DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is only THREE DAYS away – premiering this Thursday, January 21 on The CW – and today, our spotlight turns to Casper Crump, the man who plays the evil and immortal villain Vandal Savage on the series.
Vandal Savage – himself a longtime character from the DC Comics universe – is nearly unbeatable and long-lived, seeing his life extended every time he kills incarnations of the two Hawk-people once known as Khufu and Shay-Ara. The character was first introduced in this year’s Arrow and Flash crossover.
We spoke with Casper Crump last week on the CW portion of the Television Critics Association press tour to find out a bit about what makes Vandal so savage.
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: What had you known about Vandal Savage as a character before you got the role?
CASPER CRUMP: Before it? Nothing, really. I had been a comic fan…. not like a die-hard comic fan; I’ve read comic books when I was younger, and then when I got this part, I was like “Whoa. Who is this dude?” He’s the coolest villain ever, really!
Had you done episodes of Legends of Tomorrow before you did the Arrow and Flash crossover?
Yes. We did some of the pilot before it. We did it all at the same time, which was pretty confusing. “All right, so we’re in Episode 2 on Legends, but we’re in the crossover…” I shot literally two different shows on the same day.
At the end of the Flash and Arrow crossover, it appeared that Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) was the one to bring Vandal Savage back. Might we be seeing him on Legends of Tomorrow?
Do we know that he was the one who actually did that? Because I don’t! He did take his ashes and stuff, but that’s all I know.
What do you think Vandal Savage and Damien Darhk would think of each other?
Best buddies! Well, maybe not best buddies, but they’d respect each other. They sort of have the same goals. I hope that they will get together and do stuff.
Vandal obviously wants the Hawks dead to extend his own life. Has he ever tried a different tactic, like being friendly with them?
[Laughs] Well, I think he tried in ancient Egypt. He wanted to be friendly with Hawkgirl. It didn’t work out. That pissed him off, and he’s still mad about it. But no. Not in our story. He hasn’t been friendly to them, but I think he will as we progress.
Do you think he has any other goals beyond killing Hawks?
Well, there’s the world domination part. But the thing about him is that he’s not just your regular villain. He’s not after money, and he’s not after bombs, or nothing. He just wants to be the one guy in the world. But what I have been asking myself is “so when that happens, then what?” And I haven’t gotten the answer. What would you do if you had world domination? And it’s not something like “then I’d do good with the world, and no wars…” He’s dark.
What is it like as an actor to play a character who is pretty much unbeatable?
It’s great. It’s a great aspect to have in every scene, knowing that no matter how tense the situation gets, I can always get out of it. None of them can kill me.
In the comic books, Vandal Savage has a daughter. Are you aware of that?
Is a character like Scandal Savage someone you’d like to see on the series?
Oh, totally. I’ve been begging for that.
Do you, yourself, understand Vandal Savage’s motivations?
I think we all have them, but everything tells us just not to go down that path. And then some people do. Just look around; they’re all over the place. There are “Vandal Savages” all over the place. But he has more time than anybody else.
Is there something particular you’d like to see Vandal do on the show?
I would like to see Vandal actually help out the team, for his own good, of course. Let’s go save some people and be nice. I help you out, to obtain what I want in the end. I would love to see that.
The show has such a huge fandom already. What was your reaction when you first saw the fan reaction to your casting?
It’s crazy. I had no idea. It came out… I got an e-mail from my agent saying “yeah, I think they’re going to release some press on it today,” and I went and sent a headshot over and said “you can use this shot,” and thirty minutes later, it was just all over the place. I am very thankful. Really. Every day I sort of pinch myself, and now it’s just starting.
Do you think the fans will be pleased when they see the show?
I really hope so. I have been trying… I don’t know if many people do this, but I’m listening to a lot of the podcasts, and all these things that fans put out there, and bloggers… It’s really helpful. It answers some of my questions. I try to incorporate what they want, if I can have any say in that. I hope they’re going to love it.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow premieres this Thursday, January 21 on The CW. Visit our Legends portal, DCLegendsTV, for more on the show!