When Heroes Reborn hits the air on September 24, the biggest link between the new episodes and the original series is the presence of Jack Coleman‘s character with the horn-rimmed glasses, known as “Noah Bennet” to his family but known to fans worldwide as “H.R.G..”
The glasses are back – the first pair seen in the Super Bowl promo for Heroes Reborn was actually a pair from the original series that Coleman had kept – and the show is back, ideally inspiring a new generation of fans of a show that was a worldwide hit.
The return of Heroes, though, was a bit of a surprise to the show’s cast, who all texted each other in a group text when the first word of Heroes Reborn came out.
“I hadn’t even given it any thought in a really long time,” Jack Coleman admits about whether or not he thought the show could return. “The first year – maybe even two years, I thought it could happen, but it hadn’t really occurred to me and I just really hadn’t thought of it, and then all of a sudden I saw the eclipse and the Heroes logo and 2015! So when Tim called, it was like ‘Oh! Good! I’m very happy to be part of this’.”
Contact from creator Tim Kring didn’t come immediately, though. “I just figured whatever’s happening, I’m going to find out about it eventually. It may have been a couple of weeks [before] he actually texted me, but it was a while. I was in Ohio doing a movie, and I remember we had a long conversation on the phone,” Coleman recalls.
During the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour, it was confirmed that Claire Bennet, the cheerleader who needed saving in the original series and Noah’s daughter, died in events prior to Heroes Reborn. With that said, though, we shouldn’t expect her character to be far from the series, even if actress Hayden Panettiere isn’t present. “I will tell you that Claire figures very prominently throughout the show, and whatever form that takes, she is not forgotten. Ever.”
And will Claire’s other family members — particularly mother Sandra and brother Lyle — react to Claire’s passing? “I’m not sure,” he admits. “Probably not right away. It could come to that.”
Coleman did reveal that Panettiere was one of the many actors from the original Heroes series on the group text talking about the show’s return, and that he remains friendly with the original show’s cast, having seen Adrian Pasdar (Nathan) and Leonard Roberts (D.L.) within the past week. He assures the new cast has also bonded very well, as if lightning has stuck twice. And, in success, would Coleman like to continue with more Heroes beyond this first season? “I’d love to see it go on, but I also understand if it doesn’t, and I am not going to be gutted if it doesn’t, because to get to put the glasses on and revisit it… it’s certainly the coolest character I’ve ever played on television, so I’m just thrilled to get the opportunity to go back,” he says, before being asked about another character he will be reprising in September — that of Senator Bracken on ABC’s Castle.
“He is a link to a deep, dark story that’s about to unveil itself, and he’s not in a great place when we revisit [him],” Coleman reveals, before praising that cast, as well. “I’ve had such a time working with Stana. She’s just a doll, and so is Nathan… the whole cast… Jon and Seamus, they’re all so great… but Bracken and Beckett are intrinsically linked.”
Heroes fans might remember that Coleman and Stana Katic also worked together on Heroes. “We got killed at the same time in ‘Five Years Gone’ in the first season, at the hand of Matt Parkman when he was like the Director of Homeland Security and the world was a very, very dark place,” he recalls. “Kind of not that far off from where we pick up Heroes now. It’s not that same reality, but it’s not a dissimilar kind of environment.”
Heroes Reborn premieres September 24 on NBC. Stay tuned for more interviews in the coming weeks!