Last year in Ant-Man, the Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl star Bobby Cannavale played Paxton, the San Francisco Police Department Officer who was engaged to Scott Lang’s ex-wife Maggie. As far as supporting characters go, Paxton fulfilled his role as the guy trying to prevent Scott from committing any more crimes without knowing the full story of his superhero life. On camera the character was well-intentioned (if misguided), but behind the scenes Cannavale was doing his best to annoy director Peyton Reed as much as possible.
Cannavale recounted to EW how, while shooting Ant-Man, he would frequently ask Peyton Reed obnoxious and way too specific questions about his “motivation for everything.” Here’s one of the examples the actor provided:
And then I said, ‘So, I’m standing here, and this tank comes flying out, wouldn’t the debris kill me?’ And, you know, it’s a massive stunt, and there’s ten cameras going, there’s two hundred extras, and I’m screaming ‘Wouldn’t I get hit by the debris?’ And you just hear, over the loudspeaker, ‘No, Cannavale! You’re not going to get hit by the debris! it’s a movie!’ I go, ‘Hold on, hold, hold on. I know it’s a movie, but maybe if I moved to the right a little …’
The scene Bobby Cannvale is referring to is when Hank Pym restored the tank that he’d been keeping as a keychain to full size, allowing him and his daughter Hope to easily escape Cross Technologies right before it exploded. So yeah, as any intelligent person knows, he wouldn’t actually be hurt by any the debris from a building since it, you know, doesn’t exist! Sorry, explaining the joke ruined it, right? As Cannavale later said in the interview, he was just “taking the piss out of the whole thing,” much to the chagrin of everyone else on set.
Peyton Reed also provided his own example of Bobby Cannavale’s unnecessary questions. One of the scenes had the actor asking about whether the camera not having a proper line of sight to a van because a street sign was in the way. As Reed pointed out, the street sign wasn’t the thing meant to be filmed, so not having that line didn’t matter. Yeah, Cannavale has really mastered the art of being unnecessarily inquisitive, but it’s all in good fun.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is only a couple years away, but so far the only characters confirmed to return are Scott, Hope and Hank. However, with Cassie an important part of his life, it’s likely that Paxton and Maggie will return for the sequel. If that happens, then Peyton Reed, who is returning to the director’s chair, can look forward to Bobby Cannavale asking more obnoxious questions.
With or without Officer Paxton, Ant-Man and the Wasp will crawl into theaters on July 6, 2018.