Exclusive Interview with Roger Cross of Continuum on May 23, 2013Interview by Jamie RubyWritten by Jamie Ruby
The series Continuum
follows a group of terrorists, Liber8, who were sent to the past while escaping their execution in 2077, and the cop, Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols), who along with her partner, Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster) and the police department, try to stop them.
Even though Liber8 uses extreme and often deadly measures to try to bring about the future that they want, as the show goes on, sometimes the reasons behind the attacks start to move into a gray area, as they may just be for the greater good.
Recently, leader of the fanatical group, Edouard Kagame (Tony Amendola), killed himself to complete a mission, and tasked member Sonya Valentine (Lexa Doig
) with killing her lover and fellow Liber8 member, Travis Verta, played by Roger Cross. Sonya shot Travis, but did not succeed in killing him.
Roger Cross recently sat down with Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview to talk about his role on Continuum
The actor talked about why he thinks Kagame kept not just Travis, but the rest of Liber8 as well out of the loop about his plans. "It's probably a combination of people going "No you can't sacrifice yourself; we'll do it." You know, "We need you; you're the leader, your message is there."
"There're things you'll find out later on that maybe Kagame knew more than he was telling. And maybe there's a bond with Kagame, and maybe there's stuff between him and future Alec (Erik Knudsen), that we don't know about. There's a lot that he hasn't told, but part of it is that he felt that this was his purpose, his journey. This is where his path leads, and where he wants to reveal basically the conspiracy that was going on in that building and make himself a martyr in a sense."
Cross thinks that Travis knew that something was up with Kagame and Sonya, even if he didn't know what it was. "I think he got [that] sense after he went and rescued Kagame. And from that first scene around the round table that they had, and you know, 'who's been in charge,' and 'well, you did the best you could.' All of a sudden Travis is feeling, 'Well, wait a second here, I came and rescued you, what's going on here?'
"Kagame was kind of like a father figure, and he knew in the past Kagame would have been having these conversations with him and taking him aside. Now all of a sudden he notices he's having secret meetings with Sonya and talking about other things, and he's like, 'Why am I not in on these things?' Being the favorite child and then all the sudden he's now on the outside looking in. So he knew something was up; he didn't know what was up. And she was just listening to what Kagame was saying. But for him, it's kind of like, 'I'm your dude; I'm your man; I'm your lover, your partner. Talk to me, you can forget about Kagame.' "
For Sonya it was about feeling that the cause is for the greater good. "It's that whole thing about following a cult leader kind of thing. As great as your love is to someone, there's this cause that you feel is greater than you, and it's bigger than you and your selfish love, in a sense, that you have to stay the course for the greater good, the greater purpose in life.
"I think it feels conflicting, but at the end of the day, it's kind of like, 'Okay, well the reason that I'm part of this is because of the message of Kagame's, and this is what got me here. I have to believe that this is for the best.'
"Because, you know, at that point they're feeling that maybe Travis has gone a little wild with his violence. And frankly, no one can stop him. Only someone he would let his guard down with would be able to get to him. Everyone else he would expect to fight, and he'd be boom on it and in it and getting it, but as far as his love, he would be very relaxed and expect nothing."
If it had been reversed, his character would have had a difficult time with the decision as well. "The thing about a guy like Travis Verta, or soldiers, or people who are used to living extreme lives, whether it be special forces guys or things like that, [is that] it's not easy to find someone you can be fully honest with, be truthful with, share everything with, and be yourself with, frankly. Having found someone he can be so completely honest with that knows everything about him, someone that he loves dearly, it's not something that he would take lightly, because he knows this bond that he has with her, to the point in one of the episodes he comes back to the house and he's like, "Screw Kagame, this is about us." He felt that with [them] nothing's impossible, in a sense. So he's a romantic on that side of things, maybe a little extreme, but Travis would do anything for her. You'll find out the history of the two of them later on in the show. When you find out some of that history, you'll see why the bond, the love, and the respect as well that he has for her is great."
