Video Interview: Circuit Breakers' Cole Keriazakos & Maz Jobrani

Circuit BreakersToday, the half-hour futuristic anthology series Circuit Breakers premieres on Apple TV+. The series tackles issues through a sci-fi lens in a way that kids can relate to. Often, the use of the technology leads to chaos.

In the fourth episode entitled “Entangled,” during a school presentation, Principal Young (Maz Jobrani) and student Seth (Cole Keriazakos) accidentally switch bodies.

To promote the series, Jobrani and Kerizakos talked to the press during a recent roundtable. The two talked to SciFi Vision about what each of their characters taught them about themselves. For the elder of the two, it was about his love of being on set. “I've been touring a lot as a stand up, and that's kept me busy,” Jobrani told the site, adding that he wants to be involved in quality projects, which he considers Circuit Breakers.

Keriazakos, on the otherhand, talked about the collaborative process of working on the series. “It was just a combination of the perfect actors, the perfect cast, the perfect crew, and the perfect producers,” the actor told the site. “I love the director, too. I feel like everyone worked together really well to create this amazing show.”

For more, watch our portion of the interview and read the full transcript below. Circuit Breakers is available now to stream on Apple TV+.

If you could switch bodies with anyone for 24 hours, who would you switch bodies with?

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   Wow, there's a lot of people to pick from. I think if I could switch bodies with anyone, I would want to switch with someone from really far in the past and then just use my knowledge now to influence the rest of humanity. So, I could just go and switch bodies with them, like a caveman or something, and then show them like an iPhone or something and then see how they reacted and see what would happen in the future.

MAZ JOBRANI:   I would switch bodies with Rihanna. She's got a great voice, and I just want to be in front of 50,000 people singing. I'd either be Rihanna or Eminem, because when they collaborate, I love those songs. So, I’d do either one. Eminem raps really fast. So, maybe it'd be Eminem. I'd be Eminem or Rihanna. How about Rheminem?


QUESTION:  If you could be an adult for a day, and you if you could be a child for a day, what is the first thing that you'd want to do?

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   I don't know. If I could be an adult for the day, I would probably just make some weird rules. Like, if it was a principle, specifically, I would just add a weird rule of the school. Like for lunch on Wednesdays we would have, I don't know, Mac and chocolate. That's what it would be. Something really weird.

MAZ JOBRANI:   That's disgusting.

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   I know, well, hey, have you tried it?

Circuit BreakersMAZ JOBRANI:   Nutella and everything is great. As a grown person now who has injuries that don't seem to want to heal, If I were a child, I would just go out on the soccer field and I would play for five hours straight and I would have zero injuries. I would heal the next day if I did get an injury, but I’d have no injuries, because I'm a child.

QUESTION:  I'm going back to doing the acting on this episode. How did each of you go about playing somebody very different from yourself and being a different age?

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   Yeah, well, the first thing that I did was I when I heard that it was going to be Maz, I immediately started researching Maz and looking at his stand-up comedy to figure out his physicality, the general things that he does. He's a hand talker. So, I immediately incorporated that. I also just kind of started looking at the adults around me and seeing what their physicality was like and throwing in a bit of my own, like, kid perspective on what adults are like, but that was the big thing that I worked on for that.

MAZ JOBRANI:   Once the show started, or once that we knew who was doing what - Matter of fact, I saw my YouTube clip started getting a lot more hits, because it was Cole watching all my clips over and over again.

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   I just put on loop for an entire day.

MAZ JOBRANI:   Yeah, this really helped my YouTube numbers go up. But, for me, I have a teenage son, and so I relished in the fact that I got to play a teenager and kind of mimic my kid and kind of lampoon him a little bit. But then I also credit the director, Romeo Candido, for reining me in a little bit, because I really was having too much fun lampooning a teenager that is my son. It was fun.

QUESTION:   Cole, you've been acting more of your life than not; Maz, a successful standup comic…When for each of you did this start to feel like a career and not just a series of one offs or worrisome auditions?

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   Wow, that's a great question. I feel like when I was younger, when I first started getting into it, I was just kind of experimenting. My mom didn't know if she really wanted me to be an actor at that point, because, when your kid says they want to be an actor, your first thoughts not, “Oh, this is a very well-paying career.” So, I went to set one day, and right after that day on set, I was like, “Can we come back tomorrow?” And she's like, “Honey, this is it's over. That's it for this job.” So, I feel like I really started loving the work, and just about like, one to two years into it, I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

MAZ JOBRANI:   I still don't feel like it's quite caught on yet. I'm really trying to make this thing happen. No, I saw a commercial a long time ago, it was for the Independent Film Channel, and it was Al Pacino, and Al Pacino says, “Every time I finish a job, I think that's it; they'll never hire me again.” And I was like, if Al Pacino is worried, what am I going to do? But for me, I was in my mid-twenties when I decided to really pursue acting and comedy. My parents had always fought me, because they come from a traditional background. I was born in Iran and grew up in America. So, the moment I decided to do this in my mid-twenties, because I realized you live once, and you should do what you love, that's when I felt like, this is going to be a career, whether I'm going to be successful or not. It's going to be that, and that was 24 years ago, and I'm still in the game.

