Perhaps one of the most interesting characters — and definitely one of the fan favorites — on FX’s the Strain is Vasily Fet portrayed by the immensely talented Kevin Durand. He’s tough as nails but also seems to really have a heart. He won’t hesitate for a second in killing a strigoi but I think would lay down his life for anyone in the group without blinking. But, Vasily didn’t always seem this way, and when we met the character for the very first time in season 1, he appeared quite the contrary. However, Vasily Fet has evolved, and this is especially true going into season 2. No more rat-catching by day, and living alone with his cat by night. I had the opportunity last week to chat with Kevin about season 2, how his character has changed and will continue to change, his new romance with Dutch, and oh yeah, THAT scene from last night’s episode “By Any Means.” Check out what he had to say.
TV GEEK TALK: Let’s talk about that fantastic season 2 premiere first. One big thing I did notice is that the animosity between Fet and Dr. Goodweather has died down. I mean, in season 1 they could barely stand the sight of each other. And, that was also true to some extant between Fet and Nora. Fet actually seems to be able to play well with others now! What exactly do you think caused this change?
Kevin Durand: “You know, I think Vasily’s a lone wolf. He’s been kind of reclusive, kind of obsessive-compulsive about compiling as much information and knowledge that he could about his job and anything that might relate to his job and never really connected with a whole lot of folk. I think now that he’s got all of them living under his roof, even though it makes him uncomfortable, it’s necessary for us to survive. I think he’s the kind of guy who’s very pragmatic and practical, and he looks at the situation, ‘Okay, well, I can just continue digging in on these folks any chance that I can, or I can help build them all up.'”
“He’s an optimist I think, too. He thinks, ‘Okay, we’re stuck in this situation, and I still don’t like the fact that you’re messing with my Architectural Magazine Digest, and they’re supposed to be over there on *that* shelf.'[Laughs] But, he knows that together they’re stronger. Also, [Vasily] has alot of respect for Eph, for Nora, for Dutch, for Setrakian. They’re all in their own way great sources of knowledge in their own field. So, with that in mind, he knows that they have a better chance.”
TV GEEK TALK: Another thing in the premiere that we see is Abraham now keeping secrets not only from Fet but the entire group. I mean Abraham actually met the Ancients, how could he keep something that big a secret from everyone! First, why do you think Abraham did that, and what impact do you think it will have on Fet and Abraham’s close friendship once the truth comes out?
Kevin Durand: “You know, Vasily really looks up to Setrakian, and as you can see from that first episode, everyone is like, ‘You still want to follow this guy? He’s kind of losing it.’ But, Vasily has a really strong faith in Setrakian, and he’s a man on a mission. He’s been on this mission since way before any of us were born. So, I think when Vasily finds out that he met with the Ancients and all this stuff, I think he would be fine with that as long as in the greater plan and the grander scheme of things that it’s helping them move towards their goal of taking the Master down and eradicating these bloodsuckers. I think that Setrakian because he is so tunnel-visioned towards his goal of taking them out, it’s not that he’s necessarily keeping it from them, it’s that he doesn’t have time. I just kind of feel that way, but even if he were holding a secret, I don’t think Vasily would hold it against him because it will all eventually go towards a solution.”
TV GEEK TALK: Now, I have seen episode 2, and in fact, I just watched it. Wow X 10!! I do have some questions about that episode with the promise that I won’t publish anything until after the episode airs. Episode 2 is actually a pretty big episode for your character! Everyone has been wondering whether Vasily and Dutch would get together, and then, boom, it finally happened. Can you just talk a little bit about that episode, and what it means for the 2 characters going forward?
Kevin Durand: “I think for the 1st time Vasily sees his reflection in a woman. She’s kind of rebellious, she’s fighting an inner darkness, she’s crafty and smart and tough, and they recognize those attributes and respect them, and I truly believe they respect each other. It’s a really interesting relationship, and I’m really curious to see what ends up happening as the show evolves and progresses. I really don’t know where it will end up because [the relationship] is not in the books, and it all comes from Carlton Cuse and Chuck Hogan and all the wonderful writers in the writers’ room, who are probably sitting in a room right now discussing where it’s going. [Laughs] ”
TV GEEK TALK: How far ahead did you know that you were going to be paired up with Dutch? Were there hints from the writers last season, or did you just walk onto the set for season 2, and boom, you were told you 2 were getting together?
Kevin Durand: “I think there was a chemistry between the characters that just felt alive whenever we were doing a scene, and I love working with Ruta Gedmintas. We’re both obsessive about knowing our stuff, knowing our job. But, I really think they ended up pairing us up because there was a great electricity, a kind of chemistry between the characters. But, I don’t know, that’s just me hypothesizing. I’m not really sure. It kind of felt like in the first season that it was pushing in that direction, but I didn’t know for sure, and I didn’t know it was going to happen so soon. [Laughs] And, that so much would be shown! [Laughs] ”
TV GEEK TALK: No kidding! Yeah, that was my next question, how much did they tell you? I mean, did they say, ‘Hey, get ready because you’re going to lose your clothes in the next episode’?