Fans will get a bit more of that back story this season. "It's brief; it tells part of the story. I don't think we'll delve into too much of that this season. We'll get some more back story, you'll definitely find out more about their history and what happened in the past, but it's not going to be something that will be dwelt on. It'll give you an essential understanding of these two and their history."
Is it possible that Travis and Sonya could move past what happened and come back together? "Anything's possible, and the whole idea that they don't have a lot of people they can go and talk to about being from the future, their purpose and stuff. They have the local people that they're trying to gather and rally for their cause, but if all of a sudden they show up and go, "Well we're actually from 2077 and you guys are starting something that we need to do to stop the Corporation of North America from forming," people would be like "Okay, and he's out of his mind, why are we here with these people?"
"So they don't have a lot of people they can turn to, unless they decide to go the Kellog (Stephen Lobo) route of 'just live life and let it take care of itself' and all that sort of thing. You know, 'it's about let's get rich and fat and screw the future.' But I don't see that happening, so anything's possible, but it would be quite the strange reunion."
Meanwhile, Liber8 member Jasmine Garza (Luvia Petersen) is the one that has Travis's back. "Travis and Garza are kindred spirits; they're soldiers. Of everyone else in the group, she can relate most to Travis. You know, she is a soldier as well, and that mentality about going into the trenches with someone watching your back and never leaving a person behind, and she would never, no matter what, kill one of her own because the leader said to do it, she'd be like, "No, no, no this is a person that I would die for before I would allow that to happen." And so [she] and Travis are more kindred spirits in that sense."
, one never really knows what will happen because of the element of time travel. "It can be [confusing]. And that's the trick right there...we don't want to do things willy nilly, '[it's] time travel we can just do it,' no, no, no. We want to make sure it's done in a clever way and done in the right way and not just using a gimmick.
"What I've enjoyed about the first two seasons is that, yeah, there's time travel, so all that's involved in it, but that's not the focus. Personally I think the focus is more the social aspect of it. They're fighting a fight, and this a tool they have to use to stop the Corporation of North America from just taking over and running people's lives. Basically [corporations] have made themselves kings of the world in a sense. They decide off with your head and your head is gone. You don't get to live in this nice neighborhood, "Nah go away; the other person gets to move in," and they can pick and choose and play with people's lives. Libr8 wants to stop this. They're saying, "Do not let them control you; they use your money, they use social media, they use all these things to control you. Don't let it happen."
"Because if it keeps going the way it's going, which is you know an interesting thing, because we project into the future. With the way everything is these days. Everything is electronic. Even depositing money for example, you can just take a picture of a check and send it and it's gone. What if someone goes in there and erases it and says you don't have anything. [Then] you don't have anything.
"...Even with the way things are now with identity theft going on, this guy goes electronically and steals people's lives and racks up these debts, you know, these big corporations, they don't care if you didn't do it, they're like, "Well someone has to pay for it, and you're the only person we know; you're going to pay for it." And many people's lives have been ruined.
"...That's what they're saying, is like project what we're doing now, sixty years from now, and we won't have money, it'll just be a barcode on our hands or fingers or thumb or whatever. And they'll say, "This way no one can steal from you; it'll be 100% safe." And they'll make it in a way that's appealing to you and all of a sudden you're like, 'Okay, so my barcode is my life.' Then they'll have full control of what you have."
A lot of what happens with Travis as well as Liber8's goals are not just black and white. "I think Travis has a passion for what he does. He's a trained killer, and he knows violence, and he knows his place. He knows Kagame has a message basically, which has been passed on. And [Travis] is the hammer. Kagame preaches it and preaches it, but when things need to get done, guess who he gets to do it? Guess who he calls in?
"It's like that old saying, people can sit in their bed and judge these soldiers that are out there fighting, but isn't it great to have good men doing bad things, so we can sit here and criticize.
"These aren't bad people out there killing, basically doing all these things to ensure our freedom; these are good men protecting us. They have to do some bad things, sometimes really bad things, but if they don't do it, if they don't kill Osama Bin Laden, or whatever, he's going to come blow us up.
