Joel Courtney and Jon Fletcher Discuss ‘The Messengers’

Jon Fletcher and Joel Courtney The Messengers Interview
Jon Fletcher and Joel Courtney from ‘The Messengers’ (Photos © Richard Chavez)

The CW’s set to premiere the new sci-fi series The Messengers, featuring angels, the Devil, and threats of an impending apocalypse, on April 17, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT. Jon Fletcher stars as Joshua, a televangelist who’s one of five people transformed when a meteor crashes to earth. Joel Courtney co-stars as Peter, a high school swimmer who’s been the constant victim of bullying and is also transformed into a ‘messenger’.

Fletcher and Courtney were among The Messengers cast members who showed up to talk about the new show at the 2015 WonderCon in Anaheim, CA. While neither actor wanted to give too much of the story away, however Fletcher did reveal that his character will be the only one of the five people who understands what’s going on. “Everyone else wakes up after the death and they don’t know what’s happening. He’s the only one who does,” explained Fletcher. “It’s a very tough thing for him because his whole belief system comes crashing down. It sets him on a very dark path, but it gets a lot darker.”

Initially, Fletcher had no idea his character would be going down a dark path, but he ultimately found that twist to be quite compelling. “”He’s just very passionate,” said Fletcher when asked what it was he liked about Joshua. “It’s funny, I don’t have the faith that he has. I have faith but it’s a different sort of faith that Joshua has, so it was interesting to come from that and approach this. The research I was doing on these modern-day preachers – there’s a guy in New York called Carl Lentz who wears a leather jacket, tattooed, has a shaved head. These guys, they’re so passionate that I would sit there for hours watching this guy talk even though we have different beliefs. I was that captivated by just his passion, and that’s really what drew me to Joshua is this passion and this drive that he has. I think that’s where I could relate to him.”

“You’ll see him ebb and flow back and forth between the church,” added Fletcher. “It’s a really tough struggle that he goes on trying to figure out the father that he loved and believed in, whether he was wrong. Whether the way I’ve been raised has been lies.”

And Fletcher really enjoyed performing scenes as a pastor. “I did, yeah,” said Fletcher. “I come from theatre so it was very theatrical. That was the first scene I did shooting the pilot. So it was like being home in that sense of just walking on stage in front of 200 extras. I had a blast. They were very lovely and let me riff and let me improvise. It was the most fun.”

Courtney, best known for his starring role in Super 8, has a background of competitive swimming which came in handy as his character is a swimmer. “That was actually one thing when I first read the script, ‘Oh, this is awesome. I can actually do that.’ The swimming, not just the acting,” said Courtney, laughing.

But the initial appeal of playing Peter was the internal struggle he undergoes in the series. “I always found that amazing. The first draft of the pilot which is quite different from what [the pilot] is today…because obviously the script goes through changes…but, I just loved the script. Immediately within 42 1/2 minutes I loved each character. It was amazing that within such a short period of time and with such a big cast, you distinctly know each one of them and you really feel for them. I really connected with Peter. I thought, ‘Wow, what a rough background and a childhood to come from.’ I just found that really interesting. I dived into that head first.”

– More The Messengers interviews: Shantel VanSanten and Craig Frank / JD Pardo and Anna Diop / Diogo Morgado / Sofia Black D’Elia

Watch the full interview with Jon Fletcher and Joel Courtney:

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