To say that Daniela Melchior’s chances were slim when she sent in an audition tape to play the rodent pied piper Ratchcatcher 2 in The Suicide Squad, which just hit both theaters and HBO Max, would be an understatement. For starters, the 24-year-old up-and-comer only did so out of fear that her manager would fire her. “I was really, really new in the industry, so I thought that would be possible,” she recalls with a laugh over Zoom.
Still wondering if it was a ploy to attract viewers in her native Portugal, Melchior eventually showed up to the screen test in what her managers guessed was Stateside protocol: full glam. The moment she walked in, director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran later told her, the pair “looked at each other and were like, ‘No.’” It turns out Melchior’s first-ever departure from her bare-faced, toned-down appearance at auditions was an unfortunate fit for a superhero whose secret power is literally to harness the power of sewer rats.
Fortunately, Gunn and Safran were adhering to the mindset that there are two types of people in the world: those who would sooner perish than come into constant physical contact with rodents, and those who wouldn’t so much as blink an eye. Melchior immediately made it clear she fell into the latter category. It wasn’t until months later, when Gunn tagged her in a tweet, that Melchior learned that she was just one of three out of the hundreds to make it to the final hurdle to becoming Cleo Cazo, aka Ratcatcher 2. Up next: the “making sure she was okay chilling with rats” test.
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