Peter Jacobson stars in USA’s newest dystopian drama series Colony as Proxy Alan Snyder, the leader of the Transitional Authority in Los Angeles, and talked about the show and his character during the Television Critics Association winter session.
Instead of the usual story that strings us along from the very beginning with the Aliens invading and what happens next, Colony starts us off after that’s already happened. Now we’re dealing with the aftermath of how people are surviving the invasion and what they have to do to stay alive and keep their families together.
After being separated from their son during the invasion, Will and Katie are willing to do whatever is necessary to be reunited with him. Proxy Snyder (Peter Jacobson, House) offers Will a chance to get his son back if he will collaborate with the occupational government, Will and Katie find themselves faced with the toughest decision of their lives. They will have to go beyond whatever they thought possible, risking their lives and their relationship to protect their family.
When you sign on to a Carlton Cuse show, you just know there are going to be twists and turns at every corner and might not know much about your character or the story until he wants you to.
Jacobson says that “it’s always amazing with Carlton on who dies, who lives, who’s this new character. It’s like peeling an onion every week. It’s always new.”
Do you like that the show starts off after the invasion?
“If you’re going to have a show about relationships, character, and humanity it doesn’t need to be about the initial attack. And that’s the point. It’s there and we know it, but it’s really about what’s happening underneath and that’s what’s beautiful about it. So, I hope that vibe comes through and people lock onto that. There’s got to be a certain amount of bells and whistles to sell a pilot. It’s a tricky thing of any pilot and first season. You have to show something and sell it so people come back. At the same time, you want to stay true to the art of it which is to be as subtle as you can, and roll it out as slowly as you can. So there are two competing forces there.”
Collaborators are people that were chosen by the Hosts, like Proxy Snyder, or Will, doing what he has to do to survive and keep his family alive. But mostly as a way to get his son back.
Is he good? Is he bad? What do we really know about Proxy Alan Snyder?
“My character right away is obviously a collaborator extraordinaire,” says Jacobson. “And by episode four or five you get a much great sense of what’s going on with Snyder – where he’s been and why he is where he is. So I think it takes a little more time to see why people are doing what they’re doing as opposed to the resistance with so much violence and death it’s clear what people are fighting against. Will’s [Holloway] dilemma in the pilot is it’s very clear what the forces are that brings somebody like him to a collaborate. His family has been separated. it becomes clear that Katie [Callies] position within the resistance has a negative impact on the family and can be incredibly dangerous. Will’s collaboration becomes dangerous as well which builds tension between the two.”
What do we know about the Hosts? Will we find out more about them and who they are?
“That’s probably the slowest rollout of the whole season. Who are these things, these people, these whatever they are and why are they here and who’s in charge and how did the humans under them become in charge?”
Is your character the top guy? Who’s really in charge?
“There will be times in a scene where we [Baker] would get onto set together and we start asking, ‘Am I above you? Who’s in charge?’ That kind of ambiguity and uncertainty is what helps keep the show interesting.
When do we find out more about Snyder? What’s his story? How did he become a collaborator?
“We do meet some of my family later on and you get that this person has a heart and he’s doing what he’s doing, with purpose. He’s been through some separation himself, but don’t trust everything Snyder says as even ‘I don’t know how much I’m lying.'”
Proxy Snyder is the pragmatic and charismatic leader of the Transitional Authority in Los Angeles. After the Arrival, he proves that he is a true politician and leads all aspects of the Occupation. Armed with the Redhat army and ever-present drones, Proxy’s Transitional Authority is tasked with keeping order and stability in Los Angeles.
Proxy knows that his Occupation movement needs someone as strong and valuable as Will Bowman to fight alongside them in order to combat the growing threat from the Resistance. Ever the cunning politician, Proxy also knows exactly how to make people do what he wants.
Colony airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA.
Photo Credit: USA Network