Q: You’ve described your character of Kevin Copeland on Spike TV’s “The Mist” as the “moderate, reasonable liberal.”
A: Exactly. He’s the good man. He’s the good, civilized man. And I think part of what Christian (Torpe, the series’ creator, executive producer and writer) was interested in certainly was, OK, if you have somebody whose beliefs have probably been relatively unchallenged, whose convictions, while maybe he would regard them as deeply held, have never really been put to the test. What happens when circumstances put that man’s convictions to the test?
And I think that’s a really interesting question because I think – particularly in light of this most recent election, where everybody’s wandering around going, “Maybe we liberals have been living in a bubble and not examining ourselves closely enough.” I think that’s certainly true, by the way. But the possibility of exploring that – I mean, I’m somebody who myself who has never really been in a kind of consistent life-or-death situation – I find that really fascinating, that idea of exploring, OK, at what point do you let go of your scruples in order to survive or in order to protect those you truly love? How long can civilization survive inside a person there.
Q: How do you tap into something like that as an actor?
A: I think all of us have it inside. That’s the reason for so many sort of modernalities and anxiety and depression, is actually those are the things that we can’t quite turn off – that fight-or-flight system. It’s constantly being stimulated by the world around us and so I think oddly imagining how what would happen if those instincts were given kind of unbridled release is actually not that far from any of us. I think that’s part of the point of the show, too, is that the sort of veneer of civilization is quite fragile.