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Sam Strike on Nightflyers and Playing a Terrifying Telepath



Remember there are some mild spoilers for Syfy’s Nightflyers via Episode three, ‘The Abyss Stares Back’.

Hazard is all over the place in Syfy’s new area drama Nightflyers. With the way forward for earth and mankind in peril at residence, a staff of maverick scientists journey into the far reaches of area in hopes of encountering a mysterious alien race referred to as the Volcryn in a ship haunted by the presence of somebody or one thing that torments its passengers. However maybe probably the most unpredictable and intriguing of the threats on board is Thale (Sam Strike), a telepath often known as an L1, a younger man with harmful powers and a risky character to match. Why deliver a harmful telepath aboard your area mission? Properly, Thale’s uncommon presents don’t simply make him the ship’s unfastened cannon, additionally they imply he may simply be the one individual able to speaking with the Volcryn.

Earlier this yr, I had the chance to hitch a small group of journalists on the unimaginable units of Nightflyers in Limerick, Eire, the place Syfy’s area horror created the halls and hellscapes of the Nightflyer in putting, exceptional element. Whereas we have been there, we had a while to take a seat down with collection star Sam Strike to talk about enjoying the wildcard telepath aboard the spooky ship and what it was like working in such an immersive setting. The actor additionally mentioned getting inside Thale’s thoughts, hid difficult relationship with Gretchen Mol‘s Dr. Agatha Matheson, whether or not or not he considers Thale a villain, the enjoyable of enjoying villainy and rather more.


Picture by way of Syfy

We simply talked to Phillip. And he clearly talks a lot about your character as properly. So now we need to hear about your aspect of this character.

SAM STRIKE: Of Thale usually?


STRIKE: I imply, I think about I’m going to agree with what Philip stated, actually. What did he say? Are you able to inform me?

He’s principally an antagonist to Murphy, once we first meet him. However we by no means hear actually if he’s an precise good man or not.

STRIKE: What, Thale?


STRIKE: Yeah, he’s a good man… that is a debate I’ve been having with myself. I feel a lot of the time, for the sake of leisure functions, they’ll make the dangerous man weak. Which I feel is true, as a result of it provides the character some shade. However I additionally assume typically you simply are what you’re, I do know individuals which might be simply inherently dangerous, with no redeeming options type of factor. So, I assume it relies upon how the collection unfolds, I very a lot noticed him once I began out as being fairly evil. I imply, did Phil inform you what Thale …

Oh yeah, he units him on hearth.

STRIKE: That’s the factor, I set the bloke on hearth, proper? For no purpose. My character can beat you together with his thoughts, no have to set the man ablaze, however I did, which is fairly evil, have you learnt what I imply? In order that’s what’s fascinating for me in the intervening time, making an attempt to determine how he comes again from that. How does he redeem himself from simply setting somebody on hearth? So I assume the reply to the query is, I’m not even positive but. I don’t know. I feel his basic demeanor is that he’s a menace.

Is that just about widespread for all L1s?

STRIKE: Most of them are rounded up and thrown into a jail in a mountain. I really feel like, if any of us have been locked up and thrown into a jail in a mountain you’d be fairly hostile to the those that threw us in there ultimately. So yeah, it’s a blanket assertion.

Why particularly although is he taken from this jail and introduced onto the ship, versus any of the opposite L1s?

STRIKE: He has a relationship with Agatha Matheson, performed by Gretchen Mol. She’s taken care of him since he was a child, since he was actually little. I feel his motivations for going have been, what else am I going to do immediately? Why not? He sort of doesn’t have a life anyway, so why not go and see what this spaceship malarkey is all about? And I feel he goes as a result of he’s highly effective, and Agatha is aware of that he’s highly effective, and it’s simply kind of a comfortable connection, I feel.

Is it fairly enjoyable to play unrestrained villainy?


