutant abilities are unleashed and he adopts his Deadpool alter ego, though, it's not just his healing powers and reflexes that are cranked up to 11. Everything else is, too: his ego, his pain, and, especially, his mouth.

    Merc with a Mouth

    Deadpool's mouth is incredibly foul. Nothing is off limits, and that's established from the opening credits that bear his distinctive editorial eye and refer to director Tim Miller as "Some Douchebag" and star Ryan Reynolds as "God's Perfect Idiot." Monologues, random thoughts, and pop culture references—he just can't help himself. Some of his jokes land; others, not so much.

    Still others are so pop, so current, that we have to assume they probably won't stand the test of time. Check out how Deadpool explains love to Dopinder, for example:

    DEADPOOL: Love is a beautiful thing. When you find it, the whole world tastes like Daffodil Daydream. So you've gotta hold onto love tight—
    Deadpool grips Dopinder's finger. Dopinder winces.
    DEADPOOL: And never let go. Don't make the same mistakes I did. Got it?
    DOPINDER: Yeah.
    DEADPOOL: Or else the whole world tastes like Mama June after hot yoga.

    Hopefully, a Mama June reference will be lost on the next generation of comic book movie buffs. Actually, we're kind of hoping it's lost on you right now. Either way, Deadpool's success rate as a comedian is entirely subjective. No two people find all of the exact same things funny. Just ask your cousin who "doesn't get" Monty Python.

    Deadpool also lacks a filter. If he thinks it, he says it, and his mouth gets him in trouble. This is most evident in Ajax's workshop when Deadpool—then still Wade—ruins not one but two of Ajax's attempts at evil monologues by telling him he has food in teeth:

    AJAX: You're never going home after this. Now there's a brave face.
    WADE: Wait, wait. Seriously; you actually have something in your teeth now.

    Ajax is trying to have a super-villain moment here, and Wade shuts him down with exasperating disrespect. Ajax later pays Wade back by dangling a cure in front of his face and giving him a second run in the torture tank that turned him into a giant flesh-toned avocado:

    AJAX: I've cured you, Wade. Now your mutated cells can heal anything. It's attacking your cancer as fast as it can form. Yeah, I've seen similar side effects before. I could cure them, but where's the fun in that? Now, I'm gonna shut you in again, Wade; not because I need to—because I want to.

    Those harsh words show you precisely how much of a liability Wade's mouth can be for him. We'll never know for sure if Ajax would've promised Wade a non-existent cure had Wade not continuously mocked him during his entire stay at the Weapon X workshop, but we're pretty confident that Ajax wouldn't have shut him in the tank for another round of torture just because he could.

    Mr. Wilson, Tear Down This Wall

    Deadpool doesn't just make jokes; he's in on the joke, too. He's the living, breathing, sword-wielding commentary track to his own movie, and he wastes no time in breaking the fourth wall, buddying up to the audience, and turning his sardonic lens on himself.

    DEADPOOL: Oh, hello. I know, right? Whose balls did I have to fondle to get my very own movie? I can't tell you, but it does rhyme with "Polverine."

    Okay, so he turns it on himself and Marvel's most enduring movie star, Wolverine.

    That's the thing: Deadpool reserves some of his harshest barbs and most cutting critiques for 20th Century Fox, the studio that produced his very movie, as well as for the comic book movie genre itself. When Deadpool stops by the X-Men's mansion to enlist the help of Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, for example, he takes a jab at the notoriously small budget given to Deadpool:

    DEADPOOL: It's a big house. It's funny that I only ever see two of you. It's almost like the studio couldn't afford another X-Man.

    They probably could; they just didn't want to. In 2016, Deadpool the comic book character was a cult sensation, but as a movie character, he was a completely unproven commodity, and popularity on the page doesn't always translate to big box office returns. Just ask Ryan Reynolds circa 2011. If Green Lantern hadn't been a massive flop, we might not have a Deadpool movie for Deadpool to mock in the first place.

    OMG. He's, Like, So Superficial.

    Deadpool may be the only top-tier comic book character who regularly breaks the fourth wall, but that's not the only thing that sets him apart from most of his super-powered peers. He's also selfish and superficial, two qualities that you'd never use to describe Superman or Cyclops.

    The main plot of Deadpool centers upon Deadpool's mission to catch Ajax and make him repair his deformed face. Deadpool's motivated to do this because he thinks it's the only way to get back together with Vanessa, the fiancée he left in the middle of the night so (according to him) she wouldn't have to see him die a painful death due to cancer:

    WADE: Listen, we both know that cancer is a s***-show. Like, a Yakov-Smirnoff-opening-for-the-Spin-Doctors-at-the-Iowa-State-Fair s***-show. And under no circumstances will I take you to that show. I want you to remember me, not the Ghost of Christmas Me.
    VANESSA: Well, I wanna remember us.
    WADE: I swear to God I will find you in the next life, and I'm gonna boom-box "Careless Whisper" outside your window. Wham!
    VANESSA: No one is boom-boxing s***, okay? We can fight this.

    By all accounts, Vanessa is in this for the long haul. Still, Wade pushes her away. If she doesn't want him to leave, why is he leaving? Because he doesn't want her to see him meet an undignified end. Wade ditching Vanessa without so much as a goodbye isn't a measure to protect her; it's self-preservation. When they're reunited at the end of the movie, Vanessa is ticked off, and with good reason. He blew up their relationship to save himself. It's an understandable move, but it's still fundamentally selfish.

    Deadpool also assumed Vanessa was really, really shallow. Underlying his seemingly romantic quest to "get the girl" is the fact that he thinks Vanessa will only take him back if he gets his face fixed. He spends most of the movie letting her think he's dead and stalking her because he's certain that Vanessa will find him grotesque as is. We don't about you, but we think that's selling Vanessa pretty short.

    As their reunion at the end of the film proves, Deadpool's had it wrong; he may be mourning the loss of his handsome mug, but she's just not that superficial. Check out what happens when Deadpool removes his mask and shows Vanessa his new face:

    VANESSA: Wow.
    DEADPOOL: Yeah.
    VANESSA: Hey. After a brief adjustment period and a bunch of drinks, it's a face…I'd be happy to sit on.

    So what if Wade looks like a pound of ground chuck? He's alive and cancer-free! And underneath all that gnarly skin is still the man Vanessa wanted to marry before he pulled the ultimate Irish goodbye.

    King of the Antiheroes

    Let's recap: Deadpool is vulgar, violent, pop culture-obsessed, and self-centered. In other words, he's a postmodern superhero sired by selfie culture. He has a lot to say, about everything, and he thinks we want to hear it—maybe even that we need to hear it. He expresses himself through crude jokes and acrobatic carnage, always with a clever insult and his trademark "maximum effort." He plays by his own morally questionable rules and can self-justify any move he makes accordingly, no matter how shallow, egocentric, or downright nasty. He's motivated by love and vanity and has few, if any, regrets.

    In short, Deadpool's the brutal, bloody king of the antiheroes masquerading as the wisecracking court jester.

  • Vanessa (Morena Baccarin)

    It's ironic that, on their first date, Wade tells Vanessa that he wants to get to know her, "not the short-shorted, two-dimensional sex object peddled by Hollywood." By the end of the film, that's exactly what she becomes: a cardboard damsel in distress.

    It's Like Wade Made Her in a Computer

    She doesn't start out so banal, though. When we first meet Vanessa, she's obviously not the typical superhero girlfriend.

