Kevin Durand Talks Journeys and Closure in The Strain’s Final Season [Exclusive]
Kevin Durand was one of the main draws for me when I started watching The Strain three summers ago, and I’m so glad that his character, Fet, has made it this far as the series winds down. With only one episode remaining, I spoke with Durand on the phone this week about Fet’s arc, going into a planned final season, the cast’s last trip to SDCC, and what’s next for him.
When the show was renewed last fall, we were told out of the gate that it would the fourth and final season, which was a nice gift for the cast and crew, and the fans. Durand was grateful to know that going in. “That was a real luxury. It gave us the opportunity to wrap it up and amp it up [for] the last journey,” he says. “From a character point of view, we knew that these were the last ten segments, so we felt like we had the backing in place to go full-bore.”
As we saw tonight, some of the crew are heading into the final fight with a degree of fatalism, and rightfully so. At this point, Fet is carrying his own motivation on top of a drive to honor Setrakian’s final wishes. “I think that [promise] is a really big part of it. Ultimately, Fet loves humanity. He loves people. He loves his life. He loved his life before all this madness that happened and he’s continued to love his life, even amidst all the chaos and madness,” explains Durand.
“He wants to do everything he possibly can to save human life in general. He’s going to sacrifice his life in hopes that humans will continue on the planet earth and get to enjoy the most beautiful gift of all and that’s life. He’s really committed to taking this evil out of the world.”
“I think in Episode 6 [this season] when he parts with Charlotte, there was an inkling that he was thinking, ‘Maybe I can go off and have a life with this woman,’ but his common sense dialed him in and said, ‘Well, nobody is going to enjoy the fruits of the earth if we don’t exterminate The Master.'”
“I don’t think he’s fatalistic. I think he’s always ready to step up to the task. Obviously he understands that his life is being put in the path of danger and being eradicated, but he’s an optimist. I think he believes he’s going to succeed. We’ll see whether he does or not. We’ll find out.”
Durand’s offscreen friendship with David Bradley has been well-documented, and this season threw them a curveball by keeping Fet and Setrakian separated until the episode where Setrakian dies. Durand admits it was hard to be away from each other. “David and I adopted each other, even from Season 1, Episode 8, when we finally come together in that gas station. As men, as human beings, meeting each other, [we decided], ‘You’re pretty cool, let’s hang out,'” he recalls.
“We became family and it reflected on the relationship between Fet and The Professor. He really made it for me, getting to hang out with him and learn from him. It sucked not working with him all the time. He ended up getting a house down the street from me in the second and third season. He got along well with my wife and my daughter.”
“We were really bummed when we were separated, but it made sense for the narrative for Fet to go out and try to carry out his orders to find that warhead. He was doing it for him, and he was doing it for humanity. He knew that he had to go, even though he wasn’t able to keep them protected…to watch over Dutch and The Professor. I think he believes Setrakian can survive, whoever’s around him will survive, as well, so I’m sure that [separation] weighed on him.”
Last week and this week, Dutch and Fet found even ground over their shared grief, and Durand is happy to have their relationship repaired. “I think that Fet and Dutch have, from the very beginning, they just loved each other. What life had put them through before and during their relationship kept them from being able to be successful as a couple,” he explains.
“But with all the madness that has happened over the last nine months, when they come together, things have been forgotten and forgiven. Whether they wind up together, they have a true bond. They care for each other and want the best for each other.”
“I really liked that they ended up bonding over Setrakian’s passing. I’m glad that Dutch had that chance to bond with The Professor so she could understand where Fet was coming from. It was a nice way to have them be on good grounds with each other.”
In July, the cast gathered for their finalÂ San Diego Comic-Con appearance as a group, and Durand enjoyed the closure that brought for all of them. “I’d never gone to Comic-Con until the show. That’s a whole different animal. Some actors kind of shy away from that kind of stuff. But for me, it was a blessing to have fans come together and who came out to support The Strain,” he shares.
“It was always so humbling and heartwarming that people loved the show so much. I was always so grateful for that. It was the last time we all gathered and it was cool for us to gather in that kind of setting where the work we had done for four years was celebrated and we could all move on to our next projects and cheer each other from that point on and say goodbye and farewell, and it was cool to have the whole story wrapped up. The fact that we had the opportunity to do that was such a blessing.”
Before playing Fet, Durand hadÂ recurring and regular roles on series as varied as Dark Angel and Touching Evil, but The Strain marksÂ his longest continuous role. “It opened me up to [to doing a series]. Right now, I’ve been in a place, after playing a guy for the last four years…it was so wonderful to keep adding layers to the onion and it was such an amazing experience,” he says.
“Now I’m open to whatever moves me. I just love building and creating completely different characters who walk differently, talk differently. I’ve been having a lot of fun [doing that]. I’m certainly open to getting into another show where I get to dig in again. It’ll be hard to top The Strain. I’ll be patient and wait for the right one.”
In the near-term, you can catch Durand on the big screen in October at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Los Angeles for the premiere of Tragedy Girls, in which Durand gets to cut loose as a killer. “It’s really fun. It’s a very funny, horror comedy-type thing. When the script got put on my desk, I read it and thought, ‘If this guy can pull this off, it’s going to be great,'” he recalls.
“I haven’t seen it yet but from what I’ve heard, it turned out great. I’m playing a character who is the type of character who’s been offered for most of my career and I’ve never done it because it’s so bang on. But on this one, I’m a psychopathic serial killer [who is] an amalgamation of Jason and other iconic serial killers. You look behind the mask and see who this guy really is, which is really fun. It has a great cast, great script, great director. I’m going to see it for the first time at Screamfest.”
The Strain will air one more time on Sunday at 10 pm/9c. You can catch the season so far online at FX’s website. The Screamfest Horror Film Festival runs October 10th-19th in Hollywood. Click here for more info and bookmark for updates as the schedule comes together.
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