Ray Fisher isn’t the youngest member of the Justice League cast, but he’s the most unknown. The 30-year-old Fisher was primarily a stage actor when Warner Bros. chose him in 2014 to play Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg, in the DC Extended Universe movies. In 2020, he will even star in his own film.
Fisher has yet to star in another movie outside the DC films. We first saw him as Cyborg briefly in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He is prominently featured in Justice League and will star in the 2020 solo Cyborg movie.
You can follow Fisher on Twitter.
Here’s a look at Fisher’s life and career.
1. Fisher Tested for the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Role John Boyega Played
Despite Fisher’s lack of film experience, the actor came on Hollywood’s radar in a big way in 2014. In March of that year, Variety reported that Fisher was among the actors who tested for the role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that eventually went to Attack the Block‘s John Boyega. At the time, Variety also reported that David Oyelowo and Michael B. Jordan tested for roles as well.
Ultimately, director J.J. Abrams cast Boyega, but Fisher didn’t have to wait very long to secure his own franchise role. In April 2014, Variety reported that Fisher was cast as Cyborg before Warner Bros. officially confirmed the news.
In an October 2014 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fisher said he didn’t even know Warner Bros. was planning a solo Cyborg movie for him when he signed on.
“I didn’t know the extent to which DC and WB had planned on taking my character,” Fisher told EW. “When I signed on, I just wanted to be part of this world. But that specific information, I found out then and there. I didn’t think I’d be getting my own stand-alone film.”
2. Fisher’s Breakthrough Stage Role Was Playing Muhammad Ali in an Off-Broadway Play
Fisher caught Hollywood’s attention in 2013, when he starred in an off-Broadway play called Fetch Clay, Make Man. The play was written by Will Power and directed by Des McAnuff and played in September and October 2013 at the New York Theatre Workshop. It’s about Muhammad Ali’s relationship with actor Stepin Fetchit. Fisher starred as Ali.
In its review, The New York Times had nothing but praise for Fisher’s performance. Charlies Isherwood wrote:
As Ali, Mr. Fisher gives an incandescent performance that also makes room for the brooding moments of self-doubt that Mr. Power suggests flickered underneath the preening. Bursts of Ali’s famous rhyming braggadocio are delivered with flair and fluency, and Mr. Fisher’s smooth good looks really do seem to justify Ali’s boast that he’s as “pretty as a girl.” His lively, funny and sympathetic portrait provides the play with a necessary core of authenticity.
In his 2014 Entertainment Weekly interview, Fisher said he put on 20 pounds of muscle to play Ali and it paid off. Oscar-winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi) saw the production while he was scouting for actors to play Ali in his long-gestating 3D boxing movie about Ali and Joe Frazier.
“Ang and I meet to talk about his ideas for the project and it’s all very interesting. Waiting to see where everything goes with that,” Fisher said in 2014.
3. Fisher Is a Classically Trained Theater Actor, Attending the American Musical & Dramatic Academy
Fisher, a native of Camden, New Jersey, has extensive stage acting experience. His love of acting was born during his time at Haddon Heights High School. In a 2012 interview with Education Update, Fisher said an English teacher introduced him to acting and he auditioned for a school musical in his sophomore year.
When he graduated from high school, he didn’t know exactly what to do. He took a year off from school, taking odd jobs before he finally applied to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. During that time, he also played Shakespearean parts for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. At 24, he starred in the company’s production of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, playing Tom Robinson, the man wrongly accused of rape.
Fisher told Education Update of playing Robinson:
“I tried to show his compassion. Here’s a guy who’s been in jail for seven months for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s had everything taken away from him. He can’t feed his wife. He can’t feed his kids. Yet he doesn’t badmouth anyone for what’s happened to him. Partly it’s because he can’t. But I think that even when he’s alone, he doesn’t have bad thoughts about these people other than he’s sorry for them. That’s admirable. It’s a quality I wish I could say I had. I know if this happened today, I’d have a lot to say.”
4. He Watched the Batman, Justice League & Teen Titans Shows Growing Up, So He Knows These Characters
During the 1990s and 2000s, DC Comics characters were everywhere on television, thanks to the popularity of Batman: The Animated Series and its Superman and Justice League spin-offs. The 2003-2006 Teen Titans series was also a hit, and that’s how Fisher was introduced to Cyborg. He wasn’t so much interested in the characters’ superpowers as he was the teen issues they dealt with.
“I was in the middle of high school [when Teen Titans debuted], and I was like, ‘This show speaks to me’ because there were all of these characters going through these real teen issues while also saving the world. The extent of my knowledge was just about that,” Fisher said during a 2016 appearance at the Rhode Island Comic-Con.
Fisher said that after he was cast, Warner Bros. sent him a full library of stuff to get acquainted with his character.
“Once I was cast, though, they send you a whole library of stuff about the character so I ended up being able to fall in love with the comic book version which can be very different,” Fisher said at RICC. “I feel like I know him like the back of my hand, but there’s always somebody who knows a little more than me about things.”
5. Cyborg Is the Third Mother Box in ‘Justice League’
Fisher had decades worth of material to catch up on. Cyborg has been a part of the DC Universe since 1980, when George Perez and Marv Wolfman introduced him in DC Comics Presents #26.
Cyborg is also the third Mother Box in the DC Extended Universe. Although comic book fans could have guessed this, Total Film confirmed that Cyborg has the third Mother Box on Earth. A Mattel toy also revealed that Cyborg’s father, Dr. Silas Stone (Joe Morton) used the energy from the Mother Box to help save his son.
What’s a Mother Box? It’s a device used to open a Boom Tube to transport the New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips to Earth. In the DC Extended Universe, three ended up on Earth – one with the Atlanteans, another with the Amazons and another with mankind. Cyborg has mankind’s inside him, so he’ll be a major part of Justice League.
The Mother Boxes are what bring Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and the Parademons to Earth. Batman (Ben Affleck), Cyborg, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) have to save the world from them.