The show's two new bad guys talk about the upcoming fifth season
Heroes starts up with its fifth season with a special two-hour season premiere on Monday, September 21 at 8 PM ET on NBC. The series has two new additions in Robert Knepper and Ray Park and the actors recently held a conference call to discuss their involvement in the series. Here's what they both had to say.
So obviously, you know, in the past couple years you guys have both played some really great really iconic characters. Does that help you or does that hurt you when you enter a new project like this?
Ray Park: Oh okay thank Robert. Sometimes it sort of helps for like fan base for other things that I've done but also at the same time it can sort of be - there's a lot more expectation for certain things that I've done in the past. But this role is great because it's - I'm a big fan of the show myself so it's a really sort of transfers - the things I've done in the past it really is all, you know, transfers over the same sort of fans that sort of genre if that makes sense.
Robert Knepper: Yeah I would agree with that. I think look it's nice to be on the map; it's nice that people know you. And it's nice to feel that they have trust in an actor's ability to, you know, even though I guess in the same - it'd be the same general category of baddies or bad guys that they're smart enough to realize the difference between one role to the next. And, you know, a lot of times I get - I don't know about you Ray but I get a lot, you know, asked questions well how do you feel about being, you know, stereotyped now as a bad guy? And I'm like I don't know I just prefer being stereotyped as a working actor. I mean I just work all the time now. And Prison Break definitely helped that for me. So each role is different. This is hopefully different enough from that one where people go wow, the guy's, you know, once again showing, you know, that he can act.
Ray Park: Yeah, that's right I agree.
So what can you guys tell us about the appeal of your current characters? What do you guys like about these roles on Heroes?
Robert Knepper: Okay. We - Acting 101 lesson I learned years ago is you always play the opposite anyway. And I think Ray is very charming in this part. I think Samuel, my part, is again he's going to get what he wants by being charming and not, you know, beating people over the head. I like the fact that we're kind of going with the opposite of what was on paper which is again a stereotypical - could be a stereotypical carnival barker step right up Ray walks, he talks, he really, really walks, you know that kind of clichéd non-human kind of thing. We turned him into a kind of a Keith Richards-esque rock and roller kind of guy. So that's always kind of fun. And then I sort of threw in this sort of Gallic Celtic Irish-English-Scottish accent a mutt all in one. So that I think is kind of fun to play whether it's appealing to the audience or not we'll see; hopefully it is.
Ray Park: Robert does a great job by the way and it's an honor to work with Robert. And the accent... Your accent's good, you know.
Robert Knepper: It's all right. You're from there, you know.
Ray Park: Yeah, you know, and it is, it's - to me to work on Heroes it's - I'm learning all the time about myself and the difference in pace of what I've been used to the in the past. But as for the character I was really intrigued with the carnival and where my character could extend or where it could go. And so a lot of the unknown is very appealing to me but a little bit frustrating at the same time. And the fear of the unknown did you say?
Ray Park: The unknown, yes. Where it's like even though we're working but it's still that uncertainty of where it's going to head, you know, where my character would be going and where its place. And it's a lot of fun. I mean Edgar is compassionate and he's good at what he does but he feels the carnival is his family and so, you know, he'll bend over backwards, do anything to protect and do what's good for the carnival. And, you know, to have a beard and a Mohawk for a couple of months while everyone thinks I'm a punk rocker it's a good excuse to cut my hair like that and grow a beard.
I was wondering, Robert, what is the most challenging about your role?
Robert Knepper: I'd have to say, you know, I'm a little embarrassed about the fact that I'm working with a dialect - my character has a dialect. I usually have at least a couple weeks to work with my dialect coach and wherever I've played - a character from France or Bobby Kennedy or English or lately I think it was - the latest one was a Russian character, I usually have time and I really invest it in. Prison Break kind of taught me that at least with a Southern accent you don't - you can sort of get by with what Chris Walken told me once called movie talk. But doing a character from one of the British aisles is tricky because unfortunately or fortunately I'm surrounded on the set by people from that community especially Ray. The first day I worked with him I'm like oh no he knows exactly what I'm trying to do here and I haven't done my homework on it. I deliberately didn't want to do the homework because I wanted him to be kind of a mutt. I wanted him to be a hodge podge of different things so people would go where exactly is he from? But that's kind of the challenge for me to keep it still in the vein of somewhere either Ireland or middle to Northern England or even Southern Scotland but not be specific and not get laughed off the screen.