SCIFI VISION:   What has working on the show taught you about yourself, other than maybe you want to, you know, be a kid again, or vice versa?

MAZ JOBRANI:   For me, it taught me that I love being on set. I've been touring a lot as a stand up, and that's kept me busy, but being on set and getting a chance to play - and I always say I want to be involved in quality projects, and this a quality project. So, I'm ready to be on set more in quality projects. I enjoyed hanging out with this young man here. I enjoyed the crew. I enjoyed craft services. Please, please hire me so I can eat snacks at your craft service table.

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   Yeah, that's a good perk. I think one of the things that I learned is how much of a collaborative [process] everything is, specifically for this; it was just a combination of the perfect actors, the perfect cast, the perfect crew, and the perfect producers. I love the director, too. I feel like everyone worked together really well to create this amazing show.

QUESTION:  This is a very ambitious series in general. What does it mean to each of you to be part a product that is pretty bold nature?

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   Yeah, well, it's inspiring. And for me, because I love acting, and I love making my own stuff too, that's where I would love to live, you know, 10 years from now. So, seeing all these people put such an amazing project together really is inspiring for what I wish that I can do.

MAZ JOBRANI:   Yeah, I'll go back to the idea of being involved in quality projects. I think that Apple Plus has done a good job of bringing this anthology together. And again, you just feel like you're in good hands, from the crew in Toronto, to the director to the cast, and to the final product. I got a chance to see the final product. I was like, “Oh, wow, that didn't turn out the way [I thought],” because a lot of times, I think it was Ron Howard who famously said, “you make a movie three times: once on the page, once on set, and once in post.” So, when you read a script, and you go, “Oh, this is going to be fun,” and then you go shoot it, you go, “Oh, this was fun.” Then, you kind of are cringing and waiting and go, “I hope it turned out fun.” And it turned out fun. And I go “yes!” So, yeah, it's a quality project, and I think that people will enjoy it.

QUESTION:  So, the show is an anthology, and in each episode, there's kind of a different sci-fi gadget or sci-fi thing that happens to a person at the beginning. They think it makes their life easier. What sci-fi gadget or what would you make up to make your life easier?

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   I feel like I would just want an alarm clock that isn't annoying, some kind of alarm clock that slowly wakes me up, gets me in the mood for the day. Then, once I go to school, I'm like fully in the mood to be at school. A loud beeping noise is not exactly the thing that I want to wake up to.

MAZ JOBRANI:   How about, what's it called? Teleporting? Wouldn't it be great? In LA just the other day, my daughter had a volleyball game, and it was at her school, and mistakenly I went to the other team’s school, which happened to be in Santa Monica, and I had to make a U-turn and come back. And that traffic on the 10 at around four o'clock is ridiculously horrendously horrendous. So, wouldn't it be great if you could just be like, “Oops, all right.” [sound effect], and then you show up in the next place? If I could do that. Wow. Wow. Wow. Or if I could invent that technology, even more wow, because then I'd be super rich.

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   Start now. Maybe you could.

MAZ JOBRANI:   Yeah, there you go.

QUESTION:   On Apple TV alone, there are so many science fiction shows that are gaining steam. I mean, across all platforms, this has become quite a sensation. Why do you think science fiction is so popular in 2022?

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   I think it's because a lot of people, as technology advances, they're scared that technology is getting to be [at] point that it is. There are a lot of shows that highlight that, other anthology series like Black Mirror, things like that, they do highlight that, but what our show shows is that just because technology is advancing, doesn't mean it has to impede us so much. This middle school, these kids are going to incorporate a lot of this technology, and it is very high functioning, and it works very well. So, I feel like it shows that we can embrace this technology, because we're trying to help the world with it.

MAZ JOBRANI:   But also, listen, it's always been the case. I mean, from books like 1984 to Brave New World to the then shows like The Twilight Zone, I think technology has always been something that we've dealt with. And it's amazing how often we've gotten it wrong with what things will look like. Like, if you look at, you know, what was it? “Danger [Will] Robinson.” Remember the robot? Now you look at the robots of today, and they're kind of scary looking, almost human looking. So, I think sci-fi is always, and always will be, interesting. I think this is another observation and delving into that exploration.

QUESTION:   Each of you, what are your favorite science fiction shows, if you had to pick one?

COLE KERIAZAKOS:   I'm not a big show watcher, but I do feel like my one of my favorite movies, like 80s movies, of all time is Back to the Future. I feel like it's just such a great movie that shows how we could advance, and specifically, when they go to the future, there're a lot of things in there that I feel like could happen. Obviously, 2015 has come and gone, but I feel like that's just a really great movie.

MAZ JOBRANI:   Gosh, science fiction show. Curb Your Enthusiasm. It's an amazing exploration of psychology and science. No, I would say something like Westworld or some of these other ones where - and by the way, it's always great when the reveal is something that, “Oh, man, I didn't see that!” I love when you see something that blows your mind. And by the way, big, big, big respect to writers who come up with these things. I just don't know how they do it. We all, I think, as actors, as people, in this industry, a lot of times we think, “I could write,” and then you see somebody who comes up with some complicated theme, and you go, “I never could have come up with that.” So, big, big, big props to the writers and creators of this whole anthology here.

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