Kevin Durand: “Well, they asked me to sign a nudity rider, and I was like, ‘Why? What’s going on?’ [Laughs] I mean I didn’t know until very late that it was going to happen, but I was cool with it. I’ve never done that before, but I started signing nudity riders in the last year since I’ve turned 40, which is strange. I’ve always been kind of a late bloomer, and so, it kind of makes sense that that kind of stuff is starting to happen. Unfortunately, my beautiful, incredible wife, it’s her first time to see me kiss these other women on screen instead of kidnap them and eat their babies, which I’ve been doing for the past 20 years. [Laughs] ”
TV GEEK TALK: Honestly, I really hope things do work out for Vasily and Dutch, but I do remember something Dutch said in season 1 that makes me wonder if it may be an omen. She said something like she is very good at making “passionate, destructive relationships.” I hope that doesn’t happen, and I hope Vasily and Dutch don’t crash and burn, because I really think the fans will like this.
Kevin Durand: “I actually haven’t seen the episode, but I remember shooting it. I remember the heat on my ass as I was walking towards the water and feeling how it was really strange to have this many people staring at my gluteus maximus. [Laughs] How weird! But, now, I guess on Sunday a lot more people will see.”
TV GEEK TALK You know, people like to joke about the supposed “bromance” between Vasily and Abraham. I actually was in the Comic-Con press room for “The Strain” last weekend, and I couldn’t help but notice the chemistry between you and David Bradley even off-screen. I was interviewing David Bradley at a round table, and then, you came over and started joking, photobombing him, and just having a great time. That said, who do you have the best bromance or romance — Vasily and Dutch, or Vasily and Abraham?
Kevin Durand: “Well, Vasily’s relationship with Dutch is so different and so far away from a bromance because there’s all that fire and electricity and magnetism that kind of draws them to each other. Whereas with Setrakian, it’s similar to my relationship with him in real life, where Fet genuinely looks up to him and knows there’s so much he can learn, and Kevin looks up to David knowing he can learn a lot as well. You know, we became like family this year, best pals. He asked me where I was going to live, and we ended up living very close to each other. He would come to the house all the time, my wife would cook dinner. So, he became one of my best friends, and I’m so grateful. On the other side, Ruta and I have become great friends, and she and my wife are good friends. It’s something really wonderful and magical that is happening over there while we are shooting.”
TV GEEK TALK: As the season progresses, in what ways can we expect Vasily to evolve and change?
Kevin Durand: “Well, I think the biggest change for him in the 2nd season is the fact that he is surrounded by all these people that he’s developed feelings for. I mean, he cares about them, and so now, he’s not only just looking out for himself, now he’s got to look out for everybody else. There’s some really great stuff that comes out of that, but at the same time, it kind of makes him uncomfortable, that he cares about these folks now, and we’re living in a world where all of us could go in any given second. There’s a certain kind of fragility that presents itself in him and to the audience this season. I mean, I don’t even know if he’s ever shown that before. So, the onion, as they say, has been peeled, and there’s a lot of different layers to him. And, it’s cool because it’s true. He’s a super-violent warrior in the heat of the moment, and is incredible to be able to take these [strigoi] down, and he does so with such passion. But, now, you get to see the fragility of him as well, which we saw a little bit in the first season with his father. So, we’re getting an idea of the spectrum of his existence in this world.”
TV GEEK TALK: I know season 2 is just getting started, but can you tease some things coming up that the fans should really be excited about?
Kevin Durand: “Oh, wow. There’s so much to talk about, but some of my favorite things — the whole creation of the blind children that we call ‘the feelers.’ It’s so horrifying, and in the first episode, their being drawn in by Eichhorst, I could not believe it. It was like this is the most wrong thing I have ever seen, it was the most wrong thing I have ever read. But, at the same time, it was so awesome! Those feelers end up being such a force to be reckoned with along with being guided by the wonderful Natalie Brown. Also, I think there’s a lot of anticipation for Quinlan.”
At San Diego Comic-Con, I asked David Bradley would Setrakian working with the Ancients and the benevolent vampires be a big part of season 2, and while he said ‘yes,’ he did mention that it won’t be until the latter part of the season. By that time, the rest of the group will probably know about the Ancients, which means Quinlan, Gus, Abraham, etc. working together — including our big, tough, lovable Vasily Fet.
I personally find it interesting to even think about Vasily having to work on the same team as other strigoi like the Ancients and Quinlan, especially since he is so trigger-happy with regard to the strigoi or actually, anyone who has been infected. We saw that with how he reacted towards the older infected couple at the end of the premiere. However, Kevin says that while initially it may be strange, he thinks Vasily is practical and sensible enough to know that working together is the key to defeating the Master and his army. Given everything we know and everything Kevin has said about Vasily, I agree 100%, but I think it’s still going to be pretty damn funny to watch.
The Strain airs on Sundays at 10/9c on FX.
And, if you want to check out that interview with David Bradley that I did last weekend at Comic-Con where Kevin casually walks in on the interview and makes himself at home next to David, I’ve included the video below (it’s touching but at the same time, pretty hilarious!).
David Bradley Comic-Con Interview:
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com
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