The last round table interview of the day during SciFi Vision's recent trip to the Midnight, Texas
set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on 9/12/18, was with Jason Lewis, who plays the character of Joe Strong, an angel living in Midnight.
The actor talked to journalists about playing a fallen angel, Joe’s relationship with Chuy (Bernardo Saracino), and what's next for his character. We didn’t learn a ton about Joe in the first season.
You didn’t because Joe was holding onto a secret. He has a very big secret; he’s got a big ol' set of wings, which are fantastic.
A big ol' set of wings. He’s hiding from society. He knows that there’s this jerkwad from Hell trying to take over reality and wants to pour forth through the veil to the nexus of reality. Yeah, Joe played it close to the vest. So how much more are we going to learn about him and are we going to learn why it is he landed in Midnight?
I think you kind of know that from season one, in that he had left the fold to fall in love with this demon, and Bowie (Breeda Wool) wanted to eradicate him for that. I think all of us as characters are in Midnight because it’s a place where we don’t have to deal with an unforgiving or unaccepting society.
But yes, this is a much more dynamic season for Joe. Joe is no longer hiding a secret, and moreover, he’s got to start figuring out after a thousand years of hiding - hiding his purpose, hiding from the world – what does that mean? Who is he going to be now? Also how he deals that knowledge out to people and who he trusts with what he knows.
Well, that was one of the things I think you really saw in the first season, is we went from being a community to a family. And definitely that family is going to be tested throughout, both the individual tests of what each character goes through, but also the bonds that tie us. SCIFI VISION: Can you talk about how the other Midnighters learning some of these secrets changes his relationships with them?
Well if it’s Bobo (Dylan Bruce), he’s just in awe. [laughs]
I think that if you were to discover that you had a creature that powerful around you who’s been hiding that, it would make you wonder where your place is. But Joe is very much a protector of others. I think not being able to realize his purpose of fighting and slaying evil, that energy was poured into anyway and towards protecting others. Now that he doesn’t have to hide that, he can lean in and embrace that and who he is. I think people are down for Joe, because he’s an angel, come on. There’re hints that there might be a little triangle going on with Joe.
There is a character who comes in, what do you guys know about it? He’s a demon hunter.
Yeah. So this cowboy demon hunter comes in, and for Joe, I think what it does, is it’s a person, who for his own reasons, different than Joe’s, is living a life that he has denied. [Joe] was created to fight and hunt demons and he ended up falling in love with one, so it became something that he ended up denying, but that’s like denying your base nature. It’s part of what he was essentially designed for. So, in comes this demon-hunting cowboy, and I think it puts pressure on and makes Joe question the reality he’s living in. Is your character going to go more into that religious gray area, because you are the fallen angel and it is Midnight?
What is that religious gray area? Basically, you’re fallen angle who has fallen in love with a gay demon.
Well, that’s a moral call, and I hope they explore that more. I don’t think creatures like this truly, if there’s a celestial being, would be so caught up with human sexuality concerns. I would like to think that they wouldn’t. So, definitely he is in a conundrum of where his space has been.
I don’t think that’s a particular conundrum, of like what his sexuality is. I think love is love; find it where you can…I think his gray area has more to do with not fulfilling his purpose and having left the fold. And that purpose is to hunt and slay demons, but obviously, he has a conundrum in that, because he’s I love with a demon.
So, we got to see that in season one, and me personally, when I was looking at it and creating a backstory about it, I think there was a certain disillusionment that Joe had gone through, because destruction for destruction’s sake is an unsavory thing. And I think it reached a point for him that he was just kind of tired and worn from doing so. And then you have this fanatic who loves it, which make it even more distasteful.
And then you see this creature as Chuy that is supposed to be all these things and you’ve been indoctrinated to think it’s something, and you wait, and you’re like, “You’re actually the kindest and most beautiful of us all in spite of your given nature.” Are we going to see Chuy more?
You get to see Chuy. You’ll see a demon hunting cowboy. You’ll see all of us a little bit more. SCIFI VISION: An angel, a demon, and a demon hunter - walk into a bar. [laughs]
Yeah, there’re conundrums in there. You will get to explore there. What have you been doing in Albuquerque, aside from working?
I’ve been doing a lot since I’ve been down her. I personally quite love the community out here. I like that there is a community, you know, for me entertainment wise. You’ve got wildlife that’s out here, and I’m a rock climber, so I’ve been doing that as well. I’ve been out riding some horses with my girlfriend.
I did a PSA for the mayor to create a jobs initiative community program, because the charity I work with has a chapter out here, and I’m trying to get them more integrated - a charity called Best Buddies.
