The Strain recently saw its main character Dr. Ephraim Goodweather undergo a few changes, from a new clean-shaven head to making some deadly choices, and it seems that the good doctor will continue straddling the line of morality throughout the show’s second season.
(If you aren’t caught up on The Strain, you may want to click away now!)
Corey Stoll plays Eph, a former CDC director and leader of New York’s most under-appreciated strigoi killing gang. Over the last few episodes, Eph and his partner Nora (Mía Maestro) discovered a virus that could effectively wipe-out all of the vampires, but last week Eph faced some trouble in the form of his old boss, Everett Barnes, while en route to take the curefection to Washington D.C. The struggle ended with Eph pushing Barnes from the train and during a recent chat with reporters, Stoll admitted that Eph will only continue crossing lines as the show progresses.
It’s clear that Eph’s sense of needing to kill to stay alive has only grown since the show’s first season. “The first time he killed anybody intentionally he was being attacked and that was sort of purely defensive. As the first season went on, he became more inured to killing to the point where he doesn’t really sort of flinch killing people who are completely turned,” said Stoll.
This season, Eph feels darker as a whole (which we guess happens when your wife has been turned into a vampire and is being sent after your kid by the ruler of all vampires), especially his decision to experiment on the poor old couple that turned before their eyes. “He crossed the line, again, at the beginning of this season experimenting on freshly turned people and then [killing Barnes] is another one, and then sort of the ratchet that sort of keeps pushing him past these lines that he never thought he would cross…it definitely from that point on to the rest of the season, he is in a different place, morally.”
Another new thing about Eph this season is his son Zach. Fans reacted with mixed feelings when they learned that last season’s Zach, portrayed by Ben Hyland, would be replaced with this season’s angstier, angrier Zach, played by Max Charles.
Surprisingly enough, Stoll wasn’t too bothered by the change, since the new material called for Zach to be in a different place emotionally. “The material was so different from Season 1 to Season 2 in terms of the types of scenes that I had. It really is almost—it would almost be a whole new sort of relationship even with the same actor,” Stoll said. “I think maybe that had something to do with the recasting with a sense of that this character was going in a very different direction from where he had been in the first season.
“…just the very nature of the scenes are so different. In the first season, Zach was really an object really in the fight between Kelly and Eph. Here in this season he’s much more willful and self-governed.”
And in case you were wondering who Stoll thinks would win in a fight between Eph and his Ant-Man character Darren Cross, that answer would be “Darren Cross” because he “has a daily workout session; he’s in top shape and he’s very aggressive.”
The Strain airs Sunday nights at 10:00 PM ET/PT on FX.
Photo Credit: FX