An Interview with The Haitian, Jimmy Jean-Louis

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Near the end of last season, our friends at BuddyTV sat down with Heroes actor Jimmy Jean-Louis.

While not as well known as Masi Oka or Zachary Quinto, Louis portrays a vital character on the show, simply known for now as The Haitian. Here's what he had to say:

Jimmy Jean-Louis
BuddyTV: The Haitian is such a presence on Heroes and the interesting thing is that for a lot of your episodes, he had no voice. Was that a big challenge for you as an actor?
Jimmy Jean-Louis: He had no voice but he had a big spirit. That's what mattered. Yes of course it is a big challenge when you don't get to say anything because it's always harder to portray what you want to portray without the words. So it's always a bigger challenge but because I understood the character and I am from Haiti and I connected pretty much with everything that I was asked to do so it wasn't too hard.

BuddyTV: Definitely, definitely. He does have that huge screen presence. Did you know in the beginning that eventually you were going to be able to talk?
Louis: Yeah, yeah. I'd been told you know the way they hired me that at one point I will be talking, at one point I will be going off with Claire and that was about it. I don't know what I'm going to be doing next but yes, I always knew it.

BuddyTV: Was the character a Haitian in the beginning? Did they tweak it towards your ethnicity?
Louis: Yeah, it was a funny process because originally I auditioned for the role of D.L. who is the husband and the father of the kid. I read for about three times for them and obviously they didn't want to go with me. And then a few months down the line they called me back to read for the character that I'm doing now. But I wasn't here. I was in Europe promoting another movie, so I couldn't see them. And they decided to give it to me eventually without seeing me. But originally it was supposed to be a guy from New Zealand not from Haiti at all. So I guess because they hired me then the character became the Haitian because I am from Haiti.

BuddyTV: At this point the Haitian, his name has not been revealed is that right?
Louis: No, no we still don't know. Even though he has a name, he has a name, but I think everybody sort of likes the Haitian so far, you know he has a lot of mystery with it so I don't know how much longer we're going to keep the Haitian but yeah, yeah, he really has a name.

BuddyTV: So at this point as far as you know it's not going to be revealed to us?
Louis: I don't know when, I don't know when. And I don't think I can reveal it to you either for the moment.

Follow our link to read the full interview with Jimmy Jean-Louis.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Heroes Quotes

Sylar: You okay?
Claire: Peachy.

[voiceover] In the beginning there was discovery. A confusion of elements. The first snowfall of impossible change. Old lives undone, left behind. Strange faces, made familiar. New nightmares, to challenge sleep. New friends, to feel safe with. Only then comes control. The need to impose order unto chaos, through determination through study, through struggle. All in defiance of a thundering truth. They’re here, and the earth shudders underfoot.


Heroes Music

  Song Artist
Song Road to Joy Bright Eyes
Song Mustang Sally Wilson Pickett
Song I Want It That Way Backstreet Boys