Date of publishing: 18th
Jack Coleman stars on NBC’s “Heroes”
as the mysterious H.R.G. – “Horn Rimmed
Glasses,” Claire’s (Hayden Panettiere)
father, as well as a man of mystery who has a special
interest in people with special abilities. Jack has
performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, in film and on
television. Series roles include “Dynasty,”
“Nightmare Café,” “Oh Baby,”
and “Steven King’s Kingdom Hospital.”
Recently, he has been featured on such programs as
“Entourage,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Without
a Trace,” and “CSI Miami.” Jack
is a graduate of Duke University, the National Theater
Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center
in Connecticut, and the Writers’ Boot Camp in
Santa Monica, California. His grandfather, Herbert
Agar, won a Pulitzer Prize in history for “The
People’s Choice,” about how Americans
choose their president. Jack’s sixth generation
grandfather is Benjamin Franklin.
The Scifi World had the opportunity to take a part
on a press conference with him.
Here is the full report of this conference.
talked to actors who've played cowboys on westerns,
and a lot of them will say something like they didn't
really have the character pinned down until they found
the right hat?
Jack Coleman: Uh huh.
I'm wondering if the same
might be true for you and the glasses, which is to
say -- was there much of a hunt in the props department
for the perfect pair of glasses, and did the right
pair help you find your character?
Jack Coleman: We probably went through
about, oh, man, I don't know, probably about a hundred
pairs. Just when I say we, props and myself and Dave
semel, the Director -- and can you hear that truck
outside clearly enough -- and Dennis Hammer and Tim
Kring and everybody sort of put in their opinion on
it, and, yeah, we came up with sort of the perfect
-- it's funny, we sort of -- the hero pair of horn-rimmed
glasses, which we use every day and then there’s
a backup pair, and occasionally, I have had to wear
the backup pair, and it feels completely different
and off and uncomfortable; so, yes, as soon as I put
the glasses on the character -- well other than having
an epiphany that I look exactly like my father did
when he was my age, which is shocking, beyond that,
it was just kind of nice to sort of find a pair that
really felt right and looked right. And then you know
the glasses do have to work, there generally is --
amazing how much something like that can, becomes
the character for you to a certain extent.
would appear not to be a coincidence but that horn
rimmed is interested in all these peoples powers and
his daughter has powers, but do you think it was the
chicken or the egg situation? Did he adopt this little
girl and discover she had powers and go on a quest,
or was he already kind of on that mission and then
through that process Claire came to be in his custody?
Jack Coleman: Well. Actually, the
next Episode 117 will address that, but he took the
job and then came into custody of Claire and 117 will
show you how that happened, and sort of the journey
from how that changed everything and eventually brought
everything to a crisis where he has to choose between
my follow up then is -- was your character present
at the fire that theoretically killed Claire and her
Jack Coleman: This -- I don't know
that that will be answered, but I can tell you that
the fire in which that happened -- there was -- Claire’s
mother was a person of interest to HRG and the organization
when that happened.
you know what your characters first name is, or have
you given yourself a first name?
Jack Coleman: Well, there was a first
name in a draft which was then removed. I think partly
because it just sort of stopped the scene where it
was delivered cold; and so, in other words, I think
maybe they are sort of happy right now going without
a first name, but my personal preference had always
been Anthony because then I could be Tony Bennett,
but I don't think that’s going to go anywhere.
on a more serious note, his motives are not necessary
evil, how does he justify himself?
Jack Coleman: Uh-huh. Well, I think
it’s the same way anybody justifies himself.
I think he sees himself working for the greater good
and taking on a job which is dirty but has to be done,
and I think, it's sort of the same way that people
can justify doing all kinds of things in their personal
and private, personal and professional, lives, but
then you also see that it comes a cropper. Eventually,
he's been able to sort of separate the personal and
professional -- for a long time -- and that is about
So, basically, you have an
opportunity to reinvent your career and play this
extremely interesting character on Heroes, but what
does that mean for your past character on Dynasty
and which one, which character, have you played, the
one that you’re the most proud of, if it’s
not heroes, or maybe it is?