And I wrote a western that’s set in 1869 that I’d very much like to shoot out here. So, I’ve been out scouting things and meeting people in the film industry.
And I have to say one of the things I like about it, is there’s a community there. People are integrated; people speak to each other, they see each other. It’s not just this big anonymous maelstrom of events and humans throwing ideas and wants and desires at people. People actually integrate and come together as a community.
So, I’ve been busy.
That's good. That's nice to hear.
Yeah, I like it, and I mean, some of the like businesses been growing since even I’ve got here. Some new restaurants are opening, and I’m excited to see how it grows.
I love the community. It seems like there are so many artists living here and young independent ideologies. I really like that about it. Do you find that there are any of your costars that you’re spending a little more time with on screen this season that’s shaken things up a bit?
Interesting. I hadn’t really thought about that. Actually what I find is, I think that there’s a greater dispersion of us this season, a greater integration of us with each other in general, so that we’re not just two people off doing our thing and the other two people off doing their thing. We interact more. We engage and exchange between [us] more. So, it’s been kind of been fun for that. Yeah, it’s a much more integrated family than it was in the first season and we’ve come together for each other’s common good. We realize that you’re either a Midnighter or you’re not, and we’re all Midnighters. SCIFI VISION: Can you talk about his interactions with the new characters?
Which ones? The hotel owners.
The hotel owners. Well, they come in and they bring a natural conundrum with we’re a secular community and we didn’t really want outside influences coming into us, and here comes not only an outside influence, but they’re inviting people into the world. They’ve opened a hotel and you have healer Kai (Nestor Carbonell) inviting people from all over to come in and check us out. We’re not really wanting to be a tourist destination. We all have varying opinions about what that means, and those opinions get tested as we go along and learn more about them.
I think Joe is wary at the start, but he’s a little more neutral than some of the other characters, because I think he holds out to find out. [Joe’s] the angel guy, but I don’t think of him as like a cherub you put on top of a Christmas tree. I think of him more as like a really powerful entity and a force of nature. And I think that that allows you a certain amount of room to not be laissez-faire about things, but to not jump to a quick judgment, because you don’t have to protect yourself in the same way. You don’t have to jump to see, whereas you can give people a chance. And also a creature who’s lived this long and is living in such a conundrum of his own values, who am I to judge? At least that’s how I’d like it to be. What have you found very surprising about your character in season two?
None of your business! [laughs]
But I’ll tell you it’s good. I’ve definitely gotten to do some work this season that I feel proud of and that was really exciting and fun to do. There’s some good storylines that challenge expectations and challenged my own expectations. What’s a big spoiler? [laughs] [laughs]
I can’t tell you a damn thing about it. And why would you want to [know]. Come on. It’s more fun going along for the ride and finding out what it is. I have fun seeing something and saying I bet this might happen. And then if it plays out, it’s like, “yeah.” And if it doesn’t play out, it’s like, “That was a clever way that they dealt with that.”
And that’s part of the fun of playing a story, is playing against audience expectations. It’s an important part of the story. Leading you down a road that’s going to drop off a cliff is a really good way of telling a story. [laughs]
And then there’s a big airbag at the bottom - or not. They’ve done a really great job with busting bubbles of like the pop culture version of angels, like what people think angels are, and what when you look at religious stuff at what they actually were. They were warriors; they were fighters.
Yeah. They were the army.
Angels with a sword. They aren’t like floating around on clouds and shooting arrows.
No. Not a cherub that’s shooting arrows. Exactly; that’s a cherub. And I like that.
I do too. I like the mythology of it. I like that you’ve created these creatures that exist.
I mean, like one of my favorite creatures is the weretiger, because in the way it’s presented - again this goes way back to Charlaine Harris, that woman’s imagination. Bless her. But that whole mythology, you know, like the werepeople were like children of Eden. Like there’re these creatures that have existed alongside of [Adam and Eve].
I like the magic and the mystery that it creates for us. I’d like to believe that we don’t know everything and as an audience member, that’s probably where I always got more lost in like say The Sword of Shannara
than I would like, and nothing against him, I loved his work, and he can make you taste the oysters and the economy of the sentences, but the ability to disappear in a world that’s so utterly not your own and to find acceptance in a space for yourself, I love that. And I think that’s one of the things I love about this show, is that it really creates that space for the audience. A little light in that dark room that you’re sitting alone in.
**Be sure to check out the rest of the coverage of the event, and stay tuned for much more, including the rest of the full individual interviews and more set photos, leading up to the premiere on Friday.**