• INTERVIEW: Friday, 7/14 - 5:00pm ET - Midnight, Texas - Monica Breen
  • INTERVIEW: Tuesday, 8/1 - 9:30pm ET - Wynonna Earp - Tim Rozon
  • INTERVIEW: Thursday, 8/3 - 4:00pm ET - Midnight, Texas - Peter Mensah
  • INTERVIEW: Friday, 7/4 - 6:00pm ET - Midnight, Texas - Parisa Fitz-Henley

SciFi Vision - Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Spotlight: Midnight, Texas Set Visit - Dylan Bruce on Playing Bobo

Dylan BruceNBC's Midnight, Texas, based on the book series by Charlaine Harris, centers around a town that sits on the veil between the living and Hell that's weakening. It has become a safe haven to the supernaturals living there.

When the fiancé of the local mortal Bobo Winthrop, played by Dylan Bruce, is murdered, the cops come to town and secrets are threatened to be exposed.

Earlier in the year when SciFi Vision attended a press day at the set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bruce sat down to talk to the journalists about the series.

Bruce talked to SciFi Vision about playing one of the few mortals on the show. “I think everyone in Midnight is very accepting; it’s a very accepting place. It’s almost like a refuge for people who are outsiders or people who are running from maybe a tragic or demons-in-the-closet kind of past.

Dylan Bruce“So, it’s very welcoming, but at the same time we are very wary of new members to Midnight, because a lot of people come to Midnight with ill intentions, which you will see as the show progresses.

“But it’s a community that everybody’s very fond of and very happy to be here, and we’re very protective of it, because there’s a lot of special things in Midnight - supernatural and not.”

The actor also talked to the site about his favorite thing in the pawn shop that Bobo co-owns with Lem (Peter Mensah). “Before we wrapped, I walked through there yesterday, and I just took pictures of everything. I really like the bear in the pawn shop that has bullet holes in it, which is kind of unsettling a little bit, [laughs] but I think is very cool. There are a lot of creepy dolls in there in the pawn shop. There’s a ton of weird stuff. There are dolls missing arms; there’s an ancient baby carriages with skulls in it. There're a lot of grotesque things in there, but as you’ll see, a lot of stuff in the pawn shop comes into play in the story of Midnight too.”

He also talked to SciFi Vision about working to create his accent for Bobo. “When I was trying to look at accents, I was listening to a lot. Arkansas accents you would think would be, excuse me if I’m being ignorant, but it’s so deep down south, that you would think it would sound really hokey, but they’re not. They’re very light; it’s a very light southern [accent], almost like Bill Clinton, a very smooth drawl, where a Texas accent is a little more pronounced, southern.

“So, I listened [laughs] to a lot of Bill Clinton speeches. I don’t know if that helped, because sometimes Bobo is very bewildered at the happenings in Midnight. So, sometimes I get really big with my accent, [laughs] especially when I’m talking to a cat, which is always fun.”

The actor also talked to journalists about his character, being a fan of Harris, how the show compares to working on Orphan Black, working with a cat, and more.

Please check out the full transcript below.

Midnight, Texas
Dylan Bruce

January 31, 2017


We see the rapport that has built among the cast. Is it because you are here in Albuquerque? Talk about that process.

I don’t think it’s because we’re here in Albuquerque; I think we could have been anywhere. We got very lucky in the casting process, because literally everyone just clicked. We are like a big family; we all love each other.

Everybody has a common goal and we all work really hard. Everybody’s so sweet, and it’s just a wonderful group of people to work with from the top to the bottom: David Janollari, Monica Breen, and all our powers that be. NBC’s been very supportive of the show too.

We are in Albuquerque; [laughs] we’re not home in California or in New York where other folks live, but it’s been good. It really lends itself to the show, the aesthetic of the show. It’s a cool place to shoot.

SCIFI VISION: Being one of the few mortals on the show, can you talk about how you fit in with all the immortals?

It’s pretty easy. I think everyone in Midnight is very accepting; it’s a very accepting place. It’s almost like a refuge for people who are outsiders or people who are running from maybe a tragic or demons-in-the-closet kind of past.

