Continuum, which is currently airing Season 2 on Syfy, has really proven to be one of the most intriguing and thought-provoking sci-fi dramas on television. The show follows a group of fanatical terrorists, known as Liber8, who escaped their planned execution in 2077 by traveling back in time to 2012, inadvertently taking City Protective Services officer Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) with them. Trapped in the past, Kiera infiltrates the local police department and, with the help of Detective Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster), tries to track down the terrorists before they change the course of history.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Victor Webster talked about his whirlwind audition process for the show, how Season 2 feels different from Season 1, that he’s constantly surprised by what’s going on with his character, what’s to come for Carlos and his relationship with Kiera, how he thinks Carlos might react, if he ever learns the truth about Kiera, that Tahmoh Penikett will be returning again this season, how much he enjoys doing stunts and fight scenes, and what Carlos might think, if he were ever to travel to 2077. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Collider: How did you originally come to Continuum?
VICTOR WEBSTER: Well, I got a call on a Wednesday saying, “They’re very interested in having you come in to do a chemistry read with Rachel Nichols.” The show was called something else, at the time. So I said, “Send me the script.” I read the script and said, “Wow, this is really great.” Carlos isn’t in the pilot very much, but they said that would all change. So, they flew me to Vancouver on a Friday, I did the chemistry read with Rachel, and didn’t think anything about it when I left. On Saturday afternoon, I got a call that said, “Congratulations, you’re Carlos! You’re moving to Vancouver for six months on Monday.” The good thing about it was that Carlos wasn’t in the first couple of episodes of Season 1 that much. He just had some procedural cop things to do. It didn’t start getting into Carlos until later on, in the first year. That definitely gave me some time to wrap my head around it, talk to the writers, and figure out who Carlos was.
Was there a point when you realized that people were not just tuning in and watching the show, but that they were responding in the way that you had hoped they would?
WEBSTER: The good thing about our day and age now is that social media really puts us in direct contact with the people that are fans of the show. We get immediate feedback, after an episode airs. You Twitter feed will blow up, and you really get a chance to hear what people are thinking about the show.
How does Season 2 feel different from Season 1?
WEBSTER: One of the things I hear a lot about the show, and one of the reasons we love doing the show, is that it’s not a simple show. It’s a very intriguing, thought-provoking show where two people can watch an episode of the show, and then have a conversation about exactly what went on, and each person can have a different impression. In the second season, we go so much deeper into the mythology of all the characters and really see why Liber8 is doing what they’re doing and what makes them tick, and Kiera (Rachel Nichols) and Carlos’ struggles, as well. Now that we’ve developed the characters and you know who everybody is, we find out what really makes them tick.
Do the separate sci-fi, police procedural and action elements help keep things fresh for you?
WEBSTER: Yeah. We’ve got a really good balance of everything. We have the procedural, sci-fi and action, and it’s a very strong character-based show. They balance a tightrope of weaving all of these genres together into one show very well. You have to pay attention with this show. This is not a show you can just leave on, in the background. Some procedural dramas are like that, but there are so many things that you can miss, even when you’re just watching the show. The first time I watched the show, I watched it on my computer. And then, I watched it on my big screen TV, and it’s amazing, the things that you miss when you don’t watch it on a TV. There are little Easter eggs hidden in there, that you would never know.
WEBSTER: I’m constantly surprised. Even now, when I get an episode, it seems like something crazy is happening that just blows me away. We don’t know anything. Rachel and I are both very adamant about not knowing anything that’s going on, until we get the script and read it. I don’t wanna know what’s gonna happen, two episodes from now. I don’t wanna know what’s gonna go on, in the finale. I don’t wanna know any of that because I don’t want to play the ending. I want it to be a surprise. So, it’s as much a surprise for us, as it is the people watching the show. When we read a script, it’s like, “Woah, you’re doing what?! Really?! Okay, let’s do this.”
What’s to come for Carlos?
WEBSTER: Carlos is definitely completely overwhelmed. He’s got a ton of stuff going on. He’s still dealing with Kiera and what’s happening with her. She gets herself into all kinds of antics, as well, so Carlos has got to be there for her. And Liber8 is up to their old tricks of causing mayhem.
Since their relationship is not exactly built on honesty, what is it about Kiera that leads Carlos to trust her? Will Carlos start to question her more, this season?
WEBSTER: That definitely becomes more of an issue, and we deal with that, to a certain extent. He’s got a lot of questions, but because she has the protection of Section 6 and the ability to do whatever she wants, I can’t question it that much. But, he does see a lot of red flags that pop up, that make him really wonder about what’s going on. One thing he loves about her is her passion and determination. He may not agree with her tactics, but the fact that she goes after it with such passion, Carlos really admires. She gets things done, and she’s always got Carlos’ back. Anytime he really needs her or he’s in trouble, she’s there, and vice versa. They’ve developed this great trust of each other, personally.
It seems as though things will get to a point where Carlos will have to learn about some of what she’s been hiding and lying about. How do you think he’ll react to her being from 2077?
