'The Cape' Interview: Summer Glau and James Frain
'The Cape' Interview: Summer Glau and James Frain
Anybody who's watched the two-hour premiere of NBC's The Cape might have a pretty good idea of how Vince Faraday (David Lyons) went from good cop to underground superhero. Alas, the same cannot be said for the people around him. Who exactly are those circus people? Why is Orwell doing all that blogging? Why do Chess' eyes change when he flicks his evil switch somewhere?

As luck would have it, answers! Well, at least some of them. My colleague Carey Proctor had the chance to chat with The Cape's Summer Glau and James Frain, and they talked about Orwell's secrets and Chess' motivations -- and they answered some of the questions you wanted us to ask.


Summer, how much of the stunts do you do yourself on The Cape?

Summer: Everything that they will let me. So far there's been a lot now and I always want to do more. They always get a little nervous when they put me in a car. I asked if I could start driving, and they always get a little pale and concerned. But, so far, no accidents!

How soon can we expect to learn more about Orwell's past, and are there any details or hints that you can share with us now?

Summer: It's coming out slowly. The story is complex, and it's written to have many characters. The way that we're telling it is kinda addicting. Even for the actors, we can't wait to get the next script and find out what time will tell us. But the truth is, Orwell doesn't want anyone to know about her. It compromises her safety and she's got a job to get done. She's extremely guarded, so it's natural that it would come out just a little at a time.

Is there anyone else besides The Cape who actually knows Orwell's identity?

James: Orwell's identity is a very, very jealously guarded secret. We don't know much about her. The Cape finds himself in the middle of all these different worlds and he interacts with all the main characters. And somehow he's going to have to keep up in a way that's really insane.

James, how aware of Chess do you think Peter is? Do you think it's a conscious choice to be evil, like a split-personality thing?

James: I think it's more of a split-personality thing. This character is also being revealed as we go along and there's a lot of different ways it could go, but he pretty much has to be crazy. It's more of, what kind of crazy, and how crazy? I think we're going to get in to that as well. We're going to find out a lot more about what is up with this guy.

What can you tell us about either Peter Fleming's or Chess' goals for Palm City?

James: Well, this is ... these are someone who looks for more power. There's something about people who pursue power like that. I think it's kind of almost tragic that they never get what it is that they're looking for. The more power they accumulate, the more dissatisfied they get. I don't think there's a conscious goal for Palm City that they can ever fully grasp.

We have a few questions via Twitter and Facebook. Summer, do you ever miss performing on stage as a ballerina?

Summer: I do. That's what I did my whole life. That's the one thing I spent my childhood learning how to do. And living for that moment when you're on stage -- there's really nothing like it. It's similar to when you're acting, but there's something about not really being able to see the audience. Knowing that they're there and then hearing the applause -- that's an addiction, and it feels like nothing else. I miss that part of it, but I don't miss going to class.

James, there's a rumor going around the Internet that you're the voice of the Chester Cheetos voice modulator on the Cheetos website. Is it true?

James: Wow. I wish I was. It sounds like a great gig. Hope they call me.

Do you use any real-life billionaires as your model for Peter Fleming?

James: There's no one specific that I built the character on. He's all just made up. As you go along you notice that there are some personalities that are motivated by power and money, and they seem to be rather hollow in the middle. They're all around us, so I probably drew from that, but not in a conscious way. There's no one in particular.

Summer, who would you say is your personal hero?

James: I'm right here! (laughs)

Summer: There are a lot of people I really admire, but I don't have a hero. I think that there's an ideal in everyone's mind of what they think a hero should be. Maybe, watching our show, they can imagine what their hero would do in a circumstance. But no, I just don't really have anybody.

James: Talking about The Cape, he is sort of like an archetypal hero. He's full of justice and compassion and anger, righteous anger. He has all these qualities, superhero qualities, but they're psychological qualities. Everyone can identify with him and appreciate themselves inside The Cape. I think part of the fun of the show is somehow imagining yourself in the cape because it's not too confined a character. It's very universal. I tell you what, David Lyons is my hero. (laughs)

The Cape returns tonight at 9pm on NBC. For the latest on the show, go check out our The Cape Facebook page!

(Images courtesy of NBC)

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