Jack Coleman: Are you saying between
the two or in anything that I've done?
general. And do people come up to you on the street
and do they recognize you more from Dynasty or do
they recognize you more from Heroes?
Jack Coleman: No. It’s much
more from Heroes at this point. Anyone who recognizes
me from Dynasty is, dare I say, of a certain age;
because, Dynasty’s been off the air for quite
a while. I still get recognized all the time from
Dynasty, but it’s not the kids. Whereas, now,
the show is so big with teenagers and 20 year olds
and stuff that it’s a whole new audience, which
is fantastic. To answer your question, I have to say
that this character is much more interesting and fun
to play for me than Steven Carrington was. Don't get
me wrong, it was a great opportunity. I loved doing
that, but this is a much juicier role, and the devil
gets all the best lines. It’s a lot of fun to
play and definitely loved it and that I’m proud
of. There are obviously other roles I’ve been
very proud of and I've been on stage and seen by hundreds
of people as opposed to millions of people, but that's
the nature of the beast.
So you say you’re the devil. Are you a bad guy?
Jack Coleman: No. I, certainly, have
been set up as the bad guy for the first two thirds
of season, but I think there's going to be light shed
on both his motivation and his loyalty, which will,
I think, broaden everyone’s understanding, of
who HRG is and what he's been trying to do. And I
think it will make him in one way more sympathetic
and in other ways maybe even more horrific, but I
think there will be a lot more light shed on who he
is and where he came from.
somebody whose been -- done a lot of very high profile
roles and stage and TV, did it bother you at all that
we're actually talking about your glasses? And the
glasses aren't even that unusual, I don’t think;
are they? They don't, is it odd to you that you’re
known for a pair of glasses now?
Jack Coleman: I don't think it is
odd, because after all, the character’s name,
he's an acronym, HRA, I think the glasses were a very
very big part of how the character was originally
conceived, behind a veil kind of a 50's throw back
to the old sort of, you imagine this guy in a romantic
revolution in some South American country in the 50’s.
It really is a throw back and the glasses are a huge
part of the look, and also sort of who he is. It’s
sort of a curtain between him and other people. A
bit of a disguise, a bit of a wall; so I think it
makes perfect sense to discuss the glasses.
If that's all anyone is interested in then maybe they
are missing the point. I think that the glasses are
certainly a huge part of.
I guess there was a time
in both movies and TV were there were good guys and
there were bad guys, and it was pretty difficult to
mess that up. It was quite obvious to everyone, and
you’re playing somebody with a lot of gray area,
do you think that, first of all, do you enjoy that
ambiguity and being able to play both sides of the
street a little bit?
Jack Coleman: I love the ambiguity.
I think it’s what makes the character so interesting,
and I know that people are perplexed and, certainly,
the question I'm asked all the time is, are you a
good guy or are a bad guy? They want to know.
They want to be able to pigeon hole you. They want
to be able to figure out exactly who you are and what
you are, but I think the fact that he is both good
and bad is what makes it so fascinating, and you realize
people can do horrible things and come home and love
their children. It’s a perfectly human way to
behave in the world, because I think most of us are
living in areas of gray, in some part or another of
our lives, and I think it’s what makes the character
interesting and fun to play.
know the actors are kept in a little bit of the dark
as to what the overall plan is for the show, but have
you developed your own conspiracy theory to fill in
the blank and any one of them you can share with us?
Jack Coleman: You can come up with
all kinds of things, but you'll be wrong. Which is
what’s so great -- I kind of learned a long
time ago, in this sort of game, in this serial television,
that you know you've got to play what's in front of
you. You’ve gotta play what you know. There
are certain scenes you go in and you go, okay, I really
don't know what I'm alluding to here, I don't know
what this reference is to. You gotta tell me something.
And then you, basically, they'll tell me something
which then, okay, now I know, and now I can play it.
But in general, I don't spend too much time worrying
about what's coming on five episodes down the road
because it's just one of the things that's so amazing
about this show is, how much happens in every episode
and how action packed it is, and how much story there
is. The writer’s expression is stuffing 50 pounds
of story in a ten pound sack, and they really do that
and more and more as the season goes on, you'll see
that from here till the end of the season. It’s
just going to be chock full of story. And, also, paying
things off, bringing them up and paying them off,
not just leaving things dangled. So, yeah, it’s
-- there's only so much speculation -- only gets you
so far, and you’re going to be wrong anyway.
