With the April 17 premiere of The Messengers, the Apocalypse is nigh on the CW. At WonderCon on Saturday, April 4, the network premiered the pilot episode in full to lucky audiences and held a short Q&A for fans after. The ensemble cast is diverse and the creators are excited about a project that explores different individuals, races and genders all through the lens of religion, science and personal motivations. I sat down with executive producer Trey Callaway (Revolution), co-executive producer/creator Eoghan O’Donnell (Teen Wolf), and cast members Shantel VanSanten “Vera” (One Tree Hill), Jon Fletcher “Joshua” (City of Dreams), J. D. Pardo “Raul” (Revolution), Joel Courtney “Peter” (Super 8), Diogo Morgado “the Devil” (Son of God), Anna Diop “Rose” (Everybody Hates Chris), and Craig Frank “Alan” (Mixology) to chat with the nicest devil you’ll ever meet, 5 wayward angels and discuss the hope the messengers might bring to humanity.
photo cr: Collectiva Diva
Trey Callaway: [The apocalypse] is a part of all of our lives, whether we like it or not. It’s hard to name any one of the world’s religion’s that doesn’t have it’s own apocalyptic end-day scenario. Science itself reflects that. We only, unfortunately, have a finite amount of times as human beings on this earth, and so this show reflects that. It’s a search for meaning and it’s an opportunity for a group of five, ultimately more, strangers to try and work together to find a greater meaning and a greater purpose in life.
Diago Morgado: Ultimately, the whole show is about choices. It’s about what they’re going to do facing obstacles and how they’re going to act. And sometimes, they’re going be selfish and that is going to bring consequences.
Diva: So, Diago. Is your character the devil?
Diago: Yeah, we could say that. At least in this version, for sure.
Diva: In shows like Supernatural and The Walking Dead, we’re talking about apocalypse already…an interesting topic because it’s the end of the world and about the people we care about. On the panel you mentioned this show is focused on hope. How are we going to see this hopefulness? Is the humanity going to come from the people? Is it going to come from religion?
Trey: It really comes from…the way that people, even complete strangers, bond together, form relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, so that’s a big source of humanity. A second one is partially through an interpretation of the book of Revelation. Most people are familiar with the story of God and Noah and a vengeful God. You know, “I’m unhappy with mankind so I’m going to flood the world for 40 days and 40 nights and we’re going to start all over again.” This is a little bit of a different, unique interpretation of an end-days scenario in which, again, to go back to the key word of choice, it’s as if God or a higher power or an entity, whatever it is you believe in, is saying, “this is going to be a little bit different.” The world isn’t an ugly place like you see every day on the news and in other shows. You have opportunities and you have choices to make a difference, positively, in the outcome of not just your own life, but human kind.
Eoghan O’Donnell: Essentially, you’re being tested. You can see it as a large test. So, it can go either way, based on your choices.
Trey: I will tell you, the writers’ room was the most amazing theology seminar I’ve ever sat in. Incredible arguments, every day, all coming from great places of passion. The end result of that is reflected in the characters of the show and the kinds of conversations and debates and discussions they have.
Diva: Joel, the pilot deals with suicide, bullying, homosexuality and foster homes. [Those are] really heavy…important teen issues. How did you deal with that?
Joel Courtney: Peter has a really dark past. I mean, he’s a teenager, teenagers have problems. He’s really just learning how to navigate that horrible situation.
Diva: So we see [the messengers] interacting in [their] own little worlds. Are we going to see [them] coming together with some of the other characters?
Anna Diop: Rose becomes a sort of leader to the messengers. For now, she’s the wild card. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with her and why she’s so important to the devil.
Joel: It was really funny, because in the pilot, I never actually got to work with any of the other actors. It wasn’t until the second episode. I knew these people in Albuquerque but I never actually got to work with them until three months later. We go our own separate ways and then we come back together.
Shantel Van Santan: Vera’s part of the messengers, but she also has prior commitments…so there’s still life that’s happening, even though there is some responsibility that [is] thrown upon her and a gift that [is] given to her. Vera is a scientist, and she is an atheist, and she approaches things from the standpoint of, “What is the answer? I’m going to theorize, I’m going to test until I can prove.” Life doesn’t end, just because life might end.
Craig Frank: That’s good!
Shantel: I just came up with it (laughs).
Craig Frank: My character is a scientist, but he’s a scientist who believes in aliens. From his perspective, I think that [the messengers] would lean more toward awesome than confusing because of the fact that this is his UFO. This is his grey alien.
Shantel: This is everything scientists dream of right in front of us. That doesn’t end. It really is something that is through the whole season.
Jon Fletcher: The pilot has very personal journeys for all of [the characters], but even when they come together and realize what the higher cause is that they have to now work together to face, it still moves forward and we find out about each of their personal stories.
Diva: Thank you so much guys. Have fun today and congratulations!
Watch the premiere of The Messengers, Friday, April 17 at 9pm on the CW Network
xoxo The Collectiva Diva