The Expanse – Interview with Cas Anvar
Cas Anvar, whose career has skyrocketed since his hit series “The Expanse” took off two years ago simultaneous to a pivotal role in the Oscar nominated feature, ROOM, is on a career trajectory most actors dream of. Having just wrapped the third season of Alcon Entertainment’s flagship show which premiered mid-April on SyFy and now is in halfway through new episodes. Anvar’s role as the galaxy’s top pilot, ‘Alex Kamal,’ has been expanded on the network’s most expensive original show. As an actor who continually delivers, Cas’ star status as part of an ace ensemble which includes Shohreh Aghadashloo, Steven Strait, Wes Chatham, Frankie Adams and Dominique Tipper, is well deserved. You may recall, Anvar also recently starred on “The Strain’s” final season segueing straight into that production from his homebase of “The Expanse.” As a consummate actor who crosses back and forth from tv to film, Anvar is a talent you can expect great things from because the thespian delivers.
Kiddle – I want to thank you very much for taking the time to speak to me about an absolutely wonderful show and actor. Of course, I’m speaking about The Expanse, and YOU.
Kiddle – How much input do you have into your character’s speech and style? (and, are the clothes as comfortable as they look?)
Cas – I have a lot of input – not all of it is listened to (laughs). I’m a very collaborative actor and I like to bring a lot of ideas to the table and to the director. I’m lucky if half of them get implemented, but that’s usually how it works. We all bring things to the table and cherry pick the best ideas. The sum is better than the parts.
As far as clothes are concerned, the Tachi coveralls are great. You can’t raise your arms over your head, or you wedgie yourself (ed. – we both giggled at that!). The space suits are definitely not (great). They look cool as heck, but they are a workout. It’s a whole procedure.
Kiddle – Do you get to act with all the cast? Is there anyone you haven’t been able to work with that you would like to?
Cas – So far, in all three seasons, I’ve gotten to work with all of the actors except Shawn Doyle (ed. – I mentioned he’d have to murder him when he met him). The only scene we’re going to have with him is kicking him in the head (ed. – more giggling commenced). Although I can’t disclose all of the cast in Season 3, I have gotten to work with all of them.
Kiddle – Have you read The Expanse book series?
Cas – I’m reading them along with the show. I’m reading one book per season, so I don’t get too far ahead of the show.
Kiddle – It’s challenging because the show is not entirely synced up with the books.
Cas – They’ve done a wonderful job of adapting the books to television. They are very faithful to the book and we have Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (as James SA Corey) deeply involved in the show. They write an episode or two each season. They are in the writing room and on set. Ty and Daniel have said that in hindsight, there were a few things that perhaps they would have been done differently and the show affords some possibilities. They are getting to do things they would have liked to. Plus, there are a lot of things which can’t be portrayed on TV easily.
Without pulling Avasarala into Season 1, it just wouldn’t have worked. It’s like the Holy Trinity of Earth, Mars and the Belt. It just wouldn’t have worked without all the parts. The three parts, plus this other “thing.” It works in the book, but you just can’t have pages and pages of exposition on screen. Mixing it up makes it more exciting. There are some things coming up in the show that are going to blow your mind! I’m in the middle of Nemesis Games right now. It’s going in an amazing direction. I’m a big Sci-Fi fan!
Kiddle – Do you think Alex is deliberately solitary, or is his character left alone on purpose?
Cas – I think Alex comes from a background of being isolated and has isolated himself. He clearly was underestimated in the Academy and Navy and wasn’t given the recognition he deserved. He’s had the potential to be the best pilot in the universe, but something in himself held him back. He’s probably one of the most human characters in the show, identifiable to the audience. His problems aren’t these big operatic problems, they are a product of his own bad choices. It took him 20 years of being in limbo, when circumstances came along that made his potential come alive. Once you’ve tasted that, you can’t let it go. He finally manned up, and owned up to his mistakes and confessed to his family (who responded accordingly). These issues were brought up by people in Season 1 and 2, and he has been scared to face up to all of this. After all he’s faced, he finally realized it’s not fair to his family, and that he has to be honest. It’s only because of what he’s been through and what he’s become, that he realized he found this new family he loves, and he found the strength to be who he really is. It’s the nature of the pilot, like being the drummer in a rock band. So he’s always going to be a loner.
Kiddle – Do you watch the episodes? (Some actors don’t).
Cas – Oh, I’ve GOT to. So much of this show is created post-production that I have to.
Kiddle – What has been your favorite episode, so far and why?
Cas – There are some really great episodes coming up, that I can’t spoil. I loved Donkeyballs in Season 1. In Season 2, the episode where we fire on the Thoth Station is one of the best space battle scenes on television. Coming up in Season 3, Alex will get to show what he can really do. He’s not sitting back quite as much. There’s a lot of action for Alex in the remaining 8 episodes.
Kiddle – I was a lucky fan last year and I got a shout out delivered by you. I wanted to let you know how much that meant to me. The fans really appreciate your consistent dedication in going to conventions and participating on social media. On behalf of TV Series Hub and myself, thank you very much for your time.
Photos courtesy Integrated PR Agency
The Expanse airs on Syfy Wednesdays at 9/8c