So you might as well just kind of go for the ride.
of the major elements of the character is that he's
also a doting father. At least on one level, how much
of that is your own personality seeping into the role
as a father?
Jack Coleman: Well, certainly, you
bring your own experience to the table, you know,
generally, on television, parents tend to be a lot
more patient and a lot more interested in every utterance
their darling child makes than in real life. When
you're trying to get things done and you sort of --
it’s kind of an idealization of my parenting
skill, and of course, I'm not bagging and tagging
people or doing horrible things and putting chips
in them and following them around and performing experiments.
So that part of the parenting thing is quite different
from my own experience. But, yeah, you bring your
own experience in parenting to it, and I do -- and
I have a daughter that I dote on so the whole thing
with Claire makes sense to me, but it’s, certainly
-- if you -- it’s not an entirely accurate equivalent
from one to the other.
What were your first impressions?
Did you see it becoming as big as it has been -- the
show in general?
Jack Coleman: I first became aware
of the show from my friend who is a writer on another
series -- said that there's this wonderful pilot called
Heroes, and I've been hearing really great things
about it, and he said "it’s my favorite
script of this season". And then I realized
it was being produced by David Hammer, who I know.
I did not know Tim Kring before Dave Semel, Who directed
the pilot, was somebody who I know. So I went in knowing
that the part was a very small part. It was, basically,
a one-page audition a cab ride with Suresh from the
pilot, where I'm sitting in the back, out of focus
and very sort of fuzzy sepia tones, and threatening
him; so that was all I knew about it. But then when
I saw the very end -- he's Claire’s father,
I said to myself, this definitely has potential to
carry on forward. Having said that, I had no idea
that the role would become what it did. I had no idea
the show would become the sort of juggernaut that
it has become. I did know that there was a tremendous
buzz within the industry about this show; so it’s
kind of being seen as the little engine that could.
But I think that within people in the industry, this
show was always seen as something that was potentially
going to break out.
I'm also wondering what comic books you read as a
child, and what superheroes you looked up to?
Jack Coleman: Well, it’s funny,
because I was -- generally, people are kind of DC
guys or Marvel guys, and I was sort of a Marvel guy.
I liked Spidey. I liked Spiderman. That whole thing,
and I always felt that the Marvel comics had that
great sort of an angst to the characters. There was
a soon to be -- sort of more of a personal cost to
all of this stuff as opposed to straight square-jawed
heroes going in and cracking heads and making things
right; so I was -- that was -- I was kind of a Marvel
guy, and those were the comics that I really liked.
back on the questions on the glasses again, have you
seen anybody who has actually been wearing the glasses?
Because this is sort of thing that, you know, the
side burns on the 90210, that you can imagine people
trying to do on their own. Have you seen anybody actually
falling in your fashion footsteps?
Jack Coleman: I'm not sure that I've
actually set off a fashion craze. I certainly have
seen some pairs of horn-rimmed glasses that maybe
I just wasn't aware of before because they didn't
stand out. You know, like, when you go and buy a white
car then suddenly you notice all the white cars. But
I have seen them out there and they are kind of anachronistic,
and it takes a certain -- you have to have a certain
fashion courage to be anachronistic in this day and
age. I don't know if it’s going to be setting
off a trend or not. You know, there is a kind of a
hipness to being that retro.
any chance that you might endorse some yourself --
kind of on the side or something?
Jack Coleman: Well, you know, I'm
just waiting for the call to come in.
No. I don't know, I haven't taken it down that road.
I haven’t even thought of it in those terms.
Since you are on a show where
there are heroes and it looks like there are good
guys and there are bad guys, but there is all that
ambiguity to it. What do you think? Do you think the
show would be just as popular or just as watched now
if there wasn't all those shades of gray. If there
was more straight forward -- you're good you're evil?
