Spotlight: Midnight, Texas Season Two Set Visit - Peter Mensah on Lem's Marriage & Diverging from the Books

Peter MensahOn 9/12/18 during SciFi Vision's visit to the Midnight, Texas set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the cast and crew joined the journalists for round table interviews. The second of the day was Peter Mensah, who plays the character of Lem, the vampire in Midnight.

During the interview, Mensah talked about Lem’s new marriage to Olivia (Arielle Kebbel), his reaction to the newcomers to Midnight, and what else is next for his character.

Peter MensahI’m assuming there will be more backstory for your character this season.

Well, there’s certainly more story. I think that what’s going to happen for everybody, is that the audience gets to know them better, because I think one of the great things about the way it’s set up, is it’s really character driven. So, all the fantastical stuff is almost normalized. You know, you’re actually familiar with a witch, an angel, and vampires, and that’s not the issue. It’s their relationships and how they survive a simple thing like, you know, can you keep your wife happy? [laughs]

So, is it as difficult for a vampire as it is for a regular male?

Have you met my wife? [laughs]

I’m scared of your wife.

[laughs] Yes, so I think definitely, like I said, that’s part of what drives things now. The characters themselves are really what we explore, and the situations just sort of illustrate who they really are. So, we’ll see what happens as time goes on.

So, are they going to explore how Lem and Olivia met, that whole relationship? Because when we came into season one, you two were already together. Did she kind of tame you? Or were you like -

[laughs] Well, the tricky thing is, he’s been around for centuries, so I think what happens in this, is there’s a little bit more explanation for it...because also there’s part of the evolving we just got married, how do you deal with that?

Any babies? [laughs]

That conversation has to happen, right? So, you know, there aren’t complete answers, but there’s the evolution of the relationship as from the last time we met, and that’s a part of it.

And there’s also the evolution of the relationships of the Midnighters amongst themselves, because that’s also part of this, you know, they’ve solved one major issue, but did they? And what are the effects of that? So there’re certainly darker stories coming up. [laughs]

Peter MensahIt was pretty dark in the first season.

That was kid’s play! [laughs]

Can you talk about Lem’s interactions with the new characters that come to Midnight?

I think each Midnighter sort of deals with newcomers in very different ways, and the combination of the ways in which we do things is what works. Lem has always been sort of the more cerebral. He tends to sit back and sort of watch, and as a result of his night hours, he tends to actually see things that most people don’t. So, he’s not inherently suspicious, but you’re sort of not really in until you’re proven. And that sort of that still maintains, whereas his wife just doesn’t like anybody. [laughs]

So, you’ll see as time goes on, the evolution of their relationship sort of depends on what they do, and as time goes on, trust and lack thereof starts to show. But initially Lem doesn’t really react much. He just watches.

In the books, there’s not necessarily a conflict, but sort of a bone of contention with Olivia and Lem, which is that he eventually plans to turn her.

Well he can’t *plan* to turn her. He would like it, because then, you know -

He intends to at some point, but she’s very resistant to that. Will we continue see that resistance, or will she kind of start to see, I don’t want to say the light, because that’s the wrong phrase, but -

There’s a fundamental difference in the approach to this relationship. I don’t think there’s an intention, but I think there’s a desire to have a relationship that would last forever. So, that’s really [more of] the issue - it’s just a desire to turn. And the only way they can be together is if that happens, or it will end, and that’s really the issue. The relationship has an end date, and that’s what he really doesn’t want. But there’s no part of him that wants to do that without her consent, because then what kind of relationship do you have? [laughs] So, we’ll see. I’m not telling you what’s going to happen! [laughs]

I ask, because I know that the story in the series has diverted a bit from what’s in the books.

Peter MensahOh, absolutely.

But there was a little bit of an inkling of that in the first season, so I wasn’t sure if that played a role.

It absolutely plays a role. I mean, I think the threads that were laid out in the books are definitely what we’ve followed, but we’ve most certainly expanded it. So, it’s beyond the parameters of the books for sure, and like I said, there’s a lot more reveal in this. [laughs]

Being back in Albuquerque, have you been able to show the new cast members what you fell in love with during the last season?

I mean, you do what you can, given the amount of time, because the last thing we have is time [laughs], so it really doesn’t quite work that way. But yeah, I think - I’m not sure Nestor’s worked here, but everybody is actually quite familiar, because the thing is most of us have friends that have been on shows here, so Albuquerque has become quite the hub.

So, last time we talked wineries. We talked about going to drink wine.

Yeah and funny enough, I’ve been out to Santa Fe a bunch, and there’s a little bit more viniculture out in that direction, but, you know, like I said, time, I just don’t have it. [laughs] I’ve been a busy vampire. [laughs] Because think about it, sometimes we might finish work, because of my stuff - say on a Friday, I come to work at three in the afternoon, and I don’t get home until seven, eight a.m. the next day. So, by Saturday, you lose your Saturday; you only have Sunday, and then you’re back at work on Monday.

SCIFI VISION: Are there anymore flashbacks, like far back flashbacks, this season that you can talk about?

There will be flashbacks, some not what you were expecting, but, because the purpose always is to flesh out not just the character who’s story you’re talking about, but flesh out why they affect the Midnighters the way they do. So, it will not be just based on the Midnighters, it will also be some of the people introduced.

Peter MensahSince they are fleshing things out, what has been the most surprising thing you’ve found out about the character? Something that’s like a twist; that’s pretty cool.

Oh you have no idea. I cannot tell you. I can’t tell you. But just be aware, the last thing you could imagine happening, happens to Lem.

In what episode?

Early into it. Fairly early into it. And you’re going to be sitting there wondering, “How the hell will he get out of this?” [laughs]

**Be sure to check out the rest of the coverage of the event, and stay tuned for much more, including the rest of the full individual interviews and more set photos, leading up to the premiere on Friday.**

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