Many dream of making their way to Hollywood and working on a Marvel blockbuster, but for Aussie actor Remy Hii that dream is very much a reality.
After starring in local series like Neighbours and Better Man, Hii scored roles on franchises like Crazy Rich Asians, The Princess Switch 3 and Spider-Man: Far From Home, making a name for himself as one to watch in both Australia and Hollywood.
Ahead of Hii’s next guest appearance at Oz Comic-Con, Gizmodo Australia chatted to the actor about his biggest roles.
When it came to getting started on the big screen, Hii admitted there was no such thing as an overnight success.
“I’d always had my sights set on international work,” Hii said.
“As much as I love Australia and I really believe in telling Australian stories, I kind of wanted to do as much as I could do here. Then I was tripping out to America every year doing the Hollywood thing, where you go and meet as many people as you can.
“I got a great agent in the States. Then it was just years of really hard work trying to make those connections, and just auditioning, auditioning, auditioning.”
One instance where Hii’s hard work really paid off was when he was cast in Marvel Studios’ blockbuster sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Hii said the process moved incredibly fast between auditioning and filming the movie.
“It was like within five days of putting in the tape we were getting on a plane to film for seven months. It was a whirlwind.”
Hii’s character Brad Davis became embroiled in a love triangle in the film as he competed with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) for MJ’s (Zendaya) affections.
The actor explained he signed a three-picture deal to play the character but ultimately didn’t return in the 2021 sequel Spider-Man: No Way Home.
“The option was always, always there for Brad to return. I think that this last film, though, told a very different story,” Hii explained.
“It’s kind of moving away from what we did in [Spider-Man: Far From Home], which was this great sort of high school movie, but this is now Peter’s journey outside of high school. So it made sense for Brad not to appear.”
If Brad had appeared in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Hii thinks his character would’ve felt very satisfied that Peter’s secret identity had finally been revealed.
“When Peter got unmasked as Spider-Man, I think that would have been such a moment of vindication [for Brad]. He would just be there going ‘I told you so!'”
Even though he hasn’t returned for another Marvel movie yet, Hii said he wouldn’t hesitate to take on more superhero films. Luckily, there’s no shortage of them with a new comic book adaptation coming out almost every month of the year.
“I think that comic book stories are such great devices for us to explore themes that are almost Shakespearean, but through a really accessible consumable modern-day lens,” he said.
The actor even has a dream role in mind.
“I just watched The Batman the other day, it’s a really interesting take,” Hii said. “Since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to play Robin or Nightwing.
“I just love the fact that he’s got a darker edge to him. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and he’s more than just a sidekick.”
Paging Matt Reeves.
Hii described the animated series as “Game of Thrones-esque” in terms of its approach to politics and said that being a part of it all is still a “pinch me” moment.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen animation quite like that. It’s sort of up there with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in terms of the animation quality. It’s so cool,” he said.
Hii’s character in Arcane, Marcus, is the sheriff of the Piltover Police Department who spends a large part of the series hiding his corrupt nature.
Despite this, Hii described Marcus as “more than just a crooked cop” and loved the idea that no one in Arcane was just a villain.
“For Marcus, he’s doing everything to keep his daughter safe. He makes some really, really questionable decisions. Things that, from an outside perspective, aren’t necessarily the right thing to do,” he explained.
“But what would you do if it was the life of someone you love at stake? How far down the rabbit hole would you go? That was a really, really great thing to play with.”
Hii said that while Marcus’ character arc was cemented early on, he still had “a lot of chats” with the creative team, particularly creators Christian Linke and Alex Yee.
“For me, it wasn’t so much about where we want to take Marcus, because we already know where we’ve got to get to, but it’s more like how do we get him there? How is he going to approach the scene?” Hii explained.
“The interesting part is keeping him relatable, not necessarily likeable.”
Hii explained he recorded all his lines for Arcane at Riot’s HQ in Los Angeles. Even though Marcus interacts with a lot of different characters in the show, the recording sessions were done solo.
“In voice animation, you’re working in isolation, you never meet the other actors. I had no idea who was going to be playing the other characters in the scene with me,” he said.
“When I watched it for the first time, I was like, ‘oh my god’, I’m doing the scene with Katie Leung! I had no idea.”
Hii’s hard work isn’t stopping there. Coming up he has a new animated film, a play with the Sydney Theatre Company and a role in season 2 of the ABC’s Aftertaste.
He also has an appearance at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane, returning for another round after appearing at the shows in Sydney and Melbourne last year.
Having been bombarded by fans once before at San Diego Comic Con, Hii said that he loves the vibe at comic conventions.
“You walk away feeling exhausted but energised at the same time. It’s the infectious quality of people’s love for all things comics,” he said.
Oz Comic-Con is taking place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on March 26-27, 2022.