    For starters, she's a prostitute. It's hard to imagine Captain America or Ant-Man dating a call girl; just sayin.' Secondly, she's just as warped as Wade. Check out what passes for banter and bonding between them the night they meet:

    WADE: So you, uh, bump fuzzies for money?
    VANESSA: Yep.
    WADE: Rough childhood?
    VANESSA: Rougher than yours. Daddy left before I was born.
    WADE: Daddy left before I was conceived.
    VANESSA: Ever had a cigarette put out on your skin?
    WADE: Where else do you put one out?
    VANESSA: I was molested.
    WADE: Me too. Uncle.
    VANESSA: Uncles. They took turns.
    WADE: I watched my own birthday party through the keyhole of a locked closet, which also happens to be my—
    VANESSA: Your bedroom. Lucky. I slept in a dishwasher box.
    WADE: (Gasps) You had a dishwasher. I didn't even know sleep. It was pretty much 24/7 ball gags, brownie mix, and clown porn.
    Vanessa laughs.
    VANESSA: Who would do such a thing?
    WADE: Hopefully you, later tonight?

    They hit it off, at least in part, because Vanessa is just as crazy and just as quick as Wade is. She has no problem matching miseries with him in the middle of a seedy bar. She also makes it clear from the get-go that she can handle herself. When another bar patron gets fresh with her and Wade tries to intervene, Vanessa steps in and handles the jerk herself, grabbing him in a very sensitive area and demanding an apology:

    VANESSA: Say the magic words, Fat Gandalf.
    BUCK: I'm sorry.

    Vanessa brings that fighting spirit to Wade's cancer diagnosis, too. While Wade is cynical and accepting of his fate, Vanessa gathers brochures for far-off clinics trying experimental treatments. Things may get nasty, but she doesn't plan on going anywhere—and she doesn't plan on letting Wade disappear, either:

    VANESSA: …You're not going anywhere. Drink.
    Vanessa hands him a glass.
    WADE: You're right. Cancer is only in my liver, lungs, prostate, and brain. All things I can live without.
    He drinks. It tastes terrible.
    VANESSA: You belong here at home, surrounded by your Voltron and your Bernadette and your me.

    That doesn't stop Wade from leaving, of course, and Vanessa herself disappears from the narrative almost entirely at that point. When Wade first tries to reconnect with her in the film's final act, we learn that she's working as a waitress in a strip club, and Wade bails on talking to her. So much for not being a short-shorted, two-dimensional sex object.

    The Princess is in Another Castle

    The narrative doubles down on its diminishment of Vanessa when Ajax kidnaps her and holds her hostage at the shipyard. Ajax locks her into the torture tank, and we see her suspended there like a carrot for Deadpool, catapulting her straight into the Comic Book Ladies in Peril Club, right alongside Mary Jane Watson, Vicki Vale, and Lois Lane. Vanessa may be able to quote the Star Wars trilogy at will, but for all of her geeky dream girl street cred, she's ultimately a flat character that manages to mix two film tropes into one attractive package: She's both a hooker with a heart of gold and a damsel in distress.

  • Ajax / Francis (Ed Skrein)

    Here's a tip: Anybody who rebrands him- or herself after a figure from Greek mythology is probably bad news. If you're at the county fair on a Friday night, and you hit it off with a Minos, Hera, or Tantalus, just put down your funnel cake and run away, 'mkay?

    Ajax, formerly known as Francis, is the maddest of mad scientists. We mean that in the sense that he's crazy and sadistic, but also in the sense that he's mad at the world, which he feels hasn't given him his due. That's why he renames himself Ajax, after the towering Greek warrior. "Francis" doesn't sound powerful, but "Ajax" does. Kind of.

    Despite his smooth British accent, Ajax doesn't exactly ooze charisma—although, to be fair, when you're teeing off against the Merc with a Mouth, there's only so much magnetism (and dialogue) to go around. Ajax isn't trying to charm anybody, either; he wants respect, and Wade, like so many others (we presume), simply won't give it to him, even when they're at the Weapon X workshop and Ajax has Wade strapped to a gurney. Wade's utterly defenseless, and yet he repeatedly mocks Ajax, even going so far as to hijack not one, but two meaty bad guy monologues by telling Ajax he has food in his teeth:

    AJAX: You're never going home after this. Now there's a brave face.
    WADE: Wait, wait. Seriously; you actually have something in your teeth now.

