Tony Curran on ‘Defiance’ and Alien Languages

Tony Curran Defiance Season 2 Interview
Tony Curran as Datak Tarr in 'Defiance' season two (Photo by Joe Pugliese/Syfy)

Season two of Syfy’s groundbreaking series Defiance premieres on June 19, 2014 at 8pm ET/PT with Julie Benz, Grant Bowler, Tony Curran, and Jaime Murray back in starring roles. The network’s most ambitious project picks up with the town of Defiance in turmoil and as Curran told us in our interview between seasons, Datak Tarr’s no longer around. He wouldn’t give away any spoilers about his location at the start of season two, but he did say that Datak has a lot to learn about handling his enemies.

The Season 2 Plot:

As the story of Defiance resumes, the lives of the townspeople are in drastic turmoil. The Earth Republic has assumed control of the town, with far-reaching consequences including a new mayor. Nolan traverses the badlands to find a lost Irisa, Amanda has an unexpected new role in the town as she searches for Kenya and the Tarr family desperately tries to keep control of their criminal empire in the midst of dramatic changes.

Tony Curran Defiance Interview

Can you talk about getting into the character?

Tony Curran: “As soon as you put the makeup on and the wig and the eyes on, it definitely gives you a certain swagger. Obviously with the alien languages as well I think gives a great depth to the show. It’s fun for us this first season and we’re hoping the second season’s as good, if not better.”

How difficult is it to handle the alien language?

Tony Curran: “It’s tricky at first. I’m looking forward to seeing what [linguist] David J. Peterson has. He’s obviously done Game of Thrones and cool projects, so at first it’s a bit like gobbledygook. ‘Okay, I just have to know what I’m saying.’ It’s very much like learning a new language in many ways. It’s tricky, but it’s a lot of fun to see it and get your words right.

Jaime [Murray] and I would talk about it. She said to me one time, ‘We both sound a lot different when we say it.’ I said, ‘Well, darling, you know you’re from a higher class than I am. I’m from the gutter.’ If you get people from different societies in some country, they both sound different. It’s a lot of fun to do. I enjoy it.”

How fun is it to sink your teeth into a character like this?

Tony Curran: “It’s a lot of fun because the scripts have been interesting. The dynamic between Stahma and Datak are similar to human relationships unfortunately…or fortunately, it depends how you look at it. [Laughing] Stahma is very wise. She’s cunning, she’s cold, calculating, and some might say she’s more evil than Datak. That’s yet to be seen, although the ending of season one would suggest it. But it’s a great experience to play that with Jaime because there’s a lot going on within their relationship and how she behaves to me when she has to have this pseudo-way of behaving. When I’m thinking something is my idea, of course she’s planted the seed in my head.

It’s funny next season as well because Datak is not going to be in Defiance at the beginning of the season. I can’t say where he is, but he’s not in the Tarr household. It’s like a ship without the rudder, if you will, although Datak’s rudder was steering them to the rocks at the end of season one. I think he has to learn to know when to shoot from the hip and learn when to keep his mouth shut. Maybe one can find out more information about certain characters and then you can reel them around your finger and find out where the source is. I’m being very ambiguous right now… If you maim and kill people right away, you won’t find out about them. I think Datak needs to learn that. The place where he goes to I wouldn’t say he becomes humbled, but he definitely has time to reflect.”

-By Rebecca Murray

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