Fan Fest Exclusive Interview: Brendan Taylor and Blaine Anderson on their roles in the empowering ‘Robert Kirman’s Secret History of Comics: The Trials of Superman’
AMC is always continuing to surprise us with their amazing productions. They really made a mark on the century by bringing the hit series The Walking Dead to life out of the comic book pages – truly a sensational moment. Now, my friends, it is time to celebrate the development of a new exciting AMC series; AMC Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics. This remarkable series explores the history of some of our favorite comic book heroes and heroines and gives us fantastic insight on their character developments.
The newest chapter in this instillation to air on November 20th at 10pm ET/PT and 9PM CT on AMC will be titled ‘The Trials of Superman’, and it will trace the journey of the legal perils faced by Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.
Canadian actors Blaine Anderson and Brendan Taylor play Shuster and Siegel in the episode.
“It’s easy to take for granted where great comic book characters come from. I think this episode shares the missing pieces in a truly engaging way,” says Anderson, “I really feel like AMC has captured the uniqueness of their journey.”
Taylor adds, “Shuster and Siegel’s fight for justice resonates with what Superman stands for. I really believe people are going to watch this and see Superman from a more informed perspective.”
Blaine Anderson has also guest-starred on shows like Rogue, Psych, and Fringe and is an emerging film producer as well. His last acting-producing effort, Residue, won Most Shocking Horror Feature at Crypticon Kansas City Horror Film Festival a few months ago. Meanwhile, Brendan Taylor has a recurring role on The Arrangement right now and has also appeared on the likes of Supernatural, Arrow, The Magicians, Olympus and Fargo to name a few.
I had the opportunity to interview both of these extraordinary gentlemen, and they are extremely excited for comic book fans all across the world to tune in to this amazing show!
Jules: AMC Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics really takes a deep dive into the life of comics and the nerd life. Have the two of you always been big time fans of comic books, superheroes and legends alike?
Brendan Taylor: Absolutely! I grew up in the comic world; I collected cards, had posters on my walls, and played pretend with my friends in the park. We invented our own superheroes! X-Men was my jam, but Superman and Batman were at the top of the list, too.
Blaine Anderson: Yes! From comics to superhero role playing games, I was into it all. I’ve recently unearthed my enormous box of comics for my kids, so I’m reliving the dream!
Jules: We all have that one superhero in particular that we look up to as a kid. Superman has strength, Spider-Man shoots webs, and Iron Man is a billionaire genius with the world’s most incredible supersite. Who would each of you say was the most inspirational comic book hero for you growing up (or even today, if it has changed since you were young) and why?
Brendan Taylor: Great question! In terms of a superhero I looked up to, I’d say Batman. My buddy and I would dress up as Batman and run around the neighborhood without being seen and “do good deeds” hahaha… His fight for justice and him just being a human without superpowers is what made what he did so impressive.
Blaine Anderson: Thor was a big one for me between 8 and 12. I loved the lore and mythology of Asgard and the unique places that Thor and his companions would end up in. I traveled many times along the Bifröst bridge to fight the Frost Trolls!
Jules: You both were cast in the episode titled The Trials of Superman. Superman has been such an icon and inspiration to boys and girls, men and women of all ages and all across the world. What does it personally mean to each of you to be involved in this historical chapter of one of DC’s greatest Heroes?
Brendan Taylor: Jerry and Joe are cherished in the world of comics, so it was a tall order to represent them, and I was happy to oblige. My top priority was to honor this man, and this story, and I hope that comes across. I had so much fun playing off Blaine, who’s a longtime friend, which worked well to show Jerry and Joe’s relationship.
Blaine Anderson: What an opportunity! It was a daunting task indeed to play these two icons, especially to find the truth as an actor and portray the spirit of Joe and Jerry as accurately as possible.
Jules: What can you tell us about each of your respective roles in this episode?
Brendan Taylor: Well, I play Jerry Siegel, who was a prolific sci-fi writer in his time. Jerry was a shy, quiet man in his youth, and was often made fun of. He first wrote the story for Superman, but it only came to be as we know it when Joe began to draw it. Of the two men, he was more vocal with his complaints and opinions.
Blaine Anderson: I play Joe Shuster, the Canadian-American artist. The nearly blind penciller/artist was a quiet, reserved man who was so passionate about his art. Interestingly, Clark Kent is partially modelled after Shuster so the urge to push my glasses back on my nose… irresistible!
Jules: A lot of networks aim to put out their own version of a comic book documentary. How do you each feel AMC has personally captured the uniqueness of Superman and other comic book heroes in this new TV series?
Brendan Taylor: Given that Robert Kirkman has the most popular comic-related show on TV, I’m sure that gave AMC access to some really great sources for interviews and info. For example, having Richard Donner chime in on his experience with meeting Jerry and Joe is pretty cool. This story hasn’t quite been told before, so it will undoubtedly provide a unique perspective on Superman.
Blaine Anderson: The passion for this project – from Robert Kirkman and the producers down to the cast and crew – is what I think will really separate AMC from the others. I saw the first episode and it was stellar!
Jules: After taking on your respective roles in this series, what is one key takeaway you both can say that you’ve learned from being a part of this series? Or about the challenges of Superman and the rights battle in particular?
Brendan Taylor: The biggest takeaway for me – that has really reinforced what I’ve learned so far in life – is: Never give up. Everyone has their own fight. For me, it was struggling to be a working actor. Whether it’s your goals in life, or a personal struggle of some kind, stay dedicated, and you will get results. I promise!
Blaine Anderson: Good one Brendan. For me, it’s finding out why we do what we do, and reminding ourselves to fight for something. Find a higher purpose in all you do and that will help keep you focused and dedicated. I remind myself every day. It’s easy to lose focus!
Jules: You’ve both been involved in such various projects! Blaine, you have been involved in comedy shows such as Psych and you have even dabbled in the world of horror. Brendan, you’ve been involved in such vast projects like the science fiction world in The Magicians and Superhero shows like Arrow. What is the next step for you both? Would you like to continue working in the comic genre? This is a wonderful milestone in your acting careers!
Brendan Taylor: Thank you – it is! I would absolutely love to continue in the world of comics! Working on “Arrow” was really cool, and you can catch me again in the next season of “The Magicians”! I have some really cool projects in the works, so feel free to follow me on social media @MrBrendanTaylor on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, along with Brendan-Taylor.com!
Blaine Anderson: I consider myself very lucky and am appreciative of all the fun projects I’ve done. I don’t think this is the last you’ve seen of us in comic book land! A film I co-produced and acted in called “Residue” is out on Netflix now! It’s a fun wacky indie horror that is catching a good response from all the horror fans out there! Catch all my news on BlaineActor.com and @BlaineActor for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Jules: What would you say we can expect from this upcoming episode? Will we be shocked or surprised at what we will learn about the Trials of Superman?
Brendan Taylor: I think most people don’t know the extended details of Jerry and Joe’s legal battle. You will be surprised to learn how long it went on for… but I don’t want to give too much away!
Blaine Anderson: I would say that you’ll get to see a good friendship story that battles through adversity!
Jules: Time for a fun question! If you could chose to be the sidekick to any superhero, who would it be?? (Oh, it cannot be Superman!)
Brendan Taylor: Hah! Hmm, off the top of my head? I’d be The Hulk’s sidekick. I mean, I’m a big guy too, but not Hulk-big. I think I’d be more like a hype-man for him. And if he ever has trouble getting angry, I’d be there to whack him upside the head or make fun of him!
Blaine Anderson: I’d love to be a herald for Galactus! Fly around the universe, chat with an almost all-knowing omnipotent being! Maybe I could turn him to be a vegetarian and get him to eat uninhabited planets… You could call me Side Dish!
Be sure to check out ‘The Trials of Superman’ when AMC Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics returns on Monday, November 20th at 10PM ET/PT and 9PM/CT.