Chances are excellent that any and every fan of genre television has seen Mark Pellegrino’s work. The Los Angeles-born actor has played Rita’s awful ex-husband Paul on DEXTER, the savior-like Jacob on LOST, vampire leader Bishop on the U.S. version of BEING HUMAN, post-apocalyptic survivor Jeremy Baker on REVOLUTION and Lucifer himself on SUPERNATURAL.
Now Pellegrino is a series regular on the CW’s new series THE TOMORROW PEOPLE. The title characters are people, largely adolescents, who have abilities that mark them as the next step in human evolution. Pellegrino’s character Jedekiah Price claims that he is concerned these super-powered folks may wipe out ordinary humans, but it’s possible he has ulterior motives for his actions.
At a party thrown by CBS, the CW and Showtime for the Television Critics Association, Pellegrino explains Jedekiah in more detail.
MARK PELLEGRINO: I guess you would call me the man who challenges the heroes of the story and makes them know their worth. I am the possible villain.
AX: So far, it’s unclear if Jedekiah is trying to de-power the people or actually trying to harness their powers for some other purpose which is yet unknown.
PELLEGRINO: I think it’s situational. I think I am experimenting and figuring out the depths of their powers, and if they’re not harmful to society, I de-power them and if they are harmful to society, I take them out. I’m protecting the human race, so as far as I’m concerned, you’ve got to do dirty things sometimes to protect four, five, six billion people, however many folks are populating the planet.
AX: Do you see any similarities between Jedekiah and your BEING HUMAN vampire Bishop?
PELLEGRINO: I think I do, because Bishop had societal aims as well, but his is more kind of coming out from under oppression and coming out of the closet and making vampires the ruling class of society. I think Jedekiah’s more about survival.
AX: But both characters sort of take young people and say, “This is the thing to do.”
PELLEGRINO: Indeed, they have to recruit for their cause. They’re both men who have causes.
AX: At this point in your career, when you look at whether you want to play a character, do you consider at all whether they’re villainous or not, or just whether they’re interesting?
PELLEGRINO: I always feel I have to get morally behind my characters. I don’t judge them. I try to find what it is that is animating them that is justifiable, and I think Jedekiah, especially in the episodes that are coming up, really makes a case to me that’s pretty good. The Tomorrow People have a case for good, and Jedekiah’s got a case for good.
AX: Did the CW come to you for TOMORROW PEOPLE because they knew you from playing Lucifer on SUPERNATURAL, or did this just come through other channels?
PELLEGRINO: I’m not sure. I’ve never really asked [executive producers] Phil [Klemmer] or Greg [Berlanti] about that, but I’m hoping that being Lucifer for the CW for awhile helped grease the skids a little bit.
AX: Might Lucifer return to SUPERNATURAL?
PELLEGRINO: That would be so nice. I just saw Mark Sheppard over there [gestures toward another area of the party] – I think Lucy and the King of Hell have a fight that needs to be resolved.
AX: And are you coming back to BEING HUMAN?
PELLEGRINO: Yes, I am.
AX: The vast majority of your LOST compatriots all seem to be working. Do you keep in touch with any of them?
PELLEGRINO: Every once in awhile, I run into somebody while I’m working, and we say “Hi” and give each other a hug. And that’s kind of the poignant nature of our business, is that you get really close to people, and you feel like a family, and then “Bye.” And then you are living your lives and doing your job, and then you come together again at some point in the future. But it was really, really an honor to work on that show and really good folks. I wish I saw them more.
AX: With all of your genre work, do you miss working in the more natural world at all, or do you have some projects that get you back with regular people?
PELLEGRINO: My wife and I are doing a series of international shorts that are going to be compiled into a feature film. I’m going to be producing it, I write a few of them, I’ve acted in them, and so I get my dose of reality beneath the sci-fi radar doing that with her.
AX: Is there a connecting theme among the shorts?
PELLEGRINO: Miscommunication. That’s kind of the idea – miscommunication because of cultural differences and language barriers.
AX: Which cultures have you explored?
PELLEGRINO: So far, we’ve been to France, we’ve been to Italy, we’ve been to Germany, we’re doing one in L.A., we’ve done one in New York, we’re going to go to Dubai and do one there, and a couple other places.
AX: Do you have any other projects going on?
PELLEGRINO: I’m focusing right now on TV. I do theatre on the side and teach acting at Playhouse West inStudioCity, the Meisner approach to acting.
AX: What do you like about THE TOMORROW PEOPLE as a project?
PELLEGRINO: I like that, one, it’s sci-fi – I’m a big fan of the genre. I like that it’s about human things. It’s shown in kind of a supernatural context, but it’s about family and loyalty, which is what I loved about SUPERNATURAL – it was about family in the end, about the brothers, and for Lucifer, too, about family. And about loyalty and belonging and figuring yourself out. I think it’s something that a lot of teenagers can really relate to. My daughter loved it, so I think it has all those nice human elements that are raised to a pretty high pitch because of the supernatural element.
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Article: Exclusive interview with THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, BEING HUMAN and SUPERNATURAl star Mark Pellegrino