Dead­pool dancer has to tough it out

Mov­ing in the su­per­hero cos­tume ‘felt like a night­mare,’ video per­former says

Ottawa Citizen - - YOU - VICTORIA AHEARN

With a hip-sway­ing strut, grace­ful turns and ex­treme leg lifts, Ya­nis Mar­shall makes it look easy to dance in a Dead­pool cos­tume and heels.

But do­ing so in Ce­line Dion’s new Ashes mu­sic video for the Dead­pool 2 sound­track was any­thing but, he ad­mits.

“The suit is the worst ever,” Mar­shall said dur­ing a re­cent stop in Toronto to teach a dance work­shop.

“It felt like a night­mare. Don’t get me wrong, the suit is beau­ti­fully made — it’s beau­ti­ful, it’s wow — but it’s def­i­nitely not meant to dance in.

“It’s about 100 de­grees in­side of that and it’s just re­ally hard to move in. You can’t re­ally breathe and you can’t re­ally see any­thing.”

Mar­shall’s ap­pear­ance in the video has made a huge splash, with many fans ini­tially won­der­ing if Cana­dian Dead­pool star Ryan Reynolds was ac­tu­ally the one per­form­ing the con­tem­po­rary rou­tine on­stage at The Colos­seum at Cae­sars Palace in Las Ve­gas.

Reynolds quickly cleared that up on so­cial me­dia, giv­ing a huge shout-out to Mar­shall, a French dancer and chore­og­ra­pher who was a fi­nal­ist on Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent in 2014.

“The whole Dead­pool danc­ing in heels — that was ac­tu­ally not my idea. That was Ryan’s idea,” Mar­shall said.

“I talked to him on set and he said that he wanted to find a way to in­volve me for quite some time. He knew me through his wife, Blake (Lively) ... She’s the one that showed him my videos and things like that in the past.”

Mar­shall is a YouTube sen­sa­tion who has ap­peared on the French ver­sion of Danc­ing with the Stars as an artis­tic coach, and chore­ographed Cirque du Soleil’s Zu­man­ity show in Las Ve­gas. His mother was a dance in­struc­tor and taught him at an early age.

He spe­cial­izes in danc­ing in heels, par­tic­u­larly an­kle boots, “for only one rea­son — it’s be­cause I have man feet, so I don’t like open shoes,” he said.

When 20th Cen­tury Fox asked him to be in the Dion mu­sic video, helmed by Dead­pool 2 di­rec­tor David Leitch, he was ini­tially skep­ti­cal.

“It wasn’t the idea so much, it was me. I was like, ‘Me, in a Dead­pool suit? I don’t know,’ ” Mar­shall said.

“I don’t even watch those kinds of movies. I watch Pretty Wo­man and Thelma and Louise. But it in­volves Ce­line and I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s give it a shot.”’

Mar­shall said he’s been a fan of the Que­bec singer all his life, cit­ing her 1995 hit Pour que tu m’aimes en­core as his favourite song of hers.

“Grow­ing up as a French boy, I was a fan of her be­fore Amer­i­cans knew her,” he said.

So when he fi­nally got to meet her on the Ashes set, it felt like a “bit of a blur.”

“She’s ac­tu­ally re­ally, re­ally sweet — a lit­tle crazy, I will say, but in a good way, and su­per nice,” Mar­shall said with a laugh.

“She just breathes life: She’s alive, she’s au­then­tic but she’s su­per re­spect­ful — and ev­ery­body was on that set.”

For the video, Mar­shall had to dance for about 12 hours, mov­ing all around Dion on­stage as ashes fell on him.

“I was pretty dead when it was done,” he said.

He was thrilled with the end re­sult, es­pe­cially the fi­nal scene when Reynolds ap­pears in char­ac­ter in a com­i­cal bit.

“It turned out re­ally well, but it’s also hi­lar­i­ous,” Mar­shall said.

“And if you know me, I don’t take my­self se­ri­ously at all, so I’m ac­tu­ally the per­fect guy for that.”

He didn’t get to keep the Dead­pool suit, though — not that he would have wanted to, given its lim­i­ta­tions for a dancer.

“The suit came with a body­guard and it’s su­per pro­tected,” Mar­shall said. “They don’t play around.”

20TH CEN­TURY FOX

Dancer and big Ce­line Dion fan Ya­nis Mar­shall — as foul-mouthed su­per­hero Dead­pool — with the Cana­dian singer for the Ashes video. Be­low, a close-up of the well-heeled dancer’s footwear.

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