And there's something in particular you have to do for your voice because I imagine that talking in accents so frequently amount of time takes a strain on your vocal chords?
Robert Knepper: No, no, not really. No it takes a strain on my brain. And it, you know, there's some actors that when they do a - I have a pretty good hear so I don't have to belabor it too much. Some actors I know they stay in that accent or their dialect all day long; I don't do that. I get out of it and I'm myself. And then I get into it. And everything I've ever done that I imagine my dialect coach would say to me now is hit it, hit it right on the head and then pull back from it if you know what I mean. Like just soften it up a little bit. So that's -I would say that's probably the only strain for me is just trying to figure out what - how much do we push it? But I figure hopefully I've got some time here to figure that out and the audience will be forgiving.
Now Ray have you had a most memorable moment so far from filming this season of Heroes?
Ray Park: You know, my experiences working on Heroes right now up to this day has been really, I mean, the first day walking on set and just bumping into Milo and Jack Coleman and it was just overwhelming but also I was a big fan-boy, you know, because, you know, I get to watch these guys on TV and now I'm working with them. And, you know, sharing scenes with Robert. And, you know, actually it was an embarrassing moment with me I was so in awe of what was going on, you know, I completely took myself out of the scene and it was like I was watching a ginormous TV screen in front of me as Robert and I were rehearsing. So it was pretty funny but embarrassing inside.
Robert Knepper: Well Ray you know what's really sweet about you though Ray is that you - this is exactly how he is, I mean he is so friendly and so complimentary on the set that at first, you know, I don't - I never watch anything, I never watch television, I hardly see moves because I have a little kid. If you'd name a Pixar movie then I would know it. But other than that I really don't see anything. And Ray's - forgive me if there's other things, Ray, I don't know. But one of the most famous things you've done is that, you know, that guy you had with the red face, you know, that little character that people don't talk about very much in Star Wars. But I didn't know you played such an iconic character and you come on the set and you're like, you know, you literally were at first like just a fan. Oh they got this really nice guy to play him, you don't carry your ego at all, you're the most humble guy to work with.
Ray Park: Thank you.
Robert Knepper: And you've got some chops, man, you've gotten - you've gotten some pretty hefty credits to your name so I just wanted to say thank you for you and your way of acting on the set too because you're so humble. No one would ever know.
Ray Park: Oh thank you, Robert, you're a pleasure to work with too.
Robert Knepper: You're welcome.
This is a question that Heroes cast members have been hearing for years but I figured, you know, you all could take a stab at it to. If you could any super power of your choosing what would you want and why?
Ray Park: That's a good one because every time I get asked that I always walk away and go oh I should have said this, I should have said that. I've been asked it in the past and I think I don't know, sometimes I, you know, when I was a kid I wanted to be like Teen Wolf and be able to sort of turn my eyes red and scare people away, because it seemed like the most non, you know, physical way of doing something without, you know, putting a finger on someone. When I was a kid, you know, first seeing Teen Wolf. But as I got older and you think, oh it'd be nice to be able to read people's minds or move objects with my mind. And so I just try and live it through TV and film, you know, and try and be like Peter Pan and try and make believe and, you know, let the kids believe that I can have those special powers.
Robert Knepper: Oh I wish I had said that, that's like the perfect answer. I have two thoughts and, sorry, they're just immediate thoughts; one of them is I'm sitting in my messy office; I wish I had the power to whenever I wanted to just be able to go I'm going to clean my office and it's clean. Because that's the last room in our house that just - it gets the least amount of attention. And damn it, I deserve it and I'm worth it; I should be able to have a clean office but it's up to me to do it. And the second thing is is that I've - I would love to have the power to be the just eternally perfect husband so my wife would always be happy; that would take me to heaven if I could figure that one out.
