To a generation of fans of sparkly vampires, Billy Burke is best known for his role as “Charlie Swan,” the frequently put-upon father of Kristen Stewart’s Bella in the Twilight movies. Folks who are more familiar with his TV work may recognize Burke from his recurring parts on such series as Rizzoli & Isles and My Boys. On 24, he played a character named “Gary Matheson” on Day Two of the series. Now, Burke plays a different Matheson – Miles, no relation – on NBC’s upcoming science fiction series Revolution.
In Revolution, the world has been without electrical power for fifteen years. Landmarks become overgrown, computers are a thing of the past, and everyone adapts to a new way of life. The United States appears to be overrun by a militia, and some, like Burke’s Miles character, seem to have decided on a more low-key lifestyle, avoiding the drama. As we will see, though, he is quite a scrappy fighter, which Burke promises we will see through flashbacks throughout the course of the series.”Initially, he was a military guy. He had a skill set coming in, but during the fifteen years that has taken place after the blackout, he’s learned to do stuff without guns. That’s where the knives and swords come in. And it is two tons of fun, I’m tellin’ ya,” Burke enthuses to us at the Revolution press room at this year’s Comic-Con.
But if Miles is such a fighter, then why did he go off the grid? “He’s done that on purpose,” Burke reveals. “Again, we’ll learn through a series of flashbacks, the progression of how that happened. He was in the fight for a long time, and had to get out because he’s seen too much, and he just got sick of it. So what do do you do? You go to Chicago, and start a bar, and make your own booze. That’s where he’s been for the past 15 years,” he says.
Burke thinks common fears will allow the audience to identify with Revolution. “It’s the fascination with ‘what would you do?’ We base everything on the fear of dying, so you take that concept of ‘everything goes away,’ and how would we get along, and how would we find each other? You’ve got so many places to go. I think that’s what it is. There are just so many avenues that you can go down, and people love the guessing game,” he says. Seeing the finished pilot, Burke admits he was very happy. “I’ve got to tell ya, I was grinning from ear to ear. I’ve done a lot of pilots. Been around for a long time. And it was just, obviously, with this pedigree, with JJ [Abrams] and Eric [Kripke] and [Jon] Favreau directing… you try not to have expectations, but when I saw it, I was like ‘they got it right.’ These guys are all home run hitters, and they make everybody else want to be home run hitters, too. We’re all excited to do it. It’s a fun gig.”
Revolution premieres Monday, September 17 on NBC. Stay tuned for more Revolution interviews here at KSiteTV in the coming days!