The Tomorrow People Q&A: Jeffrey Pierce on Roger's Return, Pressure to Go Shirtless

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He's back!

Now that Stephen’s father, Roger, has thawed from his frozen state, how will his family take to his return after being gone so long on The Tomorrow People Season 1 Episode 20?

Will Jedikiah welcome his revived brother... or are new conflicts coming? And how will his presence help – or hurt – The Tomorrow People, especially now that the treacherous Machine is in play?

I grabbed some time with Roger himself, actor Jeffrey Pierce, to gauge his thoughts on how his return is going to affect everyone. I also discovered whether there’s pressure to be shirtless alongside hunky stars Robbie Amell and Luke Mitchell...

Wake Up, Roger!

TV Fanatic: Firstly, how has it been just to being out and interacting with everybody full time for the first time? We've seen you in flashbacks and frozen for a while now…

Jeffrey Pierce: Great. They are such an extraordinary buncwch of people. I've been working with them, despite the fact that I've been frozen and hibernating and seen in the past, I've had the pleasure of working with all of them for the past year and they are an extraordinary bunch. The crew, the stunt guys, and directors and everybody is really top notch. So it's great to be out and running around and playing with all of them.

TVF: What is it like with his family and his wife when Roger comes back? Is it smooth sailing or are there some bumps in the road?

JP: I think that maybe the idea of being a Messiah is much better than the reality and I think that Roger brings as much chaos to everyone's lives as he brings focus and clarity and possibility of saving the world and still has done a fantastic job, but straddling that line in a very realistic way.

At least when I watch sci-fi and action, I want this reality to ground me and the show has done a really good job of making sure that the psychology of these characters sticks with reality. Not everyone is really happy that he's back. Everyone is a little bit conflicted with the exception of maybe Stephen, who's been fighting to bring him back and it plays out over the course of the next three episodes. I think it's all revealed.

TVF: How do you think Roger's return reflects on Jedikiah and kind of even how the audience has seen Jedikiah? Because early on we thought he was pure villain and now it kind of seems like it's not quite that easy.

JP: It's not. I think it's really difficult for Jedikiah because he's been living in this gray zone in between good and evil for all this time. And he's had to do things which anyone would find painful to do and be riddled regret and guilt even if he felt like you were doing them for the right reasons. So, all of those things become really very real to Jedikiah when his brother comes back to life.

They're both compromised in some ways, the things that they did when Roger was with Ultra and the two of them were together at Ultra and the choices that they made including turning John into a killer. I think that both of these men, Roger and Jed are scarred by that but they still are trying to push forward and do the right thing and save the world if they can.

TVF: John's been carrying around probably the biggest pile of guilt on his shoulders for a while since he thought he’d killed Roger. How's he going to react?

JP: I mean, if you think about what they did to him, they took away sort of nature's gift of his inability to kill and then put a gun in his hands and turned him into a killer. They may have done it for bigger reasons but it doesn’t make it right and it doesn't make Roger and Jed not culpable for having done it.

So, John is very justified in his anger that these two men who were his father figures betrayed him for something that seemed like it might be for the greater good or it is for the greater good, but it's betrayal none the less. And all of them are going to have to come to terms with that over the next three hours of TV.

TVF: How much does that big damn Machine play in the coming episodes?

JP: It's the tool that The Founder would use to take control. It's his end game. But in order for it to work, he needs Roger and so there's a clash coming that is going to be catastrophic for everybody. So, yeah, the machine is a linchpin for the story until the end.

TVF: Yeah. For a while now, Jedikiah has said, “Roger cannot get into the machine,” and that's why you went into hiding in the first place. So, is it safe to say Jedikiah is correct that Roger should not get in that machine?

JP: Absolutely. Not to give too much away, but essentially if Stephen were trained to use his skills to the level that maximize them, either he or Roger, their body in that machine spells the end for humankind.

TVF: Well, that's no big deal, right?

JP: No big deal. It's just extinction is all. [laughs]

TVF: Talk to me about the pressure of being shirtless around Robbie Amell and/or Luke Mitchell.

JP: [laughs] There's an incredible amount of pressure. I'm 42 years old. The amount of time I have to spend at the gym compared to them was extraordinary just being in a state within striking distance. So, yeah, there's a lot of pressure. Those guys are physical specimens and incredible athletes. I mean, Luke was a pro tennis player. I'm guessing Robbie could’ve gone pro playing hockey, so yeah, there's certainly a bar that is very high when those guys take their shirts off.

TVF: I had to ask that, of course.

JP: Absolutely.

TVF: I personally like Roger's goatee and I'm curious is that Roger's goatee or is that Jeffrey's?

JP: When I do [have it] my wife hates it, so it's sometimes my goatee, sometimes for work. It just happened to turn out that when they called and asked if I could come and do the pilot that I had a beard so I shaved it away to a goatee and Roger had one and here we are.

The Tomorrow People Season 1 airs Mondays at 9/8 on The CW.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of Follow him on Twitter.

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