Joe Anderson previews THE RIVER on ABC

A lot of you will recognize Joe Anderson from his roles in Across the Universe, The Grey, oh and that small film called Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt2, but starting tonight, he’s taking on a different one – that of a series regular on a prime time TV show.  Joe plays Lincoln Cole, son of the missing Emmett Cole (Bruce Greenwood) on ABC’s THE RIVER.  Lincoln is reluctant to believe his mother’s insistence that Emmett is alive, but he tags along on the exploring mission to see what kind of closure he can get along the way.

I talked to Joe this morning about what drew him to the show and why he thinks people will love THE RIVER like we do! Check it out and be sure to check out the two-hour season premiere of THE RIVER at 9/8c on ABC (follow the jump for the text of the video)!

I’ve seen the pilot and first episode three times now, and I’m still on the edge of my seat!
I’ve seen it twice, and I’m still on the edge of mine, so we’re doing good!

What was it about the show, what did you know about the show going into it that drew you to it, to wanting to be a part?
I think one of the most appealing things for me was not being stuck with the character, not being stuck with the locations.  In other words, it was going to be different each week.  new problems to solve, there’s new locations.  Your characters can shift and change very, very quickly, and due to the sort of supernatural, magical aspect of the show, that can happen incredibly quickly, and that can happen without warning or without too much specification.  It’s interesting to see where these writers are going to take us, and what I am going to have to try and do as an actor.

I like that too, you’re not just solving a case of the week, you’re not doing something you see all of the time.  Not many people deal with as much supernatural stuff as this show does, which makes it different than other things that are on the air.
Yeah, definitely, and I think where they’ve been really clever, the creators of the show, is not making it one thing.  It’s not just a supernatural show, it’s not just an adventure show.  The problems and the issues that we’re going to face, be it bad guys or be it bad things, it will be a variety, from things that are absolutely real and current, to things that are much more mythological and out there.  It’s going to be very diverse, in terms of what it explores.

And it’s a show that you don’t want to give things away.  The reveals are what makes it exciting, but what can you tease for people about what they will see in this 8 episode season?
One of the things that drew me to this, and that I thought was pretty amazing, were the larger themes, and the discoveries that will be made over the course of the season, and not just, you know, episode to episode, and some of those ideas are really awe-inspiring.  To top it off, each episode is just like its own little intense gem that you are going to be able to snap on, an turn on the TV and hopefully get hooked on it right away.  It should be pretty accessible all the way around.

Has there been talk about where the show can go beyond these episodes; has there been talk with the creators and the cast about what happens next?
Absolutely!  It’s one of those things where of course the cast members, go, “I’m not going to get killed off, am I?” [laughs] I’m not going to die by next season, am I?  The truth of the matter is that they’ll give us some idea, but really, they don’t want to lock anything down because it’s always a work in progress.  It can be as simple as we might not be able to hire that location for the day, so therefore, we might have to change this set up or this scene, or the way this works.  If they tell us early on, it’s pointless by the time we get to shoot it because it would have changed so many times, it would have gone through so many different forms.  What they give us sort of generalized head spaces, so that we’re not worrying or panicking about what’s going to happen next season.  We have a general gist about where our characters might be going, but nothing is set in stone, and we’ll never get a straight answer.

I love the relationship between your character and Leslie [Hope]’s with Tess.  It’s a different mother and son relationship than we’ve seen on TV.  Can you talk a little bit about the chemistry there, and how that came together?
It is a different relationship to ones we’ve seen on TV before, and that’s partly to do with the way Leslie plays Tess.  She is not just a rough and tough woman who is on an adventure, or on expedition to find her husband, but she’s a mom, and she’s sensitive, and she’s just incredibly colorful, the way she’s painted and made this character, and incredibly vulnerable at the same time.  So what that does, is it means that Lincoln has to support his mother, but at the same time Lincoln is his own man, and in his own right, I think he wants to take charge. He’s a doer.  He figures things out.  But essentially, mom holds higher status than him on the boat.  She’s mom and she’s captain when Emmett Cole isn’t there.  It’s a really interesting relationship between the ebb and flow of respect, and control, and love between them.  I think it just makes for a real, real relationship on screen.