Picture by way of Netflix

STRIKE: Yeah, completely. I’ve began to carve out a type of profession path enjoying these types of characters now. I don’t understand how I’d describe them. Villainy is a good option to describe them, completely man. I wish to play a lot of these … I feel they’re extra enjoyable, there’s much less baggage. I’ve completed main man stuff, and I’ve executed a lot of those guys, and there’s much less baggage to be likable in a sense of, your hair’s obtained to look good, that sort of shit. Whereas these guys, you possibly can type of simply present up and be creepy, the place I don’t have to take a look at my feminine co-star with smoldering eyes and shit, I don’t should do any of that. So it’s fairly good, yeah. I take pleasure in it.

Do it’s a must to undergo any sort of transformation to play Thale?

STRIKE: Yeah, they put fairly a lot of make-up on me. They paled me up fairly good, and pulled these veins on the aspect of my head, I feel, to lend to the truth that there’s a lot going on up right here. I seem like a crackhead, I seem like a junkie, yeah.

Presumably, you aren’t a telepath in actual life.


So how do you go about sort of stepping into that headspace, and going by means of all of that?

STRIKE: I like to take a look at appearing as type of extra of a science than an artwork, as time’s gone on. I attempt and strip away all of the bullshit. I feel there’s simply a lot of bullshit surrounding appearing about, “I really thought I was really there, I was really in the groove, you know?” I’m not a telepath, and that is a level I made to somebody yesterday. I’m not, I don’t know the way it feels to be one. I’m not going to attempt and really feel like a telepath as a result of it’s completely unimaginable. I feel, to attempt and hold it grounded, I used to be like, who would this man be immediately? And the truth that he has powers and that he’s in area is simply an add-on. I don’t know in the event you guys are accustomed to the time period “chav”.

So within the U.Okay., a chav stands for council-housed and violent. Council home within the U.Okay. is the tasks for the States. I sort of was like, he’s been in jail, he’s a bit mischievous, a bit evil, a bit cheeky. He jogs my memory of a chav. He jogs my memory of the youngsters that grew up on the finish of my road. In order that’s sort of all I-

You play him up like that?

STRIKE: Yeah, yeah. And the telepathy factor, he’s had it his entire life. We don’t assume that our eyes are blue, or I’ve a cup of tea. It’s simply, I’ve a cup of tea each day, he’s a telepath daily. I don’t assume it’s like “I’m a telepath”, however yeah, it’s one thing I can do.

Do you must use an accent?

STRIKE: No, that is the primary time in years I’ve been capable of do my very own accent, which is very nice. I’ve been doing American accents for a whereas, nevertheless it’s good to do it, yeah.

Does everyone have their very own accents?

STRIKE: I feel so. I’ve not truly set to work with all the forged, as a result of I’m fairly contained from everyone else, however I consider so, yeah. I used to be scared at the start that they have been going to inform me to tug it in, as a result of it’s for an American viewers. However, I’ve been getting scripts, and they’ve began writing my vernacular into the script. My character will say like, “bruv” and stuff like that.

It’s good sooner or later they’re nonetheless utilizing the slang.

STRIKE: I feel, why not? The instance I maintain utilizing is pockets. We nonetheless have pockets, pockets have been round endlessly, how a lot is absolutely going to vary? Earlier than that time, or up till that time. Between now and then.

So that you say you’re sort of tucked away a little bit, and we all know you have got this antagonistic relationship with Murphy. What’s your dynamic like with the remainder of the crew?


Picture by way of Syfy

STRIKE: So I don’t actually get to know anyone else notably properly. There’s Agatha, who I’ve recognized my entire life, and then D’Branin, who Thale thinks is a little bit of a boy scout. He’s a little bit of a do-gooder, and he’s stealing the eye of Agatha from Thale. So I feel he’s a bit “ugh” about that man. Lommie, I feel, they’ve a connection in a sense that they each have these bizarre talents, and they’re each made fairly weak by them. However that’s it actually, I don’t get to work together with anyone else all that a lot.

In order that’s fascinating, why does his telepathy make him weak?

