Marvel's Helstrom's Hamza Fouad says officer Derrick Jackson's 'vulnerability' is what sets the character apart
In a chat with MEA WorldWide, Faoua talks about the new introduction to the Marvel Universe and how his experience on the show was different as it involved a lot of secrecy
'Marvel's Helstrom' adapts the Hellish Son of Satan and his sister Satanna, straight from the comics, but grounds their fantastical story more firmly in the real world. To that end, the series is introducing some new characters such as Officer Derrick Jackson, played by Hamza Fouad. MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) talked to Fouad about his character, what his experience working with the show was like, and what fans can expect from the series.
What can you tell us about your character?
My character's name is Derrick Jackson and he is a San Francisco police officer that has a relationship with Alain Uy's character 'Chris Yen'. Derrick is one of the things keeping Chris grounded in a world filled with the paranormal. He is oblivious to the life his partner leads and has a standoffish relationship with his best friend and partner Anna Helstorm. Both believing the other is no good for Chris.
How did you land the role?
I landed the role like any other. Through auditioning. What I loved about this particular audition was how detailed their character description was for the role. It gave me a ton to play with, and as an actor, I couldn't have been happier for it. I did my thing with the lovely ladies at Corrine Clark and Jennifer Page casting up here in Vancouver BC, and they forwarded my tape to "the powers that be". The rest is history.
What did you do to prepare for the role? What was that experience like?
I prepared for the role by first doing my research on the Helstrom comics. Once I got a general feel for the tone of the comics, I started to understand what this show was trying to do and the direction it was heading. Being Marvel's first Horror Series, I found that the dialogue and character relationships were much more grounded. That helped me immensely with the prep work I had to do.
My experience on set was something I've never been a part of before. Being that it is a Marvel project, everything was very hush hush and on a need to know basis. Which was fun, but also had its own challenges. For example, I was never sent a full script for the episodes. I would only be sent the specific scenes I was in and had to log into a couple of super-secret accounts to even access them. The cast and crew were some of the most lovely and welcoming people I've had the pleasure to work with. I couldn't have asked for a better team of people.
What can you tell us about what fans can expect from 'Helstrom'?
Fans can expect an action-packed thriller, with a dark and dry sense of humor. If you're a fan of the comics, I think you'll really enjoy what they've done with it.
How does it feel to be joining the Marvel universe?
It's honestly been a dream come true to be joining the Marvel universe. I've been a huge fan since as early as I could remember. I watched every animated series there was when I was a kid, starting with Spiderman, and as I grew up it almost felt like these characters and stories were growing with me. I am excited beyond belief to play a small part in this universe and extremely humbled by the opportunity.
What are Derrick Jackson's own religious beliefs?
I believe Derrick grew up in a strict household that put God first.
We've seen many variations of the cop drawn into a supernatural world, from 'Angel' to 'The Crow' to shows as recent as 'Lucifer' — what are you bringing to this time-honored trope that sets Derrick Jackson's story apart?
I think what I'm bringing to Derrick that sets him apart in this time-honored trope is his vulnerability. He is unknowingly thrust into this world of demons and crime fighting, with the beautiful intention of simply wanting to be there for his partner.
Are there any other projects you're working on that you'd like to discuss?
I'm actually starting to shoot a film called, 'Accused and on the Run', at the end of the month that I'm quite excited for. The writing is sleek and I've worked with the immensely talented director in the past, Troy Scott. I get to play this crazy smart internet hacker which will be a first for me, but a challenge I'm very much looking forward to.
All episodes of 'Marvel's Helstrom' Season 1 are now available to stream on Hulu.