I interviewed Jamie Denton several years ago when he was playing a bad guy on The Pretender and he literally was a cannibal. And he told me that one time he stepped on an elevator and got recognized by the guy that was on the elevator. The guy says I'm so sorry but I've got to stop this elevator and get off and get away from you. He creeped him out that much. Have you ever had somebody react that strongly...
Robert Knepper: You know my elevator story don't you?
Robert Knepper: Okay it's a very similar story. It happed at the Magnolia Hotel in Dallas actually. It was the second season of Prison Break. I had come a week early to find a home for my family. And I was staying on the sixth floor I think, pushed the - it's a great old hotel, guys, it's just beautiful, beautiful, I don't know when it was built, maybe 20s or something. And it's a kind of like a - the Shining kind of feel in the hallway there by the elevator. And waiting for the elevator to come, the door opens up and there's this beautiful young couple inside both blonde, blue eyed. The elevator music should have been playing John Denver's Rocky Mountain High. I mean they looked like the idyllic Denver, Colorado couple. And they're kissing and snuggling away and she's kind of got her head buried in his neck. And she turns because the door opens up. She turns to see, you know, who's going to get in and there I am. And she doesn't see Rob Knepper, she sees T-Bag. And she screamed finally. She didn't even have a moment to exhale to scream it wasn't like aw, it was oh and it was this long drawn-out scream. I mean the poor thing turned red. And then like a nanosecond later instead of getting off just had the wherewithal to realize oh my God what am I doing, that's the actor playing that part that creeps me out on TV every week. And then she just, you know, profusely apologized. I got on the elevator and we had a good laugh and we rode down together. But that's the freakiest thing that happened to me.
What's it like for both of you working on Heroes compared to your other work because, Ray, you've mainly done film work haven't you?
Ray Park: Yeah, this is the first TV show or TV action show I've ever done. And I mean mostly movies and it's actually really exciting. The first time I actually saw Heroes was two years ago and I bought it on DVD and everyone was talking about it. And I sat over the holidays watching it and staying up until 3:00 in the morning. And I remember sitting on my bed and thinking, wow, this would be the TV show that I'd like to work on. And as luck would have it two years later I'm here. So it's like - I'm having a lot of fun right now.
And is it any different for you Robert from other shows you've worked on?
Robert Knepper: Honestly no. I just feel like it's just a different family than the last one but it's a great family. And it just fits like a glove right away. And that's just a great feeling when you come onto a set and it's a really comfortable feeling that it's well-oiled machine. People were very excited to go back to work for this now fourth season. And to be a part of it is it's just a really good feeling. I think the more I do the more I realize that really good things - really good people work on shows, it's not that different. The content will be different but the work ethic is the same and that's a really comfortable feeling. Even between features and television I find anymore it's kind of a similar feeling. Once you know you're in and they like you and you like them it's a really great ride.
What's it like for you working with the special effects on Heroes?
Robert Knepper: I think that that's - that that's the same on any show - that's - a movie or TV. That's - you know they know what they're doing so you just kind of go along for the ride. Here put your hand this way, put your, you know, turn your body this way. Okay now we green screen, don't move. I mean you feel like a can of soup sometimes. But you know it's worth it because in the end when you see it you go whoa, that was pretty cool.
Would you mind both telling us about your powers; what kind of powers your characters are going to have next season?
Ray Park: My powers are supersonic speed, a little bit like Daphne's in Season 3. And with about - with this speed I'm also the (night fellow) as well and able to utilize that skill, you know, you know, I see Edgar as a man who can throw many knives in one shot and he has the speed to do that. And plus with the acrobatics and the martial arts sort of, you know, circus-y martial arts acrobatics, you know, he - and I utilize that with the character. So it's fun to actually play the character with speed but actually get to slow everything down for precision, you know, which is really nice. You know, we do things at real time, then when we come to do some as a I say to Milo, dancing - when we get to do some of the fight scenes together, you know, it's nice to be able to really, you know, play it out and have a bit of fun with it. Yeah, I'm having a laugh.
