Find out how that works and what’s coming up for John in this interview.
Zap2it: How is it to play John these days?
Luke Mitchell: It’s a lot of fun to play — it’s a barrel of laughs! [laughing]
I’m very grateful to the writers of the really cool storylines they keep throwing at me. It is really a lot of fun. One of the most enjoyable things is getting to work with the majority of the cast, not getting to work with just one or two actors. I think the storylines they throw at me allow me to work with just about everyone, which is really cool.
I’ve got some scenes with Astrid — a lot of scenes with Astrid actually. I’ve got scenes with Stephen’s mom, and obviously with Jedikiah and the Founder and with all these fascinating characters. That’s the fun of it, getting to work with so many actors.
Speaking of Astrid, what’s going on between Stephen’s human friend and John?
In the episode this week [Jan. 29], Stephen is concerned about his mom because of a new boyfriend. The boyfriend wants to take them all camping, and he might try something on the camping trip. Stephen’s concerned about Astrid because she’s on ULTRA’s radar. So I step in and kind of go “Hey, go on the trip, and I’ll keep an eye on Astrid.”
That was a lot of fun to play, because it’s two really different characters — John and Astrid — coming together and really having to bond quickly or else they’re going to die. Nothing like impending doom to get people to work together! So basically, Astrid is in the line of fire, and John tries to save her. They get stuck in a situation where John is hurt quite badly. Due to the severity of the wounds, he can’t teleport. He’s losing strength and that stuff. So they have to band together. Even in that circumstance, there are some getting-to-know-you kinds of themes.
How is John dealing with losing his leadership position among the Tomorrow People?
He’s struggling. He’s struggling with that, because he’s been the leader for so long. He promised Stephen’s dad that he’d be the one to look after everyone and all that stuff.
John has all these instincts and these urges, and John has to fight them. Because he has opinions and stuff, but Cara is now the leader. She’s in control. She wants to have her authority. I think it’s kind of interesting when they disagree, but John has to bite his tongue and allow Cara to make some mistakes. Sometimes she makes the right decisions and John would have made the mistakes. It just adds to the already interesting dynamic between John and Cara.
So what is the relationship between John and Cara like now?
That’s a very good question — what is their relationship at any point? I don’t know. Complicated is the only word I can use, even though it doesn’t come anywhere near accurately describing it. What is their relationship? Yeah, it’s constantly changing, it’s constantly evolving — not evolving, but it’s constantly, I don’t know. It’s a feeling-out process because of who they are and what they are and what they’re trying to do. And having Stephen in the mix there is very awkward. But look for things to come to a head very soon when big decisions are made. It changes the characters’ trajectory a little bit.
Since Stephen is more than just someone getting in between John and Cara, what is that relationship like?
Again, it’s a thing of John being like bound to Stephen, because there’s a lot of guilt. Even though John has killed Stephen’s father, he’s kind of remorseful about it and he wants to do anything to make good. I don’t know if he can, but I think he will try anything to overcome what he did.
That’s an interesting dynamic to play with. He doesn’t like Stephen, but he’s kind of bound to him anyway. It’s nice to see that relationship grow, probably starting with this episode, with John stepping forward and saying, “Hey, I’ll help you out. I’ll keep an eye on Astrid for you.” And then the following episode, something happens that kind of sets John off on a different trajectory. Stephen steps forward and kind of says, “Hey, I’ll give you a hand.” That relationship is kind of growing in a more positive way than it previously has.
Halfway through the first season of “The Tomorrow People,” what would you say is your biggest challenge in playing John?
The biggest challenge of playing John is, I think, his temperament. It’s challenging. I think he’s very intense, which I find challenging because I’m not. I’m pretty light and easy-going, I don’t anger quickly. And John’s kind of the opposite. That’s been kind of challenging to play a lot of things like that. It kind of saps my energy. You see me on the set with a coffee in my hand more often than not — it requires a lot. But it’s great fun. I especially enjoy playing the stuff that’s sort of different to me, and John’s reactions to situations are almost diametrically opposite to how I’d react in the same situation. But it’s kind of fun to play that!
“The Tomorrow People” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.