[This story contains major spoilers from the fourth episode of Wolf Pack, “Fear and Pain.”]
Rodrigo Santoro wasn’t afraid to take a chew out of the supernatural world in his newest starring position in Paramount+’s Wolf Pack.
The actor, who started his profession a long time in the past with a number of Brazilian initiatives, has had a style of sci-fi, journey and fantasy with earlier roles in Westworld, Misplaced and 300. Now, starring as Garrett Briggs, a father to werewolves and a park ranger with a secret within the Sarah Michelle Gellar-starring sequence, Santoro has taken on a brand new battle. He says, “I used to be simply related to the storytelling and the characters.”
The highschool-set horror sequence, written and produced by Jeff Davis, follows youngsters Everett (Armani Jackson) and Blake (Bella Shepard) as their lives are flipped the wrong way up when they’re bitten by a werewolf throughout a mysterious wildfire in southern California. As they attempt to navigate the confusion and chaos, they get related with two different teenagers, siblings Luna (Chloe Robertson) and Harlan (Tyler Grey), and study they’re all extra related than they notice. Whereas the 4 of them attempt to join the dots on how they ended up on this state of affairs, Luna and Harlan’s adoptive father, Garrett, works to maintain their secret, whereas investigator Kristin Ramsey (Gellar) is set to unravel the wildfire.
After episode 4, viewers nonetheless have unanswered questions — from the wildfire to the mysterious caller to a doable “pack” forming and a werewolf out for blood. The viewers even acquired a take a look at simply how a lot harm the terrifying creature has already carried out on the finish of the episode, titled “Concern and Ache.”
Among the many insanity, Santoro explains that Davis — who created MTV’s Teen Wolf sequence and has Teen Wolf: The Film on the massive display screen — was not in search of a “Teen Wolf spinoff” with Wolf Pack, and he additionally says he isn’t “the wolf man.” Fairly, he noticed a possibility to carry an impactful new story, primarily based on the books by Edo Van Belkom, to life with new characters, revelations and conversations.
Santoro says he was additionally drawn to the sequence on a private stage, and praises the present for its discussions round each wildfires (“I’m a giant nature lover,” he says), and round tough household relationships and psychological well being: “He [Davis] takes all these monsters and makes use of them as metaphors for the monsters that stay inside us — our fears.” Within the chat under, Santoro additionally discusses the significance of household — or, the “pack” — and teases a “big twist” coming later within the season.
What initially drew you to the position of Garrett Briggs?
Curiosity. It’s my first time exploring the supernatural thriller style. I’ve carried out Misplaced which is taken into account to be supernatural; Westworld, [which is] like sci-fi; and 300. I like making an attempt new issues. I’ve at all times flirted with the concept, however was by no means actually offered with a possibility that I related to. My workforce despatched me the script; I learn the primary episode and I forgot that it was supernatural. I used to be simply related to the storytelling and the characters.
From the pilot, you may inform, “OK, this character, I take care of them. I need to know extra [about] the place they’ll go.” Then, I needed to Zoom with Jeff [Davis], the creator, and it was unbelievable. Jeff isn’t solely very proficient, however he was simply so grounded and clear about his imaginative and prescient and open to actually collaborate in shaping up this character.
Wolf Pack did communicate to me on a private stage. I’m a giant nature lover and the truth that he [Davis] wished to make use of the wildfires and give you some discussions, not solely the fires however about nature. After which, after all, what actually, actually pursuits me is the psychological well being facet of all of it. He takes all these monsters and makes use of them as metaphors for the monsters that stay inside us — our fears. I noticed I might be speaking to a youthful viewers, which I’ve by no means actually carried out earlier than, and can be discussing nervousness. Particularly, we have now Everett, who suffers from extreme nervousness.
I’ve carried out three initiatives that had been about this subject material, and it’s crucial to me as a result of for therefore lengthy it’s been taken with no consideration and folks don’t deal with it as one thing that’s severe and might have actual, horrible penalties. I believed it was actually sensible the best way he [Davis] wished to talk to this viewers, and I actually assume that the present can play a serious position in altering the trajectory of youth psychological well being, simply by normalizing conversations which were stigmatized for therefore lengthy. So, it began to actually enchantment to me. After which the character [Garrett] is sort of a dad or mum of those two youngsters which have a particular situation. The way in which I approached this character was from a human perspective. So, how can I humanize this character and construct layers and make him actual and flawed, and all these issues which might be so necessary to be a human?
What had been your conversations with Jeff Davis on set about tips on how to method psychological well being in an genuine means?
We mentioned it rather a lot. We spoke each week, continually, discussing the character. Psychological well being is a giant theme right here and all of the characters undergo nervousness, and so they’re uncovered to conditions the place they need to take care of stress. In a means, we’re all coping with it. Everett is clearly the one affected by it essentially the most. Additionally, parental alienation, which is one thing very, crucial. And, Everett has each.
In each scene, should you can throw slightly one thing in there, or simply be exact about the way you current a state of affairs. Little issues will have an effect in the event that they’re carried out the fitting means.
