Interview: The Arch Enemy and the Girl Friday – Chatting with "The Cape" stars James Frain and Summer Glau
I’m a very fortunate girl. This week I got my second opportunity to speak with a couple of the actors who star in NBC’s new super hero drama, The Cape. I first met Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), and James Frain (True Blood) at Comic-Con, along with the rest of the show’s very charming, very gregarious, very thoughtful cast. Now that everyone’s seen the two-hour pilot, I got exactly seven minutes to ask a few more questions. Without further ado, here are my questions, along with their (paraphrased) answers.
Me: I like the fact that The Cape gives us what we expect from a super hero show, yet brings something new to network television. What do you think makes The Cape special, will make people choose it over other shows on Monday nights?
James: I think that it’s fun. It has a sense of humor that makes it fun to watch. The combination of camp, fun, and realistic scenarios make it a wild ride to film and also to watch.
Summer: It has a great pace that really keeps you invested in the show, and I also agree with James about the humor element. Also that it’s a show that a whole family can sit down and watch together, and each person will have a slightly different perspective.
Me: It’s a slightly different take on a super hero, with Vince having no alter ego that exists in the non-crime fighting world, and also because Orwell – the Girl Friday – isn’t a love interest. Do you think this works in its favor or makes the story more challenging?
Summer: Sure, it’s a challenge, but it’s real life. Relationships between people aren’t clean cut. Vince might see Orwell as his Girl Friday, but in Orwell’s eyes, she’s allowing Vince into her fight against her cause. She’s really guarded and in control – it’s hard for her to let him in. But she’s also more lonely and vulnerable than she’d like to admit, and we’ll see in the future what it does to her when she admits what he means to her and their common fight.
Me: I know they’ve only aired two hours, but is Peter Fleming just the one-dimensional bad guy we’ve seen so far, or is there more of a backstory that contributes to his evil, like the Joker or Two Face in the Batman stories?
James: We are going to find out much more about Peter/Chess in the future, and there’s definitely more to him. I can’t say much, because they aren’t revealing much to us before we read the scripts.
Summer: I’ve heard things.
James: (asks what she’s heard, continues when she refuses to spill) They’re keeping some developments a secret, but working like that keeps you engaged as an actor, and always wanting to know what happens next.
Me: These next couple of questions come from some of our Facebook/Twitter friends. First, Summer – what drew you to this project? Why was Orwell a character you wanted to play? (note: She kind of answered this in a previous question)
Summer: It’s the right place for me in my career right now. I’ve always played empowered women, and Orwell is empowered, but she also has this silent, invisible piece of her that she hides on the inside. She’s just trying to do what she thinks is right according to her. She’s more than just a strong, empowered woman, and that’s good.
Me: James, on a scale of comic book villains, where does Chess rank?
James: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally nice and 10 being the most evil villain ever? I’d say Peter Fleming ranks a 3-4 and Chess a 9.9. He might eventually push evil villains to a whole new level. We’ll see.
Me: How is the cast getting along? And funny moments from set you’d care to share? Is David (Lyons) still getting the crap kicked out of him?
Summer: There’s no fooling around. We’re all very professional and serious.
James: Actually, I think there’s quite a bit of goofing around…but that’s a hard question. It’s a cast of smart, interesting, fun people, and we’re all getting on great. As far as David goes, you want to be the hero, you’re gonna have to take some beatings.
Words to live by, if you ask me.
The Cape airs Monday nights at 9pm EST on NBC. I highly recommend giving this one a chance – it might surprise you.
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Images courtesy of Frank Ockenfels 3, Trae Patton, and NBC.