Jack Coleman: It very well might
be. It wouldn't be as interesting a show though. That's
for sure. In my opinion, to me what makes the show
interesting are the shades of gray are the fact that,
although, we're talking about super abilities. No
one’s donning costumes. People don't have to
deal with the fact that it does make them a freak.
It does make them hunted. I mean, if you think about
what -- how people might actually respond to these
types of things. There could be sort of widespread
panic; so I just like the fact that there is a price
to pay, and that it -- that you really have to come
to terms with your ability. If you look at the difference
between say Peter and Nathan, Peter is trying desperately
to embrace all of his abilities; whereas, Nathan is
trying desperately to deny his abilities, because
it is a total liability to what it is he does for
a living. So, yeah, I think the shades of gray and
the nuances, is definitely what makes it interesting.
And just the fact that people really have to try to
deal with these things. I think the realistic human
consequences are what makes the show interesting,
and I think it’s what makes it appeal to people.
I think that the old days of the straight forward
super hero are probably behind us, for better or worse.
someone who you said a few answers ago -- that you
were a Marvel guy. How does it feel to have Stanley
make an appearance on the show?
Jack Coleman: Oh. It was brilliant.
I was working on the day that he came in to the makeup
trailer, and he was just the nicest guy, and he was
shaking hands and signing autographs. Everybody loved
him, and it was great. I don't know how old he is,
but he's a spit fire. He's in great shape. It was
really fun to have him on the show.
HRG aware that the Haitian can speak?
Jack Coleman: Ahhh, that little tidbit
rears its head very soon and much we say causes a
bit of friction between the two of them. So, yeah,
and at the moment, no, at the moment, no, and but
very very soon. It becomes aware of it and is a --
does cause a problem between the two of them, at least
And have you had a particular sequence in the series
that has stood out to you in 15 episodes that have
aired thus far?
Jack Coleman: Well, yeah, I mean
there are several. I’ll just say that the end
of episode of 117, which I will not tell you exactly
what it is, but it’s very emotional, and it
stuck with me for a while. So it’s that I think
of all the scenes that I've done, and there are many
that are fun and memorable, but I think the end of
Episode 117 or 17, which airs a week from Monday,
is the one that has really stuck with me. Sorry I
can't be more specific.
heroes have only come to discovery in the past six
months or so; so what has your character and his organization
been doing for the past 15 years?
Jack Coleman: No. Well, I think that
there's -- that's actually not accurate. The organizations
been going on for 15 years and people have manifested
well before this. The episode which was entitled --
six months ago, which was Episode ten, was -- that's
where Claire first manifests. That's where a lot of
things start to happen -- instead propelled our story
from this point forward, but there's a lot of back
stories to a number of these heroes, that and some
heroes that we haven't met yet that go back well before
I also understand that your
character is teaming up with Matt Parkman for an episode.
Can you talk about that relationship, and maybe any
other cast members that you haven't had a chance to
work with yet that you’re hoping to?
Jack Coleman: Yeah. Well Matt Parkman,
Greg Grunberg, and I -- our characters have met a
couple times in very sort of odd and confrontational
ways, and we're about to do the episode, that again
-- that airs a week from Monday the 17th. That's kind
of ... I won't call it a marriage of convenience,
but there's sort of an allegiance which takes place
out of necessity, and the allegiances are constantly
shifting. That's one of the things that I really love
about the episode, is that as soon as you think you
know who is on whose side, and who knows what and
who doesn't, all of a sudden the land shifts beneath
you and things are suddenly very different.
So that is something that, and so I really had a great
time working with Greg, and that’s been a lot
of fun and also with Matt Armstrong who plays Nuclear
Ted. He and I have worked together before. And then
I've still -- I have not worked with Masi. I haven't
worked with -- that's actually just about to change
too, and I haven't worked with Ali yet. I've barely
worked with Adrian. I haven’t really worked
with Adrian. And so there is a bunch of people on
the cast, and I've actually integrated with more story
lines than many, but I look forward to all these things
expanding as they are about to.
do you think he feels about his wife basically turning
into a vegetable?
