Superman never really got a chance to know his home, and from what we’ve seen so far on Krypton, that might not be a bad thing. Divided into isolated cities separated by lethal wastelands, guided by a seemingly corrupt religious organization whose leader was infected by Brainiac last season, things were pretty bad before Dru-Zod took control. However, if there’s one thing we know about the Man of Steel’s home world, it’s that things on Krypton can always get worse.
Aligning himself with his future mother, the time-traveling General Zod managed to release Doomsday, then take control of Kandor while his future father, Superman’s grandfather Seg-El, was getting trapped with Brainiac in the Phantom Zone. It’s a harsh new reality that Seg is only just now becoming aware of now that he’s out of the Zone. Meanwhile, Lobo’s entered the picture, Doomsday is out wreaking havoc somewhere, Zod has an eye for conquering other planets, and Seg’s lost somewhere on Colu away from it all. But hey, at least Brainiac is dead…or is he?
In Krypton’s second season, the action gets so big, one has to wonder what Seg-El—who unlike his future grandson, has no powers—is supposed to do about any of it. So, we decided to ask him. Actor (and noted DC comic book fan) Cameron Cuffe recently dropped by for a wide-ranging discussion about the season ahead. In the process, he opened up about Seg and Lyta Zod’s relationship, shared a bit of what we can expect from Lobo and let us know whether he’d like to see some of Brian Michael Bendis’ characters make their way to the show. Rogol Zaar vs. Doomsday, anybody?
So, how’s life on Colu?
Oh man, it was so exciting. Honestly, those ten days filming in Tollymore Forest in Northern Ireland were probably the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything.
We’re just getting into Krypton’s second season. Compared to the first season, how would you describe it?
In season one, we did the hard work of introducing the world and the characters. Now, we get to expand it. We really get to play with it, and for me personally, season two is the story I’ve always wanted to tell in this world with these characters.
The word that I hear most from people when talking about Krypton’s first season is “surprising.” What’s going to surprise them in season two?
I think they’re going to be surprised to see how strong our voice is. We love this world, and we love these characters. I hope the fans know that there are massive DC fans working on this show, and this year, we are fully embracing our comic book roots. We want to give the fans what they want. People want to see more Doomsday. They’re going to get more Doomsday. They want to see more Brainiac. They’re going to get more Brainiac. I’m really proud that we’re debuting Lobo, which is going to be so exciting. And of course, it wouldn’t be Krypton if we didn’t have a few mind-bending twists.
General Zod’s calling the shots on Krypton right now. What does that mean for the people of Krypton?
It’s the kind of thing where Zod believes he’s doing the best for Krypton. The thing that makes him such a compelling villain—as much as we hate to use the terms “heroes” and “villains” on this show—is that he is motivated to do what he does. He believes in what he’s doing, and he’s converted a large chunk of the populace to believe that as well. And when there are people who disagree with him, he somatically reconditions them. Other than the rebellion, there is no real resistance.
Is Seg’s close relationship with Lyta now destroyed? How does he view her now that she’s aligned herself with her son?
You saw his vision in the Phantom Zone in the season premiere. Seg has a vision, which is of General Zod killing Lyta. I think there’s that thing where, yes, they both made mistakes. She went behind his back in season one to release Doomsday because that was the solution to the Brainiac problem that Lyta and Dru-Zod had come up with. Seg vehemently disagreed with it and he believed there was another way. It hurts that Lyta didn’t trust him. But at the same time, in his heart of hearts, I think Seg understands her choice. She just wanted to save people.
There’s even that moment at the end of the first season where they talk to each other over the intercom. She says she’s sorry and he says, “It doesn’t matter. I’m just glad that you’re okay.”
Yes, there is a rift there, but at the end of the day, these are two people who love each other deeply.
So, I’m guessing Brainiac isn’t really dead. Will we be seeing more of him this season?
Well…let me ask you this. Before Seg leapt on him, did you notice there was a smile on Brainiac’s face? Brainiac is a twelfth-level intellect. That’s all I’m going to say!
How would you describe Seg’s relationship with Lobo? The bounty hunter has a pretty complicated relationship with Superman. Will it be similar with Seg-El?
Well, Lobo, he’s just a wild and crazy character. He’s so over the top. Again, we don’t really have heroes and villains on this show—it’s much more shades of grey. Lobo fits perfectly with that. He’s an antihero. He’s completely self-motivated. He’s in it for himself. Sometimes he aligns with the side of good and sometimes he aligns with the side of bad, but mostly, Lobo is in it for him. That’s a very interesting thing to be confronted with, especially when he’s so volatile and dangerous.
Does Seg realize that?
Oh, Lobo is many things—subtle is not one of them. Yeah, you come to figure him out pretty quick.
It’s astonishing how much Emmett Scanlan looks like Lobo. As a fan, what’s it like acting opposite some of these iconic, amazing-looking villains?
It’s so cool and I’m constantly pinching myself. This is an amazing job, especially as a fan. I’m in awe every day. The thing is, you’ve got to come at it like an actor. We’re building this world and telling this story, and it’s so much fun every day on set.
Now that Brian Michael Bendis has shaken up Superman’s history with Rogol Zaar and the Circle, would you like to see them introduced on Krypton? It feels like your timeline would be perfect for it.
It’s funny. I was reading that storyline, and in it, you see Jax-Ur and Zod, and you also see Adam Strange. I saw that and noticed that Adam Strange’s characteristics, as Brian wrote them, are not dissimilar to Shaun’s portrayal on Krypton. So, I tweeted something like, “I was just wondering, has Brian Michael Bendis watched Krypton?” And he tweeted back at me with his DVD of Krypton.
I was like, “Oh man, this is the coolest thing ever! Brian Michael Bendis has watched my TV show! Oh my god!” I was thrilled with that! I love what he’s doing on Superman and I’d love to see a lot of his characters make it in. That would be super cool.
So, there are a lot of Superman fans out there and now a lot of Krypton fans. Anything you’d like to say to them?
As a fan myself, I understand the power of fandom and the most important thing that any one of us could say on this show is thank you to the fans. We would have nothing without you. It’s all for you. All of our success is because you guys have watched it and talked about it, and we really hope you enjoy season two.
Krypton airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. CST) on Syfy. For more news, features and conversation on Krypton, click here.