INTERVIEW: Victor Webster, Star Of Continuum
Continuum: Season One is released on DVD on 28 January, so, if you haven’t heard much about it yet, now’s the perfect time to learn about this excellent little Canadian sci-fi series. And because we care, there’s a non-spoilery interview with lead actor Victor Webster below!
All you need to know is that he plays Carlos Fonnegra, a police detective in Vancouver who teams up with Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols), a cop from the future who finds herself thrown into the past along with a group of terrorists.
However… if you’ve already watched season one, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a spoilery interview with Victor Webster on the next page. And yes, he does discuss his naked shower ninja fight. Like we wouldn’t have asked about it…
Interview by Jayne Nelson
SFX: How would you describe Continuum to someone who hasn’t seen it?
Victor Webster: “Let’s see… That’s a very interesting question because it embodies so many different genres in the television world. It is very character-driven. It has a lot of sci-fi elements, action elements, and it’s a procedural drama. It’s almost like they’ve taken the best of each type of TV show that’s out there and incorporated it into one, in a way that works and doesn’t get too convoluted.”
Why do you think it’s been a hit?
“Because I think it has so many different allures to the audience. They can identify with something that they enjoy. So for people that really like the action genre, we closed down a block of Vancouver and shot off 2,000 rounds of ammunition one day, which is unheard of for a TV show like ours!
“It’s very well-written, you can completely understand the characters and where they’re coming from. You can relate to somebody on the show, whether it be Rachel’s character, Kiera, being a fish out of water and being torn away from her husband and her son and really no hope of getting back unless she can find a way. And there’s the unfolding of a story and the solving of a puzzle, which I really enjoy – I love watching those shows where you get to figure it out with the characters.”
What attracted you to the role of Carlos Fonnegra?
“I really liked the dynamic between him and Kiera – him being a very ‘by the book’ police officer. He moved from Colombia and realised that this is the land of milk and honey, so to speak, and loves making a life for himself, and is a very virtuous person and likes to see things done the right way. And then Kiera comes in and abandons all sense of … what word am I looking for… well, basically any rules! [Laughs] There’s no such thing as rules to Kiera. Because she’s trying to get back and she has no obligation to justice or the laws of 2012. She just abandons everything to get what she needs while under the guise of working for a secret government agency while tracking these guys down.”
Kiera lies all the time to Carlos – she doesn’t really have a choice – and yet he does seem to trust her. Why do you think that is?
“Well, everything that she says that she’s going to do, she does. She gets the information and the leads that I need to close these cases, and I believe, maybe not beyond a reasonable doubt, that she has full autonomy from the US government to do so. And so I am closing cases based on the information she’s given me, although how she got that information may be questionable, but for me, I can chalk it up to, ‘It’s above my pay grade!’ Which I can do for a little while, but there’s just too many things that point in the direction of something is fishy in Denmark. So I need to figure that all out.”
Do you enjoy working with Rachel Nichols?
“She’s great. She’s really talented, and she’s exceptionally sweet to everybody on the set. She treats everyone like family. I do the same. I really enjoy going to work every single day, so we share a common mindset in that. It’s easy to work with somebody like Rachel because she comes so prepared emotionally, ready to do the scene, she knows all of her lines, we’re both very similar in that mindset as well. But we’re both very, very different, you know? I’m like a 12-year-old kid most of the time and she’s very well-educated, a cerebral person, with a great sense of humour. We’re completely different in that sense – as our characters are, her coming from the future and me being an on-the ground cop in 2012. So the characters lend themselves to the actors.”
Are you jealous of all the fantastic tech that Kiera has?
“Me personally? Absolutely! As Carlos, I have no idea that she has any of it. But as Victor, sitting here, I want the multi-tool, I want the suit… Obviously not that suit because it wouldn’t fit me very well. I could get my own extra-large man-size suit. Absolutely. Seeing what our visual effects team has done with the show, all the politics and the corporate dictatorship aside, I would love to spend a week in the future that they created. It’s incredible! Visually and the toys that they’ve come up with, like that electronic eye-shadow applicator that they did for Kiera. These little toys that just remind you of where you’re at.”
I’d love one of those! Although I get the feeling it would go through batteries quite quickly.
“But do they use batteries in the future? Is everything powered by, say, the oxygen in the air? I don’t even know! It would save me a lot of time as well. It’s hell drying my hair and applying my makeup in the morning. It takes forever.”
And shaving your legs…
“Oh yeah. I got some hairy legs, too, you know? I use a lawnmower.”
Is it true that you’re quite a little show – you’re on a Canadian channel, it’s not like you’re on an NBC budget…
“That is very true, and we really stretch our budget. We don’t waste a single penny. All the money goes on screen; there’s no frivolous expenditures and they put all the money in the right places.”
There must be some goodwill towards you from the city of Vancouver because you actually feature the city instead of pretending it’s somewhere else!
“Creator Simon Berry loves that city and he wanted to create a show around the city and not hide Vancouver but show it in all of its glory. We use a lot of very recognisable landmarks and areas in Vancouver to show how beautiful that city is.”
Although it does rain a lot…
“But that’s part of our show too. Our show isn’t a bright, sunny, happy show; it isn’t a half-hour comedy, you know? It’s bleak in some senses because that lends itself to the feeling of Kiera especially, and how she’s feeling in her world. So Vancouver is a perfect place for that, where it can be a little grey and overcast and it lends itself almost as another character in the show. It’s like X-Files used to be.”
NEXT PAGE FOR A MORE SPOILERY INTERVIEW