X Company’s Dustin Milligan on Growing Tension in the Team

CBC
CBC

While some members of the X Company team have had to take drastic measures this season and now seem headed down a very dark path–yes, Harry (Connor Price) we’re looking at you–others have stepped up to the challenges in front of them as the team works towards the ultimate goal of an Allied invasion at Dieppe. Tom (Dustin Milligan) recovered from near fatal injuries earlier in the season and has since returned to the team with a renewed sense of the mission, and just exactly what he’s fighting for.

With his new level-headedness towards war, Tom may prove valuable in maintaining peace within a team that is growing more and more divided over Aurora’s (Evelyne Brochu) leadership tactics. The TV Junkies spoke exclusively with Milligan about Tom’s new perspective and what fans can expect from Wednesday’s episode “La Verite Vous Rendra Libre” written by Adam Barken and directed by Amanda Tapping. Milligan also discussed his recurring role on the CBC comedy series Schitt’s Creek where he plays local veterinarian Ted Mullens.

The TV Junkies: Tom seems to have a new perspective on the war since he’s rejoined the team. How will that continue to come into play as they head toward their final mission?

Dustin Milligan: What we’ve noticed as the season has goes on is that what started as a small fracture in the bond of the five of them, has now developed and burst into cracks, and fissures are opening up. As we head towards this final mission though Tom sees this opportunity to do what he does, and what’s always been a part of his skillset, which is talk some sense into the team. Tom is trying to rally the troops and what he experienced with getting shot and heading back to camp for awhile is that ‘yes, things are hard, things are real now and it’s not just about these ideals we have.’ Tom has never been one who has wanted to pull the trigger, but he sees the reality in that and now he sees how he can play an integral role in this final mission, reminding the team of what’s really important here, ‘yes, we have our differences but ultimately there’s something much greater than us that needs our absolute focus and attention.’ Otherwise all could be lost.

TTVJ: Harry has started down a pretty dark path. How much of a danger does he pose to the team and will Tom try and help him at all?

DM: Tom is coming into the team having stepped away a little while and has that outsiders’ perspective. With Harry, everyone is concerned, but Tom really sees–having experience post traumatic stress himself to a degree–the effects on Harry, who in many ways is the idealized family member back home or the innocent we’re protecting back home. That’s what he was when he started on the team, this young guy, full of hope and positivity and now that’s absolutely been tainted and affected for the rest of his life. Tom is seeing this from a position where he can hopefully talk some sense into him and help him see the brightside amongst all of the darkness around him.

CBC
CBC

TTVJ: Tom goes undercover again this week on a mission. Are those scenes fun as an actor and what are your favorite scenes to do on X Company?

DM: What I really enjoyed were a lot of the one on one scenes Tom has had. It’s interesting because in the first season, more often than not we were together in a group or paired off, but as these fractures are occurring within the team, we’re seeing more one-on-one mini-missions within the larger construct of the mission. I really enjoyed the scene I had a couple episodes ago with Klaus (Vinzenz Wagner). Out of the entire group, Tom is the one who has the most fun with going undercover and enjoys the swagger of it and the deception. Any opportunity that I have as an actor–to have that joy, revelry or power–is always an absolute joy to do.

TTVJ: We know everything is leading up to the Dieppe invasion in the season finale, is there anything you can preview about the challenges the team will have before they can get to that point?

DM: That’s the heart of it. It’s obvious now that the team as a group, especially since Aurora has been so absent the last few episodes–doing important work but taking things on that aren’t as safe or follow protocol as strictly as the rest of us would like. There has to be some kind of unity forged, despite the increasingly dire situation that’s building around them. Historically we know what happens in Dieppe, and how much of a disaster that is, so audiences can expect that even leading up to the mission things won’t go as well as we all hoped. That will play a huge factor and how are we actually going to be of any importance in this mission whatsoever, considering what’s falling apart around us.

TTVJ: Tom and Krystina (Lara Jean Chorostecki) had some nice moments together back at Camp X earlier this season. Is there any hope for a relationship between those two?

DM: That was one of the joys of the season for me, to do those scenes with LJ. It was a different way to approach that relationship, but you can’t deny, when you see the way these two people look at each other, and once you understand the history between them, that there’s something more there. I think both of them are realizing, despite the “no strings attached” nature of their relationship, that the reality is there’s always strings attached, especially in war time. You start to understand who really matters to you. Who is it that you’re really fighting for? I think it’s clear that part of why Tom wanted to go back was because of the feelings that were stirred up back at Camp X. Even though he’s realizing how much this person means to him, and how much he cares for this person, it’s driving him to go thousands of miles away and put his life in direct danger. That seems like a backwards way of approaching it, but makes sense when you consider what was at stake.

TTVJ: Are you sure Tom didn’t just want to be reunited with Neil? [laughs]

DM: I mean that’s the other right? [laughs] Maybe he kissed Krystina once and then was like ‘I’ve got something I need to take care of.’

TTVJ: What’s it like switching gears to Schitt’s Creek and were you surprised after being dumped by Alexis (Annie Murphy) that Ted would still be hanging around so much in Season 2?

DM: It’s an honor to be on a show with so much talent in every single department, and to be invited back and have my role developed. To have Ted change and evolve as a character is such a treat. Most of the time as actors we’re not so lucky.

CBC
CBC

TTVJ: Despite how things ended for Ted and Alexis, why was he still willing to give her a chance with a job and can you preview a little how things will go with her now working for him at the vet office?

DM: If you follow the show you can guess how it’s going to go. Ted is realizing that he was maybe too giving. The vacation he took–by himself to the all-inclusive couples resort–really changed him. I think that’s important in getting out of a relationship when you realize ‘do I even know who I really am?’ You have to do some soul searching, as was evident with Ted pulling up on a motorcycle, slightly scruffier and with a James Dean-eque haircut. He’s obviously changing and part of that is not taking Alexis’ bullshit.

He’s growing a backbone and a big part of that means he no longer will give Alexis the benefit of the doubt as often. It’s an interesting dynamic between the two of them because she held the power for so long. That will also be part of the dynamic in the vet office. Not only am I her boss, but because of the shift in dynamic between the two of them, the interactions are different and there’s a bit of mutual respect going on that maybe wasn’t there before.

TTVJ: Should Ted come back in Season 3, who would you like to see him get some screen time with?

DM: Number one on the list would have to be Bob (John Hemphill). That would be number one and I think literally then everybody else. But really it’s one of those things where every single person is great and everyone you get to work with is great. But that guy cracks me up so much.

TTVJ: Can you share a little about your upcoming movie Me Him Her and where fans can look for it?

DM: It’s an indie coming of age comedy. It’s about an actor on a hit show who is gay and wants to come out but has never told anyone except for a strange college friend and roommate. He flies the friend out to Los Angeles for moral support, this is who I play, and instead of helping my friend I end up falling in love with a lesbian I meet at a bar. It’s not really a love triangle but plays with a lot of those same beats. It’s really funny and a touching movie–one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done. It’s available on March 11 on VOD which includes iTunes, Amazon and some select theaters in the U.S.

 

Are you looking forward to seeing how Tom will keep the team together? Sound off in the comments below!

X Company airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBC. Schitt’s Creek airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBC. It returns to Pop TV in the U.S. on March 16.