After enjoying roles in sequence like Westworld and Misplaced which might be extra sci-fi, how did you put together for this position, in a fantasy style, in a different way?
I targeted on the character and the story. I did return and watch some common motion pictures and exhibits. I acquired some ideas from Jeff and Jason [Ensler], the director of the primary episode. However on the finish of the day, my focus was: I’m enjoying a father of those two youngsters that want particular care. They may have any sort of issues, however I’m only a father that’s making an attempt to do his greatest, to be one of the best model that he will be as a dad or mum. After we meet Garrett, he’s struggling along with his personal demons and the issue is that he’s a park ranger who serves the group. However in his private life, he has to maintain secrets and techniques.
It’s a giant battle with all of the tasks of fatherhood, however I believe an ethical battle that’s actually rooted. He’s continually making an attempt to determine, how do I defend my household, but in addition serve this group?
Why did Garrett really feel so drawn to maintain Luna and Harlan when he discovered them after realizing they weren’t wolf pups?
To start with, he didn’t have an choice. The way in which I sort of seen the story and what I talked to Jeff about was that he discovered the 2 cubs and introduced them again. He’s calling the wolf sanctuary, saying, “OK, I’m gonna drop them off tomorrow.” After which … they turn into toddlers.
To start with, it wasn’t like, “Oh, they’re so cute, let me be a father.” It was extra like, “What do I do?” With Garrett, it’s at all times about: I’m on this state of affairs, how do I determine this out?
In episode six, there’s an evidence there. He’ll speak with Kristin [Gellar] and so they’re each going to open up slightly bit about their previous. You’re going to know how he fell in love with Luna and Harlan and now they’re youngsters, and he’ll do something to guard these youngsters from outsiders. However, particularly from themselves.
Within the first episode, audiences noticed Harlan having some resentment in direction of Garrett whereas he was misplaced within the fireplace. The place did that stem from and what was it like making an attempt to attach with teenagers on set?
It’s the primary time I’ve labored with youthful actors. I labored with kids earlier than, enjoying a dad or mum, however by no means with youngsters. Lots of people requested, “So, you give recommendation to them? You’re rather more skilled than them.” And, it was the alternative. I walked into this expertise asking, what can I study? And, how can I be with them in a means the place we actually trade and make it a two-way factor? And it was precisely that.
Being on set and being so excited to determine issues and studying was invigorating for me. It was such an incredible expertise. Particularly Tyler and Chloe, who performed Garrett’s youngsters, we had been very shut. We spent lots of time collectively and it was implausible.
There may be this huge secret Garrett is making an attempt to cover to maintain his household protected. With the addition of Everett and Blake, how do you assume that complicates issues?
They’ll complicate issues. Particularly Everett as a result of he’s very tense and suffers from extreme nervousness, and that may play a giant position in making an attempt to maintain issues down. In episode six, you will note that come up. It’ll get very sophisticated, not solely with them, however with Sarah’s character – that’s going to complicate the state of affairs. Twists are coming. For Garrett, it’s simply loopy.
Household or the “pack” is a foremost focus within the present. What does household imply to you and your character?
Every thing. Not solely the household that I used to be born into however the household that I’ve been constructing and assembly and encountering all through my journey. Individuals who help you be who you might be, that love you for who you might be. My household is again in Brazil — my mother, my dad. I’ve a spouse and we have now a child. They journey with me every time it’s doable, however we’re at all times making an attempt to determine it out and be collectively. So, it’s crucial.
But additionally, the household that we name “our pack” that we’re bringing to the present. It’s actually about bringing all these individuals in and even from the present, we’re changing into this huge household. We’re creating relationships and friendships and in a really trustworthy and open means.
How has it been going from enjoying this father on display screen and again to your actual household?
It’s really been a studying course of. It’s been superb and we’ve been making an attempt to be one of the best model of fogeys that we will be to our daughter. We analysis rather a lot as a result of there’s no preparation to be a dad or mum. All of us have our issues too, however it’s all in regards to the work you set in. After we attempt to educate her, we get educated on the similar time.
What’s Garrett’s tackle Luna and Harlan’s “actual father,” the werewolf?
The connection with Luna is extra labored out. Garrett and Luna are actually shut. With Harlan, it’s been a problem for apparent causes. Harlan has at all times been resentful. He desires to know his actual father and that’s fully comprehensible and regular for someone in his state of affairs.
Simply neglect the truth that he’s a supernatural factor, Harlan simply desires to satisfy his father. [If the series is renewed for a second season], Jeff goes to develop that — like, precisely what’s the drawback, with Harlan being so resentful about Garrett. I don’t have that reply simply but, however I do know there’s one thing that you simply’re going to find out about Garrett and Harlan. However Luna may have an arc that you simply’re about to see. She’s going to change. And Garrett should work. It’s nice as a result of it’s continually shifting and he’s having to determine issues. He’s gonna study rather a lot.
Garrett has hinted at the truth that the werewolf is a killer, after which on the finish of episode 4, audiences acquired a glimpse of what the werewolf has already carried out. Does he know greater than he’s letting on?
