The mysterious man in Horn Rimmed Glasses opens up about his character, his relationship with Claire, and Season Two of this breakout show!
Heroes is proving to not only be a force of nature, but a powerful force for actors as well. How else to explain so many talented members in it's cast?
We recently had the opportunity to sit in on a conference call with the great Jack Coleman. Making a name for himself as Steven Carrington on the landmark Aaron Spelling show Dynasty, Coleman currently plays Mr. Bennet aka the mysterious H.R.G. (Horn Rimmed Glasses) on Heroes. He talked about the show, his character, and even dropped some hints as to what fans can expect in Season Two.
Do you think the right pair of horn rimmed glasses has helped you with your character?
Jack Coleman: We probably went through about a 100 pairs... everybody sort of gave their opinion on it. We came up with sort of the perfect... it's funny they're sort of the Heroes pair of horn rimmed glasses that we use everyday, then there's a backup pair. Occasionally, I've had to wear the backup pair and it feels completely differently, and off and uncomfortable. As soon as I put the glasses on it's the character, other than that I had an epiphany that I looked exactly like my father did when he was my age.
Do you know what your character's first name is? Is there a first name?
Jack Coleman: There was a first name in a draft. It was then removed, I think, partly because it just sort of stopped the scene in which it was delivered cold. I think they're happy for now going without a first name. My personal preference had always been Anthony, because then I could be Tony Bennet.
Would you say your character is a bad guy?
Jack Coleman: No, I've certainly been set up as the bad guy for the first two thirds of the season, but I think there's going to be light shed on both his motivation and his loyalty. I think this will broaden everybody's understanding of who H.R.G. is and what he's been trying to do. In one way I think it will make him more sympathetic, and in another way maybe even more horrific.
What were your first impressions of Heroes? Did you see it becoming as big as it has?
Jack Coleman: I first heard about the show from a friend of mine who is writer on another series. He said that, "there's this wonderful pilot called Heroes." He said, "It's my favorite script of this season." Then I realized that I know the producer... so I went in knowing that the part was a very small part and it was basically a one page audition. It was a cab ride with Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy). I'm out of focus, with sepia tones, threatening him. That was all I knew about it. Then when I saw at the very end that he's Claire's (Hayden Panettiere) 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 that 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. It's kind of being seen as the little engine that could, but I think within people in the industry this show was always seen as something that was potentially going to break out.
What has your character and his organization been doing for the last 15 years?
Jack Coleman: I think that's actually not accurate. The organization's been going on for 15 years and people have manifested well before this. The episode which was entitled "6 Months Ago," which was episode 10, that's where Claire first manifests, that's where a lot of things start to happen that propelled our story from this point forward. There's a lot of back story to a number of these Heroes, and some Heroes that we haven't met yet that go back well before that.
Have you been doing anything for the eventual Heroes Season 1 DVD?
Jack Coleman: Yes, there's been all sorts of EPK stuff that we've been doing behind the scenes. It'll be fascinating to see how it's put together for the First Season, because there's been plenty of stuff, interviews and behind the scenes stuff. And also probably some scenes that didn't make it, and just sort of an exploration of the First Season. It'll be fascinating. There'll be quite a bit of that.
Where do you see your character going with all the various dynamics? Could friends become enemies? Enemies become friends?
Jack Coleman: Any allegiance on this show is subject to change. It certainly can happen. I think and suspect that... the relationship between H.R.G. and Claire has been very strange, lately. Again... you will see a lot of... it comes to a head. There's a crisis situation that brings it to a head and then possibly some kind of resolution. I suspect that the relationship between Claire and H.R.G. is one of the core values of this show. In that, as twisted as the relationship is... they've said so many lies to each other, but ultimately I think they really do love each other and there is a tremendous bond there. I think it's one of the bedrock's that they will build a story on.
Do you prefer playing H.R.G. as the bad guy? Or, do you think the good father aspect of it 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 the weird dichotomy of this guy who is completely, on one hand kind of doing things that are so amoral... and then on the other hand comes home and dotes on his daughter. As twisted as he may be, his feelings for his daughter are genuine as they are for his entire family. So, I think it's the combination that makes it interesting.
There's been rumors that Claire will be spending less time in her hometown of Odessa, TX, given the situation with her mother and her brother, might they leave the show entirely?
Jack Coleman: I can honestly say I really do not know the fate of Sandra (Ashley Crow) and Lyle (Randall Bentley). I don't think that they're going to completely disappear at the moment.
Since we know you've got a second season, what might we expect with any cliffhangers involving your character? And where do you see the character going into Season Two?
Jack Coleman: We've just started filming Episode 20. I have no idea what's happening in Episode 21. I'm not trying to be a killjoy when I say I have absolutely no idea what's gonna happen next season. I do think that there are some relatively profound changes heading toward H.R.G., but I don't know that they're going to continue or what's going to happen. I think the mission will definitely change, the question is for how long and at what cost? It's certainly not going to be the same kind of bagging and tagging that we've seen H.R.G. do with others. I think it's going to be a very different kind of mission that he's on.
Heroes airs Mondays at 9pm on NBC.
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