It seems these days, rarely does a film or show release that doesn’t include super, or supernatural, characters. This fall, The CW continues to air its latest super program, Legends of Tomorrow.
We spoke with one of the show’s stars, actor Dan Payne, on his role in the comic-based series, his upcoming roles, and checking milestones off his bucket list one role at a time.
Legends of Tomorrow joins fellow superhero series The Flash, Supergirl, and Arrow on The CW. The show’s focus centers on time traveler, Rip Hunter, a hero who peaks into the future to see what doom lies ahead. Rip finds himself tasked with rounding up a group of heroes and villains to band together, and save the world.
Payne, who portrays Obsidian in the new series, opened up about his role, admitting what a dream come true it’s been.
“It was a bucket list check mark and a dream come true! It definitely made my inner child smile ear to ear. I got to wear the cape and have awesome super powers,” he says. “Since I was a kid pretending to be Superman, Batman, Green Lantern. I’ve [always] wanted to be a super hero. When I became an actor I wanted to play one. So , goal achieved!”
Like many entertainment junkies in the world, Payne found a love for comics and superheroes at an early age. However, upon landing his role, he found himself doing quite a bit of research to learn more about his character, which only grew his love for the genre.
“I have been a comic fan since I was a kid. To be honest, not enough of a fan to know the more obscure heroes including Obsidian but now I do! Doing my ‘homework’ for this role opened my eyes to a whole world of comics and heroes and villains I didn’t know existed. I definitely have a greater appreciation having had to do some due diligence on a specific character. I found a huge and in-depth back story, background and history.”
In addition to learning more about Obsidian and the Legends of Tomorrow series, Payne also brushed up on some of his knowledge of the DC Universe, which he found to go far deeper than he imagined.
“The most surprising thing I learned is how little I know about the DC Universe! It is rich with amazing characters and worlds to explore far deeper than the more obvious ‘main stream’ ones. And the fans, they are supportive, knowledgeable and loyal!”
While learning about the DC Universe and superheroes is one thing, selecting your own superpower is on its own entirely. With so many different abilities to choose from, Payne found a way to pick all of them at once.
“I would love to have the power to absorb other heroes powers! Then I could play with all of them! And yes, that is a bit of an homage to Zach Quinto’s character from Heroes; I just wouldn’t to have to ‘extinguish’ anyone to get their power,” he jokes.
In addition to The CW series, Payne can also be seen in Star Trek Beyond, and Watchmen to name a few. It’s obvious Payne has an affinity for sci-fi, but don’t count him out of a good drama or comedy just yet.
“I want to explore the craft in all it’s shapes and forms and crazy incarnations! It is uniquely exciting to use your more ‘wild’ imagination to have a super-power or be an orc from another world or boldly go where no one has gone before. But I love all genres and love every opportunity to exercise my creative instrument in each genre. I do think my physical size lends itself to super-heroes and ‘creatures’ and has opened that door from time to time.”
Soon, viewers can see Payne in Devil in The Dark (formerly titled The Plateau), coming to theaters in early 2017. The story follows two brothers as they embark on a hunting trip gone wrong, and quickly find themselves being hunted in the woods. Payne dished on his upcoming role, and what preparation went into the project.
“[It] was a dream job! Such an awesome chance to explore character and relationship in a specific environment under heightened circumstances,” Payne shares. “I had a lot of access to the writer (and producer) Carey Dickson, and got to do far more research and collaboration than usual. It allowed me to really do my ‘homework’. It was a location shoot in the ‘outback’ of interior British Columbia. The backdrop was stunning. I can’t wait for people to see it!”
Payne’s love of acting is apparent when looking at his extensive resumé. But don’t count him out in the production and writing departments just yet. He explained his next goal is to make his foray into roles behind the camera, and it just might make you laugh.
“I have delved more in to the writing side of the industry. I have a project in the works, and I am working with a few people on another feature script. I may direct one day,” he explains. “I love comedy and I love to laugh and make people laugh, so if not writing, then possibly stand up comedy, backed by a phenomenal team of comedy writers and coaches. And a biased audience.”
Catch Payne in Legends of Tomorrow on The CW on Thursdays at 8/7c. Look for Devil In The Dark to hit theaters in early 2017.