When Krypton premiered on March 21, the Superman prequel became the best new series premiere on Syfy since Ascension in 2014. From creators David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel) and Damian Kindler (Sanctuary), the sci-fi drama tells the story of Superman’s grandfather and his role in the rebellion against a totalitarian regime. Some 2.6 million people tuned in, making it the number-one entertainment program on cable for the night, and the best cable genre series premiere in the 18-49 demo since Legion in 2017.
Daily Brief got a chance to talk to British actor Aaron Pierre (Britannia), who plays military leader Dev-Em on Krypton about the show, the stage and his love for cake.
DAILY BRIEF: Were you a comic book fan growing up?
PIERRE: Whenever I could get the funds together to buy a comic growing up, that was the first time where I consciously allowed my imagination to go wild. As a kid you subconsciously do that and have a great time, but when I was at an age when I was able to read comics and understand what was being written, that was the first time I allowed myself to invest in these characters, invest in their stories, their histories, their powers, the places they inhabited. To now be given the opportunity to be a part of them in some way is surreal, and a real honor.
Dev-Em is based on a character from the comics. Did you read any of his appearances?
Dev’s been depicted in quite a few different ways, actually. The first was in the whole Superboy time. There’s the criminal in the Phantom Zone, there’s the Daxamite one, there’s quite a few different versions and I definitely looked them up. The great thing about Krypton is we’re paying full homage and respect to the history, but we’re also saying, maybe there’s a path where we can establish our own Dev and what Dev means to us and why. We’re having a lot of fun fleshing out this character and establishing the 2018 Dev.
Did you have to change anything for your “Kryptonian” accent?
Dev is of the military guild. He can be regimented and takes his profession very seriously. When he’s at work, he’s at work. There’s this unwavering determination to accomplish and get the job done. He has a more authoritative tone than what I often have. You wouldn’t ever really catch Dev pondering over lunch. He knows what he wants, he knows when he wants it and how he’s going to get it. That’s what I had to do in regards to the way he spoke, his intonations.
As you mentioned, Krypton’s jobs are split into guilds. If you couldn’t be in the acting guild, what guild would you be in?
If I wasn’t allowed to be an actor, I’d be in the cake guild because I have the craziest sweet tooth. I can’t tell you. It’s mildly embarrassing, to be honest. I can’t go one day without eating at least one slice of cake.
What’s your cake of choice?
Oh man. Now I feel like I’m being really disloyal to the other cakes I don’t choose, but I have to choose carrot cake. You can’t go wrong with a carrot cake.
You’ve done a lot of theater work. What’s your dream role for the stage?
That’s an amazing question. You got me! I don’t think I’m old enough but I would love to play Troy Maxson in Fences. It’s an August Wilson play. The king James Earl Jones and the other king Denzel Washington have both done phenomenal jobs with that role and they’ve inspired me throughout my whole life. It’s an incredible play, August Wilson is an incredible playwright. James Earl Jones and Denzel Washington have inspired me to challenge myself in not only life but in my craft and I would love to give that a go. And hope not to fail horribly.
What’s a play everyone has to see live?
I would say Of Mice and Men and oh man, that’s so hard. Platonov. It’s a Chekhov play. Those are the ones. Oh no! No, they’re not. Can I go back? Sorry! Of Mice and Men and then there was a play recently called People, Places and Things.
Krypton isn’t just a superhero show. It has things to say about the sociopolitical situations the world faces right now. What’s it like being on a show tackling these issues?
It’s an honor. I use that word quite frequently, but it’s because that’s the word it is, truly. It’s an honor to be part of a show that has a team so invested and conscious of humanity, society and things we’re dealing with.
Everyone’s so aware of it and it’s exciting to know there are people in the writer’s room who are all so conscious of it. When you get an episode, you have no idea what it’s going to say, but you do know one thing: that it’s going to be relevant and unapologetic. The unbelievable investment and passion everybody has for it, it’s amazing.
What was your favorite thing to do in Belfast when not shooting?
We were there for six months, and I used to walk from one side of the city to the other. When I knew I had a little bit of time to rest I would walk in the early evening, with a cool breeze. When everybody’s finished rush hour but before everybody goes out partying and having a great time. It took about an hour and a half. That was my favorite thing to do. I quite like just walking. I got told once that we think in time with our footsteps. Whether it’s true or not, I have no idea, but that’s something I like. I used to do that pretty much everyday.
After Krypton, if you could star in any make-believe prequel or sequel to any franchise, what would it be?
If I could be in the prequel of Dragon Ball-Z, that’d be dope man.
Krypton airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Syfy. Catch up on the show on Syfy On Demand, which includes syfy.com and the Syfy App.
[All images courtesy of Syfy]