Robert Knepper: I'll answer another question that you haven't asked; it's sort of in tandem with the answer to this one. One of the reasons why I - one of the reasons why I came up with the idea to sort of do a smattering of a dialect accent work with this character being sort of mostly Irish, a little bit of English, a little bit of Scottish, taking a cue from Robert Shaw in Jaws was I wanted to - I wanted to sound like somebody - what I would call from the old world. And one of the oldest things in this world besides any one country is our planet and Earth. And my power - Samuel's power is that he can move not the planet Earth but he can move Earth. He can move dirt for lack of a better word. And I wanted that grounded feeling, that sort of old world thing which I guess if I literally wanted to go old world I would say I'm going to speak Roman or Greek. But I didn't want to go that old. I wanted to go something that you feel like is still very romantic and still very passionate and that comes from the ground. And when I think about you guys on that side of the pond I always think about something that's really, really old world and as well as being able to - the power of being able to move not heaven but parts of Earth.
Now can you guys describe the relationship between Samuel and Edgar outside of the carnival gang thing? Like is Edgar Samuel's right hand man or something like that?
Ray Park: What do you think Robert?
Robert Knepper: Well it's a good thing the actors like each other because the characters I think - I wouldn't trust that guy down an alley if you paid me. There's a lot of pretense going on between these two guys. There's a lot of rivalry and jealousy and some old, old - some old stuff going on that may or may not be told through our dialogue in eventual episodes. But so far the little we do know about the scripts and the characters Ray and I both have, you know, latched onto this thing of like yeah, I trust you. Yeah, I'll go along with you. Yeah, you're my right hand man, wink, wink. Yeah, just wouldn't want to turn your back for too long on that guy.
Ray Park: That's right.
Ray I also wanted to know how much of your martial arts do you get to utilize with your character and did you have any say in the choreography of the fights?
Ray Park: I get to early on see episodes. I got to sort of show off, you know, what I've got to do over the year is show something different with every character and I've always sort of brought it from my physical background and, you know, brought it into my character. And with Edgar I've been very lucky to do that being part of the carnival and be able to have speed and have knives and also have acrobatics. So I wouldn't say like I'm jumping back and doing a kiai, and you know, doing a Bruce Lee pose but it's within, you know, within my character, you know, for what, you know, I'm doing as part of the carnival. And, you know, it's a great family and to be part of Heroes, you know, the stunt guys and stunt coordinator, (Tim Gilbert), he's very, you know, he's from the old school and he's really cool. And, you know, he's very open and he's just like great. We'll just, you know, shows what we can do and, you know, we'll work with it. And so it's really been really good, you know, like it's easy for me to come on in stuff where he choreographed and I just bring my character into it. You know, and sometimes I might throw a little twist or a flavor into the, you know, put a little spice here and there. But it's been a lot of fun. I've been very blessed to work with some really great people and it makes my job a lot easier.
Rob, can you talk about how Samuel's aggression contrasts with T-Bag's aggression? And Ray can you talk about how your - how Edgar is a different character for you? What makes him stand apart from the other guys you played in terms of - because both of you have played people who do violence to other people but I gather your motives in this show may be different.
Ray Park: For Edgar he's, I mean, when I was - before when I was asked to come on and I was told that, you know, I'll be playing a bad guy or I'll be, you know, playing a bad guy for the rest of my life because I've played bad guys. But when I read the pages of the characters and of my character I didn't really see Edgar as a bad guy. You know, he just - he was asked to go and do certain things that, you know, in turn, you know, bad to others. But he knew it was something he didn't really want to do but for the sake of the carnival and to listen, you know, and also to listen to Samuel, he, you know, he has to do these things. But there is also a lot of friction and there's a lot of question and uncertainty of where the direction has been taken. So, you know, there's a couple of point in times where I was, you know, enjoying because I had different ideas about how I was going to be, you know, I chose the knife to do the jobs that I was asked to do. So I embellish it and really enjoy it. But in turn it was, you know, this is something you don't want to do but you have to do it but you're good at doing it. So - in a violent way so there's no witnesses because there's a lot to be, you know, lost if I was found out or if we were found out. That's how I saw it at first. There you got nice and simple and quick.