Jack Coleman: I, actually, I think
that it's one of the things that really brings all
of this to a crisis. Brings this story to a crisis
-- is this toll that it is taking on his family, and
I think there's maybe a scene cut out that was --
it doesn't matter I won’t talk about scenes
that were cut out -- anyway, I think you will soon
see that the toll it is taking on his family is starting
to really wear on HRG and he can no longer just sort
of roll with it and gloss it over.
your character remains so enigmatic throughout the
show, is it wrong trying to figure out how to play
the part or are the writers building up enough info
about the general direction to give you something
to work with?
Jack Coleman: Well, one of the things
that usually happens is, there’s usually one
of the writer/producers is on set, or a lot of --
several of our directors or producer -- and they tend
to have knowledge of things that I may not have knowledge
of. So they are good at filling in the blanks where
they need to be, because, there are some scenes where
I'm just kind of at a loss, but I don't think it's
not the grayness or the ambivalence, because I think
my feeling is, I have a very specific attitude toward
and motivation for every individual scene, and those
things are often kind of at odds with each other,
when they are taken in total. But for the scene itself,
you know, I just try to play what I think is going
on at that moment, and not worry about how does this
fit into the greater picture; because, again, on serial
television the greater picture is ever shifting, and
this show is as well. So you just sort of have to
trust that that your own truth -- that you bring to
it -- will kind of work as a glue to hold together
things which might seem to be contradictory, if that
makes any sense.
Touched on the fact that
your wife’s a kind of unraveling, mentally,
given that HRG is clearly a smart guy, did it occur
to him that re writing someone’s synapses might
eventually cause some damage?
Jack Coleman: I think it probably
occurred to him, but this, he's kind of guy -- he’s
living in the moment. Deal with it -- now deal with
it -- deal with it now, and I think that's sort of
his overriding concern, and also in Episode 17, you
will, when we -- there's a flash back to a period
when this kind of stuff starts, and I'm sure in this
line of work it can become kind of addicting knowing
that you can be found out and then go back and erase
it. Providing that the Haitian is available. But,
yes, so it’s all just about to come a cropper.
is well established as HRG’s biggest nemesis
now, having targeted your daughter and leading home
and attacking your wife. What can you tease about
how HRG, is now going to approach and handle Sylar.
Now is he going to be overwhelmed by feelings for
revenge, or is he going to be vowed by his duty to
Jack Coleman: Well. I can tell you
that the antithesis or the -- I'm getting a little
cross-eyed here. The antipathy towards Sylar is put
on the back burner for a while, because other things
come up and supersede it. Sylar’s out on his
own, reeking havoc sort of, away from the prying eyes
of HRG for a little while, and HRG has other things
on his plate, which are demanding his full attention.
So I can say that I'm not exactly sure what HRG’s
approach to Sylar is going to be toward the end of
the season, but how it's all going to play out, but
there is no question that that’s the guy that
would very much like to get his hands on or somebody’s
hands who can deal with him, but that is something
which I think will keep HRG moving forward.
for sure. And as you're going along shooting the season,
have you been working on anything in terms of extras
or anything featurettewise, that you think may be
included on, in an inevitable season one DVD?
Jack Coleman: Yes. There's all the
sort of ETK stuff that we've been doing behind the
scenes. Yeah, it will be fascinating to see what the
DVD set is put together first season, however, they
are going to do it, because, there's been plenty of
stuff and interviews and behind the scenes stuff,
and also, probably some scenes that didn't make it,
and just sort of exploration of the first season.
It will be fascinating, yeah, there's been quite a
bit of that.
You know the dynamics between
you and Hayden, Claire, and, of course, as a father
and daughter has escalated and gotten worse. The point
in time where those characters will almost be enemies,
and is that somewhere where you think your character
can go, and what do you see moving along as you continue
to get scripts?
