CS Interview: Deadly Class finale postmortem with Jack Gillett & Tom Stevens
Following the epic Season 1 finale, ComingSoon.net spoke with Deadly Class cast members Jack Gillett and Tom Stevens about playing Lex and Chester, respectively, their thoughts on the finale, and a few favorite moments from this season. If you haven’t seen the finale, beware of some major spoilers below!
The season finale of Deadly Class had its fair share of intense — and often hilarious — fight sequences, which proved a great time for those involved behind-the-scenes.
“That was possibly some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” says Gillett. “It was a smorgasbord of lunacy. It was absolutely brilliant. After reading the script, and of course, the comics as well, to see it all come to life in the manic way that we do it is magical.”
Of course, the finale also featured some heavy, emotional moments, with the big confrontation between Marcus and Chester, aka F*ckface, being a highlight of the hour.
“I loved watching that in the ADR session,” says Steven. “I was moved. When you’re playing the character, you’re shooting this thing a few months ago, you know what you do on the day, and you feel good about it. Part of any character is at some point you hope that they have to drop all their walls. That’s the kind of stuff that we like to do as actors. I was really in it with Ben [Wadsworth] ’cause he’s like a raw, natural actor, and if you connect with him, like eye-to-eye, you automatically just have stuff coming up. So I felt really good shooting it that day. We had a couple takes off the top where we just screamed at each other the whole scene. It was just like two boys having to get that sh*t out. Even though the scene goes so many different directions, that one core moment, the one I’m talking about before sh*t hits the fan when F*ckface is totally vulnerable, that was that 8-year-old boy who just wants a friend.”
The finale offered a juxtaposition of Marcus’ relationships with Lex versus with his old tormentor and roommate, Chester. Lex can be a bit rough around the edges, but, as Gillett explains, the two are close: “I feel like Lex sees a bit in common with Marcus, just sort of the not caring, being true to themselves. They’re just good pals, good buddies. Sort of bottom of the food chain, not really caring about the societal order at King’s Dominion. They’re both outcasts in a school of outcasts, so they connect through that.”
Chester tells Marcus that he was his first friend, but Stevens doesn’t think a real friendship would be possible: “Marcus’ story to get to the boy’s home was unavoidable. It was something that was pushed on him. Chester’s was a choice with dropping that Trans Am on his dad. The reason why their relationship was that way was because Marcus was not brave. Chester was just trying to teach him how to be a man. But, sadly enough he had this horrible example-setting father who taught him to teach people in the worst way. So, the Chester that was in that boy’s home, all he was trying to do was protect Marcus. He was trying to make him have the tools to be able to survive because he knew that Marcus wasn’t strong enough. And then the event happened at the boy’s home where it burned down and he got his face blown off and he became F*ckface. He transformed into the next level of himself where he was this monster. More interestingly enough, had F*ckface been in King’s Dominion, that’s where it gets interesting. If F*ckface had never held this vendetta against Marcus and originally at the beginning of the season got picked up by Master Lin because he was going around killing people, and Master Lin goes, ‘I’ve got a place that can train you how to use those skills,’ and then they ended up in King’s Dominion together and they were able to bury the hatchet? I think F*ckface would have been a great protector of Marcus.”
Marcus might never know what kind of protector Chester could have been had things gone differently, but Lex certainly stepped up to help his friends, which ultimately led to his death.
“Lex is a bit of a scaredy-cat,” says Gillett, “but I think when Marcus and everyone came to ask him [to raid Chester’s place] and Marcus challenged him, I think he had to stand up. At heart, I feel he is a good person even though he’s a bit of a nasty bloke when it comes to it. He had to stand up and join the team and be a team player.”
That decision put into motion the stunning final moments of the finale, which was subtly foreshadowed through the hour. Gillett admitted that the death of his character was “very upsetting” because he feels very connected to Lex. “I mean, it was heartwrenching to go through that. [But] if Lex was gonna go out anyway, it was going to be helping his friends. He’s got a big external look that he’s a nasty person, but inside he’s a good person. A lot of people in King’s Dominion put on a front of niceness whereas actually, they’re a little bit rotten to the core.”
When asked about how the events in the finale would affect the surviving characters, Gillett feels that the tragedy and trauma of this “landmark event” will definitely “shape what happens in the next part of the narrative for them.”
For Stevens, the actor felt that Chester’s death at the paws (and fangs) of one of his beloved dogs, Peppermint, was a fitting end and honored the source material well.
“I thought it was perfect. I thought it was all fitting. I knew that we’d gone away from the comic in so many ways. But, ultimately coming back to the comic for that event is, in my opinion really, really smart. There’s certain story points that you have to stick to. We’re not watching the show that’s based on this graphic novel. We’re watching a show that used the graphic novel to bounce off into another direction, in another stratosphere. One of the things that makes this show really interesting is that we have this Bible that we have to stick to, to some degree.”
On top of giving their thanks to the fans for their support and the love that they have given the show (and to please stick with them), Gillett and Stevens shared their favorite parts about playing Lex and Chester in the Deadly Class world.
“There’s so many good moments,” says Gillett.” I think the finale was great. It was a lot of fun. But I think it had to be the threesome scene. Or the almost threesome in episode eight. And being able to dive into Lex’s sensitive side, sort of letting all his big walls and barriers come down and letting him be a bit vulnerable was a nice experience.”
Stevens explains that the freedom he was given to play Chester was what he loved about playing the villain: “As an actor, you don’t get many opportunities to go, ‘Okay, go crazy.’ Also, the look in the director’s eyes when we’d go to shoot a F*ckface scene. Like I was the guilty pleasure of all these directors. You just get something crazy with F*ckface’s character. You get to direct something that you will not direct anywhere else with F*ckface, and I thought that and the freedom to play this guy mixed with the crazy f*cking opportunities that I was given to do with this character. That was my favorite.”
You can stream the first season of Deadly Class on SYFY’s website, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.