‘The Strain’ Season 3: Ruta Gedmintas and Richard Sammel Interview

Ruta Gedminta s and Richard Sammel from The Strain
Ruta Gedmintas and Richard Sammel from ‘The Strain’ at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con (Photo © Richard Chavez)

FX’s horror series The Strain is set to return for a 10 episode season three on August 28, 2016. The series, which is based on the books by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro, is set in New York at the beginning of a vampire outbreak. Seasons one and two chronicled the spread of the epidemic and in season three there will no longer be any doubt that threat is very real. With the third season about to premiere, FX once again brought cast members from the popular series to San Diego for the sold-out Comic Con. Among the stars who made the trip were Ruta Gedmintas and Richard Sammel who play Dutch Velders and Thomas Eichorst, respectively. The two, who shared one of season two’s most disturbing storylines, teamed up for interviews where they provided a little insight into what fans of the series can expect from the upcoming season.

Asked if we can expect more scenes featuring Dutch and Eichorst, Sammel replied, “The thing is that you at a certain point if you have a structure that imposes itself – like you used to have a lot of scenes with Palmer or you used to have a lot of scenes with Fet – at some point you have to break it just to make it sexy again because you can’t wait until it becomes un-sexy. You have to stop when it’s sexy. You certainly won’t see another pineapple scene between Dutch and Eichorst in season three because the thing is it’s done. We have to find the next level of it, and you’ll have the next level of that but in a very surprising way and perhaps not extended over five episodes.”

Speaking of scenes with their co-stars, the fearless group of vampire hunters is split up when season three begins. Asked if she missed working with some of the actors from seasons one and two, Gedmintas answered, “There were times where I would call up the writers and be like, ‘Can I have more scenes with this character, please? I miss them.’ But it was great because I got to work with people who I didn’t work with much in the first two seasons. I work a lot with Corey [Stoll] this season, so that was really fantastic. But it’s been a great sort of mix of storylines. I think that really powers the plot.”

Season three’s been described as the best yet and Gedmintas agrees. “It’s so epic. In actor terms I feel like they spent a lot of money because we were walking onto sets and they were…I mean, they’ve always been incredible but it was like a blockbuster movie every day. It was hugely ambitious,” said Gedmintas. “Everything is just amped up because we’re still in New York and so you have to, in order to keep the story moving, you have to create more tension and the stakes must be higher. So, this season really barrels through the pace.”

“It’s a little bit like the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen the Statue of Liberty and the tongue coming out? I’m not only talking about the (poster) that is in front of the hotel; I’m talking about the teaser you saw on the internet. I was so impressed by it and then I remembered that’s actually what I experienced the whole season through at the beginning of my working time when I went on set. I don’t know how many times I went on set and I was just (overwhelmed) by what they prepared in terms of sets and special effects,” added Sammel. “You are given the means to be impressed yourself, even though you are one of the leads. I’m the bad guy and I’m supposed to know what happens, and I’m here and I’m like a kid. That’s a very, very, very good motivator to give it all. Give it all in, to be ready to go through 16 hours. I actually broke my record. I’ve done nearly 100 movies and I went through a lot of hard times, but this one is – what was my longest time on set? It was 21 hours and you don’t complain because you know they don’t do it in order to f**k you up. They do it because they know they need to. They have to wrap the set or whatever, and you go with it. If you are tempted to complain, you just have a look at your older comrades like David Bradley and he gives you a lesson of humility. So in whatever situation you are, you are inspired and supported.”

Watch the Ruta Gedmintas and Richard Sammel interview:

The Plot: The transformation has begun. It can no longer be denied — New York City is rapidly falling to an evil epidemic, and no one is coming to its rescue. Its citizens must fight or die.

Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his unlikely allies tried to take down the embodiment of this evil — the Master — and failed. Now Eph and Dr. Nora Martinez concentrate on creating a biological weapon to wipe out the creatures, while Abraham Setrakian searches for an ancient book he hopes will reveal the strigoi’s entire history…and possibly a way to kill them. Meanwhile, the Master is out for revenge, unleashing new and even more terrifying breeds of bloodthirsty creatures. They need to find a way to defeat him before the infection spreads too far and becomes irreparable…before they become monsters themselves.