Jack Coleman: Yes. I mean as any
allegiance on this show is subject to change; so it
certainly can happen. I think and suspect that the
relationship; I mean, certainly the relationship between
HRG and Claire has been very strained lately and,
again, 117 you will see a lot of it, again, comes
to a head there's a crisis situation in which brings
it to a head, and then you know possibly some kind
of at least temporary resolution, I suspect that the
relationship between Claire and HRG is one of the
core values, sort of speak, of this show in that,
as twisted as the relationship is, they have almost
said so many lies to each other, but, ultimately,
I think they really do love each other and there’s
a tremendous bond there. I think that it will -- there’s
one of the sort of the bed rocks, that they will build
story on; so in other words, I think ultimately, it's
-- I can't imagine that -- that they're going to be
at each others throats and trying to go kill each
other to that extent. I think it's much more of a domestic
issue than some sort of a super hero issue.
it bother you that you and a very few members of the
cast don’t actually have a super power? Do you
feel like you’re missing out on fun prosthetics
and the other things they get to do, or and if there
was one, one of the other characters, when you look
at the script, do you kind of covet and go that would
have been cool to play?
Jack Coleman: My experience with
prosthetics is that they are a lot more fun to watch
than to do. So, no, I don't. It’s also kind
of fun to be the guy that has to rely on knowledge
and anticipation to stay alive in this world. And
you will see that up to this point he'd been pretty
on top of things, and it’s starting to unravel;
so but I don't, I mean, cause I never envisioned.
I just never thought of it as, darn, I wish I could
read peoples’ thoughts or fly or start fires
or whatever. I just think of this guy as someone who
really has to rely on his knowledge and understanding
of the situation to survive, and that stuff is every
bit as much fun for me to play as getting burned to
a crisp and healing; because, that's a lot of prosthetics
and, frankly, that's not really that much fun.
you've been mentioning this Episode 17, and how there's
gonna be a lot of big payoffs there for Jack, HRG,
is there a catharsis for you that you get to finally
film a lot of these payoffs sort of things?
Jack Coleman: Yes, in a word. It's
-- the story is very much -- takes place in the present,
but we also flash back to see how he got started in
the company, and how he came to be in possession of
Claire, and how a lot of things happened, but also,
driving it forward from our present point. As well
to a point where, you see, you know HRG really has
to make a decision, and he does, and he takes a stand,
and it reaches a very very dramatic conclusion.
Heroes has developed a lot
of on-line material for fans. Do you follow a lot
of the on-line stuff, or do you sort of shy away from
that sort of community?
Jack Coleman: No. I follow it to
an extent, I'm a little bit of a ludite; so I'm not
somebody whose deep into all that entire on-line culture
of these shows, but I follow it a little bit, and
it is pretty fascinating to hear the theories and
to see all the different ideas people have about what’s
happening and some of them are incredibly inventive
and some of them are fairly accurate and some are
just way off, but you can be very wrong today and
proven right six months from now; because, it's a very
fast moving show.
does it tell us? Did you always want to be an actor
while you were growing up, or did you have another
profession in mind?
Jack Coleman: It’s funny. I
wouldn't say. I always wanted to be an actor. No,
I look at Hayden who’s been doing this since
she was two, and there's just never been any doubt
in her mind, and she pursued it from a very early
age, and I grew up on the east coast, and I wasn’t
surrounded by Hollywood; but I was always into theater
and acting, and I did it all through school, and then
when I went to college, I went to Duke and was, at
the time, it was a very small program there, and now
it's actually quite big.
I just -- my freshman year, I just decided I was doing
some theater and I decided this was really what I
wanted to do. I had done it seriously all through
high school as well, but while I was in college is
when I made the decision. I went to the National Theater
Institute and New York and, eventually, out here out
here, being Los Angeles, but it was not something
from early childhood that; I mean, other professions
-- I was a jock, and I loved playing sports, but I
don't think I was ever under the illusion that I was
going to make it as a professional. And I'm the youngest
of seven and all the other professions were taken
by the time I became of age; so I chose the “look
at me” profession, I guess.
makes a career as an actor a rewarding, after all
this time, field?
Jack Coleman: Well. I mean what's
happening right now is incredibly rewarding, and it's
Woody Allen, I think said, half of it is just showing
up. I don't -- part of it is just really, is just
of sort of refusing to go away. You have to believe
in yourself. You have to believe that you are good
and sort of refuse to go away and, eventually, they
might just hire you out of exhaustion. They just can't
stand the fact that you keep showing up so they end
up hiring you, but something -- it's just very hard.