Robert Knepper: Okay I'm going to try to answer it this way, it's - I don't think that I can compare the two. I've kind of - I went spinning with my wife several months ago and at the end - which is always a cathartic experience anyway getting that sweaty and sort of a transcendental state from that exercise. And at the end of the spin I remember hearing myself say in an interview that I'm the actor formerly known as T-Bag. And so I'm done with that character. And I've loved it and I'll always love that character but now I'm on to this guy. And this guy - what I find really interesting about this character for me now is that it's the idea of power. And what people do with power and how they crave power. And I'm talking about our worst president and I'm talking about some of the worst dictators in history. And that's the little time that I have when I'm not with my family or trying to work on the character is I kind of delve into the psyches and reading about the worst of those kind of people. And Samuel has the potential to be an incredible leader but he's also - he's sickened with this whole idea of power. And that's something that T-Bag could never hope for; he would never be the governor of Alaska for instance or, you know, the President of the United States. It would be - they'd be like what are you talking about? You're a pedophile, you're a mass murder. Samuel could actually probably get away with it like a lot of these guys do in history. So that part of it I think is fascinating to play with.
You mentioned a few minutes ago were these roles written with the two of you in mind? Did they approach you to come play these roles or did you audition or how did that work?
Robert Knepper: I read for it. They wanted me, they loved me but they, you know, now a days a lot - unless you're Tom Cruise a lot of times they'll say well we love you you're great but we just want to see it. We've got to see it. And I'm like here, look at this. Okay? See this. But I said okay. I took about two months off from the last gig and I said I want to work. And I'm not Tom Cruise so I've got to read for it and it didn't take too long. And then they said okay let's go to work.
Ray Park: For me they asked if I - it's a little bit embarrassing because I wanted to come in and read for it but it was coming down to the point they were starting filming and they had written a part - the part of Edgar. And I spoke to Dennis Hammer, one of the - the executive producer, and he said we wrote this in (unintelligible) but wouldn't it be great to have someone like Ray Parks play this part. And I started laughing because I thought - I'm so used to going and having a meeting and auditions where they said oh we want someone like Jet Li, we want someone like Jackie Chan and I was like oh. You know, you get sick of hearing about the other guys. And it was really nice to be referenced and he said to the other guys well why don't we get Ray? And when I was asked to come in I got really excited and of course I was all right here comes the audition. And I said to casting I was like I would love to come in and read because I really want to be a part of this; I want to do this. I, you know, want to come in and, you know, it just so happened, you know, I was asked to come in and met with the producers and here we are.
Are you all planning to be on the series for as long as you can? I mean, did you sign on for a couple of years or...
Ray Park: I wish, you know. Like I live - I'm sort of two weeks and advance, you know, for every episode. And I don't know where my character is heading and so far so good and I'm here as long as it is. But I really couldn't honestly answer that. I'd love to be, you know, through the end of the season but I always have a feeling that I always get killed off in everything I do so you never know.
Robert Knepper: I'm there until they say good bye.
You guys are new to the show and I'm wondering what is your favorite scene that you've shot so far on Heroes and can you describe it so we have something to look forward to?
Robert Knepper: I've had two different moments - two very well written scenes; one with Masi and one with Zach. They were again because of the writing they were just really moment to moment slam bang blasting scenes. And they - by the end of both of those scenes - there'll be other scenes I'm sure but so far those meaty scenes for me have been the kind of - when you finish them at the end of the day - at the end of the night you go wow. And hopefully it translates to the screen as well. So far the feedback has been really good about them. But they're basically - they're similar scenes in that Samuel gets down to the nitty gritty with both Hiro and Sylar, kind of calls them on their shit and says, you know, come on, don't BS a BS-er here; what's going on. And it'll be interesting for the fans I think to see not only what Samuel does but mostly what - how he can get under people's skins. And he certainly did in those two scenes with those two characters.
Ray Park: A lot of the stuff that was done together has all been a new experience and, you know, I've really enjoyed everything we've done so far. And everything has been different as well. It was great to have myself and Zach and Robert and (Don) and we were all in - they showed the carnival for its entirety and, you know, you can see, you know, the carnival in its glory. And it was fun to do that, you know, to have - to be in the midst of everything and play out. So, you know, I'm sure they'll be planning more things to come as well. And also to do one of the fight scenes with Milo as well. And that was earlier on at the beginning of shooting. And I had a lot of fun doing that; that was an experience as well as to how shooting fight scenes would be compared to anything else I've done. And it's been really nice.