"So for Liber8, this corporation, the corporate world, would like to destroy our lives because they basically want to sit there and get rich and play God with everyone else's life, and Libr8 doesn't feel that's right; they feel they should share that. You know, everyone should be in charge of their own lives. And it would be nice in a socialistic, communistic world, but the fact is, the problem is, human greed gets involved. That's one of the biggest things why I say none of that stuff works, because that human factor is there. One person is going to say, "I did more work than you, so I deserve more than you." Or "I deserve it, because I did this or that," and then that greed kicks in. That human factor is what you can't take out of the equation."
Cross really enjoys that aspect of the show. "That's what I really love about the show, and it's not thrown in your face because there's also the other side, where it's kind of like law and order, because when you have people basically under control, they don't do things that they shouldn't do. They go to their jobs, they go home, they, you know, get out of hand a little bit, but they don't do anything crazy where everyone has freedom to do whatever they want, you know, it's kind of like that whole Jack Nicholson because some people can't handle the truth, they don't want to know the truth, they want to just be kept from making those decisions, they want to just live their lives in a simplistic way."
The actor also likes that he gets to do his own stunts in Continuum
. "It's great, and I do the majority of it [myself]. I mean, like that whole sequence you watched in the prison yard, that was all me. My stunt guy wasn't even there, actually. My stunt man, he comes in more for like the falls or the pulls and rehearses with me and practices with me and things like that. You know, just working on the moves and getting it tight and things like that.
"But because I'm able to do it, and it's much easier to film it if I'm doing it than to have my double doing it, and for me it's great, because, you know, it's part of my character; it's what he does. So it's my job to be in that condition and to train and keep up my training and make sure I'm capable of doing these things. So I do it and I've always been physical, I guess.
"Actually [doing] stunts was one of my first intros to the business...Before I even decided I was going to [act] as a living, I did stunts. So it's not very new to me, being physical, I've done it my whole life."
Cross also talked about doing stunts with Doig before Continuum
. "Lexa and I actually worked together before I did an episode of Andromeda
, where I played a cyborg like she was, and we had the pleasure of having one of the great fight sequences, because they basically on second unit had us spend the day doing this fight. So we had this wicked fight sequence that we did back then, and now also I'm friends with her husband (Michael Shanks), we've known each other forever as well, so working together on this was nothing new, [but] now we're love interests, that's kind of weird (laughs)."
The actor really enjoys working with her. "I love working with her. We're able to talk things out and collaborate together, and even something we shot recently they basically allowed us to almost rewrite the entire scene, you know, with Simon [Barry] there to make it work for us. And we're both so into making it the best we can make it. And so it's great when you have someone who's just as passionate as you about doing great work. At the end of the day, you know, that's what we want, we want a great product out there; we want to make the best of what we have."Continuum
are both science fiction. Cross has had many roles in the sci-fi genre, which he is happy about. "I love sci-fi roles, but you know it's funny, it just kind of happened that way. But what I love, and the reason it happened that way, what's great about sci-fi, is color isn't such a big deal. You can have a person of color be in charge, you can have them do a variety of different roles instead of the stereotypical roles that a lot of times when they say, "Well, you know, it's more based on how this is in this city, and there are no black people or whatever in this segment. With sci-fi that's out the window, because you are dealing with all sorts of people with tentacles and other color skins, and you're dealing with aliens at that point, so being human's the simplest form of it. So that's what's been great about sci-fi, the possibilities are so wide open and the possibilities are just out there, and you can forget about color and creed and race and all that; you can just be human and just do it."
Recently Cross has been very busy working on not just Continuum
, but other television projects such as Motive
as well. "It was busy, and there was a time when at one point all three were going at the same time in January, February there, and that got a little dicey. Of course, Motive
particularly were more upset, because when that started they had to wait for the Continuum
schedule, because that's the show that I was, you know, in first position, and that was a frustration. But, you know, I love to work. Like most actors, this is part of our fun, and of course I had to ask permission to [leave] when Motive
came up, and after it was okay, they're like, "Well, at least it is in the same city and you'll be home tonight." "
For now you can watch Cross as Travis Verta, which he describes in three words as "loyal, dangerous, and committed," Fridays on Continuum