Interview with Sebastian Roché of "The Originals" on The CW - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Sebastian Roché - photo by Bobby Quillard

Interview with Sebastian Roché of "The Originals" on The CW 10/31/14

It was great to speak to Sebastian! He's an actor I've long-admired. He's been on many of my favorite shows, including "Fringe", "Vampire Diaries", "Criminal Minds", and many more. He played Jerry Jacks for years on my favorite soap, "General Hospital", and recently stopped by there again. He's now reprising his role as Mikael on "The Originals" and has a new movie out.

He was very nice and just seems like a great guy. He answered all of my questions. I wish I had more to ask him! He was THAT nice. I look forward to seeing him in a lot more shows and movies.

Here is the our interview. I hope you enjoy it!

If the audio is not streaming well, please right-click on this link and save it to your computer. It should work better that way!


Here is the transcribed version by Gisele.

1. Is it great being back on "The Originals"?

Sebastian Roché: It is great being back. Yeah, yeah, it really is! It’s great, because the character always had the potential of being an extraordinary character, and he’s become quite formidable.

2. How many episodes have you shot or will you be shooting?

Sebastian Roché: I shot now in this season, 7 out of 10, I think, up to now, so it’s exciting. Next episode is going to be very, very wonderful.

3. They can’t kill you off on any show, can they?

Sebastian Roché: No, they do. Usually they do, but I seem to come back, yeah! It’s true that with Mikael it took a few years for me to come back. Same with Jerry Jacks, I guess. It’s nice that they want to bring me back, though. I do like the character of Mikael a lot, especially his dysfunctional relationship with his family. I’m hoping that there’s going to be more interweaving of family dynamics, instead of just me wanting to kill everything that moves. There are going to be a few episodes actually that will explain Mikael’s character a little more, but I can’t divulge what it’s going to be.

4. I read an interview where you said that it’s quite an energetic and intense experience for you playing the oldest vampire.

Sebastian Roché: It is, actually. It really is. The character requires an enormous amount of energy to perform. Basically, it seems that he runs on hatred, you know? Pure hatred, revenge, and chaos. To manifest that as an actor it requires a lot of energy -- internal energy where you don't become over the top. It's a perpetual internal fury. He seems to be fueled by pure rage, intelligently, but there is this underlying fury all the time with the character, so it's quite fascinating to play.

5. I'm glad they brought you back, because when you were on "Vampire Diaries," I was so disappointed that they seemed to kill you off so quickly.

Sebastian Roché: Yeah, I totally agree. I have to admit I was disappointed as well. They were announcing this huge character, and suddenly, at the drop of a hat, Klaus could kill him. I'm glad that he's back for a little while. I don't know how long for, but hopefully, there will be a little more of Mikael in the future. I don't think he can be a character that can be in every episode, because it wouldn't work, because he's so powerful, but I think little sprinklings of Mikael are always welcome in different seasons, so hopefully, I'll make it into the next season and the rest of this season.

6. Like Jerry Jacks, it's nice to have him come back periodically.

Sebastian Roché: It's amazing the reaction when I come back on GH. It's so funny. When I was there before, people liked me but not as much, I think. I think they like missing the baddie that he is. Although this time I couldn't come back for long, because I was very busy. It was fun, and who knows, maybe Franco has something up his sleeve in the future. They're bringing a lot of people back from the past.

7. Being around so many of the really young cast members on "The Originals" --

Sebastian Roché: I am literally Methuselah. [Laughs] I am older than Noah.

8. I was wondering if you sometimes feel like you're a thousand years old like Mikael?

Sebastian Roché: I do. At the same time, one of my sons is older than most of the other cast members, even though he doesn't look like it, but no, I don't actually. I relate very much to the cast. It's funny. I have a very youthful temperament myself. I do feel like the patriarch of the family, but I get along very well with them. I hang out with a lot of the cast when I'm in Canada.

9. How does Mikael feel about being controlled by a teen witch?

Sebastian Roché: As you saw, he's not controlled by her anymore. He wasn't too happy about it. I mean, of course, it was a means to an end. I think he wished that he would be free eventually. He was surely angered by the fact that this young, this little teenager could actually control him, but I think he probably warily admired her, 'cause he doesn't really admire anyone but himself, who knows, or maybe Leonardo DaVinci or other famous people he met during his thousand years.

10. Are you still on "Scandal"?

Sebastian Roché: No, no. Unfortunately, the stint on "Scandal" was short-lived. I didn't know whether the character was going to return. I absolutely love the show, and I would have loved to have had a longer stint on it. Who knows, maybe I'll appear on "How to Get Away With Murder." I'd love to do a little part on that. I have to admit I'm quite addicted to it. It's a good show.

