‘Damien’ Megalyn Echikunwoke and Omid Abtahi Interview on Being Friends with the Devil

Damien Megan Echikunwoke and Omid Abtahi
Megan Echikunwoke and Omid Abtahi in ‘Damien’ (Photos by Ben Mark Holzberg)
A&E brought the cast of its new horror series Damien to the 2016 WonderCon in Los Angeles, with Bradley James, Barbara Hershey, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Omid Abtahi, and Scott Wilson not only taking part in a Q&A with fans but also participating in interviews to talk up the new show. Damien is a sequel to the 1976 horror film The Omen, and during our interview with Megalyn Echikunwoke and Omid Abtahi I asked them about their memories of that classic horror movie starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. “I had only heard of it prior to auditioning for the show,” admitted Abtahi. “Once I was in contention for the role I watched The Omen – as a 35 year old.”

“I only remember the creepy governess. I remember her and I remember…who gets his head cut off? I remember that as a kid. I definitely have scary memories and then I re-watched it. It’s really good. I love Gregory Peck,” explained Echikunwoke.

Both Echikunwoke and Abtahi say they’ve been given lots of freedom to create their characters and their backstories. While Echikunwoke’s character, Simone, has just met Damien (played by Bradley James), Abtahi’s character, Amani, has known him for a couple of years. “When we first got to Toronto to film, [Glen Mazzara] sat us down for an hour and we talked about the character and kind of the background and where he sees the character, and kind of what we want as actors for our characters,” said Abtahi.

Even for those who aren’t fans of The Omen or of the horror genre in general, Echikunwoke believes the show has something to offer that makes it worth checking out. “I think that’s what kind of cool about the show is it kind of traverses genres,” explained Echikunwoke. And Abtahi added, “I feel like The Omen, I was watching it as an adult and it didn’t feel like just a horror movie. It’s a thriller, too, and I think that’s kind of what our show does.”

As far as whether Amani will ever figure out his best friend’s the Anti-Christ and what will happen if he does determine he’s hanging out with the Devil, Abtahi answered that question without going into detail on how it will all go down. “There comes a point in the season, yes, where it becomes obvious that this is not normal. I can’t really talk about it but there is a point where you can’t deny it anymore,” said Abtahi, laughing.

If you’ve watched either The Omen or even the first few episodes of Damien, you know it’s not safe to hang around with Damien even if you’re supposedly his friend. Asked if viewers should be worried about either Amani or Simone, Abtahi replied, “When I saw The Omen I was like, ‘Crap! I’m not even going to make it through the first season!’ Everyone is fair game.” He added, “I definitely didn’t feel safe going into the series.”

Damien airs on A&E on Mondays at 10pm ET/PT. Check out the full interview with Megalyn Echikunwoke and Omid Abtahi for more on creepy sets, Abtahi’s joy at not playing a terrorist, and bonding with Bradley James: