The Strain Preview: “Identity” + Character Insights From Corey Stoll and Miguel Gomez
[Warning: General spoilers ahead]
After last week’s The Strain, it’s pretty clear that Eph is adopting a fluid morality, and this week, he continues with the questionable life choices. We also follow Gus and his new, oddly comfortable family, find out what Reggie knows, meet the Ancients’ new weapon,Â hang out withÂ Nora on the worst babysitting assignment EVER, and check in with the Master as he chooses new accommodations. It’s a pretty packed hour.
We had the chance to chat with Corey Stoll and Miguel Gomez on two recent press calls, and they weighed in on where their characters are heading, and what’s motivating them. It turns out that both are seeking a kind of redemption.
Here’s what Stoll had to say:
“I think obviously itâ€™s personal now that Kelly has turned and is actively trying to turn Zach but I think just his personality is such, too, that heâ€™s won at everything pretty much in his life, up till now.Â Now heâ€™s in a situation where heâ€™s lost more in the last week than he has in his entire life.Â [Heâ€™s] always been a very alpha guy and very type A.Â Heâ€™s been knocked down numerous pegs and is admitting such but he still canâ€™t let go on either front, so itâ€™s personal but itâ€™s also professional.
The first time he killed anybody intentionally he was being attacked and that was sort of purely defensive.Â As the first season went on, he became more inured to killing to the point where he doesnâ€™t really sort of flinch killing people who are completely turned.
Then he crossed the line, again, at the beginning of this season experimenting on freshly turned people and then this is another one, and then sort of the ratchet that sort of keeps pushing him past these lines that he never thought he would cross.Â [For] the rest of the season, he is in a different place, morally.”
Here’s what Gomez had to say:
“I thinkÂ [Gus] feels that he lost his mom, and his brother, and his best friend because of his mistakes, and I think his nature is to be protective of the people he cares about and the people that care about him.Â [I] think thatâ€™s whatâ€™s driving him, that revenge and that redemption, and I think he has one goal now and thatâ€™s to seek out whoever caused all these things to happen to his family and get revenge on it.
He absolutely feels fear, and some of the things that he comes acrossÂ [are] very scary…But he comes from the streets, from really rough elements and circumstances, and heâ€™s used to that survival mentality and conditioned to face death a lot, I think.Â Because in the streets you can really die at any moment, especially if youâ€™re involved with illegal activities itâ€™s always a possibility. And itâ€™s survival of the fittest.
So, he knows how to…mask that fear.Â I think even with the clothes he wears and the shaved head and his tattoos, itâ€™s all just battle [armor].Â Itâ€™s all just him adapting to his situation, to his culture, to whatâ€™s going on around him.Â [It’s] just a wall.Â Itâ€™s a defense mechanism that he has.”
Gomez hasÂ had a ball with Gus’s new acquaintances, Aanya and Angel, telling us:
“Working with [Joaquin Cosio, who plays The Silver Angel, and Parveen Kaur, who plays Aanya Gupta]Â every day, we have so much fun. We laugh all the time.Â And just sometimes in between takes weâ€™d be freezing because we shoot in Toronto, so itâ€™s like frostbite weather.Â So, weâ€™re freezing but in the midst of all that weâ€™re still enjoying each other and having fun.Â This season was actually a lot lighter for me to shoot.Â It was a little more fun because last season was just intense; everything he was going through was so intense.Â And this season I was able to have a little more fun with them.”
The Strain airs at 10/9c Sundays on FX. Here’s a sneak peek of “Identity.” Look for Lucifer himself, Tom Ellis, to drop in as an old friend of Eph’s, and Corey Stoll’s real-life wife, Nadia Bowers, as a D.C. power player Eph needs help from toÂ get his virus inÂ the right hands.
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