‘The Strain’ Season Two – David Bradley and Natalie Brown Interviews

The Strain Season 2 David Bradley, Natalie Brown Interview
Natalie Brown and David Bradley at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con (Photos by Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

David Bradley stars as Abraham Setrakian and Natalie Brown is back as Kelly Goodweather in FX’s riveting (and gory) horror series The Strain, now airing season two on Sunday nights at 10pm ET/PT. This new season finds the core group from season one still hunting vampires, but now New Yorkers are in on the secret. At the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, Bradley enthusiastically talked about how this expanded knowledge will affect Setrakian in a positive way.

“The authorities in New York realize that maybe this old guy is on to something,” explained Bradley during our roundtable interview. “They still are capable of underestimating them so he has to say, ‘That was an attack of about 30 vamps.’ And they’re saying, ‘We got rid of them!’ He says, ‘No, there will be a few thousands more tonight. Trust me.’ And he’s right. So I think the credibility issue he has at the end of season one having failed to dispatch the Master, he has a lot to claw back in terms of his respectability within the group. I think he’s gone down the pecking order a little bit.”

“What’s interesting for me is playing a character who is so determined and is such a forceful character. He knows he’s right, even though he has trouble persuading other people that this is what’s happened,” said Bradley. “After that episode of failing to get rid of the Master, he starts to have self-doubt. It’s always interesting and it’s good writing when you see a side of the character who’s not just this guy who’s like a 70 year old action hero. He’s capable of having weaknesses and he starts to doubt himself and it takes a lot of time and energy to persuade the other members of the group to keep going because they’re starting to say, ‘You’ve been wrong before. Maybe we shouldn’t take this route.’ But, thankfully, Vasiliy Fet [played by Kevin Durand] is slowly becoming his surrogate son, whether he would admit that or not – and I suspect not. He’s got this family that he never had around him. He’s lived as a loner most of his life after losing his wife. He’s spent all of his time and energy building up his armor in his basement, making silver weapons just in case the day happens. If someone would have told him before this all happened that his greatest ally would be a rat catcher, he wouldn’t [believe it]. ‘No way. Try again.’ It’s an unlikely alliance in a way but it’s a very fruitful one because at last he’s got someone who will say, ‘Yeah, where are we going?’ ‘We’re going down this alley where you can’t see anything.’ ‘Yeah, I trust you. I’ll come with you.'”

Bradley says while the group’s still battling the vampires, they do split up and go their separate ways for a while in season two. “They split off for their own little ways of solving the problem. At least in season two there are more people involved who believe this old guy.”

And as Kelly Goodweather, season two finds Natalie Brown playing den mother to a bunch of creepy kids. “I was pretty lucky. I mean, these new assistants, this new family that Kelly, has they do her bidding. They do all the dirty work,” said Brown. “And they, as performers, are just so incredibly gifted. Just the sweetest personalities. I couldn’t believe how dark the subject matter was and how much fun we had on set.”

Brown has no problem getting into the layers of makeup she has to wear this season as a newly turned vampire. “It’s four and a half hours. I talk the whole time. I’m not claustrophobic and I’m a people person. The people that we work with in special effects makeup are so great. We get to spend the wee hours together as you know, and I feel like their artistry makes the job so much easier. I’m not that scary as a person, but when they’re done with me I certainly am. The effects, adding in the stinger, is also very helpful. The sound effects…there’s some really interesting arachnoid/insectoid sounds that we have when we move – especially the children. They do such great work that it makes the job so much easier. I can show up and have fun.”

Despite the fact she’s starring in one of the scariest shows on television, Brown isn’t a “horror girl” and scares very easily. “I believe in evil. I believe in ghosts and energy, and there are bad people in this world. But I’ve checked with Guillermo [del Toro] and he’s assured me that there are no vampires. Because I asked him that how is it that so many different countries around the world for so many years have these shared stories, shared fables and folklore that has permeated for so many decades. ‘Is there some truth to it?’ And he said, ‘No. Ghosts, yes. Vampires, no.’ So, I’ve been told be the expert that we’re safe.”

More Season 2 Interviews: Kevin Durand and Ruta Gedmintas / Corey Stoll / Mia Maestro

Watch the full interviews with Natalie Brown and David Bradley on The Strain season two:

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