Kevin Durand as Vasily Fet. in THE STRAIN - Season 2 - "The Battle for Red Hook" | ©2015 FX/Michael Gibson

Kevin Durand as Vasily Fet. in THE STRAIN - Season 2 - "The Battle for Red Hook" | ©2015 FX/Michael Gibson

It’s a busy period in actor Kevin Durand’s life. On FX Network’s THE STRAIN, now in its second season Sundays at 10 PM, he plays Vasiliy Fet, a New York City exterminator who switches from rats to vampires during an apocalypse. On History Channel’s VIKINGS, the Ontario-born actor portrays Harbard, aka the Wanderer, who may or may not actually be a Norse god. He also stars in the just-released-on-home video horror film DARK WAS THE NIGHT, where he plays a harried small-town sheriff. Meanwhile, in real life, Durand is a new father.

Durand’s previous credits include STARGATE: SG-1, DARK ANGEL, TOUCHING EVIL, 3:10 TO YUMA, FRUITVALE STATION, LOST and NOAH; his 6’6 height made him a great choice as Little John in director Ridley Scott’s 2010 ROBIN HOOD.

In Season 2 of THE STRAIN, which is created by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, based on their trilogy of novels, Durand’s Fet has gone from loner to leader, something he discusses in this interview.

ASSIGNMENT X: Fet has sort of founded his own little safety zone within the midst of this chaos …

KEVIN DURAND: Yeah. And he’s got everybody along to his abode and he has his own plan in trying to save New York City.

AX: While Fet is fighting creatures, you’ve played a number of creatures in your acting past. Is it fun to be on the other side this time?

DURAND: Yeah, absolutely. It’s nice to play both, but to get to play Fet and be a heroic, fun and charismatic and smart character, it’s been a real pleasure for me I’m really enjoying it.

AX: Which do you enjoy more, the strategy scenes more or the butt-kicking scenes?

DURAND: I enjoy all of it. Every aspect of this character, I’m having so much fun playing him and he’s kind of the only character that’s flourishing within the apocalypse. He’s getting stronger, he’s getting lighter, he’s getting kind of – he’s so confident in what he can do that it’s really cool to play someone who is growing in [capability] and humor.

AX: In the books, Fet has an affair with a female character who so far hasn’t shown much romantic interest in him. Can you say if that will be part of the show?

DURAND: At this point in time, as you see in the second episode [of Season 2], something goes in a completely different direction [with a romance beginning between Fet and Dutch, the character played by Ruta Gedmintas]. So who knows? I really don’t know. It seems like Fet and Dutch seem to get along pretty well.

AX: How is it being directed by Guillermo Del Toro?

DURAND: I haven’t really been directed by him. He did the pilot episode of the first season [Durand has screen credit, but isn’t in the episode].

AX: How are the STRAIN directors you have worked with?

DURAND: Wonderful. Second season, we had a lot of returning directors, and so they were already caught up in terms of the tone and the characters, and so it’s been great.

AX: On VIKINGS, do you have an opinion as to whether Halbard is Odin or not?

DURAND: I have an idea of who I am. There’s a lot of pointing and a lot of stuff that’s being alluded to, but even I don’t fully know.

AX: How do you play the ambiguity of could-be-a-god/could-be-not-a-god?

DURAND: Honestly, the words that [VIKINGS creator] Michael Hirst writes are just so wonderful that I just have to play the action and I have a very good idea who [the character] is, but I’m not saying who it is, because I don’t want to waste it for anybody.

AX: How is the scheduling between the two series?

DURAND: They shoot in opposition, so it’s great. We wrapped THE STRAIN [which shoots in Toronto], I had a couple of weeks home and then I went straight off to Ireland [for VIKINGS].

AX: Do you have any other projects we should know about?

DURAND: Right now, I’m taking time off until the show starts up again. My wife’s having our first child, and so that’s my biggest project right now.

AX: And what would you most like people to know about THE STRAIN?

DURAND: That they need to watch it because it’s awesome. It’s this incredible apocalyptic story, told through the mind of Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan and [exec producer/show runner] Carlton Cuse, and I think it’s just so wonderfully executed on all levels.

This interview was conducted at the Fox/FX Networks party at West Hollywood’s Soho House for the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

Related: Exclusive Interview with THE STRAIN star David Bradley on Season 2

Related: Interview with THE STRAIN executive producer / creator Guillermo Del Toro

Related: Exclusive interview with THE STRAIN executive producer Carlton Cuse on Season 2 and beyond

Related: Exclusive interview with THE STRAIN star Mia Maestro

Related: Exclusive interview with THE STRAIN showrunner Carlton Cuse on Season 1

Related: Actor Corey Stoll on Season 1 of THE STRAIN

Related: THE STRAIN creator Guillermo del Toro on his new nasty vamp series

Related: TV Review: THE STRAIN – Season 1 – “Night Zero” – Series Premier

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Article: Exclusive Interview with THE STRAIN star Kevin Durand on Season 2

 

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