NO ORDINARY FAMILY's Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz on Tonight's Episode, Mythology, JJ's Secret and More - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

NO ORDINARY FAMILY’s Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz on Tonight’s Episode, Mythology, JJ’s Secret and More

October 19, 2010 by  

Have you guys been watching NO ORDINARY FAMILY?

I got the chance to chat with series stars Michael Chiklis (Jim) and Julie Benz (Stephanie) and it sounds like things are getting good. Read on for dish about tonight’s episode, the show’s mythology, JJ’s secret, why the storyline may be going a little darker and more…

What episode number are you now filming?
Julie Benz:

Are you getting a sense as to where the show is going mythology-wise?
Michael Chiklis:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’ve had a number of conversations — [co-creators] Greg Berlanti, Jon Feldman and I — and the mythology is going to come into the show more and more as time goes on. We want to really bleed it in over time. We didn’t want to just jump so deeply into the superhero of it all, because really the show at its core is a family drama. And we wanted to take advantage of the luxury that we have in doing this as a series, [it allows us freedoms] that superhero genre movies usually don’t have. They have to establish things in the first act and then move on immediately with the rest of the story. We have the luxury of having this wonder on what’s happening to us and how that’s going to effect us and our lives. I love that.

Absolutely. I love the superhero genre in film, but everything is so condensed due to time limitations. You don’t really get to experience the struggle.
Right. If you watch any of the Marvel features — and I’m a big fan, I’ve obviously done a couple myself — the frustrating thing is that by the end of Act 1, everybody has superpowers if it’s an origin film and they’ve already completely accepted that they have superpowers and that’s that. We do have a great opportunity to play the “what if?” game. What if this really happened to me?

JJ, the Powell’s son, has been hiding his powers from his parents. Will they learn the truth sooner rather than later?
That’s coming up in the next couple of episodes. I’m giving you a bit of a spoiler here, but there’s only so long he can keep that from us. And again, these are things we’re able to take advantage of [because it’s] a television series. We’re able to bleed things out a little bit and explore and deconstruct a bit more.
JB: We did [briefly] touch on [the topic] that he’s hiding something from us. I don’t know what’s worse: to be a kid in a family that has powers and not have powers or to be his age and have powers? For a parent, it’s pretty scary to know you have a 14-year-old with powers.
MC: One of the things I find interesting for myself with my character — all of a sudden to be [given] invincibility, you really would — even the best among us — have to fight with the temptation of feeling omnipotent and wanting to effect the change. And in the case of Jim Powell, he definitely is a good guy and wants to impact a positive change, but that could have negative consequences within the family itself. It’s really cool how we’re peeling this onion. It’s just different.

And obviously this is all so new to them. Is there any chance we might see a look into their future or some sort of alternate reality where they’re taking full advantage of their powers?
No, but that’s a great idea.
JB: That is a great idea. [Laughs] Maybe today we’ll go talk to the writers.

What can you tease about tonight’s episode?
My character makes a discovery about the powers that she was not aware of. So there’s more mystery surrounding that.
MC: It’s an interesting conundrum I’m in this week because I start to really pursue a vigilante and I realize that I’m pursuing a guy who’s doing what I’m doing, but he’s doing it in a darker, more dastardly way. And I’m trying to define for myself what the difference between this guy and my character really is. And Julie’s character is concerned that I’m losing myself to it and could be potentially losing my family to it. And I see that the man who has become an obsessed vigilante became so because he has lost contact with his own son, to the degree where he lost it and that started the rampage. So that gives me an intense bit of thought on how I’m going to proceed with all of this, what kind of person I want to be in all of this and how it relates to my family. It’s pretty cool.

The show is a lighter in tone at the moment, but do you think the writers may be interested in taking it to a darker place at some point? It would seem almost natural, given the secrets, conflict, etc.
There’s no question. Over the course of the next four episodes, it does go decidedly darker. There’s always humor and fun within it, but we wanted to be able to paint on a broader canvas. I think it was very smart of Greg and Jon to start off with some lighter fare and then progress into darker areas. And I’m sure we’ll return to the light, but it gives us more leeway to tell stories.

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