The Expanse star Thomas Jane doesn’t watch much television but he does believe we are currently in the new golden age of the medium. Jane has nothing but compliments for the writing and for the quality of work currently being done on television, but he’s a big classic movie buff and he also spends a lot of time reading which takes away time from television viewing.
Sitting down for a very brief chat about The Expanse season two at the San Diego Comic Con, Jane shared his thoughts on the state of television and provided a little insight into what’s happening with his character, Joe Miller. Season two of Syfy’s hit series The Expanse will premiere on February 1, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT.
Thomas Jane Interview:
What will the relationship be like between Holden (played by Steven Strait) and Miller in season two?
Thomas Jane: “I wouldn’t call it working together. They kind of have competing viewpoints on what different things to do. Sometimes Miller’s right and sometimes Holden’s right, and they have very different views about the reality of the situation and what should be done about it. I think Holden is a lot more idealistic and younger than Miller in a way. Miller is a lot more jaded. He really understands the human nature of things, so he’s there to kind of ground those guys. (Laughing) Sometimes you’ve just got to kill somebody…”
Miller started out the first season really cynical but he changed and evolved as the season went on and now he’d even go the extra mile for Julie. Will that continue?
Thomas Jane: “Yeah. I think Julie really struck a chord in Miller. Miller’s very much the opposite of Julie Mao (played by Florence Faivre). Miller is a survivor; he takes care of himself first and then lets everybody else do their own thing. He’s very Darwinian. And yet Julie Mao is the one who has everything, is in the upper stratosphere of our planetary culture. She’s up there in the top half of one percent and she throws all of that away to dedicate her life to a people she doesn’t know when it’s not even her race. She’s not a Belter, and he’s become fascinated with who is that person? Why would she do that? What does she get out of that? And it turns him around. It really throws a wrench into his plans.
He really had a good system worked out where he could manipulate the system to his advantage. Julie Mao threw a wrench into that and he’s still trying to work out how to either get that out or have to rejigger his world view to accommodate this woman and who she represents to him. I love it. I love this story. I love Miller.”
Was it difficult for you to commit to a television series given your film work?
Thomas Jane: “Well, it’s always a decision. I try to do stuff that has a limited – for me – run and that leaves me open to do other stuff. I don’t want to commit myself to doing 22 episodes of television a year. But, that’s just me. It just doesn’t work for who I am. It’s not that I don’t love it. Television’s got some of the best stuff going now. It’s a totally different landscape. It used to be you did TV when you just did some throwaway kind of entertainment, light, fluffy crap, and then movies was where you really got to dig in and really do some good, grounded dramatic work and now it’s flipped. Now it’s you do a movie when you want to do some ungrounded fluffy sort of circus show, rollercoaster ride crap and it’s television you turn to to go really deep into characters and explore parts of life that are challenging and different, non-traditional. We’re starting to really see this explode and it’s wonderful.
The medium is still pretty fast. We shoot rather quickly, but the production values are skyrocketing and the talent that’s coming on board…that’s where everybody wants to be now. All of the great writers have something going in television. That, for an artist right now, is just a fantastic time. It really is another golden age or whatever you want to call it.”
Why are you such a fan of the genre?
Thomas Jane: “Well, I have a graphic novel company called Raw Studios and we do science fiction graphic novels. We’ve done two and I think we’re working on one more. We’re also doing a gothic horror comic that we’re working on. So, genre has always been a part of my life. I grew up loving all genres, whether it’s Western or science fiction or horror. I’m a big genre fan. I love the traditions. I love the different interpretations and it’s just a nice way to sort of classify or categorize different styles of telling stories. So, I’m always on the lookout for good genre. It’s hard to find and when you find it I tend to try to make the most of it. This is really smart, well thought out, good genre. So for me it’s a perfect fit.”
(Interview by Sandy Kraisirideja. Article by Rebecca Murray.)
Watch The Expanse season 2 trailer: