If you’re watching Peacemaker and/or have been on the internet lately, you might have seen the show’s opening number, where the actors—led by John Cena—do a weird, complicated-looking dance with a bald eagle named Eagly flying in at the very end.
The dance is a mesmerizing one, and choreographer Charissa-Lee Barton recently shared how she put the moves together, which include filming her husband Alan Tudyk cutting a rug to see if a non-dancing actor could pull them off.
In an interview with /Film, Barton shared her creative process, including the spousal support she got from Tudyk:
I went into a room and I just started kind of like moving as simply as possible to find what felt appropriate in my own body. And then from there started kind of setting it while, keeping in mind that when I would start to get too complex, that I’d probably have to tone it down. But luckily I had my husband Alan present with me through a lot of it. Sometimes he would get home late and it’d be like 11 o’clock at night. I’d be like, “Hey, can you try something? I need to see if this is accessible to a non-dancer.” Because it is hard for me to gauge sometimes. And he was such a willing partner. He was able to really help me find that line. As I feel like he was an average, like the mid-level actor-non-dancer-person.
The lengthy interview also goes into how jazz influenced her moves as well as “a nod to Fosse with some of the hand stuff” and also shares how show creator James Gunn gave her guidance. “He wrote very clearly that we open on Peacemaker standing in the middle of the space and he starts to do this weird dance and then Vigilante and Adebayo fold in,” she shared. “And then it became a little more general like ‘and then other people fold in’ and so on. And then he wrote with very clear direction, they all do this weird dance with a straight face, no emotion. And then at the end, Eagly flies in and joins the group.”
Gunn also provided the song title—Wig Wam’s “Do You Wanna Taste It”—though Barton took the lead on editing it down to fit a specific timeframe. You can learn more about the process, including what it was like teaching Cena, by catching the full interview here and/or this short video breaking down the moves as well.
You can watch Peacemaker on HBO Max, with new episodes dropping on Thursdays.