    Whether it's imaginary spinach in the teeth or revealing that Ajax is really named Francis in front of the other patients and Ajax's practically mute right-hand woman, Angel Dust (Gina Carano), all of Wade's teasing irritates Ajax something fierce. His torture tank triggers Wade's mutant DNA, and Wade's endless mockery triggers Ajax's sadism. Check it out:

    AJAX: I've cured you, Wade. Now your mutated cells can heal anything. It's attacking your cancer as fast as it can form. Yeah, I've seen similar side effects before. I could cure them, but where's the fun in that? Now, I'm gonna shut you in again, Wade; not because I need to—because I want to.

    Because he wants to? Yikes. Hurting others makes Ajax feel like he's powerful and in control—although Ajax claims that he can't feel anything. He, too, was once a subject in the Weapon X lab. We'll let him explain:

    AJAX: I was a patient here once myself, you know. The treatment affects everyone differently…In my case, it enhanced my reflexes; also scorched my nerve ends, so I no longer feel pain. And, in fact, I no longer feel anything.

    The fact that Ajax gets run through with a sword and survives proves that he doesn't feel pain. We're not so sure that he doesn't feel anything, though. If Ajax truly doesn't feel anything, he wouldn't enjoy his job as the CEO of torturing, he wouldn't be so infuriated by Wade, and he wouldn't relish being so downright evil.

  • Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Stefan Kapicic and Brianna Hildebrand)

    When it comes to Deadpool, Colossus just doesn't know how to quit. While his laconic protégé Teenage Negasonic Warhead looks on—or, you know, just looks at her phone—he tries and tries to recruit Deadpool for the X-Men. But it's pretty clear that Deadpool's just not that into them.

    Don't Stop Believin'

    Colossus is too hardheaded to give up on Deadpool, though, and we're not just saying that because he's made out of "organic steel." Colossus believes that underneath all that sarcasm and gore, lies the heart of a hero. That's why he and Negasonic Teenage Warhead race down to the accident site to remove Deadpool from the situation.

    He also believes that for Deadpool to behave the way he does is an abuse of his mutant abilities. When he shows up at the blood-and-guts-filled scene of the accident, he chastises Deadpool:

    COLOSSUS: You've been warned before, Deadpool. This is a shameful and reckless use of your powers.

    Colossus serves as a foil to Deadpool's twisted code of ethics. Where Deadpool is brutal and more than willing to play dirty, Colossus is noble and virtuous. He seems to truly believe in Deadpool and, while he may not agree with the madness of Deadpool's methods, he remains loyal to him. Case in point: he and Negasonic Teenage Warhead agree to serve as Deadpool's allies in the shipyard fight against Ajax. Even when Deadpool has Ajax dead to rights, Colossus has faith in Deadpool and considers him capable of doing what's right and sparing Ajax's life:

    COLOSSUS: Four or five moments. That's all it takes.
    COLOSSUS: Be a hero. Everyone thinks it's a full-time job. Wake up a hero. Brush your teeth a hero. Go to work a hero. Not true. Over a lifetime, there are only four or five moments that really matter. Moments when you're offered a choice, to make a sacrifice, conquer a flaw, save a friend, spare an enemy. In these moments, everything else falls away. The way the world sees us, the way we—
    Deadpool shoots Ajax in the head. Colossus vomits.
    COLOSSUS: Why?
    DEADPOOL: You were droning on.

    Of course, the fact that Colossus never gives up on the idea of Deadpool going straight means he's frequently the straight main to Deadpool's jokes. Negasonic Teenage Warhead, on the other hand, exists to fight, stare at her smartphone, and be thoroughly underwhelmed by Deadpool—and especially his sense of humor that skews heavily toward '90s pop culture. Deadpool is mouthy and manic in his middle-age; Negasonic Teenage Warhead is the uber-teen: unmoved and indifferent.