I believe he does, however I can’t inform you rather more.
Viewers noticed Garrett be part of the duty drive with Kristin in episode 4 to maintain tabs on every thing happening. What has it been like working with Sarah Michelle Gellar and her character?
Sarah is an icon on this world, so I couldn’t have requested for a greater scene accomplice. I didn’t know what to anticipate. The sequence is all darkish and we’re imagined to be scared, however I’ve had one of the best time, similar to enjoyable. She has an incredible humorousness. She has lots of expertise along with her perspective. So for me, it was like, “OK, let me perceive the tone, the narrative, the storytelling.” We acquired alongside from day one. It’s been nice.
One foremost ingredient within the sequence is the wildfire set in southern California. Was it a objective to carry consciousness to the risks of wildfires within the sequence?
Yeah, I believe so. One of many first issues Jeff talked about in our first assembly was that he principally mentioned: I’ve carried out Teen Wolf for a very long time and I’m not the wolf man, however I learn this e-book and I actually felt one thing about speaking about wildfires and nature. It’s going to be about werewolves, however the story is totally completely different. It’s not a spin from Teen Wolf.
The wildfires — I did lots of analysis beforehand. I watched documentaries, I met two park rangers, and spent a while with them and requested about their position. I discovered rather a lot about when typically it’s arson and typically it’s not. I’m a giant nature lover. I’m from Brazil — we have now the Amazon, rainforest — and I’m all about defending it. So, the sequence did hook up with me on a private stage.
What can audiences count on from the “pack” and your character for the remainder of the season?
An enormous twist. We didn’t see it coming once we had been studying scripts. That’s why Jeff is a grasp of doing these items. Simply keep it up and observe alongside.
If Wolf Pack will get renewed for a second season, what may you see subsequent to your character?
It’s laborious as a result of I’m going to spoil it if I say something. Let’s put it like this — after episode eight, the finale, after the massive twist, Garrett is in a state of affairs. That’s the massive query mark for a possible second season. I don’t know how he’s gonna go. I’ve been asking Jeff and he’s like, “I’m going to start out writing. I’ll let you already know.” However after the massive finale, I would like Garrett to stay to his intestine, follow his core. I might like to see that. However I don’t know if it’s going to go that means.
All through your profession, you might have landed some huge roles from 300, Westworld, Misplaced and Love Truly. What sort of undertaking may you see your self doing subsequent?
I’m at all times open to stuff that I haven’t carried out. I’ve by no means carried out motion. 300 was motion, however I used to be not concerned. I found on episode six of Wolf Pack, a giant motion sequence that I’m like, “Oh, that is enjoyable.”
I’m additionally producing. I’m placing collectively some initiatives, beginning to make my very own initiatives like 7 Prisoners. It got here out in 2020 once we had been in the midst of the pandemic, and it’s one thing that I’m happy with. While you watch it, you’re going to say, “I by no means anticipated Rodrigo to be enjoying this half,” so I appreciated to expertise completely different roles. That’s what I’ve been making an attempt to do — get out of my bubble and perceive different individuals’s realities.
Do you might have any upcoming initiatives you’re engaged on or that you simply wish to work on from a producer position?
I’ve produced earlier than, as soon as. It’s loopy as a result of I used to be starring in it and at one level, there was rather a lot to take care of, however I discovered a lot. I discovered in regards to the making of a movie and I like to recommend it to any artist who has that chance. It’s so necessary to know what collaboration really is, understanding different individuals’s jobs and respecting it. I’m positively wanting into producing initiatives that I can be appearing in. I’m nonetheless very curious as an actor. I nonetheless have rather a lot to do and uncover, and to study and to develop. However, I’m concerned with persevering with appearing. Now we have now conversations about inclusion, range, and issues are beginning to change. An extended method to go nonetheless, however it’s beginning to change. I can’t wait to search out that main half in an incredible undertaking. I’m very excited for this, like, new second the place possibly the world can be extra mirrored up on the display screen.
Do you might have a dream undertaking or individual that you’d like to collaborate with?
There are such a lot of people who I might like to work with, so many proficient administrators and actors. I’ve been very lucky all through my profession that I labored with people who I like. I attempt to encompass myself with individuals which might be extra skilled as a result of I’m a giant believer in updating the model of myself.
I’m related to the issues that I wish to discuss, greater than, “Oh this can be a nice half.” It’s extra like, “What are we discussing or exploring on this undertaking?” I’m in search of stuff that’s related. I believe 7 Prisoners is an ideal instance – I believe it might promote social change. My decisions are at all times primarily based on issues that I really consider are related and necessary to debate, and to place it on the market for individuals to hopefully contact them and that may provoke change. I believe that’s sort of guiding me, the stuff that I’m discovering for myself. However as an actor, I’m nonetheless very curious and nonetheless excited to sink my tooth in — speaking about werewolves. I’m very excited to search out completely different stuff that I haven’t carried out earlier than.
Interview edited for readability.
Wolf Pack is streaming its first season on Paramount+.