Sebastian Roché, one of the most prolific character actors in television, has been giving the characters on The CW’s The Originals hell now that his character Mikael is on the loose and furious. After the stunning events of last week’s episode, “Red Door,” expect Mikael to return, although not right away, to cause more mayhem as season two of The Originals continues, said Roché in an exclusive interview with Blastr.
“He’s truly a force to be reckoned with. He is a badass. He’s a total badass, I have to admit,” said Roché. “He’s so angry. I describe him like a volcano about to erupt perpetually. He’s a fascinating character.”
In “Red Door” Roché gave a tour de force performance as Mikael when it took nearly all The Originals antiheroes to defeat him and save Klaus. In the end, while Klaus was saved and Mikael was defeated, Daddy Dearest escaped to cause mayhem another day.
“It’s a testament, actually, to those two wonderful writers, Declan de Barra and Diane Ademu-John. They always write so well. They especially write very well to my character. They always add this dimension of emotion,” he said.
Roché — who’s created memorable characters like Kurt Mendel on Odyssey 5, Thomas Jerome Newton on Fringe and Balthazar on Supernatural — has been enjoying his angry character, Mikael, a man born in the middle ages when the phrase “tough love” had a whole different meaning. He and his wife Esther, a witch, are the parents of the Original vampires, and both have been major antagonists in the events that have driven The Originals’ second season so far.
As for the startling events this season, “suddenly there are these new relationships starting to form. I’ve seen new actors come into the equation who are really wonderful. There’s going to be a deepening of the relationship between Davina and Kol … I think that’s a really interesting dynamic starting to happen. What’s interesting too is that the character of Kol is rebelling against his family. And, of course, what I found really interesting in ‘Red Door’ is the acknowledgment that Elijah is a monster. He’s as much a monster as Klaus, but it’s something that he’s repressed for centuries. I love the fact that Esther … Is she truthful?” he asked.
Indeed. In “Red Door” Esther held Elijah captive and tortured him with the truth, at least her truth.
“It’s a sort of ping-pong match between how evil my wife and I are. The world’s worst parents,” said Roché with a laugh. “But I’m hoping there’s going to be … I really don’t know where they’re going to go with it, to tell you the truth. I’m just hoping there’s going to be interrelations between the characters. I think it’s a really interesting dynamic.”
As for his character, Mikael, he’s “such a polarizing figure that he can’t be in every episode. Which is, I think, a good thing. Otherwise he would always be there as the baddie. It would become a little redundant because he would come in, fight, and of course you’ve got to keep your regular actors. I think it’s good that he comes in, he leaves, he comes back,” he said.
However, the actor promises Mikael will return. “I am going to be in episodes nine and ten. But there are going to be some interesting developments as far as family is concerned. I can’t really say more than that. But there are going to be some interesting encounters and interesting alliances in the future that we wouldn’t expect in the future episodes. And then, of course, after those episodes I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m in the dark as much as you are,” said Roché.
It’s a role he relishes, he admitted. “It’s unique in the sense that it’s a role that demands a lot from the actor. What I love about this role is how well he’s been written. I love relying on the emotion and the pathos of the character before he became this vengeful creature. What I love about him is that period of history where everything switched, when he was trying to protect his children. Of course. there was always that history with Klaus, but I always feel that this man is just misunderstood. He was wronged and then became this uber being, and therefore, because of having been wronged, became this uber, uber revengeful being,” he said.
“He’s been betrayed by his own family. I think that’s what they conveyed so well in that scene that I have with Cami where he says, ‘They betrayed me. They murdered my wife. They did the most unspeakable act.’ This doesn’t come from nothing. Of course, as you harbor the pain over a thousand years, I think it snowballs. It takes on a different life of its own as you go through centuries,” said Roché.
“But I truly see a human aspect to the character. What’s so interesting to do with him is to try and basically … try and give the audience that there isn’t only that terrifying side to Mikael. There are other things. It’s a fascinating role to play. It requires an unbelievable amount of energy. I’m usually completely exhausted after playing him because he drains so much revengeful energy with him,” he said.
Indeed, Mikael has become another great character for Roché. But sci-fi fans aren’t likely to let go of the other significant characters he’s played recently, like Balthazar or Thomas Jerome Newton.
Balthazar on Supernatural “was a real fun character because he was … of course I wasn’t exactly Balthazar per se, but I think a lot of myself ended up in the character. I think he’s a character that’s very close to my [heart]. That was highly enjoyable to do and I appreciate the amount of humor. I’m someone who actually adores humor,” he said.
As for Fringe’s Thomas Jerome Newton, the leader of the shapeshifters who started out as just a frozen head, “that was a guy who I was truly sad when I met my demise. But I remember that scene. There was a great scene in the prison. He was a very interesting character who was always in control. I loved the character on Fringe. Very much so,” said Roché.
“There were many others in other shows that I’d done, like Odyssey 5. That was a long time ago. There were many other characters too that I played in films. Actually, a recent one was in an independent film that I’m very proud of called Phantom Halo. But it’s not actually a sci-fi film. It was a labor of love. It’s probably some of my best work to date. I’ve done so many characters. I truly love them all because I put my own spin on them. They become very important to me,” he said.
That’s especially true of Mikael on The Originals, said Roché. He hopes “we continue on, because I love the character so much. I just hope that he doesn’t have a sudden and unexpected death. It would be a pity, I think.”
The series has “really gotten better. It was great from the beginning, but I think it’s gotten even more fascinating. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen,” said Roché.
The Originals airs on the CW on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
Do you think Mikael will make it to the end of the season?