What if we could pull back the curtain on our heroes, and get at the crux of their stories? If we could really understand their origins, by getting to know their ancestors and their homeland on a deeper level? That’s what SYFY’s latest series Krypton aims to do, as it explores Superman’s history like never before! English actor Cameron Cuffe brings Superman’s grandfather Seg-El to life, while Canadian actor Shaun Sipos plays Adam Strange, a pivotal character from the original Superman comics. We talked to the duo about taking on these iconic characters, and their excitement was palpable! Read our interview below, and catch new episodes of Krypton, Wednesdays at 10/9c only on SYFY.
Growing up, were you fans of Superman? The comics? The films?
Cameron Cuffe: Absolutely! Superman has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. One of the first things I can remember doing was tying a red towel around my neck and pretending to be Superman. I grew up loving film and books, and I think comic books followed naturally from there. I was 11 when I bought my first comic, I’m still buying them today.
Shaun Sipos: Growing up I can say I was a fan of DC Comics in general, specifically Batman and Superman. Something about those two characters really grabbed my imagination. They both grapple with tremendous power and responsibility. Essentially everything they do is for the greater good, and they’re willing to sacrifice themselves for it. That’s appealing to me. It’s Christ like… except Christ never threw punches like these two!
Can you tell us a bit about your characters, and how they play into the overall Superman narrative?
CC: I play Seg-El. Seg was born into the great House of El, a proud family descended of many great scientists and revolutionaries. Very early on in our story the House of El is cast from the light of Guilded Society down to the Rankless District where they are left to die. Seg grows up in a harsh environment where he has to fight to survive. When we meet him in Episode 1 he has become a con man, quick with his fists, quicker with his wits, and usually in a whole lot of trouble. It’s in the midst of this trouble that he is found by a stranger from the future who tells him of his eventual grandson “Superman.”
SS: Well, Adam Strange was an archaeologist who unknowingly stepped into a zeta beam and ended up on a planet called Rann… over time he becomes a great hero there. “Over time” is the key part! When we meet Adam he’s at the precipice of this journey, and he’s doing his best to become the hero he’s meant to be. He knows Superman from earth (in the comics they’re close friends and actually team up and fight together), and he’s gotten wind that someone (or something) is going back in time to disrupt the timeline and ensure Superman isn’t born. Adam, being the gentleman and scholar that he is, goes back in time to make sure his friend/the greatest hero the universe has ever known is born. Let me just say, there are a lot of obstacles in Adam’s way before he can achieve what he’s set out to do.
Why do you think Superman’s backstory will appeal to fans? How do you hope the show expands on his mythology?
CC: Krypton is the most famous planet in fiction, and yet so little about it has been explored. What was it like? How did Kryptonians live? Was it a utopia? We’ve seen various interpretations of it over the years, but this is the deepest dive yet! We’re exploring a world that’s an integral part of the DC Universe, and of science fiction as a whole. We have a real opportunity to pay tribute to 80 years of amazing storytelling, whilst forging a path that is completely our own.
SS: I know that for me, even as a kid I was curious about where Superman came from. The original Superman movie showed a brief glimpse of it, Man of Steel showed a little more, but it always felt like this fleeting glance at it and I was always left wanting more. I think most people feel the same way. I hope it allows everyone to feel like a kid in a candy store so to speak! It does for me, and hopefully the fans will feel the same way.
How did you initially get involved in the project?
CC: I saw the word “Krypton” in my inbox and immediately I thought, “This is a huge American project. I’m never gonna get this!”
SS: I sent in a couple of audition tapes. Ain’t nothing more to say about it! Exciting business, yet sometimes so anticlimactic isn’t it?
What are you most excited for fans to experience while watching this first season? Should we be prepared to geek out?!
CC: Oh there is no way to adequately prepare yourself for what’s coming. I can’t give too much away, but I will say that this show is not what you think it is. We aren’t making a prequel.
SS: I mean, I’m already geeking out! I think most people are and rightfully so. I think this is the show that all of us who love comics (Superman especially) and mythology have been waiting for. It’s done well. It’s cinematic. The story is compelling. The world that’s created inspires the imagination, and it’s damn cool. There are no half measures here—it’s not people wearing Halloween costumes. This is the real deal! I’m most excited for the fans to experience the twists and turns this season. How powerful Brainiac is, where Adam Strange goes, the journey that Seg takes. It’s all awe-inspiring and compelling. There’s one other aspect that I wish I could mention… it begins in episode five, and I think it will have viewers very excited.