Jeff Branson previews his turn as Master Jailer on SUPERGIRL
Superman’s Master Jailer (sort of) is on the verge of marking his Supergirl debut. And the Master Jailer himself, Jeff Branson, called me to chat about his very first appearance.
First of all, how did you prepare for this role?
I did my homework. Google’s how I prepared for this role. I wanted to know every incarnation of the Jailer. When I was reading comics, I never came across him. He was used in a different era. I wanted to understand where he was coming from and what the original history of him was and go from there.
Is this character based a lot on that character?
To a degree. There are aspects of the character that are 100% true to the comics, but then there’s a little bit of backstory that had to be adjusted to fit the story of this universe that we’re seeing through Warner/CBS.
What was it like wearing that costume?
(laughs) It was fantastic. It was dead sexy, that’s what it was. It was a blast. They did a really thoughtful job of making me comfortable and making the character look strong and solid, and with a lot of reverence, a lot of gravity. It’s a very grounded outfit. There also had to be a lot of technicalities. The outfit had to be mobile. I had to be able to bend, twist, turn. I had to be able to deliver dialogue in it. They had a lot of things to consider. And they nailed it. The outfit was great – great, great, great.
Were you able to incorporate any of your ideas for the role, or was it pretty much scripted?
I think I got a grasp on it. I think my take on it was agreeable with them from the word ‘go,’ right from the first appointment. Lexi (Alexander, the Director) came up to me several times and said, ‘you know, there’s no adjustments to be made.’ She liked the direction things were going in.
You’ve played a lot of different roles in your acting career. What attracted you to this role?
Oh gosh, every man – I can’t speak for the women – but every guy in Hollywood’s got two dreams. He either wants to do a Western or do a Comic Book Hero. I jumped at this when I got the opportunity. This is a dream come true. I think some of my attributes lend themselves to playing a villain, and this is a cool villain. It was a blast.
Tell me a bit about your upcoming TV movie Party Monsters.
Party Monsters is something Chad Lindberg and I are working on right now. Chad and I are good friends. He’s a very talented actor. We are basically doing some fictional characters that we have seen through history used in a traditional way, with their traditional backgrounds. And, we’re gonna put them in a grounded way into modern day life in Hollywood, L.A., dealing with the transient, rat-race lifestyle that you can end up living in in beautiful Southern California. We’re gonna have them deal with real issues. We’re gonna exploit their own backgrounds that they’ve had. For instance, we’ve got Dorian Gray; we’ve got Jekyll and Hyde; we’ve got Frankenstein. We want to be true to who they were in the books and the novels. We want to show them in this modern day, work-to-live, kind of society. And there’s gonna be complications. There’s gonna be this detective who’s trying to decipher who the hell these guys are and where they came from. There’s gonna be a lot of scandal. We’re gonna implant these guys with as much reality as we can. We did a kick-ass Kickstarter which raised a bunch of money, and we’re so grateful for it. And we’re gonna start shooting the pilot episode. Chad and I got really busy with Pilot Season going on in L.A., so we’re gonna start shooting the pilot episode for Party Monsters the first of March. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.
Do you have anything else in the works right now?
I do, can’t talk about it (laughs). I’m so sorry – just two things we’re wrapping up deals on, nothing I can talk about at the moment. The biggest things right now that I’m dealing with, to be honest, are Party Monsters, Pilot Season, and my two year-old son. Those are the three things I’m dealing with right now.
Catch Jeff Branson as the Master Jailer on “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” the February 22 episode of Supergirl, at 8 P.M. on CBS.