NBC's Midnight, Texas
centers around a town that sits on a veil between the living and Hell. The town is home to supernatural creatures as well as some humans.
In tonight's episode, another body is discovered, and a girl goes missing. Someone or something is killing women in Midnight.
Yul Vazquez, who stars as Reverend Emilio Sheehan, talked to SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview about playing a weretiger, his character coming to terms with his duality, and more. SCIFI VISION: When you first got the role did you look into anything to do with transformations, like watch any iconic ones on film, or anything like that?
No, I did not research that. The transformation had to be put together in a [certain] way, because of the way the initial transformation was shot - I'm referring right now to the transformation from Rev to tiger. The movement on that was all choreographed between David Solomon, who directed the episode and is one of the producers on the show, myself, and Mike Spragg, the cinematographer, because it had to be shot in a very particular way, because I'm actually complete naked, which is an awkward thing to be in front of people. And of course it's network television, so you can't show things, and I wasn't interested in showing anything.
So, we orchestrated that in a very sort of careful way, and I think it really actually looks pretty amazing.
So, the decision was made that it begins with me praying: it shows my hands, it shows my clothes folded, the hat, and then you see me praying, which is what he does every time before the transformation. Then it cuts to a shot where the camera is above me, and what David Solomon wanted, is when I was hunched over, to just sort of move like certain parts of my body are in excruciating pain. So, that's how we put that together. Are we going to be getting any more of his back story, like his family, any of that?
You'll get some more insight into him by things that you're going to see him doing. You're not going to get anything about his family, but his family is a family of weretigers, because weretigers are born; they can't be bitten, which is a clever thing.
He's always in conflict with that other nature, that other side of him. The Rev is fragile; the Rev has a very vulnerable side. You know, he might be the most vulnerable person there, actually, but he's measured. It's interesting to put it together, because you have to have all these layers in it.
And you'll see a scene coming up with Bobo (Dylan Bruce) that's quite a beautiful scene, where you get a little insight on the Rev.
The Rev is kept mysterious by design. The Rev is a mysterious guy, and I think when this goes another season, which I'm hopeful it will, you might learn more about him. You had said on the set how he's kind of the moral compass on the show, and I wanted you to talk about how he deals with a lot of the things they do in Midnight. He agrees that they need to police and rule their own. He may not make some of the hard decisions, but to some extent he's still in on it; he lets it happen. Can you talk about as a reverend how he comes to terms with that?
It's interesting, because there's a bit of silent justice that has to be dispensed. I mean, obviously he does not condone killing, but he has a very clear idea of right and wrong.
You're going to see something in episode six where he has to speak up, and he has a speech.
Sometimes decisions are made for the sake of the greater good, and it's tough. It puts him in a tough position, but that's what's interesting to watch about it, is that there's always some kind of conflict going on with him. This guy walks down the street, and he's complicit. It's in every cell in his body, this torture. He's tortured soul. There's a great amount of sadness in the Rev. Can you talk about his friendship with Joe (Jason Lewis)? Obviously, he shares Joe's secrets, such as in 1.03 Joe reveals to him he is a fallen angel and that the veil is fraying. Can you talk about their friendship and the Rev keeping his secrets?
The thing is, he's friends with everybody in town. I think the person in town that knows him the longest, is Lem (Peter Mensah), and that's kind of hinted in an earlier episode, that they go way back.
The Rev is one of the earliest, if not maybe the earliest inhabitant of Midnight. The Rev leaves his home because of the torture that's allowed him to become the Rev, and he lives in a place where he hopefully won't hurt anybody.
So, he becomes a reverend, and the nature of being a reverend, is people confess, and people come to him for guidance and to talk about things, and he has to keep their secrets.
So, with Joe, Joe comes to him and reveals something to him, and he's going to reveal something else to him in [this week's] episode. The Rev wants to keep the secret, but what's going to happen, is he's going to hit a point where he can no longer keep it, because by keeping it, he puts everybody else in danger. So, he's going to tell Joe, "You better open your mouth, because basically, if you don't, I'm going to."
Stuff's going to really ramp up; it's amazing where this is going to end up by episode's end. Is there anything you can tease about the episode?
You're going to see the Rev in civilian clothes. The Rev has one costume; you always see him in a black suit. You're going to see him out of that suit and in civilian clothes, because he's going to have to do something, and he's going to take off his reverend suit to do it. Speaking of that, can you talk about the creation of your costume, since it is so much a part of his character?
I was very involved in the creation of the costume. I'm always involved in any costume I put on, because I think it's a massive part of it. A lot of thought went into it.
I have a little prop that's a knife with a sheath that has a cross on it that is detail that you don't get to see often.
We went through about three or four different hats. If you watch carefully, you'll see the hat changes. We've finally settled on a hat, because I kept saying, "The hat is not right," and we kept changing the hat.
Then we changed the suit; we changed the shirt.
So from the pilot, to even during the episodes, there're subtle things that change. The materials of the suits are changing, and the boots are changing, but it's still the same palette.
And I have these gloves, and everything has been sort of chosen meticulously, even the fit of the suit. You know, it's very streamlined, aerodynamic. So, if you think of the Rev as an aerodynamic economic sort of figure that cuts through sort of precise. Can you describe the Rev in three words?
Sexy as f***. No, I'm just kidding. [laughs]
I don't know. Mystical magician man. I don't know; it's tough to describe him in three words. Or just put weird three times. [laughs]
Weird, weird, weird!