Jack Coleman is best known for his role as Noah Bennet in Heroes and Heroes Reborn. Talk Nerdy With Us recently had the opportunity to chat with him, read our interview below.
How did it feel stepping back into Noah’s shoes after five years?
The interesting thing is they were Noah’s glasses but somebody else’s shoes. (Laughs). It does take a little bit of time to get your rhythm back. Five years past between when we ended the original show and where we picked up. And that time was felt, but in a really good way. There’s a little more mileage on you. There’s more mileage on the character. Once I felt like I got back into the rhythm of things, which was pretty quickly, a couple of hours probably, it was a lot of fun to be back.
Do people recognize you without the signature horn rimmed glasses?
They do! (Laughs). I’m often wearing glasses because I am unsighted myself. They’re not horn-rimmed, but they are glasses that I need to wear. So sometimes that kinda helps people. But especially now that the show’s back on the air, I get a lot more recognition.
Yeah, when you guest starred on Castle and House, it took me half the episode to realize that’s who you were!
So in other words, Clark Kent really was able to use the glasses as a successful means of disguising himself as Superman. (Laughs).
Exactly! People make fun of it, but it’s the signature thing.
There’s a very funny YouTube video, I can’t remember who did it, but a very funny YouTube sketch where the guy’s sitting there as Superman and Clark Kent, taking his glasses on and off and the person next to him cannot recognize one from the other. It’s hysterical. Without ever leaving the room. It’s very funny.
That is funny. So, do you consider Noah a hero or an anti-hero?
I would say in the first iteration of Heroes he was much more of an anti-hero. But I think in this go round he’s much more of a hero. He’s not playing both sides of the fence. There’s no questions of his loyalty or his mission. I think he’s really just trying to make life better for EVOs and eventually having to save the world. I think this time around he’s really just a hero. First time around, much more of an anti-hero.
How are you and Noah alike and how are y’all different?
We’re the same height. (Laughs). But beyond that, not that much. He is a lot braver and tougher and more willing to put himself on the line than I have ever been. There are moments that you’re seeing how I would react too, but in general, Noah’s much more of a hard-ass than I’ve ever been. Just ask Adrian Pasdar about that. (Laughs). He’s says I’m a combination of John Wayne and Minnie Mouse.
(Laughs) Which episode has been your favorite, either to film or to watch?
Seven and Eight, which were June 13th Part One and Part Two, were pretty great. I loved getting to play both Noah’s. It was very time-consuming and exhausting, in a way. It’s really fun to see those scenes where I’m having scenes with myself. I have to give credit here to Rick Marcus, who is my stunt double and also my acting double in these two shows where he did the scenes with me. Playing both parts. You know, I was playing 2014 HRG and he’d be 2015, and then we’d switch and he’d be 15 and I’d be 14. He did an incredible job. He looks a lot like me, he’s a really good double for me.
It was very helpful for me and for production to have him there. But those scenes, it’s always fun to see something like that, because that’s not something I’ve done a lot of. I also think that as a story it’s just great to go back to that day and see what had happened and explain how Claire died, and how it was that someone who regenerated was not able to regenerate. I think that it answered a lot of questions that had been asked of the audience. I think that they really answered a lot of those questions.
It was good getting some answers on that. And I have to say, I loved the scene where you met yourself and you’re like “What are you doing here? What am I doing here?”
Yeah, it’s a pretty weird thing to watch. (Laughs). You’re so used to seeing yourself acting with somebody else, seeing yourself acting with yourself is very unsettling.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenge acting on television?
You don’t always have the time to rehearse and work through a scene to the point that it’s really about performance. So much of acting for television is making sure that it is technically correct and useable and what you need to do. For Heroes there’s so many special effects and stunts and CGI and all that stuff that there’s a lot of times that you can be consumed with the technical aspect of it. Acting will always be the primary concern in how a scene is put together. It always is, but it doesn’t always get the time that you as the actor would like.
As a veteran television actor, you get used to moving quickly and I actually like moving quickly. But there are times when a scene is ending and you just start to realize what it was that you could have done with that moment. That’s kind of the actor’s lot in general, you always figure out on the way home from the audition what the perfect thing would have been. There’s always a little bit of second guessing. I would say in general the most challenging thing is whether or not you get enough time to work on performance.
If you retired from acting tomorrow, what would you do? Like a different job or major vacation?
Well, a major vacation sounds lovely. (Laughs). That would be a very good place to start. At this point in my life, had I been in my 20s and I wasn’t acting, I could see a different road. But at this point I’d probably teach acting or direct. Two things that are very much related to the field that I’m already in. Because I’ve been doing it for so long that I don’t have any real world skills. So I’d probably stay very close to where I am now.
If you were to wake up and you found out you had an EVO power, what would it be?
The most bad-ass EVO power is teleportation. Time travel. I can’t think of anything. Masi gets to be the master of time and space. That’s a good handle. That’s gotta be the coolest of them all.
It would look pretty cool on a business card.
Yeah, exactly. Then you get to prove it to people and watch their jaws hang open in amazement. (Laughs).
Those of use who write for Talk Nerdy With Us consider ourselves major nerds. What kind of nerdy things are you passionate about?
I’m nerdy in that I can be browsing through a newspaper or a magazine or scrolling through a news story on my phone or my laptop and discover something or read something that I go “wait, what? really?” and I have to learn all about it. I’m not a tech guy, I’m not the guy that’s programming stuff and making games. I’m not a huge sci-fi fan but I’m definitely nerdy in that I can get obsessed with a topic that comes out of the blue and I have to know about it.
I find that that’s the thing I love about sci-fi fans and fans that consider themselves nerdy, is their attention to detail. It’s a little knowledge is good, a lot of knowledge is better. I think in that way, I consider myself nerdy because I can get obsessed with something.
Watch Jack on Heroes Reborn, Thursdays on NBC at 9/8c.