Exclusive: Frank Grillo Says the MCU’s Crossbones is ‘Part of My Identity Now’

Frank Grillo has become one of the busiest people in show business. As an actor, he’s credited with a dozen films in the past two years, and a dozen more either in production or being released soon. As a producer, Grillo worked with director Joe Carnahan to form Warparty Films, responsible for immensely entertaining recent movies like Boss Level and Copshop. He’s currently starring alongside Morgan Freeman, Juliette Binoche, and Cameron Monaghan in the great movie Paradise Highway.

“It’s fun to bounce around,” Grillo tells MovieWeb. “I just like to work, you know? I don’t like to sit at home very long. Actors are always complaining that they don’t work that much, and I’m complaining I never get to go home.” Despite all this energetic hopping from project to project, one character stands out to Grillo — Brock Rumlow, otherwise known as Crossbones, in the MCU.


Frank Grillo on Crossbones and Working With Marvel

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Crossbones was especially known for the Captain America films Civil War and Winter Soldier, but continues to be very popular, even after his death in the Marvel franchise. Grillo eventually came back as Crossbones in three episodes of the delightful, speculative series What If…? With a second season of that show on its way, some are wondering if Grillo will pop up again. “I don’t know about reappearances, because I don’t know where they’re going,” he says, commenting that he’d “of course” play the part again. Grillo continues:

It’s become such a part of my identity as an actor and as a performer, that role and being in that world. At this point, whatever they want me to do, if there’s ever anything else, I will. I mean, the character is fairly popular, considering he’s not really been in the movies that much, but I get the questions all day long. And now that now my guy Mackie’s going to be Captain America, you never know.

Many actors have gravitated toward the MCU, with Ethan Hawke calling it “actor-friendly,” and Grillo certainly agrees. “Yeah, it’s a troupe. It really is. Look at the actors that are involved. I mean, they’re the best of the best, and the writing is always fun. And you have all the time in the world you need to make it, and all the money you need. It’s kind of a big dream,” Grillo says.

Grillo Will Star in the Horror-Thriller Man’s Son


Doing such big projects allows Grillo to take on some smaller films he’s passionate about, like the aforementioned Paradise Highway (which he says he barely got paid for, and didn’t mind at all) and the upcoming horror-thriller Man’s Son, which looks fascinating. The film is about a couple working on a film about the cult leader Charles Manson at an Airbnb; while they edit the footage, mysterious truths begin to rear their head. The most exciting thing about this film, for Grillo, is that his son Remy is actually directing it.

“He’s almost done editing it, and I have to tell you,” Grillo beams, “I dare not say how good it looks, like, I’m amazed. He’s 25 years old, just graduated from film school, and he’s already off to the races. I smile every time I talk about it, because [it seems like] yesterday he was eight years old, and his nose was running.” The film from the father-son duo is very exciting, but in the meantime, Grillo can be seen on-demand and digitally in Paradise Highway.