So, it’s very welcoming, but at the same time we are very wary of new members to Midnight, because a lot of people come to Midnight with ill intentions, which you will see as the show progresses.

But it’s a community that everybody’s very fond of and very happy to be here, and we’re very protective of it, because there’s a lot of special things in Midnight - supernatural and not.

What makes this character interesting compared to some of the other ones you’ve done where he still has an edge and some dark secrets as well?

He’s a little different from the books, which you’ll see when the show airs. What makes him interesting to me, is Charlaine mapped out a great backstory for him in the books, and he’s actually in a different series of hers as well. He was a teenager in her Lily Bard series, which I think is owned by a different studio, but I did read those books as well. So, it’s nice to have the groundwork laid out for you instead of making stuff up.

Dylan BruceSo, Bobo comes from a very interesting background. He’s a good old boy from Shakespeare, Arkansas - it’s a fictional town that Charlaine made up - and he’s got a very interesting family as well. His family is kind of in line with the Waltons, the people who started Walmart, so he comes from extreme wealth. He was a very sheltered golden boy, and then something tragic happens in his past which propels him on the trajectory that he’s on now, many years later, arriving in Midnight.

But it’s been a lot of fun, and they have added some elements to the character that I am very pleased with, and you’ll see by episode two what those elements are.

Have you met Charlaine and what was that experience like? You seem to be the resident Charlaine scholar here.

[laughs] I don’t know if I would bequeath that honor on me, but I’ve never had that experience.

Like Orphan Black, for instance, on that show, we didn’t know anything about the backstory of our characters. They liked to keep us guessing; they wouldn’t tell us anything. So, the fact that I had all these books - and I was a fan of True Blood; my wife is a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series - it was pretty cool that we have all those books on our shelves at home.

So, to see her and meet her, for all this stuff to come out of that mind of that lovely, sweet woman is quite amazing. So yeah, it’s really cool to be on a show from a series of books that are extremely popular. I just hope we do her proud.

What have you learned about being mortal versus an immortal?

I take a little more bumps and bruises than they might take. It’s funny, because as the series progresses, without giving too much away, Bobo is kind of in the dark about the supernatural element of some of the characters in town, so his discovery of it was really fun for me to play as well, because it’s shocking to any human coming from an outside place. He’s been here for a while, but he’s one of the newer residents in town, so in this exploration of the series, he’s kind of learning as he goes as well. So, that was a cool element to the character as well for me. I’m not that immortal, you’ll see.

After working on a genre show with kind of a high concept like Orphan Black, and then when you go for pilots and what’s interesting to you. You worked in episodic television, so you know the grind of that, but then also the positives in being able to build a character. Is genre something that for you just has more inherently interesting stories and you lean towards that, or was it just this script was the thing that called to you?

The script definitely called me when I read it. I feel very blessed and lucky to have gotten it. I know that the writers and the showrunner were fans from Orphan Black, which helped me out a lot in getting the part. But I tend to play a lot of white collar, blue-blooded kind of guys, and to play a good old boy from the south allowed me to stretch my acting muscle a little more. He seems like a very interesting character once you find out what his backstory is, which comes in the middle of the season. It’s very prevalent in today’s socioeconomic climate as well, which I thought was really interesting. It was totally by chance, but it's very relevant in today’s society. It’s cool that we’re making a show about togetherness when there’s, you know, I don’t want to go too deep, but people in charge of our country are trying to bring people apart, so it was really neat.

And I’ve been exhausted on this show. It’s been a really long, hard, and arduous shoot, but it's by far the most fun I’ve ever had in my life playing a character and being a part of an ensemble where everybody is so talented, and everybody has the same goal and drive of mind and really loves playing their characters as well.

Interior of Midnight PawnshopWe have a lot of big scenes with the entire cast, and those are very tiresome, but they’re also the most fun. It's been a great experience.

SCIFI VISION: I want to ask you about the pawn shop. He owns it?

He does. Almost co-ownership with Lemuel, but he bought it from him. As to why he bought the pawn shop, that’s still up in the air, but they're good buddies.

SCIFI VISION: Do you have a favorite item in the pawn shop? It looked like there’s some pretty interesting stuff in there.

Yeah, before we wrapped, I walked through there yesterday, and I just took pictures of everything. I really like the bear in the pawn shop that has bullet holes in it, which is kind of unsettling a little bit, [laughs] but I think is very cool. There are a lot of creepy dolls in there in the pawn shop. There’s a ton of weird stuff. There are dolls missing arms; there’s an ancient baby carriages with skulls in it. There're a lot of grotesque things in there, but as you’ll see, a lot of stuff in the pawn shop comes into play in the story of Midnight too.

Any things you’d take home and add to your own collection?

Well, I have a fake Rolex that Bobo wears, [laughs] so maybe I’ll take that one home and pawn it off as real! That was my choice as a pawn shop owner. I haven’t been in many pawn shops, but the few I’ve been to, it seems like the guys behind the counter always have nice watches on. I figure if Bobo had to leave at a moment’s notice, and there was one thing he could take, I guess a gold Rolex would be it. So, that’s my favorite piece that he wears that’s not too subtle. It’s gold, and look how I’m dressed. [laughs] It doesn’t lend itself to my aesthetic so well.

You’re kind of the action guy on a lot of your shows. How did this show push you?

I guess, I'm not necessarily the action guy. On Orphan Black they would always say that I’m the thinking man’s warrior. I’m not a big fan of guns, but I was like, “Can I get a gun? Can I shoot someone? [laughs] Tatiana [Maslany] gets to do everything!” She should be able to do everything, which she does so well.

But it was funny, Arielle and I always joke, because we’re the mortals in kind of precarious situations in the story of Midnight, and I’m always asking, “Can we get guns? Can we get guns? [laughs] We need to protect ourselves here.” But yeah, Bobo’s got a lot of cool relics to pick from from the shop when he needs to protect himself.

Orphan Black is a very different show from this. What is it you learned from that that enhanced or allowed you to have an upper hand on doing this show?

I would think that just watching Tatiana work on that show and seeing how she was always a go-getter, never complained, was always the first one to jump at doing anything that the producers or directors wanted, and to be a team player. I think that’s vital in an ensemble series like this, so I just come into work every day with a smile like she did and just try to have the most fun I can possibly have.

Dylan BruceAre you going back for the last season?

No, I’m not.

So this better fly.

Yeah, I know. I think it’s going to fly. Everything that I’ve seen so far has been really, really cool, and we’ve got a lot of smart people that are writing our episodes and working here, so a lot of the stuff is coming together quite well.

When you met Charlaine, was there something you asked her or talked to her about? Did you get her to sign a book?

You know what? I don’t have my books with me, and I was texting my wife last night. I was like, “I wish I had my books for her to sign.”

We got ours signed.

I know! We were all working last night, and you guys got to have cocktails and tapas with her, and we were all here. It was myself, Sarah (Ramos), Parisa (Fitz-Henley), and Arielle (Kebbel). We were just so upset that we couldn’t be there with you guys, but I hear she’s on set today.

I did ask her some stuff about Bobo’s past. Probably something that would be spoilerish if I said it now, but she was very open, and she was very helpful.

She seems like she’s able to relinquish this to you and see what you’re going to do with it.

Totally. She’s laid the ground work, and we’re just trying to do her proud and do the show proud. But yeah, she definitely has relinquished character control to us, and the producers and our directors are kind of hands off. They know we’ve all done our research, and we’re all pretty invested in this. So, we’re just running with it and having a lot of fun.

SCIFI VISION: Obviously you like the books, but is there anywhere other than the books or the scripts that you took inspiration from with your character when you created him?

When I was trying to look at accents, I was listening to a lot. Arkansas accents you would think would be, excuse me if I’m being ignorant, but it’s so deep down south, that you would think it would sound really hokey, but they’re not. They’re very light; it’s a very light southern [accent], almost like Bill Clinton, a very smooth drawl, where a Texas accent is a little more pronounced, southern.

So, I listened [laughs] to a lot of Bill Clinton speeches. I don’t know if that helped, because sometimes Bobo is very bewildered at the happenings in Midnight. So, sometimes I get really big with my accent, [laughs] especially when I’m talking to a cat, which is always fun.

So, are you going to do your Bill Clinton for us?

[laughs] I don’t have a Bill Clinton.

I think the trick to doing an accent is doing less and just thinking less in your mind. But once I get the boots on and I walk out on the set, it’s pretty easy. It kind of permeates through your body.

SCIFI VISION: How was it working with the cat (voiced by Joe Smith)?

How was it working with the cat? He’s a nightmare. The cat...

…has his own trailer?

[laughs] Yeah.

Dylan BruceThere was only one cat?

No, there were two. The cat in the pilot was a nightmare, but I didn’t work with him then. The cat that we have now is amazing, but our main cat passed away.

Everyone: Awwww.

So his understudy took over. It was so sad. I know, I know. I don’t know what happened, something happened where he ate something at home and...

<crosstalk>

Nothing here! Nothing happened on set. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Our cat doesn’t do much. He pretty much sits there with a leash on, and they feed him, and they take pictures of him, and he just sits there. That’s it. He doesn’t have to do too much. And he’s very snarky, as most cats should be, I think.

Are you more a cat person or a dog person?

I grew up with cats. I always thought I was sick my whole life, but in fact I had allergies to cats. Thanks a lot, mom and dad! But now I’m a dog person, because I can’t have a cat in the house.

So now you get to work with a cat?

And funny enough, pretty much the entire cast is allergic to cats too. I think especially Parisa and François (Arnaud).

How does Aubrey (Shannon Lorance)’s death affect Bobo this season?

It definitely propels him on an interesting journey. He’s heartbroken, but Aubrey might not be who she seems. So, his quest for revenge and to find out what happened, it happens during the season, but the blow of her death is definitely weakened by some facts that are brought to light.

Was it fun to be a little bit more vulnerable in the pilot? We don’t often get to see that from you. You usually play - sorry - a dick in a lot of your shows.

Yeah! He’s a very vulnerable guy, he’s a guy with a heart of gold, but if you cross him or cross one of his friends, he can be pretty vicious.

So have you seen it all?

I’ve seen the first five episodes. David Solomon, one of our showrunners, was kind enough when we were shooting one of our night shoots - we were all just sitting there waiting when they were setting up huge shots - to show us.

A lot of the episodes are specific to one character's story. Episode two is The Rev (Yul Vazquez), episode three is Lemuel, episode four is Olivia (Kebbel), episode five is Bobo, six is Creek (Ramos), and seven is Joe (Jason Lewis) the angel, eight is...Then it becomes all of us. But every episode kind of has an overarching theme of something that’s crazy that happened in the season, but then we have contained episodes as well that focus on the character’s backstory, and why they’re in Midnight. It’s actually really cool; it’s fun to watch. We’re hoping to grab viewers’ attention and keep their attention on the show. There’s never a dull moment; I’ll say that much.

Dylan BruceIn the interim, do you have other projects?

We’re pretty beholden to this as far as television in concerned, but I’m from Vancouver, British Columbia, and I always ask my representatives, “Get me a movie in Vancouver.” I want to go see my family on someone else’s dime and be working at the same time, which is always the best way to travel.

When is your hockey movie coming out?

They’re doing festivals. It’s very Canadian, that movie; it’s a hockey movie. They were doing festivals all over Canada, and I think they’re going to try to do some festivals in the States.

Have they gotten any booked?

I haven’t talked to the producers since I shot the show. They tried to get into TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) but TIFF is - we’re more of a goonish type hockey movie, so it’s kind of not really in TIFF’s wheelhouse, so they’re going to the smaller festivals.

It was a fun movie; I really like the finished product. We did it on a shoestring budget. I got to stretch my hockey muscle again, because I haven’t played hockey since I was fourteen years old. That was a lot of fun, learning how to skate well again.

And Wayne Gretzky’s dad was there, because I was actually supposed to be on an actual team that exists, and he was there one night watching us when I was playing. Well, they put my jersey on a really good player. [laughs] But I got to do some stuff on the ice too, so that was really interesting.

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