Interview: Greg Grunberg

SciFiNow recently spoke with Greg Grunberg who plays Matt Parkman in Heroes. Grunberg was keen to discuss the show and had some tantalising details to share regarding the future of Heroes. Minimal spoilers may follow…

new-heroes-matt-parkmanSciFiNow recently spoke with Greg Grunberg who plays Matt Parkman in Heroes. Grunberg was keen to discuss the show and had some tantalising details to share regarding the future of Heroes. Minimal spoilers may follow…

This current season has taken a darker route. How has this altered your experience working on the show?
I think if we go dark and don’t justify it, then it’s a little creepy. But what we’ve been doing this year, especially for my character, is seeing him going dark because he wants to protect his family. So this kind of justifies it. Even with that episode ‘Five Years Gone’ where I was going around killing people, it was stuff like that which makes me think the show is in a really great creative place.

As season three of Heroes saw your character entering darker territories, how was it making the transition from light-hearted to serious?
It was great for me because in season one I would hear from people constantly, saying: “When is your character going to become more integral to the story?” This was great to hear because obviously it meant people wanted to see more, so I was really happy during season two in a scene when I am with Nathan and I see a picture of my father. So it’s been great that now, at the end of season three I’m the one that takes down Sylar and they have to come to me for my powers. It’s a big [reassurance] of job security, which I really like so I’m very, very happy with going dark as long as it’s justified.

How has it been working with Tim Kring over these three seasons?
I think he is a genius. He has been able to make a show aimed at a smart audience, one that reads and takes ownership on a show like this. To stay one step ahead of the audience, and to listen to them when you’re not making the right turns, is just an attribute to who he is. He doesn’t really come from this world so to be able to survive this long…

Season two drew criticism, with Kring himself even deeming that it was “too slow”. What are your thoughts on this chapter?
Well it was one of those things where they were trying to capture the excitement and the intensity of the first season. By doing this, I think, they said, “Okay lets let all of the bad heroes out of the insane asylum and see what happens.” The problem with that was everyone was popping out and in the end they weren’t as relatable. So now we are back to a really creative place where people are just trying to live their normal lives.

What interests you enough to return to the character of Matt Parkman?

The amount of money they pay me on the show, just kidding. It’s never a dull moment for my character. I have to say I have been so happy with the direction [the writers] have taken my character and the stuff they give me. Every script just gets more and more interesting and just when I think they are going to take my power to a superficial level they come up with something that surprises me and that I never expected.

TV shows in the US seem to have a short life span these days. Do you feel with all the cuts and cancellations being made that Heroes has something more to prove, in order to survive?
Well over here in the UK there is like an end strategy. You guys say: “Okay we are going do so many series and then it’s going to end.” But in the States it’s like all you can eat: “Let’s just keep going until this thing drops.” So it’s inevitable that eventually the numbers aren’t going to stay where they always are. Also the writers’ strikes didn’t help the situation at all. So like I said, we’ve done a great job of things and are in a great place.

What can you tell us about season four of Heroes?
Season four of Heroes is going to shock a lot of people. Obviously what I did at the end of the current season is not going to be without consequence. It’s going to be a crazy season because I am responsible and they’re going to me when this goes wrong, horribly wrong. They’re going to be like: “Parkman you did this!” and I’m going to have to live with it. So far I’m getting some incredible emails and texts from the writers saying how exciting the stories they’re breaking are.

What is the theme surrounding this forthcoming season?

The new season is going to be called ‘Resurrection’ that’s what they’ve called the volume. I think that’s appropriately titled because now we have wiped away the past, we have apparently taken care of this threat and now we resurrect the good and hopefully move forward from here. I think it will have double meaning, too, because we will be resurrecting the evil that is inside us all, and that will be played out through Nathan having Sylar inside of him.

You shot a pilot with JJ Abrams for a TV show called The Catch. What can you tell me about this show, and will it be commissioned?
Unfortunately what happens in the States is, once you lose the actors and they go off and do different things, like I am at the moment, no one’s really available to do it. Although it was a great show, it was kind of a throwback to the classic detective shows and I played an LA private investigator. It was like a ‘dramedy’. I wish it had got picked up but things happen for a reason.

Am I right in saying you were offered a part in Star Trek? If so, what part was it?
Yeah there’s the part of Olsen I was offered but wasn’t able to do. The actor that did it did such a brilliant job but I wish I could have done it, however, my schedule wouldn’t allow it. But if I could work on JJ projects for the rest of my life I would do it; he’s my best friend and I love everything that he does.

Have you seen either season one or two of Heroes on Blu-ray? If so, what are your thoughts on the format?

It’s brilliant; I mean it looks so incredible. First of all, our show is like a mini movie every week – to see the show in the way that it is intended to be seen, with that level of production value, is brilliant. The clarity on the screen is incredible and sometimes if my TV ever looks a little darker than it should, then Blu-ray just smoothes that out. I love watching stuff on Blu-ray.

Will season three be coming out on Blu-ray?
It will be coming out on DVD and Blu-ray 12 October.