Tory Kittles, who plays Eric Broussard in Colony, has to be my new best friend – I’ve probably spent more time talking to him in the last two days than anyone else over that time period. We had an interview scheduled for Tuesday, which went really well – until I listened to it, and found out that only my side of the conversation had recorded. I can’t even begin to tell you how ill that made me, but being a truly kind person, he offered to call again today for a do-over. Tory has had roles in True Detective, Sons of Anarchy and Olympus Has Fallen, among many others. We talk about Broussard, about the non-alien focus the writers have created, his geek side, and the music that runs through his head.
TIBS: Last season, Broussard had a fairly extensive team and network. He had Quayle and many others that he fought and worked with. This year came down to the three “kids” (Morgan, Eckhardt and Bebe), and occasionally Katie. What do you think that does to his viewpoint of the Resistance? How do you think he handled it?
Tory: I think it’s forced him to adapt, to change in a lot of ways. Before, he had this structure, this foundation that he felt he could trust. When Quayle betrayed him, or when Quayle put him in the awkward position of having to choose between him and Katie, and he chose Katie, with the resistance being decimated, he had to shift his strategy and tactically take on a role with these three kids. I don’t want to say kids, I guess, three young people, who didn’t have as much experience with this type of warfare. And so it forced him to become a leader in different ways. He had to become a teacher, and sort of like a father figure. This season he’s been trying to get them on a level where they could actually make the right moves and strategically bring down the Occupation, which has always been his primary objective.
Do you think he was comfortable being a leader and being responsible for these people?
I think it brings out different qualities in him. I don’t think he’s ever had to exercise those parts of himself and access those levels of himself, so in a lot of ways, he’s discovering what it is to be a leader. And I think there’s a lot of different ways of being a leader. He’s leading a bunch of tech guys, it’s not like he’s leading a bunch of soldiers who have been trained for this type of action. He has a military background, so in that, you go through training together, you create a camaraderie, you go through your specialty training together. So you create these relationships all within a common goal of learning military discipline and how to do things from a military standpoint. Now he’s engaged with these tech guys, Eckhardt, Morgan and Bebe, and they’re not military. They’re from a different world, and he’s having to try to understand that world and use it to all their benefit, and so I think there’s a frustration on his part, because he’s used to working with soldiers, they know certain things. So he’s trying to teach them things that they’re not necessarily used to accessing.
Thinking of Katie, last season there were almost hints that maybe there had been a background or relationship with her, but this season we found out pretty quickly that they really only probably know each other from the Yonk. Why do you think he’s trusted her so much? What do you think it is about Katie that appeals to Broussard and why does he want her as a partner?
I think you have reactions about people, and you intellectualize some things, and I think with Katie, he trusts his gut where she’s concerned. I think you learn a lot about a person when you’re sitting at a bar having a drink, and there are discussions that haven’t been shown within the show that make up their backstory. So I think there’s a lot of history within their relationship that occurs at the Yonk. So because of that, it goes way beyond the first episode of the second season. We saw that he was there with her when the walls came down, and gave her the phone number and said to call him if she ever needs anything, but they clearly knew each other before that day. Because there was a comfort level before that already established between the two of them, so how deep that goes, I don’t think we’ve seen that yet. I think that gives us some room to explore.
What was your favorite scene this year?
I really liked the scene in front of the Yonk, the confrontation between Will, Katie and Broussard (after Bebe’s death). In the two seasons we’ve had, it’s the first time that the three of them are together, and you have Will coming in with his perspective on what he thinks about Broussard, and Broussard coming with his perspective, what he thinks he knows about Will, and then you have Katie in the middle who knows us both. And I think that informs the nature of their relationship. Further along in the season, we see their dynamic and how that works. And essentially, she’s still in the middle, between these two guys. I enjoy that scene so much because it’s the basis of where that relationship goes. It’s the start of it.
From the non-recorded call, Tory also liked the scene where Broussard, Katie and Will go to get info from the man who works at the exclusion zone. That episode, he said, really showed the difference between them and the Red Hand – they don’t see this in cut and dried terms, not just Occupation and Resistance. There are many people who are just trying to survive, and if they have to do it by working for the Occupation, that’s what they have to do.
The season really has been very dark, especially as fans are seeing it. There have been very few, if any, human victories. What do you think?
The big victory has been that at the end of the season, the Bowman family is still together. I think within this world of occupation, the things that matter the most are what you’re trying to hold on to. Family is the foundation. If you can hold onto your family when everything else is going to shit, that’s a very special thing. They’re surviving together. I think that with that dynamic changing, within their family, all of the characters are becoming their own person or force because of the occupation. Gracie is being influenced by the cult. We’re seeing the effects of what the separation has done to Charlie, now Bram is on the side of the Red Hand, which places him in a very precarious position. Katie is still trying to be a mother but also having a hand within the resistance, still being a fighter. Will is caught between the occupation and the resistance, but by the end of the season, he’s in full resistance mode because he’s running from the occupation. So everything is heightened. Because that family is together, and the show is really about the family’s survival, I think that’s a victory. For Broussard, being part of keeping that family together is a victory. It reminds him of what he’s lost – he’s lost his mother, he lost all of those three from the Apis group. He’s sort of a lone wolf now. But he can still see the value of family, and he can see it when he’s sharing the space underground with the Bowman family.
