From Executive Producers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon comes the Syfy Channel’s new futuristic thriller Incorporated. Set in 2074, climate change has destroyed the planet and in place of governments, multi-national corporations have unlimited power. Those who work for them are protected by living in the Green Zones; everyone else has to fend for themselves in the Red Zones.
Sean Teale (Reign, Mr. Selfridge) portrays Aaron, who grew up in the slums of the Red Zones, and has infiltrated the Spiga Biotech Corporation under the pseudonym of Ben Larson, in order to rescue the love of his life.
Sean came to the TV Critics tour to talk about his new series, which was created by Alex and David Pastor (Carriers, The Last Days). Incorporated premieres on the Syfy Channel on November 30th 2016.
How were you approached for this role?
Meg Liberman, a lovely woman at CBS, met with me in London. She and my managers fought for me to go in for the role (of Prince Louis Conde) on Reign, who was slightly older than I was. After a while, I got quite disillusioned with facts that are quite hard to (change), like aging 15 years for a role. But Meg always stuck (with me) and we ended up shooting the show.
When I left Reign, (moving) onto potentially new pastures, Meg came up with Incorporated. I instantly fell in love with the role. I care about it an infinite amount. As I read new scripts, I get so angry or upset depending on what has to happen. So I’m very lucky on this one.
This is a totally different character than Prince Louis. After wearing the costumes you had on Reign, is it nicer to be more down to earth?
Well, I’m still in a corset except that it’s made out of Burberry suit as opposed to corduroy. It is a very different show and both were great.
Do you think following Ben’s storyline between the Red Zones and the Green Zones gives the series continuity?
The Red Zones and Green Zones are effectively seen through Ben’s eyes. I think a lot of the world is displayed through what he, or, his alter ego, Aaron’s experiences are.
It very quickly jumps from Aaron to Ben, and I think jump-cutting between flashbacks and modern day at very relevant moments, shows the harshest change between Green and Red.
We see bits of Aaron’s past in the pilot. How much do you know about his story?
It’s been quite a progressive feeding of knowledge, and week by week, episode by episode, we’re given more.
We’ve talked about what makes Ben tick and rooting moments of Aaron within Ben’s performance, so that you see the child that he is when you watch it back. That’s been really the fun challenge.
But I’ve had to feel that out as I’ve gone (along). I made the decision that these two people were distinctly not two people; they were the same, merely in harsher scenarios. Ben has this albatross around his neck that weighs down on (him) every day. It’s an incredible burden.
Aaron is the same person, but with freedom and this primal emotional state instead. Oddly, it’s kind of a holiday when I play his younger version, because there’s less espionage. There’s less manipulation.
Do you personally worry about too much power in the wrong hands?
I’m from England, and it’s a bit of a sorry state of affairs at the moment with Brexit. I’ve had a tough time at work trying to not let that get to (me). The benefit, I guess, is that I can use that anger towards the power that we have within the show and the corporations that we have to take on. I do worry about it, though. It’s a hard time for everyone.
Hopefully, humanity wins. Within that power and danger, and with that gross injustice from certain places of the 99% losing out to the 1%, there are tales of honor, justice, love and real human moments that overpower and outweigh them. Although it’s quite miserable, life is also quite wonderful at the same time.
Is there any technology from the show, like the car that drives itself, that maybe you would like to take home?
It’s the absolute dream, because I can’t drive. So I’m really glad that I’ve jumped on a show where they drive themselves. I’m from London, and it’s awful that I don’t drive. I’ve never needed to, so that one would be mine.