Alex Krycek himself talks about playing bad characters trying to do good and the possibility of another X-Files movie.
After embodying the character of Alex Krycek in the immensely popular TV show The X-Files, Nick Lea has once again captured the public's attention as Tom Foss in Kyle XY. Playing mysterious characters with possible malevolent intentions is nothing new to Lea, and with the impending release of Kyle XY: The Complete First Season he sat down with us to talk all about it.
What attracted you to the Tom Foss character in Kyle XY?
Nick Lea: I had a conversation with two of the producers on the show and they were offering me the role. Whenever anybody offers me a role I take a good long look at it because that doesn't happen every day, and I want to give respect to the people that they're giving to me. I sat on the phone one day and they sorta gave me a pretty good outline of what was gonna happen in the first season, they started telling me that my character was gonna be driving around in a truck and watching Kyle. They needed to give me enough information so that I could make some kind of determination on it, because the character is pretty small in the first couple of episodes. What they told me was definitely interesting enough to peak my interest.
In the second season of the show, which starts in the summer, they go so much more in-depth into who this guy is and where he comes from and why he's doing what he's doing.
Going back to what you said about information, on a show like this where giving and not giving information is crucial to the story for hooking viewers and whatnot, what's that like for you in terms of how much information they give you up front?
Nick Lea: Well, they cut you as much as they can... as far they told me, I actually knew a lot more than most people on the show, because they wanted me to be on the show, they'd seen my work, the things I'd done in the past. They wanted me to be a part of it but they... because my character was so small in the first couple of episodes, they really kind of had to give me the information so I wasn't just signing on to a show where I was going to be a character who drove around in a truck and looks goofy all the time. Then you just have to be tight lipped. Then you just have to shut up and not tell anybody about it.
Looking at the Alex Krycek character from the The X-Files and the Tom Foss character here, is there something about these characters that draws you to them?
Nick Lea: Quite often people, I don't know what it is, I sort of spent some time thinking about it but I really haven't come up with any answers, people tend to see me that way. I don't know why that is. Obviously, there was some kind of precedence set with The X-Files but I've done a number of roles like this, bad guys that are trying to be good, throughout my career. Although, I just did a pretty large arc on Men in Trees where I played the town minister. That was a huge departure but you know what? I can't answer that question for you. I will tell you this, I am intrigued and... I go after roles that are complicated.
As I said before, I'm not interested in playing guys that are just good for the sake of being good. Or, just bad guys who are bad, who just stand there and twirl their mustaches. That's just not interesting to me. I'm always looking for a mixture of the two somewhere because that's what people are. Nobody's all good and all bad.
It seems like for you, maybe your job is to find that middle ground?
Nick Lea: Yeah, I think on The X-Files my work was cut out for me because this character that I played did so many nasty, awful things. Yet, my challenge was to try to find the humanity in there. My goal was, I wanted people to not know if they should hate me or like me. I hope I succeeded. That was the big challenge, though. Even when he's doing awful things, there's something about the character that you can't help but like.
I guess that's what you meant by having your work cut out for you?
Nick Lea: Yeah, on paper, Alex Krycek is a pretty awful character, really, in the end and very self serving. For me it was all about redemption and in a way it was about revenge as well, certainly. Hopefully, the audience could see the things that were done to this guy and why revenge was such a big thing for him. In Kyle, its more about redemption than it is about revenge. The audience will get a much deeper understanding of that in Season Two.
What can audiences expect from Season Two?
Nick Lea: Kyle and Tom Foss become much, much closer and dependent on each other. We learn why redemption is so important for his character and why he's so committed to Kyle, and why Kyle's education and fulfillment is so important to this guy.
Why do you think shows like Kyle XY and The X-Files attract such devoted fans?
Nick Lea: I think there's a couple of reasons for that. I think that they require an educated audience, because both of those shows are not shows that give away everything in the first couple of episodes. I've worked on shows where you have a relationship with somebody and by the third episode you're already divorced. I'm a big fan of shows that take their time in telling a story. I think that's what people appreciate, in the end, is a story that's told properly and with commitment. And told in a paced manner so that you have something to tune into and look forward to every week and you're trying to solve a puzzle every week.
As opposed to shows where everything's said and done and the only place to go in the end is people sleeping with each other. It's true. This show is not about that. This show is about giving away little bits of a secret every episode and its got a tremendous amount of heart this show. I've been saying earlier, I was just watching some of the episodes over again and I watched the last episode, and it's really kind of touching; Episode Ten. Its emotional and it comes from the heart. I think that combination is really potent.
Going back to the Alex Krycek character, would you be interested in reprising him in another The X-Files movie?
Nick Lea: Oh, for sure. For sure. I would really look forward to it. (David) Duchovny and I are really close friends. I'd love to work with him again, there's no question about that. I definitely think there's room there for another film. People ask me about it all the time, so, I think there's definitely an appetite for it.
What are working on now? What do you have coming up next?
Nick Lea: I just finished doing the last part of the year on Men in Trees, which is another ABC show and I'm doing Kyle at the moment and sort of committing to that, right now. I just finished Episode 10 last night so we go into Episode 11 and the show's been picked up for more episodes. Right now, I'm just sort of focusing on what's in front of me. That's the only way that I can do it. I can only kind of focus on today and my plate's full at the moment, so I'm pretty fortunate.
Kyle XY: The Complete First Season comes to DVD May 22 from Walt Disney Video.