Tig Notaro saved the day on Netflix and Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead” when the actress signed on to be digitally inserted in post-production to replace Chris D’Elia. The switch-up happened as D’Elia faced sexual misconduct accusations. Adding Notaro cost Netflix millions, according to director Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder (who spoke with IndieWire about the film’s future franchise plans), but it appears to have been worth the fuss, as the movie is already a hit on the streaming platform and in theaters.
But curiously, adding Notaro after the fact meant the comedian had to perform in a vacuum (specifically in front of a green screen) and without the company of her fellow actors. That remains a weird notion for one of the film’s most adored stars, Dave Bautista, who in the film technically shares scenes with Notaro, but as he explained to Vulture has alas never met his co-star.
“It was weird, because, you know, I wasn’t there. [Laughs.] And when I watch it, I feel like I was there. There’s a connection that’s missing there. But I don’t feel like the movie misses a beat. Anybody who doesn’t know that that’s the case won’t pick up on it at all. Tig fits right in, and her chemistry fits right in,” he said.
Bautista explained it was certainly bizarre to see a completely different actor alongside him in the finished product, and even more bizarre to not know her at all.
“What really bothers me, when I watch this film — it bothers me that I don’t know Tig. I feel like I should know her. I want to meet her, and I want to hug her and tell her how amazing she was in the film. I’ve been able to do that with all my other co-stars, and I haven’t been able to do it with Tig because I haven’t met her yet. I think she’s amazing and is incredible in the film,” Bautista said.
The only actor Notaro shares a scene with in the movie is Ana de la Reguera, and that part of the film took just half a day to shoot. Any scene where Notaro’s character touches another character were “pantomimed or filmed with her assistant, Patrick McDonald, wearing a green suit,” according to another recent breakdown of the movie. If there was footage of Notaro that didn’t sync up to the already existing footage, Snyder’s team “used a CG scan they had made of Notaro’s body to create a digital version of her they could insert into scenes.”