Syfy’s Deadly Class hosted its first panel at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con, debuting the series’ trailer and discussing adapting the popular graphic novel by Rick Remender and Wes Craig for television. In addition to the panel, the Deadly Class cast and executive producers took part in roundtable interviews to provide a little insight into the series. Teaming up for interviews, Lana Condor (“Saya”), Luke Tennie (“Willie”), and María Gabriela de Faría (“Maria”) chatted about their roles and their knowledge of the source material.
The Deadly Class Plot: Set in a dark, heightened world against the backdrop of late ’80s counter culture, Deadly Class follows the story of Marcus, a teen living on the streets who is recruited into Kings Dominion, an elite private academy where the world’s top crime families send their next generations. Maintaining his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques and his own adolescent uncertainties soon proves to be vital.
Deadly Class Cast Interview
What’s your least favorite thing about your character?
Luke Tennie: “My least favorite thing? What I like doing in my life is meeting people and making friends. Willie doesn’t necessarily like doing that. But, I do enjoy playing him.”
Lana Condor: “My least favorite thing about Saya is her fear to let people in. I think it’s great to be independent and to only have to rely on yourself, but at some point you need to open your heart and let people in and become…have a group and have a team around you. I don’t think Saya’s like that. She’s working on it.”
María Gabriela de Faría: “I love everything about her, really, but if I have to pick something I would say I hate that she kills people wearing high heels. It’s so hard!”
Lana Condor: “Yes! Oh my god, I can relate. Same, same.”
Can you talk about the feel of the show? It’s set in the ‘80s so are you fans of the music and movies from that era? Are you into that?
María Gabriela de Faría: “Absolutely. We celebrated her 21st birthday in an ‘80s bar.”
Lana Condor: “Yes. We were like, ‘We can party and do character work at the same time.’ That’s what we did.”
María Gabriela de Faría: “I’m really into ‘80s music and after the show wearing the huge wig and the bandana and the eye-liner…”
Luke Tennie: “Also, Rick (Remender) has been so adamant about getting us the music of the times. He wants us to experience the music so that we can get better into our characters. Just the notes that you would hear around you, the lyrics, the sound, the feel of the instruments – it was totally different. And it was also dark, it was honest which is not necessarily something that the most famous musicians explore today. It’s something that people like to stay away from. But it’s great to get in that mindset and hear those tunes. It helps us understand what the ‘80s were like to Rick because that’s whose story we’re trying to tell.”
When you are developing your characters, did you dig into the graphic novel or just use the script?
Luke Tennie: “I’ve read the comics three times.”
María Gabriela de Faría: “Yes, same here.”
Luke Tennie: “I’m trying to be very well-versed with the original source material.”
María Gabriela de Faría: “Because that’s what the fans want.”
Luke Tennie: “We want to be true to that. I was scared about Willie because Willie’s drawn about the same size as Marcus (played by Benjamin Wadsworth) and I’m over 6’. I was a little insecure about the height and all that stuff until the writers told me, ‘No, we picked you because his size is something that we’re going to use throughout the series.’ So, then I learned they’re really trying to translate this comic into a realistic medium. If that’s the case, some things will change. But some things, the things the fans are really passionate about, they’re going to stay the same. We want to keep them.”
Lana Condor: “I think for me, when we did the pilot I had skimmed through the graphic novel but I’m guilty – I had not read it intensely because my prior thought going into it was like, ‘What if they don’t stick to the graphic novel?’ I don’t want to have that preconceived idea of what Saya should be. I want to develop it as I’m there. But after shooting the pilot and seeing how similar they’re trying to stick to the graphic novel, I read the rest of them because it’s a no-brainer. It seems like that’s where they’re going. They want to keep it as close to the source material as possible.”