The CW’s Containment is set to premiere on April 19, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT with George Young playing CDC researcher Dr. Victor Cannerts and Trevor St. John playing an Atlanta journalist named Leo Greene. The series is executive produced by Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals) and David Nutter (The Flash, Arrow) and takes place during an outbreak of a deadly epidemic in Atlanta that causes the city to be put in quarantine to hopefully stop the spread of the mysterious virus.
Speaking with George Young during the 2016 WonderCon in Los Angeles, Young said he’s definitely a germaphobe now after working on Containment. “I am now, like most of the cast, like most of the people on the set. Like most of the camera crew, the lighting crew, the directors, we’ll all germaphobes,” said Young. “We were filming the pilot and we’re doing this scene with someone behind the glass and we’re in front of the glass. It’s in a hospital and one of the lighting guys sneezes. Normally, it’s okay. Normally it’s all right but because we’ve all just been introduced to our characters, just the scenario of something that could actually happen, we all freaked out. We all looked at the guy like, ‘Okay, I’m not going anywhere near this person anymore.’ So we became germaphobes.”
“Just think about the everyday things we do, shaking people’s hands – not just strangers but family,” said Young. “What happens if a virus happens and you’re not allowed to do that? Or, if you do that there are consequences – real consequences. That’s what we ask in the show and that’s why I’m curious to see what the audience answers.”
However, being a part of Containment didn’t have the same effect on Trevor St. John. St. John isn’t any more cautious or fearful about the spread of a virus than he was before taking on the role in the new The CW series. “I know it’s fiction, even though it could very well happen. They took great pains to make it realistic and considering what’s happening now, it’s an intrinsic topic,” said St. John. “Other actors are talking about becoming germaphobes but I’ve never been a germaphobe. In fact, they say now that if you want to be healthy not that you shouldn’t wash your hands but you should be exposed to the good bacteria because we’re all suffering from that lack of that microbiome, the good microbiome, so there’s actually some evidence that we shouldn’t be germaphobes.”
Young describes his character, Dr. Victor Cannerts, as the doctor caught at the Ground Zero/Patient Zero area of the virus outbreak. “He makes, very early on in the pilot, the initial call for the containment, for the quarantine. It’s all this stress of whether he’s doing the right thing. He’s the most qualified person within the contained area to do the right thing. People are looking to him and Claudia Black’s character is looking to me, she’s outside the containment area. Other people are looking for answers and I’m the one who has to come up with it. It’s a question of I have to sound like I know what I’m doing but at the same time I’m panicking. I’ve studied it; I’ve maybe experienced it to smaller degrees in my training as a doctor. But to be faced with this in the U.S. or at your doorstep is something terrifying. But, I can’t share it because you don’t want one of the leaders or somebody in there you’re depending on to suddenly freak out.”
Young added, “There’s a lot of stress and I think you’ll see that with each character, what happens to them when you put them in this pressure cooker. Whether they’re in the literal pressure cooker that is the contained area or they’re outside, it’s still stressful. What happens to them? Where does your character go? What colors do you show? What do you let slip through that in normal situations you don’t? I think that’s the unpredictability about it. You can’t bet on anything, like, ‘This character will do that. I know that this guy – I can put my finger on him.’ Really, you can’t, and you shouldn’t because you’ll get infected. [Laughing] But you can’t anyway. It’s interesting.”
St. John says his character is suffering the consequences of a previous fact-checking error when we meet him in Containment. “He’s been disgraced in the world of journalism and the blogosphere and is trying to claw his way back to the mainstream popularity. This story kind of falls in my life and I assume that it’s going to be the thing, my golden ticket back into the mainstream and so I dig deep and I befriend Lex [played by David Gyasi] and I try to get to the heart of the story and the truth.”