With just two episodes left before The Strain ends forever, Canadian actor Kevin Durand finds himself at odds. He's thrilled he's gotten to play Fet, the Brooklyn rat catcher turned heroic vampire slayer, but he's also very sad to say goodbye to his complex character, Durand said in an exclusive interview with SYFY WIRE.
BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!
The FX vampire series, which completes it's four season run a week from Sunday, has played out the ultimate battle of good vs evil as a rag tag band of vampire hunters have tried to save New York City and the world from the evil Master and his legion of vampires. Throughout the series, Fet's been in the middle of it all, and this season he was tasked with finding a nuke to blow up the Master once and for all, even if it meant taking out New York City too. But as The Strain ramps up to it's ultimate ending, the Professor's been lost and the vampire hunters are literally running out of time to save the world.
Durand (Lost, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) chatted with SYFY WIRE about playing a hero, about the Dutch vs. Charlotte of it all, and about the end of The Strain.
What can you say about the last two episodes?
I want to say that Carlton Cuse, Chuck [Hogan], and all the great writers in the writers' room, the way that they just got it together and wrapped it up, I was so grateful, and frankly relieved that we'd go out the way that we do. I think the way that it wraps up is better than I ever could have imagined. At the time the scripts came in, I was just so excited to shoot them. At the same time also kind of bummed that they're the last two episodes that I was going to get to play this character.
I really love this character. I've had so much fun playing him. Getting to play with the likes of David Bradley and Corey Stoll and Ruta Gedmintas and Jonathan Hyde, Miguel Gomez. These guys were all so wonderful to work with. In regards to specifics, all I can say is that I really believe with all my heart and soul [that] the fans are going to be happy with the way it all wraps up.
It has been a really bloody, bloody season so far. And the professor lost his head! Oh, no!
I know, right. But if you had read the book he perished much earlier in the book. So I was just happy that we got to have him for as long as we did.
David's amazing... Here he is 75-years-old. He's running outside in the freezing cold in Canada and never complains. Always has a smile on his face. He's always so excited to get to do what we get to do. It was so sad to see him go, and unfortunately I didn't have a whole lot of work with him this year.
Your characters have been in different places. And then you finally get to New York and it's like he's infected, “Oops! Bye!”
Heartbreaking! … He's been a real mentor for all of us, me in particular. I just did everything I could to adopt him into my family. I just love him. It was a really a cool kind of thing that Kevin and Fet and Setrakian and David shared.
Well, he gets to go on and be Doctor Who, so he's going to be okay.
I know, and like a million other things... I was a little bit behind on the viewing of episodes. I was shooting a film in Seoul, Korea, and I missed out on a handful of episodes. I just caught up when I got back. So I watched him die and I was just absolutely heartbroken. And then later on that night we were watching the first episode of Game of Thrones and there he was again. I was like, 'What's he doing?' … He has such presence.
What do you think? Dutch or Charlotte when this is all over, assuming Fet lives.
I don't know. What do you think?
He seems like he's in love with both of them. It's hard to say.
They're both pretty awesome. Dutch gave him his walking papers in a pretty harsh way in the past.
I think he's in love with Charlotte. But he is sitting on top of a nuke right now.
He's fully committed. There's no doubt. For half a second he thinks, “Should I just go to the cabin with this woman that he's so connected to?” So, you have one little moment where he questions whether he should chase after this love. But he understands his purpose, his reason for being there, maybe the whole reason for his existence on the Earth is to take down [this evil]. That has been the key thing driving him in his heart and soul ever since he and Setrakian met up... So would he end up in that cabin? I think it's the last thing on his mind. He's got to save the world.
Tell me about this season from Fet's point of view.
For Fet to get the orders from the Professor to head out and find a nuclear war head, it really forced him to dive pretty deep into some pretty challenging areas. He really learned a lot about himself, to leave not only Brooklyn, New York City, the city that he loves more than anything, and possibly save the world. So he's got to dig deeper than he ever has to try to find this damn warhead. His hard work seems to have paid off and then [he comes back and the Professor says], “Maybe I was wrong about the warhead...”
That was like, “Jesus!”... But that's kind of his whole journey about figuring out how to defeat the Master, this evil that's taken over. I think it's just allowed me to dive deeper and figure out who he is outside his comfort zone.
He came over to Brooklyn when he was 13 by way of Ukraine. He instantly fell in love and felt, “This is where I belong more than anyplace else in the world.” And he fell in love with it in a way that he meticulously and obsessively studied every single aspect of it, above ground, underground... until he's the perfect guy for the perfect job to take this evil down. Just the level of knowledge that he has, that knowledge of New York City. So we knew that and we got him out of his comfort zone and figured out who he really was.
What has playing Fet meant to you?
When I first met with Carlton and Guillermo [del Toro], lucky for me they had the idea that they thought that I could play Vasiliy Fet. I read the first book before that meeting with them, and then I read the rest of the books. And I know that my reaction to the first book was, 'Oh, my God, I hope they want me to play this Vasiliy Fet guy.' It was just a real guttural thing. I really wanted to play him. And luckily that was the character they were thinking of me for.
Because Fet slowly weaves his way into the narrative, [through time he has] more and more weight in the story. And you hear that a lot when you get offered work, but it seldom happens the way it did with this show. The whole journey as he continues to snowball in terms of his weight and all the layers of the onion that they provide me with, it's just such a dream to play someone like him.
I've been doing this for a long time. I haven't had the opportunity to play very many heroes. So I'm grateful that they put him in my hands and that I got to play this guy that I hope I can grow up just like. It was just true pleasure and honor to do it the way we did.
Here's a preview of the penultimate episode of The Strain: