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By Suzanne

 Corey Stoll as Efrem in "The Strain"

Interview with Corey Stoll of "The Strain" on FX 8/10/15

I really enjoyed talking to Corey. He was very nice and answered my questions in a very intelligent and exciting manner. What an amazing actor he is!

Final Transcript
FX NETWORK: The Strain
August 10, 2015/10:00 a.m. PDT

SPEAKERS
Kristy Silvernail
Corey Stoll

PRESENTATION

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the FX Networkís The Strain conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, todayís conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to our speaker, Ms. Kristy: Silvernail. Please go ahead.

Kristy: Hello and welcome to The Strain conference call with series star Corey Stoll who plays Dr. Ephraim Goodweather. Iíd like to thank all of you for joining us today and remind you that this call is for print purposes only, no audio may be used. The Strain is currently airing its second season on Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. And in case you didnít hear, FX announced a Season 3 pick up at TCA last week.

With that said, letís go ahead and take our first question.

Moderator: Our first question today comes from the line of Heather: McClatchey with TV Goodness, please go ahead.

Heather: Alright, good morning, thanks so much for talking to us this morning and congratulations on the renewal.

Corey: Thank you.

Heather: So, in the opener of this season, Eph told Fet that he is not a very good vampire killer so heís going to go back to what he knows. And now that heís on to something, whatís sort of driving him at this point? Is it really vengeance against the master and all of the vampires or is it really just to try and redeem himself in the eyes of the CDC and the people that sort of put him out to pasture because they thought he wasnít valid in what he was trying to tell them?

Corey: Well yeah, I think itís really both. I think obviously itís personal now that Kelly has turned and is actively trying to turn Zach but I think just his personality is such, too, that heís won at everything pretty much in his life, up till now. Now heís in a situation where heís lost more in the last week than he has in his entire life. So heís obviously a veryóheís always been a very alpha guy and very type A. Heís been knocked down numerous pegs and is admitting such but he still canít let go on either front, so itís personal but itís also professional.

Heather: Great, well thank you very much. Iím really enjoying this season.

Corey: Thank you.

Moderator: We do have a question from the line of Christina Avina from On Request Magazine. Please go ahead.

Christina: Thank you. Hi, good morning Corey.

Corey: Good morning.

Christina: Let me ask you, the majority of your roles, and you have a long, long list to your credit, theyíre very much more reality based than this scenario on The Strain. How has it been as an actor for you to sort of operate in this world, especially one created by Guillermo del Toro where anything can really happen? It must be very interesting.

Corey: Yeah, itís an interesting challenge and itís one where I think we tookóCarlton and I at the beginning of Season 2 felt the need to sort of adjust a little bit because so much of what the show is about is about the tone and the look and the style and the feel of it which is unique. There are other vampire shows and other vampire movies out there but Guillermo brings something unique and so trying to find that right balance to sort of be in the same show.

I think itís a pretty good challenge with this show where the stakes are incredibly high but itís not the same world that we live in, and thereís also a real, sort of a wicked sense of humor that runs throughout the whole thing. I think in this season thereís a lot of conversations between Carlton and myself about how to have me participate in that sense of humor because I think the danger is often to sort of fall into melodrama. Itís sort of about being in that same world where these stakes are incredibly high, but you have to sort of keep one part of your tongue in your cheek a little bit.

Christina: Great answer that really does clear it up. Thank you so much.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: And we do have a question from the line of Aaron Sagers with NBC Universal. Please go ahead.

Aaron: Hi, Corey, thanks so much for joining us today; I appreciate your time. Iím curious Eph, in last nightís episode, when he throws his former boss off a train, sort of I guess a two-partó

Corey: By accident.

Aaron: Did he have a choice or did he make the choice to kill him?

Corey: No, he didnít; he didnít. It was really a [audio disruption] move to not get hit and before what he knew what was happening, he had killed him. Now it was in his best interest probably to kill him but this isóitís still obviously a very big deal, itís his first human kill. No, he did not intend to kill him.

Aaron: Well now that he crossed that line will this open up a door to sort of a darker Eph, a guy thatís willing to do more and cross the line a little bit more easily?

Corey: Yeah, I think you can say that. The first time he killed anybody intentionally he was being attacked and that was sort of purely defensive. As the first season went on, he became more inured to killing to the point where he doesnít really sort of flinch killing people who are completely turned.

Then he crossed the line, again, at the beginning of this season experimenting on freshly turned people and then this is another one, and then sort of the ratchet that sort of keeps pushing him past these lines that he never thought he would cross. But yeah, it definitely from that point on to the rest of the season, he is in a different place, morally.

Aaron: Thank you.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: We do have a question from the line of Brent Hankins from Nerd Repository. Please go ahead.

