Screen Rant talks with Robbie Daymond and Ryan Colt Levy about their characters the villain Flect Turn and hero Rody Soul in World Heroes’ Mission.
Screen Rant had the chance to speak with My Hero Academia’s Movies newest actors Robbie Daymond (Flect Turn) and Ryan Colt Levy (Rody Soul) whose characters debut in the upcoming film World Heroes’ Mission. Both the film’s villain Flect and unsuspecting hero Rody not only play pivotal roles in My Hero Academia’s third movie and serve as additional examples of well-crafted characters who stand among the series’ already highly dynamic cast of heroes and villains.
Much like the conflicted members of the League of Villains who might not be as evil as they appear, Flect isn’t just your average ideological nutcase who fills his warped sermons with religious terms to justify his distorted vision of eliminating the world of quirks through his terrorist organization Humarise. Rody is equally as compelling except viewers are able to witness his evolution firsthand through his dealings with Deku (Justin Briner). Their shared trial begins when they are inadvertently thrust into Humarise’s crosshairs after acquiring crucial information by mistake, forcing them to go into hiding. In a stunning display of Deku’s best qualities, the young hero-in-training’s kindheartedness and purest of intentions effectively shape Rody’s grim outlook on life in a pleasing way that feels natural even though he changes profoundly.
Screen Rant discussed these dynamics with actors Robbie Daymond and Ryan Colt Levy during Funimation’s exclusive press event promoting My Hero Academia’s latest film.
Screen Rant: This is your first foray into My Hero Academia Movies 2021 for both of you. Is this something that you wanted to be a part of, especially in relation to your other anime roles?
Ryan Colt Levy: It’s crazy exciting, just beyond exciting. I have always dreamt of being a part of this without ever expecting to be. So when it actually happened, this is easily, for me, the biggest dream I have ever gotten to experience in my work so far, especially on this scale. I love movies so being able to be part of a movie like this is, yah, my heart is very full.
Robbie Daymond: We are both fans of the show. We both watch it, and that’s always a special experience. We are based in L.A. so, for me, pre-COVID, I sort of wrote off some of the stuff at Funimation. I didn’t have any connection there and all that. I wrote it off in the sense that I didn’t think I would get a chance to be a part of it.
So, COVID is a horrible, terrible thing, but it has opened the doors for some people in terms of remote recording. For me, it was being able to widen the net for casting a bit. To be put in this series, which I have been a fan of for years, and to be able to jump in into a self-contained movie is a-maaaazing.
So, Robbie, Flect is pretty messed up, but you gotta love those ideological characters. Flect, especially, since he truly believes in his cause to the point where he views himself as tainted. What’s your take on him?
Robbie Daymond: I mean, hurt people, hurt people, hurt people, right? You could say he’s an ideologue, but I wonder if that’s true. I never thought about it in that sense. I am not sure that I believe that people are, as a standalone, ideological. I think people are more emotional than that. I think they use ideology to justify their own personal wants or desires. How about them apples?
Ryan Colt Levy: I’m with you. I’m with you with those apples.
Robbie Daymond: I think it’s a bit more lizard brain than that. Give those thoughts and feelings to a smart person…
Ryan Colt Levy: Or an eloquent person.
Robbie Daymond: … or an eloquent person, and they are able to turn them into something beautiful or malicious. For the good people, they funnel it into charity, public works, and other good functions. And then the bad people, like this imaginary person, Flect, try to commit mass genocide. It’s horrible. I think that, when you look at him as a person, that’s how you get away from “Muhahaha! I’m a bad guy out to kill the world!” and just play him as a dude.
Can you expand on what you were talking about earlier about how he’s more than an ideologue?
Robbie Daymond: That’s the truth. It belies to what’s presented to the world. I don’t want to give too much away. When you start to get into the nuts and bolts of what makes Flect tick and why he does the things he does, hopefully, you’ll feel a little bit of sympathy slash empathy for him. But maybe not too much because he still has to reconcile with his actions. It’s interesting. The good thing is that what we’re talking about is complicated, which is what makes a good villain instead of a bad one. That’s why the writing on My Hero Academia is dope.
Ryan your character feels like he’s stuck in his situation and has no other choice but to do shady jobs to take care of his family. But then Deku opens his eyes and he undergoes a massive transformation at the end. What’s it like playing such a multi-faceted character?
Ryan Colt Levy: Oh, man, it’s an absolute gift. As actors, in general, that’s all we want to experience, the full spectrum of a character because that’s what we experience in life. We don’t get to just be one thing and we don’t get to just experience one emotion.
To have the chance to go on a journey like this with Rody is not something I knew I would get to do, honestly ever. The work I get to do is, normally, I show up at things and I get to have my fun. But having something this close to my heart on a character level – especially in a show that I love so dearly, and with a character who is not necessarily one that you have seen before – felt so special for me to be able to experience that. And it’s very personal for me in a beautiful way.
It must be fulfilling to play such a dynamic character who has so many different sides to him. What’s your favorite side of Rody?
Ryan Colt Levy: To avoid spoilers, I think he’s just got such a full spectrum of emotions. No matter what, he’s so playful and vibrant, and I think regardless of what emotion he’s showing, he really is such a big kind of personality while being so real and grounded. I think people are going to really enjoy how expressive he can be.
I know you’re both a fan of the show. Do you guys read ahead in the manga?
Ryan Colt Levy: I haven’t yet.
Robbie Daymond: I’m staying away from the manga intentionally.
Ryan Colt Levy: I don’t like to spoil myself. I’ve been a fan of the show for so long that it’s how I’m used to taking in the content.
Robbie Daymond: Same. I started on the show and read some of the manga. And, nah, I don’t want to be ahead. Sometimes I go ahead. But not for this show.