INTERVIEW: Undercover Red Hat: Torry Kittles Of Colony
I attended a press conference with the actor whose role is pivotal to the series.
How long in advance did you know that your character was actually a Red Hat as well as Resistance?
Tory Kittles: I found out about a week before everybody else did. I didn’t get that episode until we were already shooting number three. And I think we were about half way shooting number three when I read that and took me by surprise just like it did everyone else. One of the reasons is that I had to shoot the amazing (Kathy Baker) who had been so sweet and so nice. So that took me by surprise.
And is there anything at all you can kind of tease at all about the next episode with your character maybe?
Tory Kittles: Yes, sure. I think, you know, there have been sort of bread crumbs and clues about Broussard and his history that have been sort of sprinkled through the episode leading up to episode seven. You know it finds (Broussard) at a very precarious place because in six, you know, it’s the first time really that (Broussard) and (Will) have come face to face. And there was a moment in episode six where (Broussard) had his gun pointed at (Will) and he doesn’t take the shot because of his relationship with (Katie). And because he doesn’t take that shot the story sort of gets flipped on its head and now (Will) is going to come after him. So it’s sort of a rare it’s a very pivotal point within the structure of the whole season actually because everything sort of gets turned upside down.
But I guess since I was just talking about him and the things that have lead up to him this season, you know, there are some parallels that (Broussard) shared with (Will). Like the first time you meet (Broussard), (Katie) comes to him and she, you know, she’s asking for his help in finding in (Will). But he reveals that there’s some parallels because he says guys like me and (Will). So just looking at where he is now and where we’re going to find him in episode seven. There’s been all sort of clues that (Ryan) and (Carlton) have laid out throughout the course of this season to get us to this point. And in episode seven, it’s all going to come to a head.
Tony Tellado: Hi, Tory. It’s great to talk to you. Really enjoying with what you’re doing with this guy. It’s a really interesting character.
Tory Kittles: Thank you so much. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Tony Tellado: What I think one of the themes of the show and apparently he’s going to also kind of go to this precept the whole question of do you collaborate or do you resist and, you know, who is your friend and kind of your enemy. Kind of speak about that seems to be one of the central themes of the show. You can kind of talk about that.
Tory Kittles: Well, you know, what’s interesting about (Broussard) is that he finds himself very clear about what side he’s on, you know, because he is one of the leaders in the Resistance Movement but yet he’s undercover as a Red Hat. And he’s having to deal with seeing the things that the Red Hats do on a daily basis, you know, and he’s gathering intelligence. But I think that plays a big effect on his humanity. Like the opening teaser from episode four, you get a brief glimpse when he takes off the camera and you see sort of the weight that he’s been carrying just by being in the presence of these guys because it’s in direct conflict with everything that he’s trying to accomplish but yet he needs to do it accomplish. So it’s a lot of irony within that but it’s definitely weighs on him.
Tony Tellado: What’s also interesting about the series to me is that the fact that, you know, you have this outside agency there that (canveighed) and he personally – kind of comment on the fact that he kind of has to keep his cool and not let his emotions, you know, get the best of him. I think his training comes into view there.
Tory Kittles: I think you’re absolutely right. His training, his background, his history and you’ll find out, you know, more this week. It’s been teased that he does have a government background. He was a soldier. And so all of those things have taught him how to survive in a war time. So that’s essentially where the colonists are living. Its war time and you have to choose what side you’re going to be on. Whether you’re going to, you know, comply with the occupation which is something (Broussard). You know he’s very clear. He’s very clear about, you know, what he wants and I think he’s also he’s a person and a leader in that he would sacrifice himself so that everyone else can have the freedoms. He doesn’t want to give these freedoms and he’s willing to die for that.
You have a pretty extensive body of work. With so many choices out for TV, whether it’s conventional TV or Netflix or Amazon, what drew you to Colony and what was the audition process like for you?
Tory Kittles: The script drew me. The script, you know, it was something very different than anything I’ve ever done before. It definitely combined a lot of elements from things that I liked. You know? Like I’m a big fan of Sci-Fi. I’m a big fan of action. I’m a big fan of thrillers. And it had all of these elements. And at the very core of it though it was a family drama and I could identify with these characters. So it was the script. And then after I read the script because which was only the pilot episode that I read, you know, and I didn’t know what they were going to do with this character. So I had no idea that this character (Broussard) was going to become what it has now become. And so I never foresaw that. I just trusted that you know (Ryan Condal) and (Carlton Cuse) were involved and you had all of these other great people involved in this show. You know (Holloway) and (Sarah Wayne Callies), (Peter Jacobson). And it just felt like something that was very fascinating but something that I should do. I would be crazy not to do it. At least go for it, you know?
(April Webster) was the first casting director that I met when I came to Los Angeles so 15, 16 years ago. She is the incredible casting director on this and she put me on the phone with (Ryan Condal) and I had the conversation with him. After talking to him for a few minutes, I knew I wanted to work with him. And so I went for a meeting the next day with (Ryan), (Carlton), and (Juan Campanella) who directed the first three episodes — the Academy Award winner (Juan Campanella). Then I read a couple scenes from the pilot and I think I may have done it two times. But it was a very easy, very relaxed meeting and I think we just all, you know, it was a good fit. When I walked into the room, like, I just really dug the vibe. And I think they dug me obviously and they hired me which is great. It was a great opportunity for me.
I’m wondering if you can tell us a little bit more about (Broussard’s) relationship with (Quayle)? Like that’s pretty interesting and we don’t know too much about it yet.
Tory Kittles: Yes, we’re going to find out a bit more about the nature of their relationship in this coming episode because, you know, what happens at the end of episode six is where (Quayle) suggests that (Katie) is a double agent. And I don’t think (Broussard) feels the same way. So there’s a big conflict that he’s struggling with because here you have someone that’s a mentor that you have a history with in (Quayle) and you trust (Quayle) but yet all of (Broussard’s) instincts are telling him that he can trust (Katie). So I think he’s struggling with himself and he doesn’t know whether he’s been manipulated or what at this point in the story. And I think in episode seven, he’s going to have to do some digging to find that out.
Tony Tellado: One of the things that kind of strikes me about him is that he’s had to kill including (Kathy Baker’s) great character. How does he deal with that morally? Do you think there’s any conflict in him taking a life?
Tory Kittles: Okay. Well, let me say this. Tory Kittles absolutely had a conflict with shooting (Phyllis) the amazing (Kathy Baker) because not only was she a sweetheart she baked for everybody. She actually brought cookies for everybody. The only scene that I had with her was, you know, when I had to shoot her. It’s a definitely conflict and Tory felt awful. (Broussard) on the other hand felt that there was a necessary tactical decision and I think he stripped the emotion away from it because she was somebody who was higher up in the occupation. And his objective is ruling the occupation, destroying the occupation. You know she’s a casualty because of that.
Tony Tellado: And I love the scenes between you and (Sarah Wayne Callies). They’re just so cool. Kind of describe what it is? To me, it’s like kind of a spy thing but also she’s kind of begging to reach him for his humanity a little bit too.
Tory Kittles: I think she sees his humanity intact. I think that’s the nature of their relationship because he has all of these experiences and he is sort of a hardened guy. But underneath it all I think he has a huge heart and I think she keeps him close to that. She keeps him in a place where he’s able to not only make tactical decisions but also make sure he doesn’t get away from the humanity. And he understands the loss and the sacrifice and the ramifications of the decisions. It’s not only to just go ahead, we’re going blow up everybody. We’re going to destroy these people. I think she makes him understand that it’s not just doing it, it’s how you do it. You know I think she keeps him close to himself in that way. And, yes, it’s great to work with (Sarah) because she’s a fiercely intelligent, compassionate and smart actor so it’s a joy to work with her.
Tony Tellado: And real quickly do you think him working on the house is also a metaphor for him for rebuilding the world as well?
Tory Kittles: I think on a more intimate level it’s him rebuilding himself, you know. You know we’re going to find out more in episode seven about the depths that he has been in in the military and the depths of his connections within the government. We’ll find out more about that this week. But I think on a more intimate personal level, the house represents something for him to hold on because he’s been away. You know we know that from episode one that’s he’s been away. He says to (Katie) when she comes to see him that, you know, when I was overseas there was no need for me to buy a house. And now when I came back, all I wanted to do is restore this house, you know.
Tony Tellado: Yes.
Tory Kittles: So I also think it gives him something to do, you know, something tangible that he can control. And I think that was his plan before the occupation was to come home and I’m going to restore this house. I’m going to get back to something that’s real and personal that’s going to get me away from all of the things that I’ve seen overseas that continue to haunt me. And I think the house is something very symbolic in that it grounds him. So I think it’s more intimate than rebuilding the world. But I guess you could look at it under that. You could look at it from that scope but I think to him it’s just more personal.
Tony Tellado: There’s something that you mentioned earlier today that I want you to kind of talk about because I think we all get to a point in our lives where we’re in the middle of something and it’s not going the way we expect and we want to quit. And you did that with acting and what do you think it was that just made you stay with it?
Tory Kittles: You know I think when things get down, you have to look at, you know, where you’re going. You know I think for me what I found in that moment is that this was for me. You know I get asked a lot of times by, you know, younger actors and they go how did you make it? And I think, you know, this is not only with acting. I think this is with any pursuit of something you love, any pursuit of a dream, you have to decide that this is for me. And you can’t give yourself an option out. So basically what I decided on that day, you know, when I was, you know, at Griffith Park is that I’m going to continue. And that’s not to say that you have a plan on how things are going to go and that everything becomes okay that next day or the minute after you make that decision. It’s just that you make a decision. You don’t let the decision make you. You make the decision to just stay in the game. And that’s the essentially what I did. It wasn’t like some grand thing. I just made a decision I wasn’t going to quit. And how I found that was just by saying that. I’m not going to quit. And that was it. It was just that simple. I’m not going to quit. And I’m glad that I didn’t.
Tony Tellado: I think I can speak for everyone saying that we’re glad you didn’t because I think (Broussard) would be very different if another actor were playing him. So I’m glad you stayed.
Tory Kittles: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much for saying that. Thank you.
Special thanks To USA Network