If you haven’t caught wind of FOX’s hit summer drama, Wayward Pines, you may want to set your DVRs. The show has returned in full force, taking audiences around the world back to the picturesque town. Ahead of tonight’s premiere of the seventh episode of the second season, we spoke with one of the show’s guest stars, Dakota Daulby, as his character, Griffin, joins the rest of the town as they attempt to survive the cannibalistic Abbies. Daulby lets fans in on the new season, working with M. Night Shyamalan, and his upcoming work in Warrior’s Gate.
After season one’s mind-blowing finale, fans were brought back to the town of Wayward Pines as the First Generation took over the city, and Dr. Yedlin began his quest to restore sanity to the people and save the human race.
Prior to tonight’s episode, viewers watched as a life was lost, and learned a surprising truth of the Abbies. Tonight we will watch as the town continues their fight for freedom and safety in the dangerous town.
Joining in on the primetime drama is a first for Daulby, who has previously worked on Steven Spielberg’s Falling Skies. Daulby opened up about the opportunity to jump into season two of Wayward Pines, and gave fans a peak into tonight’s episode.
“When I got the opportunity from Colleen Bolton and Maureen Webb to jump on the show, I was ecstatic! It’s always exciting to work on a show you love, but also a show that deals with so many important social and environmental issues in its subtext,” the 21-year-old actor says.
“I really found this season focuses a lot on the inner fight between the animal and the human inside us, what the residents of Wayward Pines are going through. This is where my character Griffin falls in. He’s a beautiful personification of this fight,” he continues. “Anna Fricke, our writer, did a marvelous job at creating a character that was interesting, mysterious, but yet still dangerous. I think when the audience watches CJ (Djimon Hounsou) and Griffin, they are going to really understand the struggles and sacrifices that all the characters of Wayward Pines are forced to undertake if they want to survive.”
Landing his guest starring role may have been the opportunity of a lifetime, but Daulby admits the chance to work with the show’s executive producer, M. Night Shyamalan, was a dream come true.
“It’s always exciting to work on a show with big names and to have a company like FOX behind you. I mean, M Night Shyamalan and Shawn Williamson are both producers that have done some amazing work—which could be a point of intimidation for some actors, but for me it’s a motivator to work harder and make sure I’m even more prepared for when I step on set. Working on Wayward actually reminded me of when I worked on Steven Spielberg’s Falling Skies. Like then, you’re working with actors you’ve watched and admired since you were a kid.”
The actor in particular? Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou. Daulby says that while he was focused on his role, and bringing his character to life, he found himself a bit star struck upon meeting the actor.
“For me, it was a total fanboy experience to work with Djimon Hounsou. Though, a very well concealed fanboy experience! I’ve been a fan of his work since I was literally 12 years old. Especially Gladiator! I’ve watched that movie literally 30 times. When we were doing our scenes I had a hard time focusing because I kept flashing back to scenes in Gladiator. I wanted him to lay me down and say ‘Now we are free … I will see you again … but not yet … not yet!’” Daulby jokes.
The Vancouver native wasn’t shy about his admiration for his co-star. Daulby says witnessing Hounsou perform first-hand was memorable, and moving.
“I’ll be honest, before meeting Djimon I was a little nervous and intimidated. I mean, the guy’s a double Oscar-nominated actor. Once we got into the work, though, I was amazed at how easy it was,” Daulby confesses. “In a way it felt effortless because of his willingness to take that journey with me as an artist. He’s there to make you the best you can be, no ego, no bull shit, just 100% commitment and 100% willingness to do whatever it takes. It was inspiring to watch, and I’d love to work with him again.”
Although Daulby’s role will take place in tonight’s episode, he believes the time he and Hounsou were given to develop their rapport will leave a lasting impression on viewers. He credits the notion to the episode’s director.
“Jeff Thomas, our director did an amazing job creating a relaxed, fun and creative atmosphere on set. The scenes between Djimon and myself needed to be given the proper amount of time so that the characters could feel each other out. The scenes are a slow burn, filled with inner dialog and intentions, and Jeff gave us both the time and guidance that really made those moments come to life. I’m confident that because of this, the audience will find Griffin one of the more memorable characters this season.”
Viewers can see Daulby’s performance tonight on FOX as Wayward Pines takes one step closer to the highly-anticipated finale. As for Daulby’s other upcoming work, fans can look forward to his feature film performance in Luc Besson’s Warrior’s Gate. The project, Daulby says, was an incredible opportunity to take part in.
“Working on Luc Besson’s Warrior’s Gate has definitely been one of the highlights of my year. It was another opportunity that came about from one of my longtime supporters in the industry, Judy Lee,” the college graduate says.
“Like Wayward, it was a blast to come on to a project and have so much freedom to actually create a character with the team. Our director, Matthais Hoene, gave me freedom to develop and add my own ideas on top of the awesome script we already had from Mr. Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.”
While we couldn’t wait to find out more information on Daulby’s character for the film, it looks like we’ll have to wait for the premiere due this year.
“As to what my character is like, I can’t say very much about it yet as we’re awaiting our international premiere, but what I can say is that he’s definitely not the nicest of guys,” he teases.
One thing is certain: don’t confuse Daulby with the roles he plays. The 2015 “Best Emerging Performer” Award recipient from UBCP/ACTRA (Union of B.C. Performers/Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists) says while he may play the villain, he has certainly seen himself on the other side of the coin.
“Interestingly enough, I don’t really relate, personally, to a lot of the characters I play since, for the most part, I play the antagonist. I do understand them though. I was actually, self admittedly, a dork in high school, so I’ve experienced the other end of stick and was bullied a lot,” he shares. “Now, fast forward a few years, I actually look back on these memories fondly and appreciate the things I’ve learned. As a kid I got a chance to experience the rage, anger, and often sadness that comes from a bully, and I think it really has given me a unique insight into the mindset of these darker characters.”
Whether fans see the film for Besson, Daulby, or anything else, he assures us viewers will not be disappointed.
“Warrior’s Gate is going to be a roller coaster ride for the audience—an amazing world of magic, adventure and self-discovery.”
In the future, fans of Daulby may even get the opportunity to see his work behind the cameras. Not only does he act, he also has experience in screenwriting, directing, and production. Daulby has found his way to these roles in film and television as he continues his path in the entertainment industry.
“As I work more and more in the industry, I continue to meet lots of really awesome creative people, and I guess I’ve just naturally transitioned,” he says. “My initial interest started when I was in drama school in Vancouver, at an awesome independent post-secondary school called New Image College. It was here that I got my first insight into what it was like to develop a film from the very beginning, and not to just jump on board as an actor. From then on I’ve had a passion to create art, whether it’s in front of or behind the camera.”
Daulby says his passions have extended past acting due to his craving to create.
“It’s an amazing triumph to develop a story in your head then put it on paper and follow it through till you watch it on screen. It’s a grueling process that involves thousands of hours, tears, sweat, frustration and a lot of coffee – but I love it. You get to understand the importance of a team, the importance of each and every member and how without them your film would never get made.”
As for any future projects Daulby has dreams of working on, keep your eyes open for a possible cameo in next season’s Game of Thrones perhaps.
“I’d love to work on a war epic, film or television, it wouldn’t matter. Or maybe something like Game of Thrones or Vikings. I’m a massive fan of medieval stories, I was born to wear a suit of armor!”
Wayward Pines airs tonight on FOX at 9/8c.