Grant Bowler Interview: ‘Defiance’ Season 2

Grant Bowler Defiance Season 2 Interview
Grant Bowler as Joshua Nolan in ‘Defiance’ (Photo by: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy)

Grant Bowler says it’s important to remember that the world they’ve created in Defiance is a very dangerous world, and integral to that was the creation in season two of new cities for Bowler’s character and others on the Syfy series to explore. “It helps us see that these are now isolated city states. This is like ancient Greece. They’re not countries. It’s like Athens and Sparta, they exist at the same time but they’re independent of each other and that’s key. We also start to see the danger in the spaces in between,” explained Bowler while doing interviews at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con.

Bowler also discussed his character’s romantic life, his strong moral code, and working with Stephanie Leonidas in this interview from the Con.

Season two of Defiance continues on Syfy on Thursday nights at 8pm ET/PT.

Grant Bowler Defiance Interview

What do you like about Nolan?

Grant Bowler: “I like pretty much everything about my character because I manipulate my character to be all the things I really like to do. Look, I love his pragmatism, I love his moral curious, in a sense. What I mean by that is he has the courage not to settle morally for one viewpoint. Nolan believes with all of his heart that the greatest evil that exists in the world is certainty. So, he’s determined to remain uncertain and I kind of love that. I really, really do love that. He’s, at heart, a romantic and an idealist, even though he’d die before he’d admit that, too. He’s a wonderful character to play. He’s very funny, very irreverent, but also things really matter to him. He’s prepared to make enormous calls on the spot.

In an immoral world, the immoral man is king. I don’t know. He seems to have a very clear code of morality, but it’s based again on pragmatism. It’s based on what works. I think to bore Nolan into giving you a punch in the head is to talk in metaphors. He doesn’t like metaphors, he doesn’t like allegory, he doesn’t like any of that. He wants to know where he stands at all times.”

Who is your favorite actor to interact with on Defiance?

Grant Bowler:Steph [Leonidas]. I mean, we’re incredibly blessed. We’ve got a wonderful cast. When I signed on we hadn’t cast everybody and when I signed on [Kevin Murphy] hadn’t written the script yet. But we had an agreement – and you hope. I was so in love with the character and so in love with Kevin’s vision of what he wanted to make, and Scott Stewart. The three of us were pretty much it – and Michael Nankin in an empty studio in Canada with nothing. And what happened was this cast signed on that was really strong. I thought was a phenomenal cast anywhere on any network in America. It was a phenomenal cast; we got so lucky.

It’s great fun working with all of them. I love working with all of them for different reasons. Steph…there’s just something there from the first day. We have a scene that comes up in the second season that’s very, very hard on us. It was a tough thing to shoot and when Kevin brought it to us and we brought it in the read-through, we read it in the read-through flat, and then we refused to read it again. They were all after us. The director wanted to rehearse it and we refused. Then Michael Nankin, who is our executive producer, said, ‘We really need you to rehearse it.’ We said, ‘No, we’re not. We won’t rehearse it.’ And we just do that…we bond together and we knew that on that one we should never speak those words until we had to speak those words. When you get to work with somebody and you have that innate understanding of each other, it’s very rare. The last time I had that relationship with another actor…I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had it a few times, but it’s rare and it’s too be treasured. So, that one’s a special one.”

How will Nolan’s relationship with Amanda move forward?

Grant Bowler: “It’s a bit of a push-me/pull-you. It’s a bit of a Doctor Doolittle relationship, that one. In this season she’s really the driver of the relationship. She’s also the one who chickens out. I think when it comes to 99% of the things that stand in front of Nolan, he will be the protagonist. But when it comes to women in romantic situations, he’s hopeless. I think he doesn’t know how to say no, and if they decide they’re in a relationship with Nolan, then they’re in a relationship. He just wants to know what time he should be there and what he shouldn’t be wearing. So, I think Amanda’s very much dictating the pace at this stage. I think as time goes on, that may change. But I also think there’s now some ground to be covered. I think he got a little burned in season two.”

Can you relate to him at all?

Grant Bowler: “I relate to my character on a million different levels, but they are always an extremist – if you know what I mean. Good characters are extremists. Hopefully good drama is you’re telling the most exciting moments of a person’s life, not the buttering the toast moment or the waiting for the bus moment. I’ve seen that on TV, you know, waiting for the bus for 25 minutes and the bus was late. So, yeah, I always identify with him in extremist. I don’t always agree with what he does. I don’t always agree with what goes on with him, but when you play a character you can always understand him.”

Do you play the game?

Grant Bowler: “Yeah, I’ve lost a lot of hours on the game. I’ve lost a lot of hours on a lot of games. I’m an avid gamer.”

-By Rebecca Murray

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