Dark Matter: Jeff Teravainen on playing Lieutenant Anders

Jeff Teravainen
Jeff Teravainen
Dark Matter is ready for round two after a mind-blowing season premiere that left fans reeling. Heading into the second episode of the season, Two (Melissa O’Neil), Three (Anthony Lemke) and Four (Alex Mallari Jr.) continue their search for an escape from Hyperion-8, and encounter a few unlikely allies. Meanwhile, Commander Shaddick (Franka Potente) goes on a relentless hunt for a confession from the crew of the Raza for their part in the explosion of the Mikkei research facility.

For his part, Six (Roger Cross) is still grappling between his duties to the Galactic Authority and his guilt over betraying his friends, leading him to major decision that affects the lives of everyone involved. That decision includes Lieutenant Anders, played by Canadian actor Jeff Teravainen. We spoke with the actor about his expanded role in Dark Matter‘s Season 2, what he learned working alongside an acting veteran and his voiceover work in iconic Canadian television.

TTVJ: Lieutenant Anders has had a very much expanded role this season working closely with Six. What can you tell us about his character?

Jeff Teravainen: Six and him not only worked together, they were really good friends. Anders really cares about Six. It’s really pained him to see what’s going on, but at the end of the day Anders believes 100 per cent in what he’s doing. I think he’s a very good guy, he’s got all the right principles checked off, it’s just that unfortunately the world they live in is very convoluted. The police and the military are influenced by corporations with different agendas. He’s a straight and narrow guy who’s doing the right thing, but unfortunately it’s not the right thing overall.

TTVJ: In the premiere we found out that Anders played a large role in helping Six figure out his own identity, which was hinted at in the finale.

JT: I think totally eagle-eyed viewers would have figured out that I was the rebel soldier, but slowly it seemed to come out on Twitter. Anders wanted to make Six’s transition as easy as possible; how easy it could be I have no idea, since you’re betraying the only friends you really know. Six seems like a good moral compass type of guy and when he found out what had been happening he had to turn the rest of the crew in for everybody’s safety.

TTVJ: I think Six’s situation is very sympathetic, though we know that the rest of the Raza wouldn’t agree.

JT: I just imagine what it would be like to know that you’ve basically blown up a space station which has killed so many people. You would be questioning everything. You can see it too. When I was doing the ADR I got to watch some of the scenes and Roger plays it amazingly; he’s hurting.

Syfy
Syfy

TTVJ: You’ve had the chance to work closely with Roger Cross while filming Dark Matter, and he’s someone who has been in the business a long time. Were you able to learn anything from him?

JT: Oh man, yeah. I love working with these people in general because you always learn something; if you don’t, you’re in the wrong business. Roger is such a veteran and the one thing that blows my mind about Roger is on set, not only does he know everybody’s name, he’s so friendly, and when you walk with the guy everyone’s so happy to see him. It’s great because [going in] you know he’s obviously going to be such a treat to work with.

Actors come in all shapes and sizes and one of the things I hate about myself is that I get very nervous about stuff, making sure I have everything down. So when Roger would be relaxing and talking with people before a scene I would be buried in my lines or whatever I needed to do, and I really made it a goal to be more [like him] and enjoy it more, because you can see he just loves what he does. He knows his work and he knows he’s ready to do it. It’s been so much fun working with him, and I consider myself a small fry on the show, but when we’re doing scenes together he’s completely engaged with you. I hear stories about some bigger actors who save it all for their side of the take and they give you a little here and there, but every take we would do together he was just as intense as the first one.

TTVJ: Outside of Dark Matter you do a lot of voiceover work. One thing that really stuck out to me was that you were the voice behind Hockey Night in Canada.

JT: I did it for many years. That was a really special thing because some people watch certain shows and have certain tastes, but I found with my friends and even family members, when they found out about that it was a big deal, they were so proud. You try to get certain family members to watch a certain show, but with Hockey Night in Canada they were so excited. You know what I’m talking about, it’s a Canadian thing.

I’ve also voiced the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, and those were pretty special as well. You get to realize that you’re part of a very big thing.

TTVJ: What can you tell us about what’s coming up next for Lieutenant Anders?

JT: I think people will be surprised that he’s a lot more multi-dimensional than he was when you saw him in the first season. There’s a lot more going on with him and around him in general. I’m looking forward to people seeing him as more than the heavy-handed guy you saw in the finale.

 

Have you been enjoying more of Lieutenant Anders? Sound off in the comments section below.

Dark Matter airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space Channel and Syfy.

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