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Brandon Routh on Fear Itself

Published June 19, 2008 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of WireImage
Brandon Routh Brandon Routh
Brandon Routh stars in the Fear Itself episode "Community." He plays a man trying to move his family into a planned community, but of course this community has frightening secrets. Suddenly, the family man is not in control of his own life.

Brandon Routh Feels Fear Itself

"The loss of control is certainly something that happens, is a theme in my episode," said Routh. "It's very scary. It's almost sometimes more scary than a ghost because we don't know how we're going to respond to that. I think that's what's interesting is we get to see how this certain character responds to a lack of control. Do they give in? Are they unable to respond, or do they fight for their life? How much do they care about their life and their existence? How much are they going to fight to change what their situation is? Kind of faced with those situations daily, but on a much smaller scale."

"Community" tells an entire story in one episode, so Routh did not have ongoing TV work. However, the standalone presented its own difficulties. "Instead of shooting maybe four or five setups a day, different shots, you're shooting eight to ten, with a crew that has not worked together before, with a different director, with a different cast. So the flow that you normally have from episodic or even a film after a week of shooting, you really get into a flow of shooting on a film, but when you only have eight days, everyone has to kind of band together and create that cohesive unit much quicker. So it's a very collaborative enterprise. Pushing the limit as far as the stories and the detail, I feel like my story is very involved. There's a lot happening. It's not a couple scenes, a couple days. It's a great kind of journey that you go on. So, putting a lot in there."

After a major gig like Superman Returns, Fear Itself was like guerilla filmmaking. "Well, I've done a large film, I've done independent, and I've done this. I think there's a nice middle ground. There's something nice to being a little bit rushed sometimes because then you're not thinking as much. It's also nice because we as actors, or at least me, sometimes I can think too much about a scene. I think it's nice to have a little more relaxed atmosphere. It kind of makes things a little bit easier. But that being said, I think we made an amazing episode, and everybody made it work and is making it work as they continue to do more episodes. Maybe the crew is getting more used to it, so it's just the actors have to go in and adapt. Generally speaking, we're pretty good at that. That's part of our job, is adapting and working together."

Routh has been working consistently since Superman, but still must choose his roles carefully. "It's important how I present myself and this is a great opportunity to show America who Brandon Routh was outside of the cape and tights, certainly is pretty much all people know me from. And so it's a great opportunity to play a real person, real emotion and I was excited to have a great opportunity to work with Mary Harron who is a fantastic film director who brought a great quality of cinematic feel to her episode. It's a thrilling episode. I didn't really want to do anything that was blood and guts only. Something like this which is very scary because it's almost kind of real. It could happen."

Fear Itself airs Thursdays on NBC.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of WireImage

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