3 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
Mania Exclusive Interview with Reaper's Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters
The Creators and Executive Producers of “Reaper" give fans a preview of the second season.
By Tim Janson
March 02, 2009
The cast of CW's cult hit Reaper(2008).
Reaper was the sleeper cult hit of the 2007-2008 TV season. The quirky horror/comedy about a young home improvement store employee named Sam, who discovers his parents sold his soul to the Devil, gave viewers a unique show full of fresh characters and storylines. Mania recently had the opportunity to interview the shows creators and Executive Producers, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, about what fans can look forward to in the second season that begins Tuesday, March 3.
Mania: How satisfied were you with the ratings performance for the first season of Reaper?
TB/MF: Of course we’d love to be the number one show on TV, but barring that, we were pretty happy with our ratings – we often beat much higher profile shows on the network (like Gossip Girl, for instance), and our reruns got almost as high of a rating as our first-run shows. Our core group of fans always stuck with us, which is great – we hope that will continue to grow in the 2nd season.
Mania: As the first season progressed, the plots became more complex and a bit darker, especially surrounding the possibility that Sam is the Devil’s son and the deal his parents made. Yet the show never manages to lose the humor that keeps it light. How hard is it to maintain that balance?
TB/MF: Our primary goal in all of these shows is to be funny, and we have actually found that the darker you get, the funnier you can be. And while the mythology of the show got deeper and more complex, we simplified the soul-of-the-week stories – the show became less procedural and more character-based, allowing time for our guys to do stupid things that have nothing to do with the plot. Which is always funny.
Mania: Sam’s Ex-Girlfriend, Cady, was sent off to visit her mother in the middle of the season and not heard from again. Will she be returning?
TB/MF: Nope – Jessica Stroup, who played Cady, has a very nice gig on 90210 now. We really liked Jessica and the only reason we didn’t revisit her storyline in the 1st season was because we had an enforced hiatus due to the strike – when we came back and only had 5 episodes to wrap everything up, we had to accelerate certain storylines and leave others behind.
Mania: We’ve learned a bit about Sam’s friends Sock and Ben. We’ve seen their families and home lives, but we still don’t know much about Andi. Will we learn more about her this season?
TB/MF: This season we flesh out Andi’s character a bit differently – first, she gets promoted at the Bench, so she has to deal with being her boyfriend’s boss, and, even harder, being Sock’s boss. Second, we really get into Andi and Sam’s relationship, and how Andi feels about Sam’s second “job” working for the Devil – as Sam gets more comfortable in his position as Satan’s minion, Andi gets more nervous that he’s a little too comfortable. We had fun complicating Andi’s life, and viewers will get to see different facets of her personality.
Mania: The gay demon neighbors, Tony and Steve, were hilarious and a stroke of genius. Will they be back for season two?
TB/MF: Yes they will. And they are as hilarious as ever. Ken Marino and Michael Ian Black are brilliant comedic actors, and we are so lucky they stuck with us.
As a side note, we were very proud to get a GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series this year – due in great part to Ken and Michael’s wonderful, sweet and funny portrayals of Tony and Steve. We’re very honored.
Mania: Will Gladys (the demon) be back at the DMV?
TB/MF: Yes she will. Christine Willes is hilarious as Gladys, and just gets better and better every time we have her on the show.
Mania: I think Ray Wise is deserving of at least being discussed for an Emmy nomination for his role as the devil. Was he the original choice for the role?
TB/MF: As soon as Ray walked in the room and auditioned, he was the first and only choice to play the Devil, and we were so lucky to get him. We agree, Ray should win lots of awards for his fantastic performance – it is so nuanced, at once funny and terrifying – not many actors can pull that off.
How does Ray enjoy working with a cast, most of whom are less that half his age?
TB/MF: Ray is a bit like the Devil in his timeless attitude – he gets along amazingly well with the rest of the cast. I think it helps that he has kids around the same age – he speaks that language.
TB/MF: Just a comment here, but I have to give props to the show’s wardrobe people…Wise is the best-dressed actor on TV.
TB/MF: True, true, true. It’s the tie. Perfectly matches Ray’s insanely blue eyes.
Mania: Would you care to share any other teasers or tidbits that fans of Reaper can look forward to in the second season?
TB/MF: There are a few new characters coming that we’re very excited about, they just complement our cast so well and really flesh out our world even more.
-- Morgan, played by Armie Hammer, is the favorite son of the Devil, and Sam is tasked with “training” him in the ways of capturing souls. Morgan is everything our guys aren’t – slick, hip, great hair, designer clothes and fancy sports cars… but deep down Morgan just wants Dad to love him – and he will do anything to make that happen.
-- Nina, played by Jenny Wade, is a demon assassin who is initially supposed to kill Sam… and then starts dating Ben.
-- Kristen is Sock’s Japanese step-sister, played by the adorable Eriko (from “Heroes”). Sock is instantly smitten with her, but Kristen clearly only wants to be siblings. So Sock spends much of the season trying to bang his sister. Perfect.
Mania: Thank you so much for your time. Best of luck with season two. I know Mania’s fans are looking forward to it.
Thank you! We are extremely proud of every single episode this season, and can’t wait to share them with the fans.
And don’t forget, the second season premiere of Reaper is Tuesday, March 3, on the CW!