Was there any new skills either of you had to learn for your parts, I mean, I believe, Ray, your part - the character uses knives a lot. I mean was there anything you had to learn for that?
Ray Park: Yeah, for me it was the knives; I don't use knives at all. You know, I don't like knives. I've been cut a few times by a knife by other people and it's been - but I was very, you know, because of the carnival and I always loved the circus as a kid and so I've used the martial arts background and performance background with the martial arts to bring it into the character. So I'm glad that my daughter loves going to Benihana's. That's embarrassing to say when she - a four year old says, daddy can we go to Benihana's because, I'm impressed by their chefs there so, you know, I've picked up a few tips from those guys. And of course I always wonder what would Jackie Chan do if he had a knife and a spoon and a fork and how cool would he use one of those utensils. It's something I work on and try to come up with something that was clean and simple but a big flash that would happen.
Robert Knepper: Well I just - Ray just tipped me off for something if I ever - I'll know when I see him working at Benihana's someday that he'll be nostalgic for Heroes long after he's gone because he'll be the new sous chef at Benihana's. No I think that all this seems pretty familiar to me. Just different clothes, different character and stuff. The trickiest part for me is working on the dialect. I mean that's something I'm still fishing around with. Actually when we went to Comic-Con when was it a month or so ago, I don't know time is flying. Was it July or August I can't remember. But I actually said in front of the audience I said you guys are going to see me actually rehearsing this thing over the next several episodes instead of having it all perfected before I start it's something I'm developing as I'm doing it. Which before my last gig I don't think I probably would have had the cheekiness to say something like that. But I feel like, yeah, you know, there's enough trust that they know I'm - my heart is in the right place to delve into this character; it's not that I'm being lazy. I just - I'm really discovering - truly discovering as I go. And I think that's the thing I learned on Prison Break is that - and it's things I've talked about with a lot of the actors on this show, when you get into your fourth year you have to kind of reinvent yourself; you have to keep it fresh somehow. I mean I do, some other people maybe could phone it in but I think if you start phoning it in you're always going to start phoning it in on future jobs. And I never want to get in that position. And I'm just challenging myself now at the beginning of the job so that, you know, I keep reminding myself that that's always how I'm going to work and how I will, you know, three years from now on Heroes if it goes that far.
Ray, a lot of people I know have talked about how your, you know, your big roles have all been, you know, in costumes, you know, where you don't really have many lines or, you know, it's mostly the martial arts. So are you excited to be able to play a part where, you know, people get to see your face and, you know, you have more lines?
Ray Park: Yeah definitely. It's a big step for me. I mean in the past I always wanted to - it was frustrating because I, you know, the parts I've played but I wanted to, you know, continue to work. And as I've gone on I'm like I told myself I really enjoyed the parts, you know, I don't mind the going to wardrobe and makeup and do it as long as I get to play an interesting part. And so I've worked - been on Heroes it's really - it's, you know, the first time you get to see me really, you know, just let loose and, you know, I get to have a lot of scenes it's not just me running around and I'm chopping and doing kicks and punches and flying through the air. You know, I get to, you know, be involved in the scenes. And which is great, you know, and it's great to have that, you know, confidence and have, you know, the - and even the writers and producers to give me more stuff to do. And it's great - it'll be really it'll be the first time people get to see, you know, what I can do and, you know, I'm always learning. And I'm glad for the experiences I've had.
Can you maybe sort of talk a little bit about what you think your character's goals are and what the...
