We still have a few episodes left to watch in Constantine’s debut season, but production wrapped a while ago — you know, when they decided to shut down at 13 episodes.
Once production shut down, co-star Harold Perrineau, who plays the angel Manny, chatted with Voices From Krypton about his character and his take on the show. Considering Manny is one of the few regular characters new to the show — and not based directly on a comic character — it brings some interesting insight into the beloved (and low-rated) series.
The character was a bit grating to start, but Manny has quickly developed some depth and character that actually makes him a pretty good addition to the ensemble. Perrineau digs into the development of the series as a whole, along with Manny, and the dynamic he’s developed with Matt Ryan’s Constantine:
“I always had an idea - or at least we talked about Manny being a character that we would slow play. In the beginning we said "He's brand new, he doesn't exist in the comic world. We have to really establish Constantine, so we're going to slow play Manny," but there was always this idea of ramping it up towards the end of the first season. In the beginning it was interesting because there really wasn't anything for me to go on, not much to hold on to beyond my Baptist Church upbringing of what angels are, the King James Bible and doing all of this research about angels and what people thought about the idea. So there wasn't a lot to grasp. We were just making things up as we went along, because there wasn't a lot in the scripts regarding Manny. But since then we've come up with a lot of really interesting things for Manny to do and go through and experience. Now that we've finished these first 13 episodes, I have a much stronger sense of who Manny is and what he wants.
I actually feel way more secure now than I did way back when we were first starting up around the time of Comic-Con. I wasn't so secure. I didn't have 20 years of a comic to research through [laughs]. I feel a lot more confident about what he does, what he feels, what he sounds like. It's been really, really good. And the stuff for Manny that's coming up is really interesting. It's exactly what you think: you're just not sure exactly where you land with what Manny is doing as the season is going on. He's doing something and sometimes it feel rights and sometimes it doesn't, but if it stays on that line it's really exciting. Like I said, I feel more secure, but as the audience you probably won't feel more secure. You'll keep going, ‘What is he doing?’ Just because of the way I look, people assume one thing about me that just might not be true. There are a lot of interesting things coming up with Manny but, again, we had to ramp things up quickly because our season stopped at 13…
Constantine doesn't like angels, he doesn't like demons either... he doesn't like anybody it seems. So Manny just doesn't like Constantine. I'm not sure he necessarily likes people, but Manny does have a job to do. And of all of the people to have to guard over, this is probably the worst one. He would not have chosen Constantine for himself. So, yeah, at the beginning of their relationship there's a lot of distrust and anger. For an angel, anger is an interesting thing because it's different from people. But as things go on, they find a common place. They find something that becomes really interesting where Manny is John's guardian angel sometimes, and there are times when John becomes Manny's guardian angel. It's really interesting. Look at an episode like ‘Blessed of the Damned.’ Manny sees an angel and it's like seeing a kindred spirit. He's only been talking to John as far as the audience can tell, so it's really nice that Manny sees somebody he can actually communicate with. And then Manny needs a little counseling himself and John steps up. I think it's a really interesting relationship.”
Constantine airs Friday nights on NBC. Sadly the ratings have never broken above mediocre, so the series is almost certain to be canceled. Enjoy it while you can, folks.
(Via Voices From Krypton)