The following contains spoilers for Loki Season 2, Episode 2 "Breaking Brad," which is now streaming on Disney+.
Loki Season 2 director Dan Deleeuw says Rafael Casal improvised the dialogue where his character, Hunter X-5/Brad Wolfe, refers to his work as "cinema" and "elevated thriller."
"I love that it was an elevated thriller," Deleew told ComicBook. "That's what happens, in all honesty, that's what happens. We had where we needed to go in the script, we had to know that Mobius figures out that why is Brad acting so jumpy? But we had Owen [Wilson] and Rafael [Casal] there that day and were shooting that scene last, and they had the entire day to play. And so they would come out throughout the day and run the scene for me and say, 'Well, what are you thinking?' It's like, 'Oh, this is great. Just have to make sure this gets to this and gets to that.' And so we shot it, and it was pretty much planned out by the time we got there."
"So I had first take, I'm like, 'Alright, let's do it straight. Let's do what we talked about,'" Deleew continued. "Then the second take, 'Let's amp it up.' And then the third take, I was like, 'Alright, go for it.' And it was just Owen and Rafael just tag teaming off each other, and the cut that's in there now is with one little trim is, the two of them just running. We cross-shot it, so we just had it all together. And then you have the part where Owen smacks Rafael in the arm. It was great because Rafael didn't expect it at all, and they were just in it. And just the beauty of having two geniuses and two writers on your show."
Loki Season2, Episode 2 Scene Sparks Scorsese Debate
Before Deleew revealed that the scene was improvised, viewers believed that using the phrase "cinema" was an intentional dig at Martin Scorsese's comments about comic book movies. In 2019, the filmmaker described the Marvel Cinematic Universe with disdain, saying, "Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn't the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being."
Rafael Casal's character, Brad Wolfe, plays a significant role in the TVA. In Episode 2, titled "Breaking Brad," the audience learns that Brad is Hunter X-5, a rogue TVA agent who fled to the Sacred Timeline, adopting a new identity as the actor. He gained fame through his work in the "elevated thriller" Zaniac while secretly retaining his past as a deadly TVA operative under General Dox. By the end of the episode, Brad remains in TVA custody, having succeeded in eliminating numerous branching timelines.
New episodes of Loki Season 2 stream every Thursday on Disney+.