    A Link to the Days of Future Past (and All the Other X-Movies, Too)

    Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead also play one other important role in Deadpool: They connect Deadpool to the X-Men and the greater Marvel universe. It's a running gag in the movie that these two B-level mutants were the best the movie studio could afford. (Okay, so Negasonic Teenage Warhead is more like a D-list mutant; no offense, girl.) Check out this jab Deadpool makes at 20th Century Fox when he stops by the X-Men's mansion to recruit Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead:

    DEADPOOL: It's a big house. It's funny that I only ever see two of you. It's almost like the studio couldn't afford another X-Man.

    In typical Deadpool fashion, the pot-shots at Marvel and the X-Men don't stop there. He suggests that he had to perform, uh, favors for Wolverine in order to get his own movie, and when Colossus suggest that they go talk to Professor X, Deadpool calls out the X-Men films' complicated chronology:

    COLOSSUS: Let us go talk to the Professor.
    DEADPOOL: McAvoy or Stewart? These timelines are so confusing.

    Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead play a small role in Deadpool, but it's a multi-faceted one. They serve as Deadpool's conscience, his sounding board, and his sidekicks in both combat and comedy. Together, they're the Chewbacca to his Han Solo and the Patrick to his SpongeBob.

  • Weasel and Blind Al (T. J. Miller and Leslie Uggams)

    You know the old saying: Behind every super hero, there's a dorky bartender and a blind senior citizen.

    What? Like we're the only ones who've ever heard that chestnut before?

    Weasel and Blind Al are Wade's support system. They're minor characters, but each has Wade's back, albeit in their own unique way. As a BFF, Weasel's best attribute is the fact that he can sling shots of realism just as fast as he can tequila. When Wade shows up, fresh from the Weapon X workshop, cancer-free(!) but disfigured and feeling sorry for himself, Weasel cuts through the self-pity and gets practical:

    WEASEL: Yeah, well you gotta do something to remedy this because as of now, you only have one course of action.
    WADE: Damn straight. Find Francis.
    WEASEL: Star in horror films.

    When Wade rejects that idea, it's Weasel who quickly brainstorms the basic tenets of Deadpool's revenge plot:

    WEASEL: …But the douchebag does think you're dead, right?
    WADE: Yeah
    WEASEL: That's good. You should keep it that way.
    WADE: What, like wear a mask?
    WEASEL: Yes. A very thick mask. All the time. I am sorry. You are…haunting. Your face is the stuff of nightmares.
    WADE: Like a testicle with teeth.
    WEASEL: You will die alone. I mean, if you could die. Ideally, for others' sake.
    WADE: That'll do.

    Weasel's help may be tempered by near-constant insults, but that doesn't make his advice any less useful. He's a smart aleck who cares. It's Weasel who points out how warm-blooded Wade is for a mercenary. He tries to substitute immune system-boosting wheat grass shots for Wade's usual Patrón, too.

    When Wade needs to round up all the weapons and ammunition he can for his shipyard showdown with Ajax, Weasel helps with that, too. Then he doesn't mince words about the fact that he has zero intent of accompanying Wade into battle:

    WEASEL: Wade, I'd go with you, but I don't want to.

    While Weasel aids Wade by keeping things real, Blind Al supports Wade by letting him vent. Like Weasel, she also delights in giving Wade a hard time, and he gives it right back. Check out this exchange that goes down when Wade returns to their shared apartment, minus the hand he cut off to escape Colossus after Ajax escaped:

    BLIND AL: Why such a douche this morning?
    DEADPOOL: Let's recap. The cock thistle that turned me into this freak slipped through my arms today.
    Deadpool pauses and looks at his missing hand.DEADPOOL: Arm. Catching him was only chance to be hot again, get my super sexy ex back, and prevent this s*** from happening to someone else.

    At times, these two bicker like an old married couple. We mean, it's not any married couple we've ever met, but there's an honest easiness to their relationship that illustrates their closeness. Wade and Blind Al lean on each other, sometimes literally.

    These unlikely roommates give each the support they need to recover from yet another confrontation with their respective nemeses: for him, a sadistic scientist; for her, a sadistic shelf from IKEA.