Falk Hentschel plays one of the two winged warriors on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, playing Carter Hall a.k.a. Hawkman, one of the most famous characters from the DC Comics universe.
We recently spoke with the actor about the role and what we can look forward to from Carter Hall in the future. Don’t miss a new episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow tonight (January 28) at 8PM ET/PT on The CW!
What was your reaction when you put on the costume for the first time?
That was amazing. I loved it. I was like — that part of you as a kid that makes you want to be an actor, that just wants to play and pretend and run around in costumes… I was just jumping for joy. I stood in front of the mirror, and then I put the helmet on, and it fit perfectly!
That’s the other thing: I put it on, and there wasn’t too much to be done other than slight alterations. Where other cast members had difficulty, it was just perfect.
At any point did you pretend you were Wolverine?
[Laughs] I’ve read that it’s like I’m the version of Wolverine. No, I didn’t connect to that until later on.
Were you grateful that your costume wasn’t shirtless?
That’s a great question. Yes, because that famous cross that he wears and nothing else…! I was like “Okay. So that cross is only held by somebody like The Rock. But no, I was very happy about that.
Before you started filming the role, were you given any backstory of what Carter was doing before he met Kendra?
To be honest with you, no. I asked, obviously. Let’s put it this way: I was filled in when I needed a backstory, but when there isn’t given one because we don’t have time or there was no opportunity to talk to somebody, I just made it up. That’s the wonderful thing about imagination; you fill it with life.
Can you talk about how Carter is so much more into the reincarnation thing than Kendra is at this point?
Since Carter remembers more, I keep calling him “the uncle of humanity” because he’s sort of been there all along. Not all along, but for 4000 years, he’s had the chance to see the evolution of society: good and bad. So, I think he’s just naturally been formed by that, being able to remember, always, whereas for Kendra it’s been a new discovery every time. Memories come back, but who knows how long they made it before Vandal Savage came around.
In a selfish way, that’s what I gravitated towards, because that’s a fascinating part about him, because what is that like to be around for that long that you can face all of your demons? Just on a personal level… we all have these issues that we deal with throughout our whole life, whether it’s our parents, or relationships… we have our demons. Now that he’s been able to do that 206 times, what is that like? Has he dealt with them? He’s really getting to know humanity. On the other hand, he’s super lonely, because nothing lasts but Kendra, which is why he’s mad about her, more than just being in love. I think she’s a life line for him.
Do you think Carter is aware that Kendra knows or remembers more than she’s letting on?
I think he has a hint. I think in the crossover episodes, you’ve seen it. Otherwise, why do you say these things? He’s pretty aware of it.
Do you think Carter has any past lovers that were not incarnations of Chay-Ara?
Personally speaking, I would hope so. I’ve always had this idea in the character prep…. I wanted him to be open-minded. I wanted it so that he flies in and at some point finds her and she has a family. She has kids. A man. And he leaves her be. I’m assuming the same for him, as well. And then, I think he’s like “all right. I’m going to enjoy my life as much as I can.” And I think that’s what I’m really drawn to. These two have a chance to really look at all these values and rules of society because they can’t apply to them. I’m just having a blast thinking about what he’s gone through.
How does it feel to be one of those few actors to appear in both DC and Marvel productions? (Falk Hentschel did an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..)
It’s really cool. To be honest with you, both of them came at a surprise. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. obviously was a shorter run… [but] it was open ended; I was told that they don’t know if he comes back or not. This one, obviously, was so much more immersive. And then being a villain, and then being a superhero… that was really cool to be able to flip flop from that. I was like “yeah! I get to be a good guy for once!”
Can you talk about some of the actors you get to work with on Legends?
The entire cast is lovely. Not just as actors, but also as people. It’s rare that you just naturally gel with everybody. Obviously, some more, some less. Casper [Crump] and I… he’s become a really close bud. Our roots lie in Europe, so we connected over that, and Franz [Drameh], as well, is a really cool guy. Wentworth… you know, honestly, it’s so hard to pick any one [out]. All I can say is that it is nice to have chemistry on screen and off screen, and just have an easy ride.
Is it hard when you’re such good friends with someone who is trying to kill you on screen?
What I think it does, it creates a comfort and a willingness to play, because you feel safe to be silly, which is what acting is, making a fool out of yourself in front of everybody, and hope it goes well. I can’t wait for more scenes with Casper.