Brent: Hey, Corey, thanks for taking a few minutes with us this morning.

Corey: No worries, Nerd Repository, thatís awesome.

Brent: Thank you, appreciate that. Hey, before we jump into The Strain, I just wanted to say real quick Ant-Man was probably my favorite movie of the summer so far, so I hope you had as much fun making it as I had watching it.

Corey: Probably more.

Brent: Alright, so at Comic-Con we spoke to you a little bit and you said that this season you would really see a lot more of the relationship develop between Eph and his son. I wondered for you as an actor, since theyíve recast Zach for this season, if itís been more difficult to kind of formulate that relationship because you donít have the first season to kind of draw on working with the other actor?

Corey: The material was so different from Season 1 to Season 2 in terms of the types of scenes that I had. It really is almostóit would almost be a whole new sort of relationship even with the same actor. I think maybe that had something to do with the recasting with a sense of that this character was going in a very different direction from where he had been in the first season.

So, just the very nature of the scenes are so different. In the first season, Zach was really an object really in the fight between Kelly and Eph. Here in this season heís much more willful and self-governed.

Brent: Alright, thanks very much.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: We have a question from the line of Angela Dawson from Front Row Features. Please go ahead.

Angela: Hi, Corey.

Corey: Hey.

Angela: I just wanted to ask you, there was a lot made of the ďWig Gate.Ē I just wanted to ask you, are you kind of relieved that thatís behind you now and were surprised at all the attention that that got while it did?

Corey: Yes, Iím relieved and I spoke about this at the TCAs that it was, just from the sense that it was a distraction for the audience. Itís unfortunate, and thereís an unfortunate bargain that every actor has to make; they donít have to make, but often makes is that the more you work the more recognizable you are. That can be helpful in getting you more work but itís detrimental to your job as an actor because youíre less able to disappear into the role.

I can see why someone like Johnny Depp has gotten so enamored of really intense hair and makeup for his roles because when you get that famous it can sort of be the only way to really do your job, just sort of become somebody else. So thatís an unfortunate thing that peopleís ability to see past the image. It was limited here. So yeah, itís a relief to have that not be an issue in this particular project.

Angela: Great, thanks a lot.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: We do have a question from the line of Sandra Perez with The Hidden Remote. Please go ahead.

Sandra: Great.

Corey: Hey.

Sandra: In the last episode we saw the vampire children kind of going into full action now. Can you tell us how muchówhat factor will they play in the future episodes?

Corey: Well, the feelers areó

Christina: Thank you. Hi, good morning Corey.

Corey: Good morning.

Christina: Let me ask you, the majority of your roles, and you have a long, long list to your credit, theyíre very much more reality based than this scenario on The Strain. How has it been as an actor for you to sort of operate in this world, especially one created by Guillermo del Toro where anything can really happen? It must be very interesting.

Corey: Yeah, itís an interesting challenge and itís one where I think we tookóCarlton and I at the beginning of Season 2 felt the need to sort of adjust a little bit because so much of what the show is about is about the tone and the look and the style and the feel of it which is unique. There are other vampire shows and other vampire movies out there but Guillermo brings something unique and so trying to find that right balance to sort of be in the same show.

I think itís a pretty good challenge with this show where the stakes are incredibly high but itís not the same world that we live in, and thereís also a real, sort of a wicked sense of humor that runs throughout the whole thing. I think in this season thereís a lot of conversations between Carlton and myself about how to have me participate in that sense of humor because I think the danger is often to sort of fall into melodrama. Itís sort of about being in that same world where these stakes are incredibly high, but you have to sort of keep one part of your tongue in your cheek a little bit.

Christina: Great answer that really does clear it up. Thank you so much.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: And we do have a question from the line of Aaron Sagers with NBC Universal. Please go ahead.

Aaron: Hi, Corey, thanks so much for joining us today; I appreciate your time. Iím curious Eph, in last nightís episode, when he throws his former boss off a train, sort of I guess a two-partó

Corey: By accident.

Aaron: Did he have a choice or did he make the choice to kill him?

Corey: No, he didnít; he didnít. It was really a [audio disruption] move to not get hit and before what he knew what was happening, he had killed him. Now it was in his best interest probably to kill him but this isóitís still obviously a very big deal, itís his first human kill. No, he did not intend to kill him.

Aaron: Well now that he crossed that line will this open up a door to sort of a darker Eph, a guy thatís willing to do more and cross the line a little bit more easily?

Corey: Yeah, I think you can say that. The first time he killed anybody intentionally he was being attacked and that was sort of purely defensive. As the first season went on, he became more inured to killing to the point where he doesnít really sort of flinch killing people who are completely turned.

