In the newest issue of the Official Heroes Magazine, Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman) was interviewed and shared his thoughts on starting out as an actor, life on the run as a fugitive this season, and the fantastic writing staff, and how they continue to amaze him with their fresh take on his telepathic abilities. Below is an excerpt from the interview.
HEROES MAGAZINE: A few months ago, your childhood pal Jesse Alexander said you used to run a frozen yogurt delivery service. Even back then, were you harboring dreams of becoming a Hollywood actor?
GREG GRUNBERG: I’ve wanted to be an actor my whole life. Growing up, I would do community theater. In elementary school, I was Tom Sawyer [in a school show]. I was always that kid who wanted to either play sports or act, so I’ve always known I had the bug.
I never thought of it as a career until I realized I had to take a chance on this. It was right after college that I decided now was the time. I opened a frozen yogurt store with my Dad on Melrose Avenue [in LA] I’ve always had the business bug in me. I was sharing an apartment with [Lost creator] J.J. Abrams and I didn’t know whether I was going to write or act. I was actually Joel Silver’s personal driver for a year. I was doing everything I could possibly do, so it was either take acting seriously now, or never.
HEROES MAGAZINE: Were you pleased how they’ve utilized Matt’s detective skills to piece these mysteries together during the series?
GREG GRUNBERG: That was always something I brought up to them; it’s Matt’s nature to be the investigative character. He’s not going to sit and wait for somebody else. That’s what a cop does; he just powers through to get these
answers. It became more than just being able to dig into someone’s mind to get the answers. It¹s a personal thing for Matt. To give you an example, we shot two endings to season two. One was where Matt is standing at the podium
with Nathan when he gets sick from getting the virus, and then there was the assassination. When we did the assassination, we didn’t know what was going to happen to the show. During the writers’ strike and hiatus, I remember
having conversations with [Heroes creator] Tim Kring. Then [former writer] Jesse Alexander called and said, “We have some great stuff for you.” Those are the greatest calls because they get excited when they write. When I got
that call, I said to Jesse, Tim, and [former Heroes writer] Jeph Loeb, “Let’s make sure this is consistent. If there is an assassination, I’m a cop! I’m going to start my hunt at that moment. I’m not going to let whatever security is there chase after this guy. Someone in this room is the shooter and there are only about 50 people there. They are mostly reporters so if I see someone suspicious, I’m going after them!” That’s the way we picked it up, which was awesome!
HEROES MAGAZINE: In Fugitives all the heroes have to combine forces to survive The Hunter. How did Matt fit in with that?
GREG GRUNBERG: Without question, the hunters have become the hunted. The Hunter is ultimately following orders but like all of us, he is letting the power get the best of him and can’t control his vengeance on all of us. The Hunter is vulnerable and we just have to find out what his weakness is.
We shot an amazing scene when The Hunter is leading a band of agents and I use my power to turn The Hunter on his own men. It’s another one of those great mind-reading moments. Just when I think they’ve dried up the well, they come up with something so cool. It goes back to me being able to read the mind of Ted Sprague’s wife, who was in a coma in a hospital. That stuff is brilliant. I really liked being inside Angela Petrelli’s head recently. It was so creepy. The director of that episode had a very clear vision of what it should look like it was very spooky, and something we hadn’t done on the show.
You can read the entire interview in the March issue of the Official Heroes Magazine.
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