Interview: How Derek Mears navigated the role of Swamp Thing

2 of 2

Swamp Thing – Episode 4 – Photo Courtesy of Warner Brothers

1428 Elm: How long did it take to get in and out of the suit every day?

DM: I was very lucky with that. We were allotted four hours but the team that helped me were so good at what they do we were able to get it down to two hours. It took about two hours to get into it and an hour to get out of it.

More from Streaming

1428 Elm: Obviously you’ve done horror in the past, did you feel like your past roles helped shape your portrayal of Alec?

DM: The experience of wearing make-up for other roles has taught me what to look for and how to streamline things for my performance so I can survive the shoot, so I am able to perform. Especially for Swamp Thing you have to contend with land and water since some of it is an aquatic performance.

1428 Elm: I was excited to see Crystal Reed join the cast because I was such a fan of hers on Teen Wolf. Did you want to talk a little about the relationship between Alec and Abby?

DM: I would love to! Crystal Reed is a talent and an amazing human being. She is such a giver in her scenes. One time while we were filming, one of the writers on set couldn’t figure out where a noise was coming from, he was like “is someone crying?”

And what it was, it was my coverage, the camera was on me, and Crystal was off-camera, and we were having an emotional scene together and Crystal was crying from my reaction which would bring me deeper into my role. We were like wow, she is giving it 1000% off-camera. I love what she’s doing with her character and am so blessed to have her as a partner.

1428 Elm: That’s amazing to hear. The whole cast has been incredible. I mean Virginia Madsen too, I’m not sure if you have scenes with her, but it’s easy to get invested in these characters.

Swamp Thing — Ep. 104 — “Darkness on the Edge of Town” — Photo Credit: Fred Norris / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DM: I credit a lot of the show’s chemistry to Virginia Madsen. She’s become the matriarch of the show because she would have everyone get together on Sundays at her place to hang out. She made a creative safe space for everyone.

When new directors come in, it’s like the first day of school, they might not know anyone. But coming in they can meet everybody they’re going to work with later in the week. She made it such a positive environment. She’s an icon for a reason.

1428 Elm: It’s unfortunate that Swamp Thing got canceled so early. Do you think there is a chance it could be saved by another platform?

DM: Honestly that’s above my paygrade. I really hope so. This was a special show. I’ve been around for a long time. This set felt like a family. There was no hierarchy. It was just a group of people who wanted to make the best show possible. I’m saddened. I don’t understand why it was canceled, especially because of how well it was received.

Related Story. Swamp Thing E4 recap: Darkness on the edge of town. light

1428 Elm: It’s definitely disappointing, I’d been waiting for the show for over a year so when I heard the news I was like, “what!? no!”

DM: Aw, I know! It was such a shocker for us. We still haven’t gotten an answer as to why, because the entire time we were filming all we heard was how fantastic it was turning out. Most of us were focused on the art and not the outcome. But it was a shock when we got the phone call. We’ll see what happens.

1428 Elm: What would you say was the most rewarding part of working on the show?

DM: Seeing the show on the DCU, when I see myself I don’t see me, I see Swamp Thing. To see the final product and see the fans embrace it, that’s what I’ll celebrate and what I’m proud of because my friends are getting the respect they deserve as artists. That, to me, is the most rewarding because of the blood, sweat, and tears they put into this project.

1428 Elm: Thank you so much for chatting with me! I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that the series gets picked up elsewhere. I hope you have a great rest of your day!

DM: I greatly appreciate it! Thank you for watching the show and for interviewing me. You too!

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You can watch Swamp Thing on DC Universe, streaming now, with new episodes every Friday.

dark. Next. Lock Every Door; Riley Sager crafts a sinister tale

Fan of the DC Universe? Enjoy our interview with Derek Mears? Let the other swamp things know what you think in the comment section below.