Then he crossed the line, again, at the beginning of this season experimenting on freshly turned people and then this is another one, and then sort of the ratchet that sort of keeps pushing him past these lines that he never thought he would cross. But yeah, it definitely from that point on to the rest of the season, he is in a different place, morally.

Aaron: Thank you.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: We do have a question from the line of Brent Hankins from Nerd Repository. Please go ahead.

Brent: Hey, Corey, thanks for taking a few minutes with us this morning.

Corey: No worries, Nerd Repository, thatís awesome.

Brent: Thank you, appreciate that. Hey, before we jump into The Strain, I just wanted to say real quick Ant-Man was probably my favorite movie of the summer so far, so I hope you had as much fun making it as I had watching it.

Corey: Probably more.

Brent: Alright, so at Comic-Con we spoke to you a little bit and you said that this season you would really see a lot more of the relationship develop between Eph and his son. I wondered for you as an actor, since theyíve recast Zach for this season, if itís been more difficult to kind of formulate that relationship because you donít have the first season to kind of draw on working with the other actor?

Corey: The material was so different from Season 1 to Season 2 in terms of the types of scenes that I had. It really is almostóit would almost be a whole new sort of relationship even with the same actor. I think maybe that had something to do with the recasting with a sense of that this character was going in a very different direction from where he had been in the first season.

So, just the very nature of the scenes are so different. In the first season, Zach was really an object really in the fight between Kelly and Eph. Here in this season heís much more willful and self-governed.

Brent: Alright, thanks very much.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: We have a question from the line of Angela Dawson from Front Row Features. Please go ahead.

Angela: Hi, Corey.

Corey: Hey.

Angela: I just wanted to ask you, there was a lot made of the ďWig Gate.Ē I just wanted to ask you, are you kind of relieved that thatís behind you now and were surprised at all the attention that that got while it did?

Corey: Yes, Iím relieved and I spoke about this at the TCAs that it was, just from the sense that it was a distraction for the audience. Itís unfortunate, and thereís an unfortunate bargain that every actor has to make; they donít have to make, but often makes is that the more you work the more recognizable you are. That can be helpful in getting you more work but itís detrimental to your job as an actor because youíre less able to disappear into the role.

I can see why someone like Johnny Depp has gotten so enamored of really intense hair and makeup for his roles because when you get that famous it can sort of be the only way to really do your job, just sort of become somebody else. So thatís an unfortunate thing that peopleís ability to see past the image. It was limited here. So yeah, itís a relief to have that not be an issue in this particular project.

Angela: Great, thanks a lot.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: We do have a question from the line of Sandra Perez with The Hidden Remote. Please go ahead.

Sandra: Great.

Corey: Hey.

Sandra: In the last episode we saw the vampire children kind of going into full action now. Can you tell us how muchówhat factor will they play in the future episodes?

Corey: Well, the feelers areó

Sandra: Yes.

Corey: óthe formidable part of the Strigoi Army. Theyíre fast, they can crawl on walls, and they play an important part of the masterís arsenal going forward the rest of the season.

Sandra: Alright, and what about Ephís alcoholism? Weíve seen it gradually increase. Can we expect to see that affecting how he handles the whole situation? Will that play a big role?

Corey: Yeah, definitely. He does not sober up the rest of the season. He was never the best fighter in the world; but, no, heís a little easier and a little bit more handicapped.

Sandra: Right, thank you so much.

Corey: Sure.

Moderator: We have a question from the line of Suzanne Lanoue from The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Good morning, Corey.

Corey: Good morning.

Suzanne: I was wondering since Ant-Man was mentioned, has your life changed much since the big hit movie came out. Are you recognized more?

Corey: You know, I have not noticed a big difference.

Suzanne: Oh.

Corey: I was pretty recognizable before and was stopped pretty often. The one thing that I was sort of bracing myself for was that children would be stopping me and that would sort of be another level of, sort of, intensity, but I think children donít quite, theyíre not expecting to see people from movies walking around.

I remember growing up, my elementary school was on the same block as Christopher Reeveís apartment. I remember very vividly seeing him, you know we were a group and seeing him walking down the street and you know, everybody just is going crazy that there was Superman. Then occasionally he would have like a disguise he would put on. He had glasses and I think he even put on a fake beard or something because you know, that you had Superman living on the same block as an elementary school could be a real problem. So I was sort of expecting the worst, but that doesnít seem to be my problem.

Suzanne: As a quick follow-up, if Ephraim were to get into a fight with Darren Cross, ĎYellowjacket,í who do you think would win?

Corey: Darren Cross.

Suzanne: He fights dirty?

Corey: Yeah, and Darren Cross has a daily workout session; heís in top shape and heís very aggressive.

Suzanne: Alright, thanks very much.er">email us if you can help out!  More volunteers always needed!  Thanks!

Page updated 8/31/15

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