Tonight Syfy premieres an all-new episode of Incorporated
. In the series, Eddie Ramos stars as Theo, Elena (Denyse Tontz)'s brother, who has been working to do whatever he can to get out of the Red Zone and save his sister, including participating in cage fighting for Terrence (Ian Tracey).
In preparation for the episode, Ramos recently talked to SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about his work on the series and what's to come for Theo.
SCIFI VISION: How did you first get started working on the series?
It was a three week process last year. My agent brought it to me, and I went in, and the casting agent named Wendy O'Brien, who I worked with on Teen Wolf
, she brought me straight into callback. We went into the callback, and then I got to the producers session and then into testing, and the testing was at CBS studios in front of like forty executives. And then three days later they told me that I got it and that I was going to Toronto right away. It all happened in like a three day process; I was in Toronto filming the pilot. It happened so fast. Was there anyone in particular who inspired your portrayal of Theo, or did you take everything directly from the script?
Definitely. Theo's a go-getter; he's determined. I based him on a lot of boxers in the 80s, a lot of Latin Boxers, like specifically Roberto Durand. He has a little bit of [Muhammad] Ali like confidence, and in terms of other people that I [thought of] I know he definitely has this hunger that I think Tyler Durden has in Fight Club
, just kind of that like coyote in the red zone feel to him.
I also thought Theo was like Ryan Gosling in Drive,
that quiet intensity. He’s definitely got Aaron Paul moments in Breaking Bad
, where he’s funny, and kind of that side-kick kind of character with a little bit of attitude. I thought he was definitely a Leonardo DiCaprio character in Departed
, with Terrence, kind of this hostility towards his boss, the Jack Nicholson type of character, kind of not trusting, but also going along because he has to. And then his fighting style is just kind of like Tom Hardy in Warrior
, where I think he’s just ready to go, ready to give it all up. That’s really who I thought about. What do you think is the worst part, or has been the hardest part for Theo - and even really if it was you instead of Theo - being in the Red Zone?
I think the hardest part about playing Theo and someone from the Red Zone, for me personally, is the extent of which they need to do things to survive. I think that was the hardest thing to relate to, because it was really shaking up afterwards coming out of the crazy scene in episode four where you see Theo break Spider (Jahmil French)'s leg. That's something that Eddie wouldn't do at all. But for Theo, it was a decision that was plausible and something that he ultimately ended up doing. I think that's one of the hardest things I had to battle with Theo, was just justifying these things for someone who's in this desperate place.
Talking about the things he's done, at the beginning, Theo seemed to be fighting more against it, and now he seems to be just letting it happen. Is that going to change again? Will he put up more of a fight? Can you kind of talk about his motivations and plans?
Photo © Jeremiah Wilson
I think what's awesome about Theo, is that he's so primal, and he just follows his primal instincts. In the beginning, when Ben (Sean Teale) first comes to see him and tells him that he can't find his sister, I think Theo just wants to fight him automatically.
He's so resilient, and I think once he realizes that Ben is actually trying to find Elena, I think, you know, Theo settles back and understands that maybe he can give the guy a break. I mean, he used to look up to Ben, and so it's definitely hard for him. It's not easy to give him that cold shoulder that he does from like episode one to four, but as soon as episode five happens and Ben calls Theo to come help him pick up Roger (Douglas Nyback)'s dead body and tells him like, "everything I do is for your sister," I think that's when it really sinks in home. I mean, here's a dead body, and he's telling me it's for Elena. I have to believe that this guy really does have all intentions of getting my sister back.
So what's cool about Theo, is that, like I said, he's primal, and he's definitely grounded in the sense that everything happens off the cuff. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, and he's just going with the flow right now. And the minute, you know, Ben kind of turns his back on him, I don't think that Theo will react with kindness; I think he'll react with what he's given, you know what I mean? He definitely gives as good as he gets. Specifically, though, speaking of going with the flow, earlier in the season, Theo fought more against what he's done, such as fighting in the ring. Things are getting worse now, and with the drugs Terrence gives him, it seems like it's going to get even worse still, but Theo seems less concerned.
I think what happens, is that he's faced with all these hard decisions, and, I mean, you have to remember that Theo is still a seventeen year old kid.
And that was one of the most fun things about playing the character, was that being seventeen you're way more naive to the world, and I think he's very trusting. He doesn't have a father figure, so Terrence has become a father figure to him, and he ultimately kind of falls into what Terrance tells him to do. And in his head he's justifying it by this being a means to the end. This is how he's going to get into the Green Zone to get his sister back.
So I think he's willing to do whatever it takes, and I don't think he realizes how deep the rabbit hole really goes, and that's where we're following him right now, kind of falling through this, stumbling through this coming of age story really for him in season one. Can you talk a bit about the fighting itself? Did you get any training at the beginning or anything like that?
Absolutely. I think the creators, my fight coordinators, and myself included, they all wanted me to look like a fighter, and that means training like a fighter, eating like a fighter, and living like a fighter. So there were days where we were training for six hours a day. Six hours, just going over drills, boxing drills, MMA drills, and that was for four months. I trained like that at the gym in Canada, about three to five times a week.
And a lot of it was also watching videos about boxers, the Spanish boxers that inspired Theo's style like I mentioned before, and lot of movies about boxing, a lot of documentaries. And the training was just rigorous. I think I ran up and down King Street a hundred times, just all the time just going through the neighborhood in Canada, in Toronto, just running around the city. It was really, really fun training for it. And I really enjoyed training like that for a character. It was something I’d really looked forward to. Can you talk a bit about the actual filming process, choreography, and things like that for the fight scenes?
Absolutely. It’s so funny, when the audience is watching the episode, they’re only getting a two-minute glimpse of a fight; it happens so quickly. However when we're on set, I don’t think most people know this, but we're filming for nineteen plus hours. Last episode, episode seven, we filmed that fight scene, I think it was something like twenty-one hours, and it was literally just a sparring session and the fight with the Yaroslav (Justin Howell).
And so, it’s definitely a rigorous day; I have to go to sleep early the night before, get a good breakfast in, and just try to maintain my energy, because, really, it’s hard to fake these things. It’s hard to fake the fight; it’s hard to fake the rage, especially because he goes all out in his fighting, and you want to make it as real as possible. And I’ve been lucky enough not to need a stunt double as much. I mean, I do for the flips in the air, that stuff only something a stunt double would do, but for the most part, it’s pretty much me. So I definitely have to be in physical peak condition, and there’re long, rigorous days of filming, but it's so much fun. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Do you have a favorite fight scene?
Photo © Jeremiah Wilson
I love the energy of episode two. It was the first fight we did, and it was just so great, you know, when you’re just starting something. It was just so great to meet the new guys and the team and everything.
And I was very nervous. It was the first time that I was going to be performing in front of a hundred plus extras. And when I finally win that fight in episode two, their natural reaction was to cheer me on. And I don’t know many people who have this experience where a whole group of two-hundred people are cheering them on. It’s a crazy, crazy, out-of-body experience, and I still remember it almost every day. It was such a fun time. That was one of my favorite fights so far.
Oh, and also, episode ten, the last episode, the fight is in a pool. So that one's awesome too. It was in a pool?
In a pool, in a mansion, and we filmed that one on my birthday, so that was insane! Can you talk a little bit about filming that? Because that sounds like fun.
We were in a mansion in Toronto, in this really nice neighborhood, and again, it was something like two-hundred extras, and I got hypothermia twice. I had to ask for the medic. It was a cold day. And the guy who I fight is a Canadian, and he was loving the water. I don’t think he got out once. And, me being Spanish, I was like out like every twenty minutes. I was like “Guys, I’ve got to [get out],” you know, shaking. But the fight looked awesome. We did the ADR, and I think the audience is in for a treat. It is such an sick fight. And the fight only got better and better. Is there anything that you would like to see happen for Theo, if it was up to you, if there’s a season two? Or maybe something about him you’d like to learn?
You know, I think what happens in these places like the Red Zone, in these places that are poverty-stricken, I think people are a lot more inventive than we think. And they find ways to get around and to make things happen for themselves, just to survive. And I would love to explore that. Theo’s got this fighting aspect, but I would love to explore his tech aspect as well. You know, Ben showed him when he was young how to rig the system. I would love to see a little more of Theo’s backstory, or if not, how Theo has managed, other than just the fighting. I think he’s a very smart guy. He’s resilient, and I would love to see some of that avenue explored. Now I know you can’t tell me in specifics, but I saw on the XFinity episode guide and the press site, that for one of the episodes it says that Theo “ventures inside the wall.” So, I assume, at some point, he is going to make it into the Green Zone. Is there anything at all that you can tease about that, in general?
Yeah, I guess what I can say is that he manages to get to the Green Zone somehow. Now whether he stays and what he does while he’s in the Green Zone, that’s what you’re going to have to watch to see, but he definitely does manage to get there, yes. Is there anything you can tease about this week's episode?
I can definitely say this. In terms of Theo, what we saw in episode seven, him taking the Rage, that's going to be spilling over into this episode. Whatever that does to Theo we'll see in episode eight. Lastly, describe Theo in three words.
I think Theo in three words, he’s definitely a survivor. He’s resilient; he gives it as good as he gets. And I’d say he’s fearless.