WEBSTER: Yeah, that definitely has to happen, at some point. It’s going to be very interesting to see where it goes from there. Being a cop who questions things and believes in facts and things that are tangible in front of him, Carlos is going to find it extremely hard to believe. I think he’s going to fight it for awhile. I think he’s probably going to think she’s crazy, as anybody would. If my friend came up to me and said, “By the way, I’m from 65 years in the future,” I’d be like, “What?! I know you’re odd, but come on!” It will be very interesting to see what happens, if and when that happens.
How much do you think not knowing the full situation really gets Carlos in trouble? Do you think he’d be better off, if he were more aware, especially when it comes to Liber8?
WEBSTER: The thing is that he doesn’t have a super suit. He can’t take a bullet to the body and brush it off. When he gets shot, he gets shot, for real. He doesn’t have a superhero suit to protect him. And he’s not armed with the knowledge of what’s really going on. So, that would help him tremendously. But, Kiera can’t give him that information because then she’d be giving away too much. Then, Carlos would really start to figure things out. If she does do that, then his reaction is too unpredictable, as far as what would happen after that. He does get himself into some sticky situations, and we take it to a whole other level this year, with Carlos just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
WEBSTER: That’s a really dangerous road to travel because it’s been done so often and it’s very hard to navigate. Once you build that and then go there, you eventually have to have them together, and then you dump all of that tension. A lot of shows have tried to develop that. But, one thing about out show is that we are anything but predictable. That would be the normal route for every other show to go down, but because we’re so different, if that were to ever happen, it would be a very strange and interesting route to get there. But their dynamic, right now, is that she has a husband and a son in 2077 that she’s desperately trying to get back to. That would be her cheating on her husband because he does exist and there’s still hope. Until she finds out that she’s never going to get back, if that ever happens, then that won’t happen for Carlos and Kiera. But if that does happen, then what happens to the show? That’s one of the major struggles, right now. So, it’s a difficult road to go down, but if anybody was able to pull it off, it would definitely be (show creator) Simon [Barry] and the writers. I just don’t know if we’ll ever do that.
What was it like to get to see Carlos interact with his old friend, Jim Martin (Tahmoh Penikett), last season, and will there be some more of his past coming into the story, this season?
WEBSTER: I love that they’re showing all those sides to Carlos. We develop those sides for all of the characters this year, even Liber8. Tahmoh’s character comes back this year, and there’s a lot more interaction between us. You definitely see more, and Carlos lets you in on his past, a lot more. There are some episodes where Carlos opens up, and lets some of his past and the way that he was raised and what makes him, him, come out.
Do you enjoy doing the physical work on this show, and do you try to do as much of the action and stunts as you can?
WEBSTER: I absolutely love it! Those are the days that, physically, I just have so much fun. I was raised doing martial arts. I still train and compete in martial arts now. I just love it. It’s a way of life for me. Everything that we’ve done, so far, I’ve done. Unfortunately for my stunt double, he doesn’t really get to work. Unless it’s something they absolutely will not let me do, like jumping through fire or something like that, I do it. I love it! Our stunt coordinator and fight choreographer is so good. We get along really well and he trusts me, as a person and a martial artist. We collaborate on a lot of the fights together. I bring some of my knowledge and he brings his knowledge, and we put some really incredible fight scenes together. He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever worked with, in this business. The producers and directors that come on this show want to see us do everything, so they get really excited when Rachel and I both want to do all of our own stunts. Anytime you can have the actors there, and you don’t have to try to hide their faces with the camera and you can actually see them doing everything, it makes it so much easier for them and it’s such a better experience for the audience, when they’re watching it. You don’t see the back of somebody’s head, flying through the wall. You see my face being tackled through the wall and landing on the ground. When you know that it’s the actor, it keeps you involved. You don’t want to see the wig on a stunt double because that takes you out of the reality of the show. For me, it’s just so much fun. I don’t want to miss out on the chance of having a good time.
If Kiera ever does find a way to get back to 2077, do you think Carlos would ever consider going with her, or maybe even going to some other time period?
WEBSTER: That’s a really good question. I haven’t even thought about that. That would be very interesting. There would be so many things to deal with. Let’s say that Carlos does leave, then that means anything that would happen in his future, ancestrally speaking, would be completely gone. That would never happen. Is he willing to take that chance? I would love to see Carlos, though, in 2077 and see his reaction to all of it. I don’t think he would like it very much. I don’t think he would like seeing how corporate governments have taken over, and the people that have the best lives are the people that have money. He wasn’t raised with a lot of money. He was raised in Colombia by his mom. I don’t think he would agree with it or enjoy that time period, whatsoever. But, I think he would like the gadgets and the technology. Personally, I love the idea of going to the future, like Blade Runner and all of these different imaginings of the future, but very few of them are places that I would like to go, except for the gadgets and the technology. So many of the imaginings of our future just seem so bleak. One of the things about this show is that you can sit there with your friends and family, after you watch it, and really discuss so many possibilities. It makes you think and get excited. Our writers are so good about not giving you just one side. They open you up to the pros and cons of each particular scenario that they expose you to. There are so many questions and possibilities.
Continuum airs on Syfy on Friday nights.