STRIKE: It’s a cliché, however I feel it’s as a result of it’s one thing individuals can exploit. I don’t wish to weigh on that too closely, when you’ve acquired energy, you’ve obtained energy. I name it what it’s. It’s not Spider-Man, it’s not a curse. I want I used to be Spider-Man. It’s not a curse. What it’s they’re each making an attempt to, I feel, harness what they’ve, and they don’t absolutely perceive it but, as a result of they’re each nonetheless fairly younger.

Within the e-book, and even within the 1987 film, the character goes utterly loopy. Is it the identical right here, within the collection?

STRIKE: I don’t know what occurs in the long run …

Up to now.

STRIKE: To date? My impression from the e-book is that what we did with the present is a bit totally different. Whenever you get despatched an audition, you get despatched a character breakdown, how they’ve described the character. And I checked out that, and I did an audition, and then once I came upon they have been receptive to it, I used to be like “I’m not going to pay too much attention to the book”, as a result of it appears we’re doing one thing respectful to it, however fairly totally different, and I didn’t need it to confuse me.

Have you ever gotten to the purpose the place you discover out if there’s a aspect impact to having this energy?

STRIKE: There’s not essentially a aspect impact, how do I put this? There’s one other presence on the ship that undoubtedly impacts him as a result of he’s an L1. You ever see that film Hancock? I’m not going to say, however there’s a plotline in there someplace, that’s sort of just like that. There’s anyone else there that’s making his powers falter, or making him falter, have you learnt what I imply?

So that you’re studying the place your character goes when the scripts are available episode to episode?

STRIKE: Yeah, they’re episode by episode. Being trustworthy with you, I stated this earlier than, and my brokers will kill me for saying this, however I sit right down to learn a script, and I get simply distracted. I feel, what it’s, is all I have to know is what my character is doing, the place he’s, the place he’s been. I don’t actually need to know anything. Going into a scene, I have to know what he’s making an attempt to do, the place he’s been within the scene earlier than, and then simply act accordingly. Which goes again to what I used to be saying about stripping down all of the nonsense round appearing. It really works for some individuals, for others it doesn’t. However for me personally, I discover if I learn a script it turns into work, it turns into an excessive amount of work and schooling. I’d somewhat simply come sharp and have enjoyable, and with Thale you possibly can, as a result of he’s mischievous. You’ll be able to simply present up and have a snort and terrorize individuals. I wish to wind up Gretchen Mol, who performs Agatha.

So, I’m getting the sense that he’s fairly near your character.

STRIKE: I don’t know, I suppose you begin to play to sort. I don’t know, I used to be by no means horrible. I’ve obtained as much as mischief that another child will get as much as….


Picture by way of Syfy

I used to be all the time a actually actually actually good child, like a choir boy. After which this kind of bizarre flip of occasions, and I began stepping into a little extra mischief. However what I feel it’s, I feel I play these characters as a result of I do know what scares me. Not a lot that I’m like him, however I do know individuals which might be like him, and I all the time discovered in the event you have been stepping into hassle, for instance, if somebody comes as much as you on the road and they’re screaming in your face and being on the aggressive, you simply … alright? As a result of they’re uncontrolled. But when somebody simply type of sits there and seems at you menacingly, and doesn’t say something, you’re like “Oh, fuck. That’s terrifying.” As a result of they’re not shifting, and you’re like “What are you thinking? What did I do? Is there something up my nose?”

So the horror parts, then. As a lot about character and as a lot concerning the type of principle of what somebody may probably do as they’re about bloody hearts, weapons turning into bloody hearts and issues like that, then?

STRIKE: Yeah, yeah. I feel so, yeah. I feel what’s scary is when you can actually think about it occurring, and I imply, I do know it’s high-concept as a result of we’re going to area, nevertheless it means our job is to, as actors, make it really feel prefer it might be occurring anyplace. And simply the truth that we’re in area is simply a circumstance of what we’re doing.

