Dalton Harrod, who plays Craig in AMC’s NOS4A2, delves into his character’s violent fight with Bing, working with Zachary Quinto, and more from the Season Finale.
Q: Showrunner Jami O’Brien mentioned a little bit that Craig’s role expanded when you joined the cast. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
A: I had heard that from Jami, but I was never told why. [Laughs] I’m very grateful for them for doing that. It was just really nice to go into that show and be asked, “What do you think about this?” That was the first time that had ever happened to me as an actor on a set, in that way. I was like, “Whoa!” and they were like, “Yeah, what do you think?” And I was like, “Umm, no one’s ever asked me that before on this side of it, so I’m freaking out right now.” But I loved that and I’m so grateful that they let me be a part of it as much as I was.
Q: Early in the season, Craig is rattled when he discovers Vic‘s bridge. How do you think he takes to this new supernatural element in Vic’s life?
A: I think that it rattles him because I don’t think he can comprehend what the hell just happened, which, I don’t blame him. It’s insane and I love it. But I also think, going on after that, the way that Craig approaches her supernatural powers is more coming from a place of her safety. That’s it. He knows this bridge can be dangerous, and that’s why throughout the season, he’s like, “Please, don’t go there, don’t do that, you don’t need to do that.” He just wants her to be safe. He quickly gets over, “What the hell is going on?” because he really just cares about Vic and her safety, because he doesn’t want to think about a world in which he’s not a part of her life.
A: I loved that detail, and I was on set when I realized that it was Craig’s pin. I was reading through sides one day on the set and I was like, “Oh my god! That’s Craig’s pin!” It was like one of those a-ha moments. I loved that they used Craig’s pin, I think that’s really amazing … Even though, yes, he’s not in the room helping her, it’s like this kind of little guardian angel pin and I loved that. And Vic is such an incredible character, and in a lot of ways doesn’t need anyone to protect her because she’s a f–king badass and I love her, but it was really cool to see that element.
Q: Craig and Bing get into an intense fight in Episode 9. What was it like shooting that scene with Ólafur Darri Ólafsson?
A: I absolutely loved shooting that scene. That scene was so much fun to shoot. … As a kid, my brothers and I — my brothers are all actors as well — we would watch a fight scene in a movie and then think we could do it in our living room. And we’d recreate it and go, “Yeah, we’re awesome.” So to actually be able to do a scene like that, and getting to work on that, was really, really fun. I was giddy the whole time. I was like, “Yay, I get to have my ass kicked on camera and I’m so excited.” … The days leading up to it, we had a fight rehearsal with our stunt coordinator, Al Goto — he’s the coolest man alive. He is the definition of cool, and the guys who were doing our stunts. Most of the scene is Darri and I doing it ourselves, but there were a couple things where they were like, “Yeah, no. We can’t legally allow them to put you through a wall.” And I was like, “Come on, guys! I can do it!” And they were like, “Absolutely not, shut your mouth.” [Laughs] … It was a really amazing experience. But we all had to be focused on the mechanics of everything, because it really is a dangerous scene to shoot. There’s so much involved, and then halfway through the fight, he picks me up and throws me onto the floor, and the flour goes up into the air, so now it’s like this ice-skating fight choreography on this powdered floor, and it was so much fun to do that. It was cool too, because I felt like throughout the season, that was finally Craig’s time to step up to the call, and it was really cool to see him be like, “Oh, this is a perfect idea, I’m gonna go and I’m gonna git ‘im.” I just loved that he had that much gusto and the balls to be like, “Yeah, that’s the perfect plan.” Which is a very Craig thing.
Q: How do you think Craig takes to seeing Charlie Manx for the first time?
A: I think he had been hearing this name from Vic throughout this whole time, so I think there was a lot of mystique around Charlie Manx. I mean, obviously, there already is a lot of mystique around Charlie Manx. So I think the first time they get to be in contact with each other, it was really fun to explore this fact of, yes, he’s just had the shit kicked out of him, he’s bleeding, concussed, duct taped — but in that moment, the fear that he feels just looking at him is just so palpable, and I thought that was really important to show. And it was so well-written, it was all right there, and I really wanted to make sure there was this whole complete and utter terror.
Q: What was it like working with Zachary Quinto?
A: Zach is amazing. He is one of the most professional people to be around. I remember we were shooting that scene outside, it was like 6 A.M. And he had obviously already been through makeup, though he’s younger in that scene. And I had gone through makeup as well for my prosthetics and my swollen eyes. We were doing so many different takes, and it was freezing f–king cold in the beautiful state parks of Rhode Island [Laughs]. And he’s so professional, but he’s also one of those people who is so good at lightening the mood. It’s stressful — you’ve got to get everything done, you’ve got to get everything shot. Everyone has a really, really important job to make that happen and to make that go smoothly, and not only does he do that with his incredible talent, but also with his ability to have fun, and to make it fun. We’re all playing pretend, and we’re all getting our asses up so, so early, we have to make this fun, and it was cool to see someone who is as seasoned and as big of an actor can have fun with it every day. And it was so funny, because we would be cracking jokes, and half the time I would have duct tape over my mouth [Laughs] so I couldn’t speak, so I was like giggling to myself over what he and Darri were doing, and then they would call action and he was f–king terrifying. And I was like, “Oh my god, he’s so good. You really need to step it up Dalton.” It was really not hard to be scared of Charlie Manx, because he’s so good. I had met Zach earlier on, but I had never seen or met “Charlie Manx” before, I had just met Zach, who was so nice and a really amazing guy, so to see that side of it, I was absolutely terrified. It was really amazing to watch him work, and the detail that he puts into his work was phenomenal.
Q: What were your initial thoughts when you first learned that Craig would die so tragically in Episode 10?
A: I got a call from Jami. We were in Rhode Island, I think I was in a pub or something with some friends, so I went to go sit outside. She was like, “Hey, the script for Episode 10 is about to come out, and I wanted to tell you before anyone else told you, but I wanted you to know that Craig will meet a tragic ending in Episode 10.” And I totally understood because it works so well for that to be Craig’s end, and I think if Craig were to go out in any way, that’s the way he’d want to go out – in a fiery, magical car, exploding, protecting Vic. It’s the death Craig wanted, he just didn’t think it would be at 18 [Laughs] … I was just so excited to read it after I found out.
Q: What was it like shooting that harrowing scene in the back of the car?
A: It was really great. In the back of the actual car, there is no trunk, so they had to build a small trunk on the soundstage that we shot at. The car has a door for a trunk, but no trunk. So I shot all of my coverage on the sound stage in this little box that they made to replicate the trunk. It was great, but I felt so bad, because there’s a part where I’m like kicking the door and kicking the walls of the trunk, and I remember the first couple takes that we did it, I just heard cracking wood, and I immediately turned to the camera and was like, “Oh god, I’m so sorry,” because I had just broken it. And it was funny because I always had three or four people helping me out because I was duct-taped the whole time, so I needed help getting into and out of the box. And everyone was just so nice, literally lifting me into the box and things like that. I was really grateful for them. It was great shooting those scenes and working with everybody on them was a dream.
Q: What are your thoughts on Craig sort of “living on” in his child with Vic?
A: When I read that in the script of Episode 10, it was a total twist to me, and I thought, “That’s crazy! That’s amazing.” Craig and Vic were two people who cared so deeply about each other, and loved each other so deeply, so it’s great that there’s a part of Craig that’s alive and still in this world. I think that’s really special, and I think in Season 2 it’s gonna be really hard for Vic. I can’t imagine having to see “our” child every day and remember what happened, but I think it’s a really beautiful part of the story, and I think in Season 2 it’s gonna be really phenomenal to watch and see how Vic handles all that.
Q: If you could be a strong creative like in the show, what would you want your power to be?
A: I live and grew up in New York, so I’m obsessed with people watching, and looking at people and being like, “What’s their day been like? What’s their story?” So I think I would want to either read minds, or if I bumped into them, see everything they’ve seen. … That would be amazing. I think I’m also just nosy. [Laughs] And my knife would probably be my longboard. I’m looking at it right now in my living room. When I was in high school, that was my mode of transportation in the city, so that would definitely be mine. So I could just weave in and out of people and just be reading their minds. See? Spinoff!
Read an interview with Virginia Kull, who plays Linda McQueen.
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