After an extended hiatus, the NBC drama series Revolution is back with more action, heightened emotion and even higher stakes. At its heart, the story is about a family (both blood and otherwise) struggling to stay together in an American landscape where every single piece of technology – computers, planes, cars, phones and even lights – has mysteriously blacked out forever, or so they thought. Having harnessed the power of the pendant, militia leader Monroe (David Lyons) sets out to obliterate the Rebels, and if they don’t do something fast, they won’t stand a chance. From executive producers Eric Kripke, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Jon Favreau, the show also stars Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Elizabeth Mitchell, Zak Orth, JD Pardo, Daniella Alonso and Tim Guinee.
While at WonderCon, co-stars David Lyons (“Sebastian Monroe”) and Zak Orth (“Aaron Pittman”) spoke at a roundtable about the return of Aaron’s wife, the selfish behavior that’s ahead for Monroe, whether Monroe is truly irredeemable, what it’s been like to have Aaron get in on some of the action, that neither of them get told the big story reveals ahead of time, Aaron’s possible involvement with the blackout, and what’s to come with Monroe’s backstory. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
ZAK ORTH: She comes back in the next episode or two. My character left his wife because he was going to get her killed, if he hung around. Once the power goes out, she is injured and ill and he can’t help her. And then, they are almost killed by ruffians. So, he made the selfless/selfish decision to just make himself scarce, and then it haunts him for 15 years.
David, how many selfless/selfish decisions are ahead for Monroe?
DAVID LYONS: Wow! I don’t think selfless ever comes into any conversation that involves Monroe. Monroe is so enamored of his own grief, guilt, self-loathing and need for love, that there is nothing but selfishness. That manifests, usually, in an outward expression of rage, and all that good stuff, or bad stuff.
Is Monroe irredeemable, in your eyes?
LYONS: That’s a question that keeps coming up, and it’s really interesting. Redemption is a tricky concept because is he redeemable through action? Maybe. But, is he redeemable within himself? Probably not. He’s so horribly broken. So, he can be led to that water, but he’s not necessarily going to drink it.
How much power does he want? Does he feel the need to be President of the United States, or is he fine with being President of the Monroe Republic?
LYONS: He has a void in him that can’t be filled with all the power in the world, so I don’t think he knows where the buck stops, and that’s the danger. He was a man that probably never wanted it, in the first place, and now that is the only thing that he perceives as a means to stop the inner turmoil. He’s trying to gain control over something that he can’t control.
Zak, your character is the everyman that everyone can see the world through. How did you approach the character, and what’s it like to play him now that he’s becoming harder and stronger?
ORTH: In the first half of the season, whatever involvement Aaron allows himself to have in this adventure is really, ultimately, so that he can gather everybody together and take them back home and put things back the way they were. When that is no longer an option, and he is just left there hanging in the wind with everybody else, he has to find a way to change the reason that he is out there, in the first place. It becomes about finding out what happened and what caused all of this nonsense, and finding out how to fix it. There are episodes coming up where I got to do actual stunts and actually fight back. That was a great thing for the character, and it was a really fun thing to do, as well. As far as how I went about preparing to do that, it wasn’t really an issue because it made a great deal of emotional and logical sense for those things to happen. It’s been a fairly easy progression into that.
For either of you, at any point, did the producers have to give you any information about your characters ahead of the reveal, just so that you knew for your performance?
LYONS: If they had to, they didn’t.
ORTH: If they had to, they are in violation of that. I think that is a question of circumstance, largely because the show is so big and it’s so ambitious in its reach, and the information is all being crammed into a funnel and made into a show. There’s not a lot of lead time, for these things. Where that might appear frustrating or strange to deal with, it’s actually become a strength. Your character wouldn’t know, so why should you? You have to trust them that whatever is coming down the pipe for you is not going to create any cognitive dissonance. So no, we don’t get told anything.
Zak, at the panel, there was a shot that showed Aaron at the computer and it looked like it might have something to do with the capsule. Is there anything you can say about that?
ORTH: Wow! You got all of that from that? Are you sure that is the only place you got it? That’s a sharp eye! Yeah, that is exactly what is coming up. That capsule is not a one-trick pony, in terms of the mythology and gadgetry of the show. It’s a pretty remarkable little thing. And it has something to do with Rachel being forced to finally tell Aaron what’s going on, or what she knows about what’s going on. It forces him to realize that he may have some actual involvement in the blackout itself.
David, are viewers going to find out more about Monroe’s backstory?
LYONS: Yeah. I think it’s been a real blessing for everyone. When you get any part of the episode where you get a backstory, you’ve got something to tether yourself to. There will be more of that Miles-Monroe history, and the reasons why they are who they are and they’ve become the people that they’ve become. In Episode 15, we explore that a little bit more. There is a person from our childhood that we are both entwined with, and there are consequences that come from our meeting. I think there will be quite a few little elements of backstory that start creep in.
Does Monroe feel invincible?
LYONS: That’s the definition of insanity, isn’t it? I don’t think he feels that he’s invincible. I just think he has nothing to lose. When you’ve nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. Monroe has everything, but he also has absolutely nothing. So, I don’t think he minds putting himself in harm’s way because there is an element of him that has a bit of a death wish, anyway.
Revolution airs on Monday nights on NBC.