NYCC Interview: Roundtable with Alan Ritchson from TITANS

Alan Ritchson tells us why he hates that DC’s TITANS is considered a “darker” spin on the Teen Titans comics.

DC recently launched its own streaming service called DC Universe. And for its debut show, DC’s decided to take a darker spin on the comic series Teen Titans. But when we sat down with Alan Ritchson to discuss the darker tone of this new show, he said that he hated that word… darker.

It’s a little cliche these days to be like oh it’s darker, people started that with Harry Potter – like oh it’s darker this year, like ok, I guess that’s what you say to sell people on something being cool & give a shit but that word means nothing to me. Like what does that mean? Darker? *reporters try to expain* But what does it mean?

It doesn’t say anything about the content. I hate that word. Are we exploring the human condition in a way that you know scrapes the scab off of stuff that other people are afraid to talk about and yes it does and it does it in a really brutal way which I think we start to see it like one and two and it’s a look behind the mask.

So taking his cue, we dived more into the intricacies of producing such a complicated and character driven show. Especially with characters that have withstood the test of time, Ritchson shared with us just how challenging but also exciting working on such a project really is.

I walked into a stunt rehearsal for the first time and I saw someone working the bow, working the staff, and it was just *imitates staff work* around the back, it’s like holy shit, his stunt man is amazing. And then Brenton finishes up and he’s like “okay, cool, your turn?” I was like “that was you?!”

I mean, everybody’s gone the distance for this to explore these characters in them and I love that it’s also a peek behind the mask you know? You don’t often get to explore relationships in the way that we do in this and like, you spend time in Hawk and Dawn’s apartment and they’re not doing anything super. And that’s special, that’s special. So getting to explore that and see that happen, that’s been a peasant surprise.

 

As we continued talking, we learned more about Hawk’s relationship with the Titans and how this adaptation hopes to focus in on the journey of each Titan and the human nature.

I think I’m just excited that the fans are finally getting like a really raw look at superheroes. I think, for me, the reason I don’t go and see Infinity War or any of these is like, there’s no stakes in, you know, everybody feels invincible all the time. You know, I play a superhero without any superpowers, how great is that?

*then he goes into a story about the first time he realizes that his character has no superpowers* [2:00]

And can we be a little bit transparent here? You would never know it from his performance in the show but Ritchson claims that he wasn’t really given much material to prepare with. Now if that’s not a testament to his incredible talent and skill, than I don’t know what is.

You know I asked for some comics because I didn’t know a lot about Hawk and so Jeff Jones said ‘yeah cool, we’ll take care of it, we’ll send you some stuff.’ And so the package arrives and I was like oh cool, let me tell my wife I’m gonna be busy for a few hours, like I got to read. And it was one comic. I was like oh ok I guess there’s not a lot on this guy. Okay, I read it, cool, I think I got it, I think I get who this guy is.

And so I show up and I’m getting to know Minka a bit and I was like “what did you do to get to know your character?” and she’s like “oh yeah they sent me all the comics” and I was like “oh you got that one too?” She’s like “no, what? they sent like 80” and I was like “you got 80 comics? I got one!!” I guess they don’t give a shit about Hank Hall I guess. But yeah so now I feel under prepared. You know, I did my best.

Titans is now available on the DC Universe Streaming Service.

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A storyteller at her core, Shannon loves writing about the stories that inspire her everyday. When she’s not busy writing and binge watching TV, you can catch her out exploring the world and trying new foods and activities. “At least try it once. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll have a good story to tell.”

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