Disney XD’s TRON Uprising has its regular timeslot premiere tonight at 9PM (ET), and one of the fantastic voice actors in the series – which also boasts Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, and Bruce Boxleitner in its cast – is the incredible Lance Henriksen, who, in addition to being in a whole slew of fantastic movies, also starred in one of the best underrated TV gems of the 1990’s, Millennium.
Henriksen lends his really unique voice to the role of General Tessler, the main antagonist of Beck and TRON Uprising’s band of heroes.
“Tessler, to me, is the personification of self-doubt and megalomania,” Henriksen said to a group of reporters at a press event that we attended for TRON Uprising. “When I say self-doubt, everything frustrates him. If somebody doesn’t do what he wants, it frustrates him, and he wants to de-rez them. That’s what power does. It makes you drunk, like Tessler is,” he explains.
Why does he do it? Lance Henriksen says his cause is “sheer power.” “He wants to be Clu, but he’s not smart enough, I don’t think. He’s more like an institutional dud general that just doesn’t have the intelligence to go that one step further. On a one to one, he’s good. He can manipulate, and push, and de-rez, and threaten. I know people like that. I’m from New York, that’s why I know ’em,” he laughs.
Is he completely bad? “Nobody could be bad all the time, There’s got to be a moment where they go ‘who am I’?” Henriksen ponders. So could this mean Tessler could be redeemed? “Maybe if the writers hear me saying it, and if you guys put it down, then maybe…” he jokes. “I just think that nobody can get through life and not pay for everything that they do. So I would rather be the victim than a person causing misery on somebody, because I’m not going to have to pay for it again. They are. I’m certain of that.”
Regarding that TV role that he is so fondly remembered for, Henriksen notes that technology has changed things so much since he first played Frank Black. “When I started Millennium, 9/11 hadn’t happened, and you find that the uses for technology have really infiltrated our personal lives in a major way. They’re micro-managing us, now; that’s what I feel. I’m not a radical, but I don’t think that that’s the right thing to get into our lives to that degree, and technology is helping us do it,” he says.
You can catch TRON Uprising tonight at 9PM on Disney XD.