In Season 2 of the Starz drama collection Counterpart, the Crossing between parallel dimensions is closed and Howard Prime (J.Okay. Simmons) goes to work and dwelling his life whereas his counterpart Howard Alpha (additionally J.Okay. Simmons) is locked in a mysterious black website and reduce off from everybody he is aware of, every stranded within the different’s world and adapting for their very own survival. As struggle between the worlds escalates, each males discover the strains between them blurring in methods they by no means would have anticipated.
Throughout this 1-on-1 telephone interview with Collider, actor J.Okay. Simmons talked concerning the trepidation that Season 2 might stay as much as the bar they set with the primary season, his confidence in showrunner Justin Marks, bringing in some thrilling new characters and actors, why this can be a story that they might proceed to seek out new layers in, how capturing in Berlin compares to capturing in Los Angeles, and what he enjoys about enjoying two variations of the identical character. He additionally talked about what drew him to the motion movie 17 Bridges, reverse Chadwick Boseman, and being optimistic about attending to play Commissioner Gordon once more within the DC Prolonged Universe of movies.
Collider: I very a lot was a fan of the primary season, so I used to be each excited and nervous about Season 2 and the way it might stay as much as what was already established. How did you are feeling about that? Did you’ve gotten conversations about the place Season 2 would go?
J.Okay. SIMMONS: There was undoubtedly a specific amount of trepidation there. There was, even within the first season, as a result of I signed up to do that based mostly on one script, for the primary episode. I’ve all the time felt assured in what (showrunner) Justin [Marks] and his writing employees are finally gonna provide you with, however there was a mixture of optimistic hopefulness and concern that it might proceed to be as fascinating and complicated and layered and entertaining. From my perspective, the reply on Season 2 is a powerful sure.
This clearly is a superb present with sensible storytelling and a forged that basically excels on the materials they’re given, and as outcome, it was shortly referred to as one of many Greatest New TV Exhibits of the Yr. Does that additionally create a sure degree of strain, following that up with a second season?
SIMMONS: Yeah. For higher or for worse, I don’t really feel strain. I haven’t immediately requested Justin, or anyone else, that query, however from my perspective, it’s simply one other alternative to proceed to develop these characters and tales. It’s an incredible, numerous, worldwide, fantastic forged, and then, in Season 2, we’ve added James Cromwell, Christiane Paul and Betty Gabriel, and all types of fantastic actors, along with having the overwhelming majority of our core forged again, or no less than those that haven’t been killed off, twice.
What was it wish to deliver these new individuals in, for this season?
SIMMONS: It was nice. Christiane is sensible. I didn’t get to work together with her, and U.S. audiences in all probability usually are not as conversant in her, however she’s an exquisite German actress. U.S. audiences are, in fact, very accustomed to James Cromwell, and fairly acquainted with Betty Gabriel. I used to be actually, actually enthusiastic about each of these additions to the forged, and had alternatives to work with each of them. There are couple of actually nice, new characters that they’ve delivered to life.
This can be a fairly complicated and difficult collection, and Justin Marks was a first-time showrunner. What has the general expertise been like, working and collaborating with him, and how have you ever seen him develop, from season to season?
SIMMONS: I simply don’t look backstage all that a lot. I are likely to take individuals at face worth. Once I first met Justin, (government producer) Jordan Horowitz and (pilot director) Morten Tyldum, and we first talked about attaching to this challenge, I had confidence in all three of them, and in Justin, as a storyteller. Regardless that long-form storytelling was considerably new to him, he was only a sensible man and had such a superb, vast number of concepts about the place to go together with Howard and the opposite Howard, and all of those characters and plots, and two variations of this entire world. There’s a whole lot of artistic freedom there.
Individuals who do TV collection speak about how, when you get a season of a present accomplished, it makes it simpler as a result of you recognize extra about what you’re doing, however it looks like which may not be the case with this present, the best way that it opens up and there’s a lot extra to discover. Did it truly get any simpler, or was it only a entire new set of challenges and problems?
SIMMONS: Yeah, there’s a sure degree of consolation there. I don’t know if I might say that it will get simpler as a result of it continues to be difficult, each technically, as an actor, and as a storyteller for Justin, nevertheless it does proceed to be fascinating, in contrast to doing a standard community procedural, the place it may get to be a little bit of a rut. And let me say that the procedurals that I’ve been fortunate sufficient to be part of have blessedly been exceptions to that rule. However with [Counterpart], we might do six seasons of this present and proceed to seek out new and fascinating methods for all these characters to go. We don’t know but a few third season as a result of Season 2 hasn’t began to air but, however I’m already having some actually thrilling conversations with Justin about, optimistically, the place we hope to go, as we proceed.
Has he additionally talked to you about how lengthy this collection might truly go for, or does it really feel open, no less than proper now?
SIMMONS: So far as the conversations that I’ve had with him, it’s been a yr at a time. I feel he views every season as a chapter, and with a sure thematic unity. I don’t need to skip forward, however I’m accomplished with my work on Season 2, so I’m already beginning to get enthusiastic about the potential for Season three.
All through Season 1, there have been so many surprising and shocking moments, alongside the best way. Will that be the case once more, this season? Are there these sorts of moments, or is it extra of an general story that’s being informed?
SIMMONS: There completely are these moments. I feel there’s much more of a way of an general throughline to this season. I’m all the time very cautious to not give something away, so I’m not gonna say any extra that.
How does capturing in Berlin examine to capturing in Los Angeles?
SIMMONS: Properly, I’ll be utterly trustworthy, I’m an enormous fan of capturing in Los Angeles as a result of that’s the place my household is. I liked with the ability to be house in Los Angeles to shoot a lot of the present, or most of my a part of the present, no less than. As soon as the choice was made that the present was gonna be set in Berlin, it was essential that a good portion of it’s shot in Berlin, and for Season 2, a lot of the present is shot in Berlin, even lots of the inside sequences. Berlin is a superb metropolis. Within the final a number of years, it has grow to be a very cool metropolis for the younger, hip crowd, which isn’t on my radar. It’s principally a lodge and a location for me, and simply with the ability to be steeped within the actuality of modern-day Berlin, which is a metropolis that’s so preferrred for the type of tales that Justin is telling. Even though this can be a modern present, there’s a sure finish of the Chilly Conflict vibe to it, and there definitely is that facet to a lot of Berlin.
What do you take pleasure in most about attending to play, discover and reside in these two variations of this character?
SIMMONS: That basically has been much more than I used to be conscious of, once I first determined to signal on and do that. It’s actually been a terrific problem and a enjoyable journey to be each of those guys and to see them develop and change from the within, as they start to take on elements of their different whereas each guys wrestle to take care of their very own id, in these very complicated worlds.
Is it enjoyable to then additionally get to see Olivia Williams undergo that this season, as she will get deeper into each variations of Emily?
SIMMONS: Yeah, completely! I’m gonna watch out about this, however to have alternatives to work together with two variations of that character has been mind-boggling and fascinating, definitely for the actors, and I’m assured that it is going to be for audiences, as properly.
You’re additionally doing an motion movie, 17 Bridges, with one other nice forged, together with Chadwick Boseman, Stephan James and Taylor Kitsch. What was the attraction of that movie?
SIMMONS: Nicely, the names that you simply simply listed. Though I didn’t know all of them, once they requested me to do it, I knew that Chadwick was gonna be enjoying the lead position, and he’s a man that I had met a few occasions, however hadn’t had an opportunity to work with, and that was a part of what drew me to it. I had some nice conversations with Brian [Kirk], the director, on the telephone, that gave me nice confidence that he can be a man I’d actually take pleasure in working with. It’s equally, in a means, to Counterpart. It’s a really complicated and layered story, filled with characters that aren’t black and white, or good man and dangerous man. Each character within the piece is fairly complicated. And as soon as the forged began coming collectively, together with Sienna Miller, who I spent a number of time with on the film, and Keith David, it was a very fantastic bunch of actors to work with. I feel they nonetheless have one other few days left. I completed my work on that. And by the best way, I’m fairly positive will probably be not be referred to as 17 Bridges when it comes out, however that was a very enjoyable movie to work on.
How does your character match into the story?
SIMMONS: He’s a Precinct Captain within the NYPD. Chadwick’s character is a detective, who’s father was additionally NYPD, as is so typically the case. That’s a job that’s handed down, from one era to a different. However I’m gonna be reluctant to do something remotely spoiler-ish. It’s a very complicated and action-filled cop drama.
Are you continue to holding out hope that we’ll get to see extra of Commissioner Gordon, sooner or later?
SIMMONS: Yeah, I’m optimistic about that. I’m dedicated, on paper, to play him a few extra occasions, and it’s simply ready to see which movies are gonna come collectively which may have Commissioner Gordon in them. However, yeah, I’m undoubtedly hoping to do extra of that.
Is there a kind of venture or a personality that you simply nonetheless really feel such as you’ve by no means actually gotten the chance to do, however that you simply’d nonetheless like to get a crack at?
SIMMONS: Not likely, truthfully. I don’t actually assume in style phrases, regardless that I’ve accomplished a number of totally different ones. For higher or worse, I’ve by no means actually had a profession path. I’ve simply been lucky sufficient to have a whole lot of good alternatives current themselves. I’m all the time simply on the lookout for one thing that I discover fascinating and, hopefully, is totally different from no matter it’s that I simply obtained carried out doing. I by no means dreamed most of what my profession has was, so it’s been a really lucky and superb journey.
Counterpart returns for Season 2 on Starz on Sunday, December ninth.
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