HEROES REBORN: Zachary Levi and Judi Shekoni on the Collins' Twisted Relationship - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HEROES REBORN: Zachary Levi and Judi Shekoni on the Collins’ Twisted Relationship

October 1, 2015 by  

Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/NBC

Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/NBC

In addition to all the new people with powers HEROES REBORN introduced in its first few hours, the show also added two very powerful humans —  Luke and Joanne Collins —  who have made it their mission to take out “evos,” following the death of their son in a terrorist attack. (Allegedly, powered people were responsible for the attack.)

“I do feel like this year [since their son’s death], the only thing that’s keeping them together is this common enemy they have…and avenging their son,” Zachary Levi (Luke) said. “I think…losing our son impacted us both in really deep and powerful ways, but also different ways. As a husband who is trying to show love to his wife, I think he has found that this is maybe the best way to show her love, which is strange…the couple that kills together, stays together.”

“They had a good marriage earlier,” Judi Shekoni (Joanne) acknowledged. “They have history, having had a child, and having lost their only child together, that connection. I think there’s the commonality of pain…I think there’s that going on. And I think neither of us are in a position to really know ourselves what’s going on.”

Though cracks in their partnership were just starting to make themselves apparent in the first couple episodes, that will continue to grow as they go further down this path.

“I think there’s some really nice scenes coming up where you get to explore that [tension],” Shekoni said. “I think Joanne enjoys the idea of killing more and maybe gets a thrill from it. I think it eases some of the numbness. I think it’s the opposite of [Luke]…it does cause problems with our marriage. I think that’s our journey: trying to figure out how to solve it and how to fix it.”

“It’s a really great dynamic because it speaks to a lot of different things: Luke is along for this ride because he’s trying to save his wife, he’s trying to save their lives together,” Levi added. “I think he convinces himself, rationalizes to himself, after the grief they’re experiencing, and once this starts and he sees her coming back alive, oh, if we do this, that will be the therapy she needs to finally get through this and eventually it will end and we’ll get back to being normal people again.”

And while the Collins’ set out on this mission for an understandable reason, they’re still killing a good amount of innocent people. (Not to mention people like the characters fans grew attached to in the original run of the series.) But both actors stressed they don’t need the audience to be sympathetic to their characters.

“I think that I can’t be necessarily concerned with trying to earn sympathy when I’m playing the character, because I think that would be the wrong thing to go for — trying to make the audience like me versus who the character is,” Shekoni explained. “I don’t think my character, as you’re seeing her in the early stages, is a particularly sympathetic character. I think you hear what’s happened to her…but you don’t perhaps relate to it on the scale or understanding that you would have that much sympathy. But I think as the story goes on, there are opportunities where that will become present, and people will have more understanding. Whether you get sympathy or whether you get understanding is a different question. If people can understand, I think that’s enough. Sympathy is not necessarily what you need of people anyway.”

“I agree with Judi. I think it’s important to understand what it means to make compelling characters,” Levi added. “You can’t pander in any way. You have to stay true to character and the motivation of that character, because they play a significant part in the puzzle. And if everyone is trying to be sympathetic, there’s no team. The good guys can’t even be as good if the bad guys aren’t so bad…but I do think there’s enough built in relatability, because we’re not just people who are straight-up psychopaths. We went through something which is very intense and very brutal.”

HEROES REBORN airs Thursdays at 8 PM on NBC.

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