David Bradley talks of his character in “The Strain”

Back in June, we reported about David Bradley (Argus Filch) talking about his new vampire series The Strain, prior to its premiere on July 13 on FX. Now, in a new interview with Hero Complex, Bradley talks a little more about his character, Abraham Setrakian. As also seen in the previous interview, he explains how director Guillermo del Toro was one of the reasons why he accepted to star in the show and from the director’s description, was immediately attracted to the character.

When he told me about the character and that someone of my age could play an action hero — you think, well, I’ve got one last shot! — it sounded so exciting. But it was his overall vision and the idea of the story about this man with the life he’s had, which is revealed, drip fed to the audience. I love stories that gradually reveal themselves and characters that gradually reveal themselves. Setrakian is one of those.

He goes on to describe him further, saying,

He’s this rather eccentric, driven man who seems to have more than enough energy for his years. It’s not like Superman or the Lone Ranger, where you know he’ll survive and succeed in the end, James Bond or whatever. They seem to have an assurance they will survive. But he doesn’t. He’s not like that. He’s full of fear.

At the beginning of the series, he says Setrakian is visualized as someone “you don’t mess with,” but as the series goes on, the audience gets more of an understanding of the character.

We’ve got to these later episodes where suddenly he’s got this kind of family, these strangers… I suspect he prefers his privacy normally, but he’s suddenly got people who are going along with him. It must be quite a change for him. He’s learning how to care again. He doesn’t want to soften up in any way. He wants to remain hard-nosed about this.

Because of the genre of the show, Setrakian has been compared to the character of Abraham Van Helsing, created of course by Bram Stoker in his Gothic novel, Dracula. When asked about this, Bradley said,

 I didn’t try to look for references or comparisons with other characters; otherwise, there’s always a danger of playing that rather than what Guillermo and Chuck have got written down.

The Strain is based on a novel series of the same name, also created by del Toro and Chuck Hogan. When asked if he had read the novels before starting work on the TV series, Bradley responded by saying there was no time.

By the time Guillermo [phoned] me, there was very little time to think about it. It was about four days. ‘Can you relocate? Can you be in Canada this coming Saturday?’ It was harried discussions, not only family-wise but also visa-wise, trying to sort things out at the last minute. It was very much a sudden thing. I hadn’t read the books. To be honest, it’s not my genre. It’s not something I normally read. But when I did get ’round to reading them… what they’ve got is these real human beings caught up in this and the emphasis on them and not so much on the characters of the vamps. So when I read them, you go along with it.

He also had a little to say about his character in hit HBO series, Game of Thrones (Walder Frey) and an encounter he had while filming The Strain,

The guy on security who was letting me in […] stopped me and said, ‘I just want to say thank you for what you did to the Starks.’ He said, ‘I couldn’t stand them. [laughs] They were so smug and so goody-goody. So thank you!’ I grabbed his hands and said, ‘Thank you, that’s the first time anybody’s ever said that to me.’ I was so grateful. I’ve had people winding their car windows down in the streets in London and saying, ‘Can’t forgive you!’ I’m not insulted. Far from it. I love it when something stirs up those kinds of feelings in people.

Have you been tuning into The Strain? What do you think of it so far? Let us know in the comments below.

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