This is the second really big hit that I've been on
in television, but I have 20 years of work on television.
And most of it is forgettable, and it’s just
a way to sort of stay alive and pay the bills and,
you know, keep your insurance up and all that kind
of thing. All those mundane things that everybody
struggles with, and part of it is, a big part of this
business is refusing to go away and sometimes that
gets rewarded and sometimes it doesn't. I mean something
like this really is like lightening in a bottle. It
really is hard to come by; so you know, I'm extremely
grateful for this opportunity.
Do you prefer playing HRG
as the baddy or do you think that the good father
aspect is more interesting?
Jack Coleman: I think it's both really
interesting. If you’re just walking around twirling
your mustache and cackling like a villain, it’s
just not that interesting, and people get tired of
it. It really is just a weird dichotomy of this guy
who is completely, on one hand, doing things that
are so a moral possibly morally gray and possibly
just a moral. And then on the other hand, comes home
and dotes on his daughter. Sort of twisted as he may
be those -- his feelings for his daughter are genuine
and they are for his entire family; so I think it's
that, I just -- I think it's the combination that make
just to clarify, he really does have genuine feelings
for her. She’s not just an experiment?
Jack Coleman: In my mind there is
no doubt, and I think as the next couple episodes
air you will see, there's no doubt that the feelings
are genuine. And their feelings, that he's often tried
to supplement, because he doesn't -- to be in his
line of work you don't want to be beholden to your
emotions and your family and things like that, but
on the other hand, being a human being, it’s
hard not to do that. So you know all that’s
about to explode.
you considered the possibility that HRG actually does
have powers; so he's just motivated by kind of self-loathing?
Jack Coleman: No. I don’t see
him being motivated by self-loathing, although, there's
-- that's a deeper show than what we're doing. No.
There's a legitimate question in that. Sometimes it’s
hard to know what motivates these people. What was
the first part of the question?
he, perhaps, motivated for gathering these people…
Jack Coleman: Oh. Whether or not
he has powers?
Jack Coleman: No. I don't think he
does. I don't think HRG has powers, and I may be proven
wrong down the line. At the moment, I don't know see
was the most challenging scene you had to do so far
Jack Coleman: Well, probably, without
giving away too much, doing a scene in Japanese. I
recently did an entire scene in Japanese, and that
was challenging because that took quite a bit of time
for me to memorize and get comfortable enough so that
I could do it. So, possibly that, and then there's
some scenes that are physically strenuous, and but
I don't think there was one that caused me quite as
much angst as when I got the script and saw that I
was doing a page and a half in Japanese. That got
my attention very quickly.
If you are to choose an extraordinary ability what
would you choose, and how would you use it to help
Jack Coleman: Whose to say that I
would use it to help people, that's kind of a Polly
Anna way to view the world, no, I don't know, there's
sort of a visceral thrill of flying, which I don't
think anything can beat, and then there's the ability
to turn invisible, but I was king of invisible all
through the 90's; so that didn't work out that well.
And I don't know, there's -- also, we all search on
this show for a snappy wonderful answer to that question.
And so maybe, my special ability would be come up
with a really really great answer to that question.
Jack Coleman: I'm still working on
When did you know that you
were becoming a regular, and do you know what prompted
that, because as you said, it didn't look like HRG
was starting out to become as integral as he has.
I mean, did the writers always know that and just
let you in on it later, or was there a moment where
they went okay you're a lynch pin?
Jack Coleman: It's interesting; because,
it's one of those things that sort of gradually builds.
I don't think there was ever a knowledge or an intention
that this is what’s going to happen. I think
it’s been coming slowly. I knew Episode 11 was
my first episode as a series regular. I started to
get the idea that this was going to happen a few episodes
beforehand, and I think a lot of it was just that
this character serves so many different stories and
can be a catalyst and drive stories in a way that
people who are sort of struggling to get hold of their
abilities, you know, you need an antagonist -- you
need somebody who is driving them into a crisis. So
there was that, and then I think there was also just
the fact that they liked the chemistry with Hayden
and me. And I think they liked how that had a really
nice emotional residence which added to the creepiness
of what HRG was doing during his day job. I think
it, kind of sort of, made sense to keep him around
for a little while.
to follow up on something you said, also, speaking
Japanese is apparently the single most difficult thing,
what's the most physically challenging thing they’ve
let you do as opposed to your double?
