The Chicago Tribune recently interviewed the actor who portrays our favorite, multi-dimensional character on Heroes: Noah Bennet (aka, "HRG).
Did you always think that H.R.G. was a bad guy? What was your take on him?
Jack Coleman: All I knew from just reading the pilot was, I figured he was a very menacing presence, undoubtedly working against the interests of these super-powered people. ...
As you get to know the character more, you realize he has killed people. So I knew that he was kind of a malevolent presence. But I also figured that he also probably really loved his daughter. But I knew early on that the overall feeling you had to get when you saw him was, somebody who was kind of a menacing presence.
How do you keep a serious, menacing edge to him? We saw him really change in the first season.
It was a concern -- that I didn't become soft and warm and fuzzy. But that gets dispelled very quickly [in Season 2]. I think the morally gray aspect and the questionable methodology will rear its head again quite quickly.
The story of H.R.G. was interesting in the first season - how this guy who's done so many questionable things decides that he does really love his daughter Claire (Hayden Panettiere) and put her first.
I think I got lucky in that they didn't really have long-range plans for the character. ... I think they liked Hayden and me together, and decided [to go in that direction].
So was H.R.G. possibly going to be the big bad villain, but then they took a turn because of what they saw with you and Hayden in your scenes together?
I think so. And I think they realized that they would do an origins [of H.R.G.] episode, and you would see that, as bad and scary as he can be, there's also the part of him that's very protective and really loves his daughter. So they did this fantastic back story ... that I was stuck in this job which put me at odds with my own daughter and I had to make a stand.
What is his mission now?
That I can't talk about.
Is there a fear that Claire will someday find out more than he wants her to know? Obviously she knows he's not just a paper salesman, but she also doesn't really know everything he's done.
I think in Season 2, most of the secrets from Season 1 have been divulged. I don't think he's going out of his way to tell her everything. There's lots she will never know. And that's the kind of guy he is - he loves her to death, but he's not going to sit down and pour out his heart and tell her everything he's ever done, because she would never be able to look at him ever again if she knew everything he had ever done.
But Season 2 is a new mission; it's a new series of secrets and lies. It's a whole different thing.