26 Feb 2015

“Chosen” interview with Milo Ventimiglia, February 24, 2015.

As the thrilling action-drama “Chosen” is airing mondays on 13TH STREET Germany right now, we talked to the star and producer of the show Milo Ventimiglia about some of the scenes and storylines from the first two seasons, in which first his character Ian Mitchell is at the center of things and then Chad Michael Murray in the role of Jacob Orr also gets drawn into the deadly game. We especially talked about the point that while “Chosen” is clearly a fast-paced action drama the characters Ian Mitchell and Jacob Orr hadn’t been action heroes prior to finding the box on their doorstep. Milo reveals a few surprising details that promise a compelling future for the show.

Read the first part of our interview with Milo Ventimiglia, in which we talk about the development of “Chosen”, what his favorite TV shows are and what he thinks about “Heroes: Reborn”.

We got to see the group of people that are the watchers. A very diverse group of normal looking people. That kind of underlines the arbitraryness of the game. What’s your take on what we got see from the watchers?

I think the watchers are mysterious and I don’t think we can necessarily conclude any one thing or another about them just based on what we’ve seen. What’s frightening is the unseen. There is the great Patrick St. Esprit and he’s kind of leading the pack but you might wonder if he has a boss, and his boss has a boss. The watchers are kind of omnipotent, they’re all-knowing, they’re all present, they’re everywhere and they stop at nothing to have this gross, grotesque game they are literally getting off on.

In season 2 the workload was divided between a few more people. Were you involved in getting the new guys on board, Chad Michael Murray, Brandon Routh and Sarah Roemer?

Yeah, you know, Chad I’ve known probably since I was about 20 years old back when we were both in our early Warner Brothers days. And when I knew I had to split my workload with another show I was working on, “Mob City” for Frank Darabond, I had a conversation with Ben, Ryan and Sony saying, look, you know I’m gonna be short on time. I’ll do what I can, let’s share the responsebility and bring in a larger cast as well as let’s blow the world out. Let’s not just make it about Ian Mitchell, let’s make it about Jacob Orr, let’s bring in some characters and some actors that are incredibly talented.

The season 2 finale – I’m not sure I’ve seen many more things as devastating as those final minutes. It adds to the level of realism that Ian dies but of course we thought we would see him bring down the watchers. Was it planned that way from the beginning?

The one thing I will say and I have been saying this about people’s and fans’ reaction to Ian Mitchell getting shot in the face. There are such things as exit wounds and don’t take everything you see as truth.

Can we talk a little about Caitlin Carmichael…

Oh my god! She’s amazing!

She plays your daughter on the show, and she really does an amazing job! What does working with a kid in front of the camera – especially in a thriller like that – entail?

When I would be on set with Caitlin Carmichael, it was like being schooled every day. She is so talented and has that excitement I think only children can have. You know as adults we show up, sometimes we punch the clock, it’s a job. But kids that are on set that have the talent that Caitlin does, tey’re so excited to be there and they’re so giving of their talent and they react naturally. And the great thing about Caitlin, if maybe I kind of strayed a little bit from the script or from we’d rehearsed just to see what would come out, she would be right there volleying back to me. She’s so incredibly talented and showing up and playing her father and being alongside her through the majority of the shoot it was a pleasure every day.

It’s all make believe but for such a performance does she know all about the danger her character is in?

Oh yeah, she knows, she knows. We keep her very protected in the sense of knowing “It’s all make believe” but she has got a very good head on her shoulders and an incredibly supportive family, so she’s there to play pretend with us but also understands that we have to make it look real and terrifying.

Another thing that stands out is the psychological aspect of the show. Ian Mitchell is no action hero and I for one loved the scene in the car with Ian treating his own gun shot wound telling himself not to pass out [Milo laughs]. How did you approach these kind of scenes?

It’s always difficult when you’re playing physical pain. Emotional pain you can drum up hurt and heartache but physical pain you really are just playing pretend. So I think it was understanding that Ian Mitchell isn’t an action star, he doesn’t know how to handle the weapon, he probably passed out at the sight of not only his blood but somebody else’s and now is forced with the very real thing of possibly bleeding out and he has to fix it and move forward cuz the clock is ticking on him killing his target as well as somebody is after him still. It was a fun thing to play I think given a bunch of other roles that I’d played as people that are very familiar with weapons or very familiar with fighting or very familiar with action, to play a man who had never an intention to be in anything like this but has to adapt and overcome.

Were all these scenes completely scripted or was there room for improv along the way?

Everything was scripted. Ben and Ryan crafted this amazing story and Ben executed this wonderful wonderful script. I think there was room to play but it was so good, we had such a great playbook, there was no need to stray from it. It was just: Let us make this as good as we can.

In season 2 with you and Chad Michael Murray on screen I was counting the minutes for the two Gilmore Boys to team up [Milo laughs]. But in the end that’s like the desperate suggestion all the victims made: team up to bring down the watchers. But was that ever in the talks for these two characters?

You see what happens in the first two seasons and there is a third season and right now we are in talks of the fourth season so I think let’s say fans excitement to put guys like Chad and myself together or in our third season we have Rose McGowan coming on board and she’s with Chad. You know it’s all possible in the “Chosen” world, anything good and bad in the “Chosen” world.

A little like in the “Game of Thrones” world… So we shouldn’t be too attached to Jacob Orr?

Yeah, you really shouldn’t get too attached to anybody and if somebody appears dead you may not want to rule out the fact that they could possibly be alive. You never know. It’s a very very unstable world but very within our grasp. That was the thing that initially drew me to the project. This could happen at any point. Somebody could put something on your doorstep and all of a sudden you’re in a spot that you have zero control over.

by Jessi | Category: Chosen,Interviews