Billy Burke Talks REVOLUTION, Revealing Why the Power Went Out, Being Recast as Miles, His Relationship with Charlie and the Season Finale

     April 3, 2013

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, actor Billy Burke spoke at a roundtable about the big reveal for why the power went out, how he had originally been hired to play Sebastian Monroe before being recast as Miles Matheson, Miles’ very messy love life, the evolution of the Miles-Charlie relationship, what piece of technology he couldn’t live without, and how the season finale will open up a completely different can of worms.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Question:  Now that you know the reveal about the power, how shocking was that information for you?

BILLY BURKE:  Well, I wouldn’t say shocking.  They set it up, so that when we do find out what actually transpired, you’re more interested in other stuff by then.  If it were just going to be a show about the power going away, then it wouldn’t have been very interesting.  Really, once you do take that power away and that way of life away, the show just becomes about, “Don’t die, and take care of and fight for what you love.”  That’s really what the show is about.  The power is secondary to that.

So, the real draw to the show was the awesome sword fighting, right?

BURKE:  To begin with, I wasn’t hired for this role.  I was hired to play Bass, and then after we had already shot a Bass scene, I got a call from [Eric] Kripke saying, “I think you’ll find this good news . . .”  He literally said just that.  He said, “We’d love it if you’d play Miles.”  And I was like, “Yeah, I’m down with that!”  A day later, we were shooting that first sword fight scene for the pilot.  So, I had no idea I’d be doing that much sword fighting, and neither did they.

Viewers are going to meet Miles’ first love, and he already has Nora and Rachel.  What can you say about Miles’ love life?

BURKE:  Everybody will be kissed by Miles, in the future.  As Monroe starts to sink further and further into the abyss, and Charlie basically takes on all the characteristics of Miles that he would never want to see in her, especially, let alone anybody else, he starts to reveal some things about himself that he would never have even admitted to, and he starts to realize that there’s more to care about then himself.  He’s just a selfish bastard, but he starts to realize that these annoying fucking people that he’s been hanging around with for so long, he actually does start to care about them.  So, we’ll start to see that more and more.

revolution-billy-burke-tracy-spiridakosWhat’s he going to do with Nora and Rachel?

BURKE:  Well, it gets dicey, you know?  People have emotions and things that happen, along the dusty path that we’re on.  And people have got to make babies in the future.  He’s just really following his instinct and, at this point, trying not to destroy more than he builds.

What can you say about the evolution of Charlie and Miles’ relationship? 

BURKE:  Well, Miles doesn’t have any kids of his own, that he knows about, so when this little brat comes along and snivels her way into his life, he wants no part of it.  Now, he’s looking over his shoulder, every moment, for where she is.  Does he want to be doing that?  No, he doesn’t, but he can’t help it now.  And then, he starts to almost enjoy seeing her evolve and become this little warrior.  But, as that starts to grow and build, and she starts to get deeper and deeper into that, she starts to become all those things that he would never have wanted her to be, and all the things about himself that he would just as soon deny.  So, it gets real dicey and interesting there. 

How has the concept of the show affected the way you feel about your dependence on electronics?  Has it altered it, at all?

BURKE:  Yeah, we think about it a lot and we talk about it.  In the initial stages, in the first few months of making the show, we talked about it a lot.  The reality is that you never really know what you would do, but you start to realize how much you do rely on it.  It gives one pause, in that it’s a bit disgusting what we’ve now, in 2013, become.  We are so reliant on power and technology for everything.  It does make you think about, “Okay, if that was all gone, what do I really care about?”

Is there a piece of technology that someone will have to pry from your cold, dead hands because you just couldn’t live without it?

revolution-posterBURKE:  My answer to that is recorded music.  That’s the one thing that I would miss the most.  I can do without a television or a telephone, I think.  As long as I surrounded myself with the people that I cared about, the communication thing would be all right with me.  But, it would suck, not having recorded music.

Did the producers give you any information, ahead of time, so that you would be prepared for some of the reveals?

BURKE:  Not one thing, no.  As a matter of fact, and we all deal with it, we’ll get scripts and something will be said or some action will take place, and we’ll be like, “What?!  Why?!”  For me, there was a lot of getting on the phone with Kripke and going, “How is this going to be redeemable?”  And he’ll say a couple things, and I’ll go, “All right.”  We just go on blind faith.

If there isn’t a second season, are there enough questions answered that fans are going to be happy?

BURKE:  No.  Where we get to, by the end of this season, is great, but it opens up a completely different can of worms.  So, we’re hoping that there’s a next [season].

Revolution airs on Monday nights on NBC.  Click here for all our WonderCon 2013 coverage.