Inspired by the 1995 film of the same name, “12 Monkeys” follows a time-traveler’s mission from the year 2043 to the present day to prevent a near-extinction-level event from occurring. With the help of virologist Dr. Cassie Railly (Amanda Schull) and brilliant but troubled mathematician Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire), James Cole (Aaron Stanford) strives to stop the release of a virus by the Army of the 12 Monkeys.
Following a successful first season, Syfy renewed the series for a second season back in March. The new batch of episodes, scheduled to arrive in April 2016, will see more of Jennifer Goines and follow Railly as she navigates the post-apocalyptic landscape of 2043.
During New York Comic Con, Stanford, Schull and Hampshire paid a visit to the CBR Tiki Room to chat with Jonah Weiland about “12 Monkeys,” what lies ahead for their characters and their own geek cred.
On the evolution of their characters:
Emily Hampshire: The evolution of my character blows my mind every script we get. I’m always surprised — I feel like every script is a new Jennifer. So in season one, people have said she’s crazy. I’ve never felt that Jennifer was crazy, I always feel like she’s the smartest girl in the room. But she’s supposedly crazy and this season, we are going to see a — at one point — sane Jennifer. I can’t say how or how long that will last, but that will happen. And I get to do a lot of old Jennifer in this season, which last year we touched on. And this year I spend a lot of time being old Jennifer, which is really fun.
Aaron Stanford: In the first season, Cole really is like an alien, basically, and he comes into our world, our present time and he’s never seen anything like it or experienced anything like it. And he’s shocked at first and he doesn’t really know how to deal with it, but then he really sort of falls into that world, falls in love with it, falls in love with the people. In a way, he goes native and it changes him and it changes his outlook. It changes his behavior. At the beginning of season two, that’s where he’s at. He’s a very very different man.
Amanda Schull: Cassie has changed quite a bit. We saw the evolution begin in season one, we saw her realize she needed to take different approaches to accomplish this seemingly easy mission that she was tasked with and realize that there are many other factors at play that need to be dealt with other than just eradicating a virus. There are other people who have ulterior motives and reasons for this virus to be released. And so season two picks up with her in 2043 and she sees the world that Cole has been living in and why he was the way he was when she first met him and it callouses her because she’s no longer living in this cushy life that she was living with the amenities she’s used to and she has to adapt.
On who of the three of them is the biggest geek:
Stanford: I’m pretty into genre and I always have been. I’ve been a sci-fi guy, big into time travel, so I dunno… “Blade Runner” was one of my favorite movies of all time.
Hampshire: I have an older brother, so I was turned off by geeky stuff because he wouldn’t let me join in, right? So he did all the video games stuff and Super Mario Bros. but I couldn’t play, so I was like, “Fine, I won’t like it.” But then this has been my first experience with geekdom and, I mean, I bought the slippers [holds up Wonder Woman shoes].
Schull: I think I was geeky with different things. I grew up a dancer, a ballet dancer, so I was sort of geeky in that respect.
On figuring out the time travel in the series:
Hampshire: [My brother’s] always telling me about, like, what the time travel, the jump stuff [is] and he knows more about it — I mean, he does. Terry Matalas, our creator, had to explain to me how time traveling works with a diagram. But now I find it fascinating because of the character dynamics that you get to do through time travel.
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