The CW’s new apocalypse-based series premieres on Friday, April 17. We spoke with Joel Courtney, who plays Peter, to discuss how he thought the show stood out from others as well as what to expect from his character throughout the first season.
How do you think The Messengers can separate itself from the other apocalyptic shows that we’ve seen?
The Messengers is very character based. Even within the pilot, you just love each of the characters. It really revolves around their relationships, their backstories, them coming to terms with them, facing them and with some people fixing them. It’s just very character driven.
Your character Peter is sort of the relatable teenager when we first meet him. He’s going through bullying, he doesn’t fit in and he’s depressed. Does the meteor crash set him on a straight path?
When the meteor crashes, it definitely is the beginning of a new start for Peter. Whether good things are on that path or bad things, it’ll eventually set him in a good place. So he gets his strength, and then there’s the incident (in the pilot) at the party. That was definitely not good. But throughout season one of The Messengers, he really finds a family with the group. Which is something he’s never really had. So he’s definitely set on a different path, whether good things or bad things come of that, he doesn’t know. But through season one, it’s definitely a good arc.
When he killed the bully at the party, do you think he did that intentionally from his built up anger, or was it really a case of not knowing his strength?
So, when I met with the executive producer Trey Calloway, he explained to me that the strength that Peter receives is more of a Hulk-type strength from Avengers as opposed to Superman from [Justice League]. It’s a rage instead of an anger that can be controlled, overcome and eventually resolved. This just explodes from him. So, definitely when he kills Dan, it’s something that he has no control of. He, himself is surprised by that.
So the wings that we see you guys have in the television screens and reflections, is that something that normal people can also see in those reflections?
I think it’s more for the audience, because you see them later, and nobody notices them from the background. To me, they’re more of a projection of what we’ve been given the opportunity to do. We’re the angels of the apocalypse and we’ve been set on this path. We never fly, because when you see them, they’re kind of blue and electric. They’re not for flying or anything like that. It’s always to me been more of a projection.
The end of the pilot episode heads most of the characters to Houston for different reasons. Is there a higher power calling them there?
In season one, most of the setting is supposed to be Houston. So we’re all drawn there by fate. None of us know each other, except for Raul and Erin who are in the same car riding together. It’s much more of a higher powered fate leading us there, I’d say. None of us specifically knows Houston.
The pilot left Peter pretty heartbroken. He’s done something really dark that most kids will never experience. How can he move forward and recover?
For Peter, that’s something that will be with him for the rest of his life. You know, he took a life. A kid’s life. Whether it was an accident or not, that’s kinda just in the details. He killed a guy. So, it’s something that he has to face and come to terms with. It’s something that will always be with him that he has to carry around.
The Man, the one who’s going around to the Messengers will obviously be important this season. What do you think his character is meant to represent?
At the end of the pilot, we realize he is Lucifer, he’s the Devil. He’s trying to throw the Messengers off of our path. He’s got his own plan, so he’s trying to throw us off of our’s. So you’ll see him interact with some of us. He tricks us, lies to us, basically gets us to get what he wants done. Until we can figure out what he’s doing and try and stop him. Later on this season, you’ll actually see something interesting come up with him.
Given that we have a Devil representation, are we going to have a God representation as well?
It’s much more angels versus the Devil. I don’t see God coming into the show. I mean, he could. I don’t know what the writers are thinking for future seasons, I’m not really sure. But to me, I just don’t see that coming, I can’t see it happening.
The Messengers airs Fridays at 9pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of CW)