At this point in my life there are few things beyond real life horrors that really give me a good scare or can genuinely shake me up. Perhaps that is simply a product of the world we currently find ourselves living in, where every evening news reports can carry plenty of horror. That being said, most true fears reach from the bygone time of our youths, where we all experienced nightmares of monsters or walked gingerly into the dark rooms of our homes for fear of what could potentially be creeping just around the corner. My personal youthful nightmares largely stemmed from two movies that I undoubtedly viewed before the recommended age; The Exorcist and The Omen. The latter was my first foray into true psychological fear, not from the visceral views of carnage or the rotating heads, but instead from the idea of true, pure, and unrelenting evil. Part of what stayed with me after those viewings was that, in my mind, the situation playing out with the Thornes seemed totally plausible and a scenario that could still play out. Last year the potential of that horror reappeared as a looming specter when A&E announced Damien. The story of a man haunted for years with fragmented memories and woeful foreboding, who comes to find through a course of surreal encounters, that he himself is none other than the prophesied Antichrist. I had tons of questions about the show and was fortunate enough to take part in a conference call with the creator and showrunner of the A&E series, Glenn Mazzara. Here is some of what he had to say about the series and the character.
Regarding finding someone who could pull off the role of Damien and portray the multiple facets of what’s going to be coming his way:
Glenn: “I wanted someone who could be youthful and charming, but also had something unseen brewing underneath the polished and endearing exterior. Once Bradley James (Damien) got in front of us and read, it was a no-brainer.”
When asked about how the chronology of the movies vs the show would work, Glenn had this to say:
Glenn: “Our show picks up from the first movie only and does not reflect the events of the second or the third movie.
I asked Glenn, “With all the forces of evil surrounding and closing in on Damien, where would the rays of good and hope come from?”
Glenn: “The good of Damien comes from those around him. Those are his closest ties to humanity and he is fiercely loyal to them.”
When asked about the events of evil happening in world and how Damien plays into that:
Glenn: “The world has been punctured by evil and Damien is the reason!”
At its core Damien is about the struggle within that all of us face. Each one of us has the capacity to be a force for good or a conduit of great evil. Damien forces us to examine that duality, as well as the idea of a predetermined destiny. Is our struggle folly? Do we already have a predetermined path set before us that we are powerless to alter? Or do we make our own destiny by simple works carried out every day? As we follow Damien’s journey, perhaps we will find insight into our own and come to grips with the darkness that we all carry, as well as that which keeps us grounded in our own humanity.
Damien comes on Mondays at 10 pm EST on A&E, come hang out with us as we will be live tweeting during the premiere: @The_GWW.