BuddyTV interviews Jack Coleman, who plays Noah Bennett on Heroes.
Aside from the present day version of Ando, Jack Coleman’s Noah Bennett remains one of the only regular humans left on Heroes. Though his character is always keeping secrets and usually has some sort of ulterior motives, he’s arguably the most relatable character on the show. Noah’s new partnership with Sylar has brought a strange new dynamic to the NBC series. Last week we saw the unlikely duo prevent a bank robbery, but Noah soon revealed that he plans to kill the villain the first chance he gets. As usual, HRG is has a master plan that only a chosen few are aware of.
I recently had a chance to sit down with Jack Coleman to talk about HRG’s unlikely pairing with Sylar, as well as an upcoming flashback episode that will act as a prequel to the show’s pilot. Check back tomorrow for part two of the interview, which features questions submitted by BuddyTV readers.
This is John from BuddyTV, and I’m talking to Jack Coleman, who plays Noah Bennett on Heroes. There’s definitely a new direction for Noah in this season of Heroes. What was it like coming back after the strike and going into this new partnership with Sylar?
We were gone for so long it just seemed like forever, so when we came back it took a couple days to get the wheels working and the joints oiled. It was laid on me pretty early that HRG was going to be in partnership with somebody very different, and at first I thought it was going to be Claire. When it turned out to be Sylar I thought that was very cool. I was a little concerned about the transition from mortal enemies to cooperating on a mission together. That worried me a little bit to start out that way, but I think the fact that they have the two of us kind of scheming against each other even as we work together, I think that works well.
I think that’s something the fans have been a little concerned with. Sylar is this serial killer villain from the first two seasons, and now he’s just out and about. There’s been a little explanation for why that’s acceptable, but it’s a bit of a leap. I’m wondering if you can talk about rationalizing letting Sylar out like that.
It is a big leap. I think the only way it works is if the audience can believe he is redeemable, or at least that there’s a desire in him to be something other than a serial killer, I think through the idea that maybe he’s found his family, or maybe he’s found some sort of purpose. On the other hand, you see the first time he’s out and about that it doesn’t go so well. While he’s very effective, he also happens to be overtaken by his hunger. I think it is a lot to ask of the audience to believe these mortal enemies are going to be cooperating with each other, but I also think as it goes on you see that they’re really not cooperating with each other. The way I justify it for HRG is that Angela said he’s going out there anyway, so it’s your call whether or not it’s under your tutelage. I think HRG has a big enough ego that he figures if anyone’s going to be dealing with him it’s going to be me. The old adage of keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That’s how I justify it for my character, that the idea of him being out there is out of my hands, so I’m just going to keep it under my jurisdiction.
What is it like working with Zachary Quinto? This season there are a lot of changes and people acting with new people, and you really haven’t had that many scenes with him before this year.
Actually, we started out together to a certain extent. Some of his big early scenes were with me in captivity, and the Noah Bennett-Sylar relationship was one of the first in season 1, if you go back to the stuff around “Homecoming” when he gets captured, then he gets out and comes to the Bennett house. We started out working together quite a bit, but then toward the end of season 1 and most of season 2 we didn’t work together. So we’re kind of back to our roots to a certain extent, and you’ll see as the season goes on that this relationship is very complicated and ultimately not a happy one.
In the last episode we learned that HRG is the one who put the villains in the Level 5 prison. Are we going to see more of that back story with HRG’s relationship to these villains?
You see a little of it. There’s not all that much. What you will see more of is in a great episode, it’s episode eight, and it’s a flashback episode that’s kind of a prequel to the pilot. It sort of dovetails into the pilot, and you see how, for instance, HRG and Elle are complicit in sort of the creation of Sylar. It’s a really good origins episode of how Sylar got to be the way he is, and the relationship between HRG and Elle. It was hinted at last year when Suresh says to me, “You know her?” and it’s like, “Oh yeah.” It’s never really explained in what form, how it is that I knew her, so you really see more of that. In that episode you will also see Knox and see where he came from, so you do see the villains there. But there’s not a tremendous amount of HRG and the villains back story.
Check BuddyTV tomorrow for the second half of our interview with Jack Coleman, where the actor answers questions submitted by the fans!
– Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of NBC)