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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Heroes' Tim Kring interview

Here is part two of the conference call scoop with Heroes’ Tim Kring. Enjoy!

Q: Tim, I just wanted to ask you about the danger of overpopulation. And if you’d never kill anybody if people start to wonder, you know, if crying wolf too often, particularly with even Peter surviving a nuclear explosion. Is there a danger that you have too many characters and that you really need to kill people more often?

A: Yes, on a show like this, you have to be able to fold people in and fold people out. So the audience should fully expect to see characters leaving in the near future.

Q: I wanted to just ask a little bit about the reconstruction that you’ve done with Matt Parkman’s character, especially with the change now and his family dynamic and his wife. Will she ever come back into the story or is he really - has just gone through a reconstruction of who he is?

A: We will see the wife again shortly. But there is clearly a mystery as of now -- there won’t be in the next couple episodes -- to what happened in these intervening four months of the end of the season, season one to the beginning of season two.But clearly he went from a man who was - who’s wife was pregnant and expecting a baby to - and living in LA to a man who’s living in New York and no longer with his wife. So something happened in those - that intervening time. And we will find out about it. But yes, we will see the wife again.

Q: Our readers are really responding to the Matt, Mohinder, Molly kind of family dynamics. So I wonder if you could talk about the importance of the relationships for the rest of the season. Maybe you can touch on that family and West and Claire.

A: Well, you know, in our show the sort of secret of the show is that it really is about the relationships and really about the character. So we always try to focus all of our stories through - filter it through that idea.But, you know, in our show things change and things morph and become very complicated and different as you watch. So one of the hallmarks of the show is that nobody is really who they seem to be. So in terms of West and Claire, I’m sure there’s lots of questions that the audience has as to whether West is ultimately good for Claire or not. And we’ll just have to stay tuned. As for Mohinder and Matt and Molly, we wanted to sort of do a, in a way, our version of My Two Dads, a kind of domesticated life for these two characters who, you know, we saw circling each other all last year. And one of the interesting things that’s happening this season is the joining of different characters that we never saw last year. And Mohinder and Matt is certainly one. And, you know, Matt and Nathan last night, Suresh and HRG, Claire’s father is another one. And so it’s a continual sort of quest to try and shake things up.

Q: What exactly inspired the show? And in that vein, did you every have any favorite super heroes or super hero stories that might have acted as inspiration?

A: Well no. It wasn’t really any super hero stories that inspired the show. The show was inspired by wanting to do a large ensemble drama that tackled some issues that I felt were on everybody’s mind. And that was this idea that the world is a very complicated and dangerous place and in need of help and in need of help from us who are all ordinary and trying to think about what it was that could speak to that. And in many ways, a regular cop show or medical show just didn’t seem to have - to answer those questions in a large enough way which led me to the idea of super heroes. And that’s sort of where it came from.

Q: I just wanted to ask a more specific question about last night’s episode with the photo of the 12. Will we be seeing more of the five that we aren’t aware of yet? Have we already met some of them? And will you be using the same actors from the photograph for those roles if they show up? And as sort of like a sub question, if you could confirm whether or not Joanna Cassidy was one of the actors that was standing there?

A: Yes on almost all of those accounts. We will be seeing the people who - in the photo. I think all of them will be playing - will be the same one which I just have to tell you, the photo has got a life of its own. Because logistically it was so difficult to actually come up with this photograph that’s used now and refers to things that are shot well in the future here, it was very difficult to get that all lined up. But yes, the photo is as accurate as we can make it. And it did look an awful lot like Joanna Cassidy in there.

Q: Was Kristen Bell’s character written with her in mind or did you create the character and then go, you know who’d be good for this?

A: The character was created before we cast Kristen. And we had been talking about the character for a while and thinking about the character for a while. But when you do cast an actor, especially one that you’re familiar with their work and has as much personality as Kristen has, you try to tailor the character a little closer to who the actor is. So it’s hard to know when one starts to influence the other. But certainly the character was created and conceived long before we cast Kristen.

Q: With the possibility of a writers’ strike later this month as certainly the contract’s lapsing possibly of a writers’ strike, what kind of an impact has that had on the writing and production for you guys?

A: Well to be really honest, it has not had a lot of impact. We like everybody else, had assumed that a strike would be well after our season ended. So we never really prepared for it. The fact that we were a little ahead of other people, we started production a month earlier than most people has been mistakenly interpreted as that we were doing it because of the strike. But in fact it was that we were doing 24 episodes this year. And since our show is so much more complicated production-wise than almost any other show on TV, we just needed the extra time. So once that train starts rolling, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. You can’t speed it up and you can’t really slow it down. So in reality the strike doesn’t have a lot of effect. It clearly will have a tremendous effect if it happens. But in terms of what we’ve done up until now, no not really. I wish there hadn’t - I wish there could have been - could have done more. But… You can only write them as fast as you can write them. And we’re already moving at such a pace that we can’t really accelerate the process much (unintelligible).

Q: I was wondering how you guard against the kind of - a little bit of fan frustration setting in if the plot seems to be getting more and more complicated and there seem to be - we seem to be further away from any answers than we were, you know, three episodes ago. And also at what point in the season can we expect the foray to Canada that you’ve spoken of before?

A: Well, you know, we actually are not a show that tries to keep answers away from the audience. Our sort of feeling is that no answer is so precious that we can’t tell the audience what it is. That being said, there’s a certain amount of fun with drawing things out enough that it keeps your interest. But our show changes and morphs all the time. One of the things that we did this season that we’re - we didn’t do last season, last season we had one volume. It was called Genesis. And it was - happened to be 23 episodes long. And so one of the things that we found is that by the end of the year we were dragging a tremendous amount of story behind us that had to be paid off in that final episode which made for an episode that the expectations are so high that, you know, it’s hard to meet everybody’s expectation. So this season we’re going to have multiple volumes. The first one is called Generation, started with Episode 1 of this season and ends on Episode 11 where everything that - every answer that - or every question that is raised will be answered within these 11 episodes so that it’s one complete volume that then slingshots us into another – know, cliff hangs us and takes us across the break into another volume. So, you know, if people are feeling the frustration of wanting answers, you know, usually I think people say they want answers, but they really enjoy the idea of following the mystery and watching it twist and turn. And as for Canada, the show takes that turn in I think two episodes from now.

Heroes storyline tidbits

Q: The storyline about Micah’s new family unit focused more on him and Monica than on Nichelle Nichol’s character. Does she get more play as the story progresses? And has the cast now become jaded to meeting StarTrek cast members?

A: Well, you know, one - I - Nichelle Nichol’s character will be in the sort of support of Dana Davis character for a while. But I think we can look for around mid-season for that character to start to emerge in its own right. As for the jaded to the StarTrek, you know, it’s not really our intention to bring characters on from that show. It in a strange way has been an odd coincidence. The best people who walked in to read for both the character of Kaito Nakamura and for the - for the character of Monica’s grandmother just happened to be former cast members of that show. And it’s been a lot of fun for a certain segment of the audience to see that. But clearly there are not many others that we can tap into to. But, you know, as of now this is where we - we’re leaving it at these two.

Q: Seems like with this past episode especially, you’re starting to really kind of move the plot forward and sort of narrow the focus to a few key storylines. Can you talk about balancing the desire to, you know, kind of catch people up or bring new people in at the start of the season to kind of getting on with it and moving…

A: Well, yeah. I mean I think you very much hit the nail on the head. You know, one of the problems with starting a season is that you have to start everything at the - pretty much at the same time, or at least that’s the impulse. And on a show like ours where there’s a lot to cover, it can get a bit cluttered. But we have now settled into a pattern of telling fewer stories and I think which allows for a more - a deeper sort of experience with the show with each one of these stories. But one of the pressures becomes the balancing act of people coming in and people sitting out. So not everybody can be in every episode.And part of what happens on any show is that you enter a relationship with your viewers where you teach them how to watch your show and they teach you what they seem to be responding to. And so for us, we I think are in this process right now of teaching the audience how to get used to the idea that not everybody is going to be in every single episode. Last night’s episode was a great example of it. We had - we didn’t have Hero, Masi’s character or Milo’s character, Peter Petrelli in last night’s episode and others. But those were two big storylines that we followed from the very beginning of the season. And you watched that episode last night and it’s compelling and intriguing. And I don’t think that you really miss seeing them for one episode because you know that their stories will pick right up where they left off last time.


Bryan said...

Kudos to the journalist who asked the Overpopulation question. I know you, Tube Talk Girl, have been complaining for a while that there are too many heroes. I agree. There are just too many characters to follow to do justice to any of them.

weevilswobble said...

I'm interested in Matt's character. He's been one of my favorites. I've been dying to know what happened to his old life.

Justin said...

I just don't see how you can kill any of them, but Sylar. We've all become attached to Peter, Nathan and the gang. Honestly, I'd miss them. Who would you want to kill, Bryan?

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