How To Nail Cable Cosplay with ‘Deadpool 2’ Star Josh Brolin

Kim Taylor-Foster
Movies Cosplay
Movies Cosplay Marvel

If your thoughts are turning to cosplay ahead of San Diego Comic Con, stop right here. This year, you’re going as Deadpool 2’s Cable. Why? Because we went straight to the man himself – Josh Brolin who plays Nathan Summers’ alter ego in the R-rated sequel – to get Cable cosplay tips from the horse’s mouth. Meaning your costume will be better than anyone else’s. Take a look at the video above for Josh Brolin’s evaluation of my Cable costume and his useful pointers, then read below for a full guide.

Don’t Use a Blow-Up Rifle

Cable's gun is convincing; it's not a blow-up toy.

Brolin felt that my costume was “pretty accurate” but he took issue with the “ballooning gun” that doesn’t fire anything.

“We’ll have to fix that,” said Brolin. If you are looking for something that shoots, perhaps a Nerf gun with a paint job will fit the bill.

Pay Close Attention to Cable’s Scars 

Deadpool 2-Cable
Study those facial scars -- and recreate using liquid latex.

On initial inspection, Brolin thought I’d make a better Cable if I had the “neanderthalic face that makes Cable complete.”

The best way to get the kind of face Brolin is talking about is by making a really good job of Cable’s scars. So what did he think of mine?

“The scars? Oh, the lipstick you mean? On your face? Did you use Gorilla glue? It kind of looks like that.”

I’d bought fake stick-on scars to use but even though I improvised to improve them, given that Josh initially thought I’d drawn them on with lipstick, there’s clearly a better way. But don’t use Gorilla glue as it isn’t intended for facial use. Try creating your scars with liquid latex that’s safe to use on skin instead.

Source a Flexible Cybernetic Arm

Whether you use the Winter Soldier's arm or make your own, make sure it's flexible!

Or, better still, make your own. It will be custom made for you and be both comfortable to wear and flexible enough to keep on for long periods. I couldn’t find a Cable arm online, so bought a heavy plastic Winter Soldier arm instead, which came in two parts. It was too big, and too cumbersome, and needed sticking together with duct tape.

“It’s like your arm is paralysed right now, by the way,” said Brolin. Not good. “I had a green arm that was later fixed and CGI’d into what you have practically right now. And I’m so sorry you have it practically. You know what? Great duct tape job.”

It wasn’t. Don’t do that.

Don’t Skimp on the Details

Me as Cable -- don't use half a bed sheet, source a heavyweight poncho.

There were a handful of things lacking or not paid enough attention to in my costume, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Brolin. In my defence, the shower hose I’d ordered to use for the character’s cybernetic cables running along his chest and neck didn’t arrive in time.

“I would give you the watch, the future watch, I would give you that,” he said.

One of the most significant plot points in the film, it makes sense to incorporate this into your costume. He also felt it was worth upgrading the brown bed sheet-cum-cape to a more movie-accurate poncho.

“This cape that you’ve chosen to use, mine was like a poncho, so it was a little heavier and a little fuller.”

Prioritise Getting the Hair Right

Getting Cable's hair right will give you the edge.

Said Brolin of my hair: “It’s a little obvious in the front.”

If you can and you’re willing, getting your hair cut like Cable is the best option: shaved around the back and sides, and long on top with grey streaks.

“You did two streaks whereas … I have my own streaks, but then I did thinner streaks. You did kind of the skunk thing. It kind of looks like Talk Soup or something. The guy from Talk Soup,” he said. Then added, “I don’t know what’s happening with the hair.”

Whether you choose to cut your hair, or fake it with clip-in streaks or some kind of wig, just make sure to make it as realistic as possible. At the end of the day, Brolin says, “Keep it yours, keep it personal. Every Cable should be their own. I have my own. And you have your own.”

Use an Orange Contact Lens

Not sure how to get Cable’s laser eye? Use an orange contact lens to get the colour close. You can get ones that glow in UV light, which are a good option.

“Your eye is fantastic,” said Brolin. “I didn’t do that with my eye. But that’s great that you did that. When you have the flashlight come out of your eye [in a movie], they have to do that in post [-production]. I didn’t have that normally.”

Burn Mickey Mouse

Deadpool bear
Distressing is everything.

Mickey Mouse stood in for the teddy bear in my costume. But if you’re going off piste, make sure it’s properly distressed.

Brolin: “Wait a second, I’m seeing this teddy bear now. That’s a Mickey Mouse? First of all, it’s more colourful. Mine had a little bit of blood on it, mine was partially burned. That was something that you could have specified. You could have burned half of Mickey Mouse. That means my career’s over now that I just said that. Walt Disney is turning in his grave right now.”

Don’t Neglect the Gloves

Despite a cybernetic hand, Cable wears a fingerless glove over it. He wears a matching glove on his right hand. I had neglected the fingerless gloves completely, although I’d worn a silver glove on the left to represent Cable’s cybernetic hand.

“The glove! I took [in your costume] as a complete thing but the specificity of it is impressive,” said Brolin. But of the missing fingerless gloves, he said, “You could have cut those off [indicates fingers in silver glove]. I’m not trying to put you down. I think you did a great job but I’m starting to remember all the different things now.”

It all comes back to not skimping on the details.

Don’t Be Afraid to use Household Items

Use toilet paper rolls to recreate Cable's ammo.

For the ammunition strapped to Cable’s military harness, I used toilet paper rolls – which was the first thing Brolin mentioned on seeing the costume. And he approved.

“The toilet paper rolls are what I like the most right now. I think that really works,” he said.

Ultimately, whether you’re making items yourself from scratch or sourcing pieces online, the devil is in the detail. Pay close attention to the quality of your efforts and you won’t go far wrong. And remember Josh Brolin’s top tip: “Keep it yours, keep it personal. Every Cable should be their own.”

Deadpool 2 hits screens in the UK on May 15, Australia on May 16 and the US on May 18.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.