When “Peacemaker” premiered on HBO Max this January, it attracted attention for its memorable opening credits sequence, which sees the entire cast of the show perform a blocky, stylized dance…
When “Peacemaker” premiered on HBO Max this January, it attracted attention for its memorable opening credits sequence, which sees the entire cast of the show perform a blocky, stylized dance routine to “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” by Wig Wam. According to the show’s choreographer, Charissa Barton, very few of the actors had background in dance and many were nervous going in.
“I wasn’t going for perfection. There’s something about each character bringing their own quality that keeps it interesting,” Barton told Variety. “So there was sort of finding a fine line between nailing it and allowing for some freedom for imperfection as well.”
Barton spoke to Variety senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay for Variety Artisans presented by HBO to break down the process of choreographing the opening credits sequence and working with the cast to bring the dance to life on set.
To choreograph the routine, Barton enlisted the help of her husband, actor Alan Tudyk, so she could see how the movement would translate when done by an actor with no formal dance training. Barton focused on developing a comic edge to the routine to fit the heightened world of the show that her choreography introduces.
Once she began working with the cast to block the sequence, certain members of the cast impressed her, with Danielle Brooks and Jennifer Holland demonstrating strong awareness of their bodies. Two of the cast members who surprised her the most were Steve Agee, who in spite of his six-foot stature was able to move quickly and fluidly, and Robert Patrick, who brought energy to his big hip thrust moment. Going in, she had high expectations for “Peacemaker” himself John Cena, who she had heard was a great collaborator, and those expectations were more than met.
“It was one of the most hyper-focused hours in my professional life,” Barton said. “There are just some people who are laser-focused.”
“Peacemaker” is streaming now on HBO Max. Watch the full video above.