11. Are there any big differences acting on ABC Primetime or the CW or Daytime or a movie?

Sebastian Roché: For me, it really doesn't make a difference. The only difference is the speed at which you work. On a film, it's a much slower process, depending on what kind of film you're working on. If you're working on a bigger studio movie, it is a bit slower; but, I mean, last Christmas, I did this thriller indie film that is quite good actually, called "Phantom Halo." We were working very fast. We made it in less than 18 shooting days. I don't think there's much difference. They need the same preparation, the same level of dedication. Yeah, it's pretty much the same as far as I'm concerned. It's very different approaching the daytime way of working which is singularly faster, so you have to get used to that. You have to get very, very prepared in terms of your lines and relax into it. It's a little bit daunting at first and scary, because you're not used to that way of working; but then you get used to it, and it's great.

12. Do you know if you're going to be returning to GH any time soon?

Sebastian Roché: No, I have no idea. [Laughs] I never know. I never know with any job. It's always a surprise to me, so who knows.

13. When you used to be on GH regularly, you did have sort of a romance with Alexis, and I wish they had pursued that a little bit better, but I guess it was more interesting to make you into a really bad guy than to have you be more of a romantic interest. You didn't get to see her at all this last time.

Sebastian Roché: No, unfortunately, every time I come back, I barely see her. It would be fun to come back and sort of a breakthrough window and appear to her, but no, no. It's a pity, because I adore Nancy as a person, but she's actually going to do a web show based on "General Hospital," I think, that I was a part of, and we had a lot of fun, doing a panel that I was a part of, and we had a lot of fun doing it. I don't know when that's coming out. We already filmed it. It was a panel that was a lot of fun with these two comedians, Jen Kober & Jackie Kashian, and I were being interviewed by Nancy. We had a lot of fun. It was great! I've done a promo sketch for the show which was really funny.

14. You have a movie out right now, "Walk Among the Tombstones" that looks like a good private eye flick.

Sebastian Roché: It is, actually. It's a really, really, very good movie. People thought it might be in the vein of "Taken," but it's very different from that. It's actually much darker, a slightly slower pace, in a good way. I think it's a really well-crafted psychological thriller film noir type all set in New York, very dark film, of course, but I love the result.

15. How was it working with Liam Neeson, or have you worked with him before?

Sebastian Roché: No, I'd never worked with him, but it was an absolute delight working with him. You know, he's a consummate professional and the nicest guy in the world. I mean, extremely approachable. Couldn't be nicer to everyone, a real gentleman. It's always nice to work with great actors, because most of the time, the greats are the nicest. You know, working with Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, these kind of guys, they're amazing, amazing!

16. Do you play a drug dealer?

Sebastian Roché: The thing is I play this Russian drug dealer, a drug lord, whose daughter's been kidnapped, so it's not the archetypal bad guy. Basically it could be anyone whose loved one has been kidnapped. He's basically going through a terrible, very human dramatic moment in his life, so that really is the main story for this character. Throughout the movie, you don't really see the bad guy other than the fact that he wants to take revenge on the -- he's basically trying to gather up money that he has lying around, because of being a drug dealer, but he's a very, very human character, actually. You would never know he's a drug lord, apart maybe from the fact that I'm wearing this track suit from the late '90s, and I have a Russian accent.

17. Have you filmed anything returning to "Supernatural"?

Sebastian Roché: No, nothing on "Supernatural," no! That's something I would love to do. I would love to go back, at least for one episode of "Supernatural." It would be really fun to just go back. I'm really good friends with all the cast. It would be fantastic to go back to the show, yeah!

18. I see you on all of my favorite shows.

Sebastian Roché: Yeah, these last years have been very good, since I moved to LA, since I went to GH, and since leaving GH, it's been great! I've been very, very fortunate, knock on wood. I hope it continues. [Laughs]

19. Do you have anything else coming up?

Sebastian Roché: No, not apart from "The Originals" for the moment, but I have a few things that might be happening, but after that, no. That's it!

20. Of all the characters that you've played over the years, who's your favorite and why?

Sebastian Roché: Ha! Well, it's difficult, because, you know, my favorite is usually the last one I'm doing, because I'm really focusing on the character. I really truly loved playing Balthazar on "Supernatural," but I really loved playing Mikael on "The Originals" with what is to come. Some of the best work that I did still might be "Phantom Halo" in which I play the father to the actors Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Luke Kleintank. I just saw the movie at a film festival, and it's really some of my best work, so I'm really happy about that. I don't know yet about a distribution deal or what's going to happen with the film, but I really loved playing that character. Apart from that, Mikael & Balthazar are two of my favorite characters. They're pretty amazing -- different but quite amazing.

21. Well, you can tell that your efforts are present on the screen, that's for sure.

Sebastian Roché: Well, good. [Laughs] I'm glad that people like the characters so much. It's great! It's been great!

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