Geek Chocolate – You had a brief part in Star Trek Generations, you had a supporting role in Heroes, and you were the iconic role of John Connor in the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. What’s it like being a veteran of the science fiction genre?
Thomas Dekker – I love it. It’s weird, people ask me if I choose these genre parts because I’ve done a lot of horror, a lot of sci-fi, but I really haven’t, it’s just sort of come my way, maybe because they’re parts that I’m right for. I love the opportunity that science fiction and fantasy and horror brings you, because you get to go into the realms of drama. I’m actually one of the few actors who likes exposition. It’s a true talent to be able to explain what is going on when it’s very complicated and do it naturalistically, so I actually enjoy that. Most actors hate that.
GC – You recently worked with the enfant terrible of alternative cinema Greg Araki, on the film Kaboom. How aware of his reputation were you, and what was he like to work with?
TD – Well, I was very aware of him, I’d been a fan of his since I was about fifteen, and I’d asked three years before Kaboom even was going to be made to just meet him as a fan, which I did, and he was very nice. I just told him how much I admired his work, particularly his early stuff like Doom Generation, Nowhere, all the nihilistic stuff. I was a bit of an angry teen. To work with him was not what I expected. I really thought he would be kind of aggressive, or a crazy kind of kook, and he’s a very quiet, very pensive, normal guy, which is almost creepier when you think of what he does.
GC – His recent projects have moved marginally more towards mainstream, so he has mellowed then?
TD – I don’t know about mellowed, though, I don’t know. I mean, Kaboom is a pretty crazy movie. What is it? Is it a comedy, is it a sex movie? Is it a cult movie?
GC – Why do there have to be definitions?
TD – Exactly. Well, that’s what he’s all about, you know. He’s all aout breaking it down.
GC – Heroes became a huge hit very quickly. Had you been given the opportunity to continue longer as Zach, would you have taken it, or did you not see much progression for the character beyond sidekick?
TD – Heroes was a very confusing role for me. I still don’t know really who I was supposed to be playing. I don’t think they knew who I was supposed to be playing. I can sort of say this now because enough time has gone by. It was very muddled. Originally it was supposed to be a girl was the sidekick, then it was supposed to be the guy that was in love with her, then it was the gay best friend, and nobody really decided or knew what it was, so I just sort of felt like I had been bounced around. I was a recurring on Heroes and a regular on Terminator, I just left to go do John Connor, because it was appealing, obviously, but sure, if that hadn’t come along, and we’d kind of really decided who and what he was, I’d have continued with Heroes.
GC – Similarly, where would you have liked to have seen a third season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles go?
TD – I would like to find out how John became John Connor in the future. I would have liked to have continued to have fun shooting it, basically.
GC – The character of John Connor was one previously established in cinema. How aware of that were you, and did you ever consciously emulate that version of the character, or did you wish to create your own thing?
TD – Definitely in the beginning I spoke with Josh Friedman [producer of The Sarah Connor Chronicles] and I really wanted it to start with where Edward Furlong’s performance had left off in T2. I didn’t study Nick Stahl’s performance in T3 at all because it was at a date further than what I was playing. I would say that where we started, because John in T2 was kind of an idol for me, I really wanted to have that kind of rebel attitude, almost a brat, but to grow into a more mature man.
GC – Another classic movie character of eighties cinema you got mixed up with was Freddie Krueger. What was it like to find yourself on Elm Street?
TD – Oh, that was weird, because I’m very touchy about remakes, and I was really nervous from the get-go that I would hate it, and I won’t say I hate it, but definitely I have a tricky relationship with that movie. During the scene where she flies around the room, that was the craziest, because I grew up watching Nightmare on Elm Street, and that scene was so iconic, and to be that guy in that scene was odd. But the best part of that movie was getting to work with the actors that were in it, and I think they’re all really talented.
GC – As a man with the same habit, tell me about your tattoos, and what you have planned next?
TD – There is actually one imminently planned next. Every tattoo I get comes to me after there’s been some kind of big personal breakthrough or moment or experience, so the next one… Weirdly I’ve been too busy, I’ve been out of the country and everything, I haven’t got one since my father died last year, and I need to get one for him, it’s just going be a little quote that we always used to say. That’s the next stop. The thing is, I’m really stubborn, the same guy has to do all my tattoos, so if I’m out of town, I have to wait until I can get him.
GC – Thomas Dekker, saviour of the future, thank you for your time.
TD – Thank y
ou, that was very quick.
Kaboom is currently available on region one DVD, and will be released on region two on 8th August.
Special thanks to Thomas Dekker for his time, and Sean Harry of Starfury Conventions for arranging the interview, and Grant Gowdy for the photos
Details of upcoming events can be found at www.starfury.co.uk