For a show that’s about aliens taking over, we’ve seen very little of the aliens. Do you like that writer’s choice, to make it more about the humans rather than the aliens?
I didn’t really think about it until you just asked that question, but I haven’t missed the aliens. I’ve been so caught up in the human drama that I haven’t really missed the aliens. But I don’t know. Maybe they’ll come back, soon. Yeah, I think it’s a conscious choice, but that’s more a question for the writers. I think it’s more a conscious choice, to keep the focus on the humans.
During the broadcast, you’re probably the most consistent cast member who tweets along with us nutjobs.
Does that make me a nutjob too?
Maybe… but I don’t know you that well, Tory!
I’m cool with that! (laughing)
What do you like about tweeting along with the show? What do you like about interacting with the fans?
I like the enthusiasm. I love that the fans are loving the show. The energy that is created on Thursday night – it begins earlier in the day, and by showtime, it kind of ramps up. It creates this sort of community online, between the audience and the cast and the show, and I feel like people are really invested in what you do, and that makes it really special. I mean, if you people weren’t watching, who are we making the show for? So we feel that love, and I appreciate it.
It makes it a lot of fun for us.
That’s the least I can do.
You’ve got an interesting relationship with Peter Jacobson. It really comes through when you’re both tweeting on Thursdays.
We finally had a scene together this season, because we didn’t have anything together the whole first season. So we finally got to work together, me, Peter and Josh, and the day we were shooting, he was kind of shaking. So I asked, ‘hey man, are you ok?’ I didn’t know what was going on with him. He just had this look – I’ve seen that look before. It was intimidation. He was intimidated. I asked if he was intimidated, and Peter said, ‘No! Why would you say that?’ And you know, I sort of put my arm around him, and I say, ‘it’s going to be ok, Peter.’ And then he finally came around. He was ok, he performed quite nicely. But he was scared to shoot with me that first time.
That’s funny, because you, Tory, don’t seem like an intimidating person, but you get into a role, and people see you that way.
No, we have a lot of fun together, and it’s crazy because even though we haven’t shot a lot together, me and Peter, we’re definitely the most on social media together, so there’s been a camaraderie that’s been created because of that. Really, it’s not even funny – everybody is very close, it’s a really close cast.
That makes your job a lot easier and more fun for you.
Yeah, it does.
In an interview last season, you said you were a Star Wars geek…
Yeah, first time I was at the theater, my dad took me to see Star Wars. And that was the first time I was at the movies. I’m a huge fan, and I loved the last one that came out, Rogue One. I thought that was fantastic, and The Force Awakens… George Lucas created something that’s timeless, and I love that whole universe. That whole universe will continue to expand, there are a lot of stories to be told within that. So yeah, I’m a huge fan.
Would you like to have a role in a Star Wars film?
I feel like you can pursue things, and sometimes you get those roles that you pursue, but I feel like more often than not, it’s just an alchemy that’s involved in how these things happen. And you really have no control on how these things happen. They find you at different times in your life as an artist and a performer, and I mean, if I’m lucky enough to be a part of that universe, I would definitely embrace it. But I don’t know if it’s something that you go, ‘yeah, I would like to do that,’ or maybe it does work like that. Maybe you do say, ‘hey, I’m going to be in Star Wars,’ and then all of a sudden you’re in Star Wars. I mean, things have happened like that too. That’s what happened with me in Tigerland. I said, ‘I’m going to get a movie,” and then I got Tigerland, and it changed my life. So what do they say, it’s the power of speech, you say things out to the universe and they come into existence?
Someone wrote a book about that.
So, I do think that certain roles line up at certain times, more so than you pursuing them.
With Tigerland, there’s a video of the song you wrote for that film. You mentioned that you do write music, and you write themes for your characters.
We shot Tigerland on a base where my grandfather was stationed during WWII, and while we were shooting, Joel Schumacher came up to me and said ‘why don’t you write a song.” He didn’t know that I wrote, so it was very serendipitous. Maybe I was channeling my grandfather – I went over to this tree and five minutes later I came back and I had this song, and sang it to Joel, and he said let’s do it, and that’s what you see in the movie. And that was the first. Since then, when I’m creating characters and trying to fill in blanks from what the writers have done, I create theme music for each character. Or sometimes the music will come to me, through a score, or whatever, but most times, I create the music.
Is it something that runs through your head as you do a scene or is it more preparation for a character?
I think each scene has a tone, and I each character has an overall arc, so I think thematically, there is definitely a musical element to it. So if I’m creating a character, each character has an arc, so I think what is the overall theme music of this character and where is he going. It shows itself a lot of times in a musical way.
Do you think you’d ever put that out for us to hear?
Ummm, wellllll, maybe. Never say never.
If we can talk Ryan Condal into sticking a guitar in your hand in Season 3?
Uhhh, hmmmmm, never say never! (laughing)
Will you be in Southern California this summer? Tory will be performing in Richard II at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, June 11 – July 15.
10 Cool Things We Learned About Tory Kittles This Week (Colony Blog)
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