Ray Park: In - well at the beginning is more of a, you know, the passing of one of the members who is very close and dear to Samuel. And, you know, in the beginning it was - I was just searching for a lot of answers myself personally for the character. And I'd asked Tim did I have more of a bond with this other person in the past. And he said yes. And so it was more, you know, having this - a watchful eye on what Samuel was doing and but also at the same time having that fear of him because I knew what he was capable of. At the same time that was my home and place and family. So (unintelligible) family and it's - and you feel like a bit of an outcast and it's your only home. And at the same time my character was also (be) seeing that he doesn't want to do but he wants - he was always asking the question well if this is getting done is it going to lead to where we're supposed to be heading and what I'm being told where we're going. And that's really where in the beginning - and there is conflict between Samuel and Edgar and there's a little bit, you know, jealousy and maybe frustration and questions and, you know, and there's a lot more to come. A lot of the stuff I don't know for my character. Up until now that's where I, you know, was sort of heading. And there's a lot of other things are going on in the storylines and in the scripts that I don't know about and what I've read and it's very - it's an intertwining sort of adventure.
I was wondering if you guys could talk a little bit about maybe how familiar you were with the Heroes mythology before you joined the cast and did you have to do any kind of catch up to kind of find out where all the characters stood?
Robert Knepper: I have to admit I never watch television; once in a while I'll see things but I grew up without it. I had a father who said I hate television; it came into being when he was a kid and he didn't have it so he didn't think I needed it. So we used to stand around the piano and sing songs every night; that was our home entertainment. So I don't think it's - I didn't - I caught the pilot about a month ago. I think it's a brilliant pilot. And when I have some time I'd like to maybe watch it. But as far as the acting or the character building I felt like I didn't really need to, you know, see every episode. I feel like I've got a sense of the archetypes of these different characters. So I also think it's a different thing when you watch something and then when you're actually doing it. Ray mentioned earlier about, you know, when he first started working on it - working with people and seeing them as actors from different shows they've done as opposed to just the character. I think for me ignorance is bliss in this case. I looked at Ray and I went that's this guy; he's got this little, you know, fun haircut and he's my - he's the guy that I'm going to use as my right hand man. You know I didn't have any idea until episodes later what he had done before that because I just was like I didn't have time to ask. I just stay right in the moment with the scenes. That took me many, many years by the way to figure out how to do. But and the other actors on the show are so welcoming that it wasn't like I had to know. The guy who play Sylar, Zach, he and I had done an Entertainment Weekly thing a couple years ago, five best villains or something so I knew about him. But I thought hey how cool, man, these two villains are getting together and going to have a, you know, a little wrestling match between the two characters. So that's kind of fun. But I don't think it's absolutely necessary to know the story unless there's something about the past with those characters that you should know about but otherwise it was just nice to move to the other dinner table and join in.
Ray Park: Yeah before I was part of the cast I was - I loved the show. I saw it about two years ago and bought it when it came out in DVD and spent the holidays watching it. And, you know, I'm kind of in love with the idea of it, you know, the - how it was written and how it was - how the effects were shown and how these people with different abilities and how everything was unfolding, the mystery of everything. And so I fell in love with the show and watching it and loved it. And when I knew I was going to be part of the show for Season 4 I downloaded Season 3 from iTunes and sat up again every night just to get, you know, caught up to speed for myself. You know, maybe there could be something there that might, you know, determine what I'd be doing and if anything was going to be followed on from the previous season. But it was just a good excuse to catch up and watch some TV because we don't really have the TV on too much at home. I'm not really a big fan of commercial breaks and stuff and I have two young kids so it's - we like to read to them and things. Then when I get an opportunity to sit down and watch a movie or watch some TV I will and when the kids are not at home and they're traveling I'll be a couch potato and catch up with some really cool shows.
So then what was it like to walk on the set after having now really being familiar with the show? Was it a little bit surreal? I mean, I know this is what you do for a living but was it a little bit weird to walk on a set that you've actually watched so many episodes of?
Ray Park: It was weird because the first day of rehearsal for one of my scenes I was like wow this is (Danko)'s apartment, oh this is where - this is the hospital. And also the other thing I loved was getting out of my car and looking at the Hollywood sign because I remember 10 years ago coming out here for the first time and seeing the studios and how I want to work in those studios one day. And, you know, just sort of living the dream to speak as, you know, 10 or 12 years ago it was a lot different - my opinions were a lot different then to what it is now.
You can watch the new additions to Heroes - Robert Knepper and Ray Park - when the fourth season and the new volume Redemption premieres on Monday, September 21 at 8 PM ET on NBC.