Jack Coleman: Well, I will say without
any trace of embarrassment that my interest in doing
stunts is limited. I like -- I'm an athlete, and I
like doing things that are handy. I'm not interested
in high falls and being set on fire. I would say that
recently we worked in fire and that was fairly hairy.
And so that's -- it's fun to do that stuff, but I have
no interest in being a stuntman, and people who say
they do all their own stunts are either lying or putting
a person in jeopardy and taking work away from stunt
people, which I also don't like to do. So I would
say that overall the most dangerous thing I have done
on this thing is being in fire.
in terms of like punch ups?
Jack Coleman: Oh. Well, fights are
generally much more controlled. Every once in a while
a punch will slip and that's bad. But in general you
try to take those things pretty calm, and I haven't
had any big brawls and again in Episode 17 there are
some punches thrown and received and you got to be
careful with all that stuff. But that's not a big
deal. But I'm talking about stunts that are really
dangerous like, you know, either driving really fast
or high falls or fire or doing things, rolling cars,
stuff like that, none of that stuff interests me in
life on the set, any shenanigans going on?
Jack Coleman: Oh. There's always
plenty of shenanigans. If you've ever been around
Greg Grunberg there are always shenanigans. It’s
a fun set.
And when you get home from
set what other shows might be on your TIVO when it's
time to relax?
Jack Coleman: I'll tell you the shows
that are on my TIVO. The Office is on my TIVO; Extras
is on my TIVO; Dexter is on my TIVO. Thinking of season
passes, I am a fan of Studio 60, and I love the writing,
and I love the acting on that show. And there are
others that I watch sporadically like, Earl, I actually
gravitate, oddly enough, more towards the comedies
than the dramas, and HBO, there really is a lot of
the HBO shows that I like. But for my money, the more
interesting writing goes on on television than in
the movies, in general, there are some obvious exceptions.
been rumors, spoilers that Claire would be spending
a lot less time in her home town of Odessa, Texas
-- given that the mother seems to be collapsing on
herself, and your son hasn't appeared in a while,
are we to understand that maybe at the end of this
season those two characters will not be as actively
active participants in the story line that you and
Claire will be, but those two will not?
Jack Coleman: I can honestly say
I really do not know the fate of Sandra and Lyle.
Sandra, being my wife, played by the wonderful, Ashley
Crow, and Miles Randall Bentley, but I'm not sure,
I don't know, actually, what's going to happen with
them, but I don't think they're going to completely
disappear at the moment.
you anticipate that the viewers would latch on as
dramatically as they have?
Jack Coleman: Well, I don't think
anybody anticipated that it was going to be this,
but I think everybody had an idea that the show had
real promise. So the fact that it has stuck around
and found an audience does not surprise me, but the
fact that it has become this kind of runaway train
is quite surprising, not because of the show. The
show is amazing and deserves it, but you never never
know, look at all the shows that were so highly touted
which are off the schedule now, and it’s just
such a crap shoot. You really don't know what you're
going to get.
we know you’ve got a second season, what might
be set for any cliff hangers involving your character,
and where do you see the character going in season
Jack Coleman: Okay. We're about to
start filming Episode 20, I have no idea what is happening
in Episode 21; so I'm not trying to be a kill joy
when I say I have absolutely no idea what's gonna
happen next season. I do think there are some relatively
profound changes heading toward HRG, but I don't know
that they're going to continue or that they're going
to or what's going to happen into the next season.
don't have a sense of it might change or anything?
Jack Coleman: Oh. I think the mission
will definitely change. The question is for how long,
and at what cost; so it certainly is not going to
be the same kind of bagging and tagging we've seen
HRG do with Matt some of the others, or I think that
-- I think it’s going to be a very different
kind of mission that he's on.
thank you so much.
Jack Coleman: My pleasure.
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