I’m type of asking as of everyone, in several types, however are you a fan of style, both horror, sci-fi?

STRIKE: I all the time appreciated horror as a child. I favored to be scared as a child, you understand? And I’ve carried out a little bit of horror, and performed a few murderers and stuff now, and so far as sci-fi goes, I beloved Star Wars once I was a child. I’m not as into it anymore, however I had the lightsabers and every thing. However I beloved it, I actually did. So I can respect it. Have you ever guys seen the units? Proper, so I obtained this job and I used to be like “It’ll be a fucking wooden spaceship and some green screen.” And I used to be proud of that, I used to be like “Cool, man.” And I get right here and I used to be like “Oh my word, this is insane.” So I can respect being, I used to be sufficient of a sci-fi fan that I can stroll onto this set and go “Wow, this is crazy.”

That is a actual aircraft.

STRIKE: Yeah, yeah. Completely. There’s the loading bay, and the set is so big. I walked in on my second day, and I’m all the time nervous going on set, the primary few weeks, as a result of I’m like “They’re going to fire me.” Pay them anyway, it’s positive. However I keep in mind strolling onto the set on the second day, and simply being like “Whoa”, intimidated by the size of the factor. However I feel as a result of I used to be a sci-fi fan once I was youthful. I want I used to be doing this once I was eight, when my creativeness was nonetheless raring and I had my lightsabers and shit. I might’ve been right here all day.

How a lot of an adjustment is that? Apart from working with a lot greater units, this a lot greater scale.

STRIKE: It’s not been an in a single day factor. It’s been 4 years in between the place I’ve accomplished different issues which have led me as much as this. I’ve set to work with individuals the place the work has been far more of an adjustment than this. If something, that is sort of the closest factor I’ve carried out to EastEnders since EastEnders. Yeah, I did a bit on Mindhunter, and I used to be working with David Fincher, and I used to be like “Oh my god, this is nuts.” I used to be a nervous wreck. I always remember my strains, I used to be forgetting all my strains, and I simply couldn’t pull it collectively. To go up there, that’s as robust because it’s going to get for me, whereas this, there’s nonetheless a components of, you’ve acquired to assume that these two are going up to now one another, this man goes to do one thing dangerous. Once more although, EastEnders is such a separate type of TV present than different issues, it’s such a unusual option to work. There have been guys there that I’ve watched on EastEnders my entire life, they’re simply doing their nine-to-five. They’re out having their cigarette breaks, and calling their mum, or no matter on their lunch break. They’re very, very regular individuals.

I obtained the practice to work day by day, and obtained the practice residence each night time. It actually felt like a common job, which I’ve finished. I’ve labored common jobs, and it didn’t really feel that totally different. So, have you learnt what? To be on all these loopy units, that’s a big change, yeah. An enormous change. They don’t shoot on HD cameras on EastEnders due to the units. When you filmed it HD you may see that they have been product of paper. And this isn’t the case. The lengthy reply to your query.

Working on a George R.R. Martin venture, how a lot chatter is there among the many forged about who’s going to outlive season one, and who’s going to be round for the long term?

STRIKE: I’m not massively conversant in George R.R. Martin’s work, which I feel stands as a testomony to the fact- I do know that he’s going to kill individuals. I don’t even watch Recreation of Thrones, however I do know what he’s infamous for. So, I feel individuals have been sort of advised early on what their destiny can be, so I don’t assume there’s an excessive amount of questioning as a lot as “This is how it’s going to go.” George R.R. Martin goes to … and there’s nothing we will do about it.

You stated that you simply have been a horror fan, what film would you examine the horror on this present to?

STRIKE: I assume it’s type of like that Alien, Occasion Horizon sort of factor. Yeah, it’s fairly particular actually, I suppose, horror in area. Alien. And that was what everyone spoke about fairly early on, our first director Mike Cahill, he’s acquired this actually overly-Californian accent, regardless that he’s from the east coast. He’s like “It’s like fucking Alien, dude. You know, like, monsters, and like, crazy shit, but on a spaceship.”

Horror in area. Good accent, although.

STRIKE: Oh, thanks.

Have you ever guys met, or spoken to George R.R. Martin in any respect as a a part of this?

STRIKE: I haven’t. I don’t assume anyone else has. He’s not been right here, to my information. I don’t assume so is my reply to that.

You identified that one of many issues that George R.R. Martin is understood for is killing individuals, in all probability the opposite massive factor is intercourse and nudity. You talked about you might have a relationship with Gretchen Mol’s character. Is that a platonic relationship, or what are we going to see your character getting as much as?


Picture by way of Syfy

STRIKE: That is one thing, as properly, I’m nonetheless determining. I view her relationship to Thale is sort of maternal, I feel, actually. She’s like bathed him when he was a child and all. So I might say it’s maternal, I feel they in all probability weave issues in to maintain you guessing, however my guess is nearly as good as your guys’, and I feel it’s a maternal factor. I feel that she cares about him, Thale will give her a little bit of a onerous time, he’ll be like “You let me watch you in the shower.” Simply as a creepy lecherous wind up. And he is aware of she’ll by no means go for it, however I feel he’s fairly bored and it’s a solution to get leisure to observe her go “Ugh, stop it.” Watch her squirm. However I don’t assume it should turn into being a romantic factor, however I don’t know. Out of my management.

Sci-fi is greater and greater on TV. Did you will have the prospect to see exhibits like Altered Carbon, or Misplaced in Area, perhaps? What do you consider the evolution of sci-fi on the small display?

STRIKE: Properly, yeah, I assume every part is available in waves, doesn’t it? And also you’re proper, the sci-fi factor actually appears to be choosing up in the meanwhile, I’ve observed. I began watching Altered Carbon, and then I didn’t, I can’t keep in mind why. However I like Joel Kinnaman and it appeared actually cool, it seemed actually stylish and rather well finished. I haven’t seen Misplaced in Area but, however I noticed the trailer. Appeared very costly. [crosstalk 00:21:33] So, I imply, I don’t actually have a lot to say on it, it simply appears to return in waves, doesn’t it? I feel final yr or the yr earlier than it was all Quantico, FBI-style stuff.


STRIKE: Yeah, Mindhunter, yeah. I’ll sort of simply experience the wave of no matter’s there, man. However there undoubtedly appears to be this insurgence of sci-fi stuff proper now. You’re proper.

With Nightflyers, you’ll be a part of this type of new legacy of Syfy on tv. How does it really feel?

STRIKE: Nicely that’s all the time cool, as a result of it’s an experiment actually, I suppose. I don’t know an excessive amount of about what they’re making an attempt to do, however I perceive they’re making an attempt to do a little bit of a facelift, a little bit of a rebrand, and this appears to be one of many flagship exhibits that they’re going to attempt and do this with, in order that’s thrilling. I’m always stunned at how a lot cash they’re throwing at it, you understand what I imply?

Are they masking the tattoos?

STRIKE: I simply put on lengthy sleeves man, I can’t. There was someday the place they needed to, and it took ages, man. It took endlessly. Usually, once I’m working I are likely to put on lengthy sleeves as a result of it saves everybody time.

Thale can talk and learn minds, and he can manipulate what they see. He can’t do anything, like he can’t see?

STRIKE: He’s getting intrusive, sort of, telepathic ideas the place he can see issues that’re occurring by means of anyone else’s eyes. However he doesn’t perceive it but, he didn’t actually know he might do this. However I feel because the collection unfolds, the extent of his powers will broaden. What that will probably be, I’m unsure. From what I’ve been filming, they appear to be opening up extra and extra and extra.

So he’s getting extra imaginative and prescient, than emotions and ideas, okay.

STRIKE: Yeah, and ones that he can’t management. He’ll simply be chilling, and then all of a sudden … yeah.

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