Peter Jacobson – Colony
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) We’re enjoying to see you on “Colony.” How did you come to work on the series?
A) I had not heard about it. I got a call from the casting director had asked to see me. I read the script and saw it was Carlton Cuse and it was such a good script that I was instantly more than I probably normally would have been. I thought the script was emotionally tight and not just about aliens attacking our world. It was about a family and the personal struggles they have to go through. I think it was a beautiful written pilot and the character of Proxy Snyder was intriguing to me because he didn’t seem like your typical power hungry bad guy. There were some parts of him that were not typical of your guy in charge. So, I auditioned and had to go through some hoops, but eventually I got it.
Q) Was there anything you added to the role that wasn’t originally scripted for you?
A) I don’t know. I don’t know what they were initially thinking about the part. I like to think that because they responded to my audition that I brought something that was maybe unexpected, which was probably a more every day – non bad guy vibe. It’s a very interesting world. It’s people who are collaborating and finding themselves in a world turned upside down. My guy found him in a positon of power, but clearly he is a guy who has not had a whole lot of experience in those upper echelons. He was never involved in politics and all of a sudden an opportunity presented itself and he finds he is on a completely different path. He is in a very much different game that he had never played before. It’s thrilling for him and also increasingly stressful as the series goes on and befuddling. He’s also good at what he does.
Q) He has these great layers and complexity. Is that something that drew you to this role?
A) Oh yeah! As I said, I don’t think that he is your typical powerful strong man bad guy. He has a family and a daughter. His family and his life are clearly impacted like everyone else’s. It’s fascinating that someone who was leading a relatively normal life finds himself in the position he is in where he is wielding so much power and so much control. That contradiction I think is very lucky and delicious to play.
Q) What has been the most challenging part of portraying Proxy Snyder?
A) I guess any deep well written role naturally presents challenges. As an actor, you want to bring everything you have to it. You want to bring all of your humanity and intelligence to a very human and intelligent character That challenge of am I bringing everything I have, making the right decisions or making right choices – I feel like my radar has been pretty solid on this one. All that being said, this has also been a job. We have already shot the first full season. It’s hard for me to imagine a more comfortable work place, nicer group or a more helpful supportive fun group of people. They have been a real pleasure start to finish. Each season has its hiccups, but from start to finish it has been a real joy for me.
Q) How will the dynamics be shifting as we progress into the season?
A) My favorite part of this character is his relationship with Will (Josh Holloway). They clearly need each other desperately and that is a wonderful basis for any stressful tense relationship. They have that going forward and what I like about that relationship, because there is that stress they need each other. They both need something desperately from each other in order to survive and yet they are such different people. And yet they don’t like each other in some ways and yet they are together. I sort of see them in some ways as an unhappily married couple that as the season goes on they get more comfortable with each other and there gets to be a shorthand with them. That is a shift from the pilot and their relationship deepens in its stress and in its contemptable nature. I like there is a lot of nuances and ways they spend time together that really shift and change.
Q) As a part of social media, do you enjoy the instant fan feedback you have been receiving?
A) It’s very weird. I’m really not of this era so it really took some hand holding and cajoling from some people who have been very helpful. As I’ve been doing it for about a month and the show is up, I’m getting that immediate feedback I’m really enjoying it. They can respond and I can respond back. I really like it. There has been so much great feedback on the show and character that how could anyone not enjoy engaging the people that are loving the product you are working on.
Q) Who are some special guest stars you can tease are in store this season?
A) One of the great things about this show is that there is so many amazing actors on it. Right out of the gate there was Carl Weathers, Kathleen Perkins and Kathy Baker. These are amazing actors and it’s so great that they wanted to be on the show. Adrian Pasdar is coming. They are such nice, wonderful talented people that it has been great.
Q) What is a moment that you are most looking forward to seeing how fans react?
A) Right in the middle of the season Snyder gets into something that is pretty heavy and there is some serious ramifications. There are two episodes in the middle that play out very intensely. It’s a great shift in the middle of the season that becomes very heavy for Snyder. You get to see a lot more of Snyder in good ways and bad. It’s a deepening of his character and I hope it propels the season further along.
Q) What do you hope viewers take away from watching “Colony?”
A) In a TV landscape that is saturated with shows, this sort of dystopian sci-fi genre (which a lot of people are doing a lot of shows) that people really plug in and are impacted by what is special about “Colony” and stands out about it. There is so much humanity and so much about real people, real relationships – This marriage between Will and Katie is unfamiliar because one is a collaborator and one is with the resistance because of an alien invasion. Underneath that drama is the most human of dramas, which is how do you communicate with your spouse, how do you keep your family together and how do you love someone who is fighting against you? How do you deal with honesty and dishonesty? These are the most human of questions and qualities that are played over and over again. And that’s a testament to Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal who are writing a very human story in this dystopic universe. I hope it really stands out because it is different and special.