Another day closer to the series premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on The CW, which means it’s time to share another interview with a member of the cast!
Today, the spotlight falls on Franz Drameh, who plays Jefferson “Jax” Jackson, the new half of the duo that makes Firestorm. He’s paired with Victor Garber’s Martin Stein, and together, they make up an explosive part of the new team.
Legends of Tomorrow premieres Thursday, January 21, and you can read a whole lot more about it here. But for now… the interview! And, as a bonus… a video interview with Firestorm’s “other half,” Victor Garber, can be found at the end.
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: Jax is probably the only character who is tricked into traveling through time. Can you talk about that aspect?
FRANZ DRAMEH: When Rip Hunter approaches the whole team with this offer to travel through time to defeat Vandal Savage, Jax wants absolutely no part of it. He’s not interested. So Stein drugs him and kidnaps him, and essentially, Jax wakes up mid-time jump on this ship, having no idea where he is or where he’s headed to! So it’s kind of a crazy adventure for Jax.
How does he feel once he’s finally there?
He’s pissed! He’s really annoyed. He just can’t believe that he got tricked into going on this extremely dangerous and life-threatening mission. But, you know he comes around.
What was it like to do the Flash episode that led into Legends of Tomorrow?
That was really fun. It was really cool. I was excited to see how Jax would get his powers, and the kind of connection that he would build with Stein. It was a really fun episode.
At what point in the process did they tell you who Jax Jackson would be?
When I cast for it, the breakdown was “Mystery Hero Michael.” And I was like “Okay, I wonder who this is.” I’m a big comic book fan, so I was like “who is this?” And I was reading the sides, and I saw Stein’s name pop up… so I was like “is this…? Is this Firestorm? I think this might be a Firestorm! But they already have a Firestorm!” So I had an idea, but I wasn’t exactly sure how it was going to work out or what exactly it would be. But I kind of had a feeling, pretty early on.
Have you been able to meet Robbie Amell yet?
I have! He’s a very cool dude.
Which one of you has the cooler Firestorm costume?
Me! Watching The Flash, I was always bummed that Robbie didn’t have a fully fledged suit. I was like “dude, come on. You need to get a Firestorm suit!” So when they told me that I’d actually have one, I was so excited. I was literally over the moon.
What was your reaction when you put on the costume for the first time?
I think I ran around the fitting room going [shooting noises] and pretending to shoot fire and fly around like a little kid.
What was your reaction the first time you saw the visual effects for your character?
Oh, man. It was insane. It was crazy, just watching it all come together. That’s Firestorm! It’s nuts.
What is it like to work opposite Victor Garber?
I have so much fun. We have really good chemistry. We get alone like a house on fire. We’re always teasing each other and trying to wind each other up. We just have a really good level of banter. It’s so much fun working with him. I mean, just bouncing ideas off each other… it’s nice. It’s nice working with Victor.
We still haven’t heard a lot of talk about Jax’s family. Do we get to meet any of them at any point?
We might. I mean, that’s a possibility. I hope we’ll explore that… Jax talks a lot about his mother, but we’re not sure what the deal is with his other family, so maybe that’s something that will be explored in later episodes.
Was ever a consideration to let Jax be British?
Not that I know of. [Laughs] I would’ve loved to use my own accent, but no.
As an actor, when you’re doing a scene with, say, Arthur for example, is it hard to keep the accent?
Yes and no. Not necessarily with Arthur, but the challenge I sometimes find is when you’re doing different dialects, keeping it consistent. So let’s say I’m doing a “New York” kind of thing, I might slip into a more “L.A.” [voice] – you have to watch it and reel it back in so you keep it consistent.
What does Jax think of Rip Hunter?
I think Jax is still making his mind up. Rip is very focused on the mission at hand. He has a clear goal and to a degree, he doesn’t let a lot get in the way of that, so he makes a lot of tough decisions, and some decisions that Jax doesn’t agree with. But Jax is still working him out, as he is with the whole team. There’s a lot of conflict in the group. It’s a team that gets thrown together very quickly, and we have to work together and work as a unit. Things don’t necessarily go to plan. There’s arguments, there’s fights…. yes, it’s a crazy mixing pot of individuals.
If you yourself could go in time to any period, where would you like to go and why?
I’d go to the Dark Ages. Like, medieval kind of times. I can imagine myself on a horseback with a sword just charging into battle. I love that kind of thing.
Do you have a time period that has excited you the most, that you’ve visited on the show so far?
I quite like the future. That’s interesting.
What are you most excited for fans to see on Thursday?
I’m excited to see how fans react to this whole new team. I feel like that is, in my opinion, one of the truest forms of the whole comic book genre, is that idea of a team. Like, the Justice League, the Teen Titans… that whole kind of thing… just coming together and working as a unit, fighting side by side. The fight scenes that we have in this show are epic. So, I hope that fans will really enjoy it.
You can see Legends of Tomorrow this Thursday on The CW! Preview images from the first episode can be found here. And, now for a bonus… Firestorm’s “other half,” Victor Garber! Enjoy: