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This week, we checked in with Colin Salmon, the powerful actor behind General Dru Zod. Salmon gave behind the scenes details on filming fight scenes for Episode 205, having to wear a 50-pound jacket to look the part and which one of his TV parents he loves the most.
SYFY: On a scale of one to dictator, how fun is it to say, "Kneel before Zod"?
Colin Salmon: Uttering the immortal words "Kneel before Zod" was without doubt a thrill. Very few phrases are this iconic in 20th century literature, so on a scale of one to dictator this ranks as a huge Dictator!
SYFY: What's the most challenging part of playing such a villainous character as Zod?
CS: Playing the character for real has been the biggest challenge. There can be a temptation to twiddle your moustache and act the villain, which would leave me and the audience cold. The fact that I feel I can justify his every action is a tribute to the writing room and the complexity of the stories they have given us. On a lighter note, wearing the 50-pound jacket was a strenuous challenge but always put me in the right moods … irritated, frustrated and angry.
SYFY: Where there any moments in Episode 5 where you felt bad about your character's behavior?
CS: I don't think Zod understands feeling bad about his behaviour. It is what it is and as a sociopathic narcissist, it's all good in his eyes. He feels for his mother and his family, but nothing comes above Krypton.
SYFY: How long did it take for you and Cam Cuffe to train and film your fight scene?
CS: We began physically preparing for the show in August (2018) as we worked with Marcus Shakesheff who was prepping the stunts and seeing where our strengths lie. The stunt team are fantastically aware of modern fighting, including: UFC moves, ground work, boxing and martial arts and the combination of them all. One of the things people have to realise when it comes to training and being in good shape— for me it's the need not to pick up injuries and also have the stamina to fight all day if required. We usually begin two to three weeks before the actual fight, if we have time. The fight Cam and I have in this episode came at the end of a grueling day and we had to hit the ground running and hard. And we did both of course and had great fun swinging and occasionally connecting. Ouch!
SYFY: Was this episode more physically or emotionally challenging to film?
CS: This episode comes at a major plot point in the series and like a wonderful symphony the dynamics of the piece are building to the finale. The director, Metin Hüseyin, focuses on the nuances of performance and there is no hiding from the truth of the scene so there are powerful moments in this episode that leave you…raw, shall we say.
SYFY: Your delivery in each scene seems flawless, did you ever flub your lines while shooting Episode 5?
CS: I never flub my lines for I am Zod! But Colin Salmon does flub his lines but not too often. In this day and age, we have to almost be in theatre mode (word perfect) as we move quickly from set up to set up, but when there is gold in a scene, we make time and stay for the juice.
SYFY: While reading the script for Episode 5, were there any moments that genuinely shocked you?
CS: We have worked quite collaboratively on the story lines, so we are often aware of what's coming. That said, the scenes are well written and the intensity can catch you off guard when delivering them to another actor as you see and feel their response.
SYFY: We hate to make you choose, but which parent do you love the most? Mom or Dad?
CS: Dru Zod is his mother's son and she is almost the love of his life in this Season. What he witnessed when Krypton was destroyed informs everything and returning to save Krypton is synonymous with returning to save his mother. Seg represents a mystery that puzzles Zod. How can he have the House of El coursing through his veins and what does that mean regarding his strength? Much like Brainiac, I feel Zod is impressed with Seg's resilience, loyalty and ingenuity and like any son he wants his father to be proud of him. The problem is the differing values of the damaged General, hell bent on conquering the Universe and enslaving the weak; and the noble warrior who understands the power of love, unity and empowerment. Tough call.
See Colin's superb performance in the latest episode of Krypton, "A Better Yesterday". Want more? Watch all-new episodes of Krypton every Wednesday at 10/9c on SYFY.
*This interview has been edited for length and/or clarity.