Syfy’s “12 Monkeys” revolves around a time traveler named James Cole (Aaron Stanford) who travels from the year 2043 to 2015 to stop a deadly plague that nearly wipes out humanity in 2017. Cole and José Ramse (Kirk Acevedo) are like brothers, having grown up and survived the harsh future together, but the seeds of distrust have been sewn as Cole’s journey has not gone as planned and Ramse is having trouble trusting him and others from the Temporal Facility as they move between the future and the past while trying to stop the Army of the 12 Monkeys.
On the other side of the equation is Deacon (Todd Stashwick), the leader of a scavenger group called West VII, who served as a major antagonist in Season One and ended up allying himself with the future version of the Army of the 12 by the end of the season. That decision was met almost instantly with regret, a fact that will push him in new and challenging directions when Season 2 premieres in April 2016.
Acevdeo and Stashwick journeyed to the world famous CBR Tiki Room during New York Comic Con to speak with Jonah Weiland about their characters heading into the show’s second season, why we’ll see more shades of grey when it comes to Deacon, and whether the actors ever have trouble keeping the story straight considering how the series moves back and forth across timelines. They also talk about whether they’ve learned anything about themselves from their roles, their geek leanings and why the iconic team shot from “The Right Stuff” is affectionately referred to as “The Donut Shot.”
On where Deacon is headed after aligning himself with the Army of the 12 Monkeys:
Todd Stashwick: At the end of Season One Deacon had aligned himself with the Army of the 12 and so he kind of halfway through that season finale realizes that he might be backing the wrong horse. Like, they’re nuts, and so I think he starts to realize he’s gotta, for survival’s sake, it might be better to shift his on the more normal looking people. So we find him less of just a pure antagonist than in Season One in Season Two and so we see kind of how the situation really brings out different sides of him. At times more heroic, but there’s still grudges and old rivalries that exist but there’s new relationships with people that exist, like with Cassie who when he was a little boy saw her on TV when the plague hit. So he has opinions about that. I think you’re gonna see different sides of him than you saw in Season One.
On what we can expect from Ramse this season:
Kirk Acevdeo: I think he’s still trying to figure out how to save his son and mend his friendship with Cole and deal with the power shift in the facility, so I think it’s gonna come to a head very soon.
On whether it’s difficult keeping things on the show straight considering the multiple timelines involved:
Stashwick: It’s easy for me because I’m always kind of — up to now, again, I haven’t read toward the end of the season — but up ’til now I’ve just been in the one timeline. I don’t have to have a wall with yarn in my basement — I do, but it’s for a whole other reason — to keep track of stuff. It’s easy for me.
Acevedo: It was difficult because the first four episodes we did block shooting, so what that means is if this scene takes place in the Splinter Room, then for scenes in Episodes 1, 2, 3 and 4 we would all shoot like that certain day. Continuity-wise it was an issue, so you would forget, “Oh, wait. This is a different episode.” It was challenging. But normally we have a good scripty. … They help you out and keep you on track.
On whether they’ve learned anything about themselves through playing these characters:
Stashwick: I learned I’m a sociopath. [Laughter] I kill without remorse. … That’s a very tricky question. I guess that would be more of a question for other people to see if he’s treating people differently because of embodying a role for a certain amount of time. I’ve learned that I can sustain a 17-hour day. [Laughter] Like you learn how to conserve energy and hopefully make the last take as good as the first take even though it’s the wee hours of Saturday morning. Look, we’re not Navy SEALs.
Acevedo: Well, speak for yourself.
Stashwick: He’s a Navy SEAL. But I don’t wanna… He’s a very powerful man. He’s undercover right now. It’s not coal mining, but it takes strategy, it takes putting — conserving your energy.
Acevedo: There are a lot of differences [between me and my character]. Ramse is a lot more patient; I’m not patient. [Laughter] Ramse is more forgiving; I’m not so much. Definitely a man of action, so to speak, whether it’s — Ramse just keeps taking punches. Hit back. Hit back. He doesn’t hit back.
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