Any loyal fan of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency will tell you that the show would be incomplete without the Rowdy 3. This group of eccentric, energy-consuming “vampires” is a core part of the fabric that makes Dirk Gently such a weird and wonderfully enjoyable piece of television. And Osric Chau, whose character Vogle makes up one-fourth of the Rowdy 3, is key in bringing that dynamic to life.
Chau is a familiar face to Sci-Fi fans. Over the years, we’ve all come to know him as Kevin Tran on Supernatural. And now with his work as Vogle on Dirk Gently, we get to see him explore new territory.
I had the opportunity to speak with Chau about Vogle, the Rowdy 3, and why Dirk Gently has caught on so quickly with viewers:
TARA MARTINEZ: How’d you get involved with the show?
OSRIC CHAU: Well, like any actor you audition for it, so—I don’t know if you know much about the audition process—but they had been trying to find this character for a while. They put out a casting notice and I actually didn’t audition for the character of Vogle. I had auditioned for another character, Friedkin, played by Dustin Milligan. I threw in a tape for that and they saw the tape. And Max Landis, the executive producer/writer saw it and he’s like, ‘That’s Vogle!’ So, I got the offer for Vogle before I knew who or what Vogle was. So, that was kind of fun.
TM: Vogle is part of the Rowdy 3. What is your perception of him and his crew of misfits?
OC: When I first read the script, I had no clue what to make of the Rowdy 3, Vogle, or anyone involved. But as we got more back story, we finally figured out what we were and why from Max. Thankfully, he gave us a good rundown on all of our characters. He’s really fun. So, Vogle kind of grew up in this program that a lot of these special characters came from. He doesn’t really know the outside world and so, out of the four of them, he’s excited about things. He’s learning, he’s kind of, you know, he’s thrown into this world for the first time. Everything is bright and shiny, you know? He gets to see everything for the first time which is really fun to, kind of, be so destructive and enjoy it because it’s still fun for him. And so, I absolutely love it because it’s so much fun destroying things and not needing to throw on a mask of anger. It’s kind of refreshing. Rarely do I get to destroy something and not be angry about it. With Vogle, I get to.
TM: One of the things that strikes me about him is that, even though he doesn’t speak much, he approaches everything with such enthusiasm and voracity, I guess. Is it difficult to give life to a character of so few words?
OC: It was until we finally understood. So, the Rowdy 3, we are a crew and we are almost one person, the four of us. We all have our thing. So, I’m—we consider Vogle like the legs of the Rowdy 3. So, I have the movement. I move around the most. Martin would be the conscience, the voice. You know, we have Gripps who’s the brute force, the power. What would Cross be? Maybe Cross would be the arms. I mean, we all have our function in the group. And I’m the baby of the group. So with that in mind, there are little moments through the physical acting that we kind of play around with. And I think, really quickly we kind of figured it out; and just how we are as people, it kind of lended itself in that way anyway. Vogle is the last of the Rowdy 3 to join and so, he’s kind of like the newcomer coming in. For me, coming into this group with Michael Ecklund, Zak Santiago, Viv Leacock, they’ve known each other for years and years and years, and I am the new guy coming in. So, it kind of has that chemistry already and so it wasn’t too difficult to imagine how it was all playing out. But yeah, season two I think the Rowdy 3 are going to get to talk a lot more now that we’ve slowly introduced them.
TM: The Rowdy 3 is still kind of mysterious and we’re still learning little bits about them. From your perspective, what do you think their ultimate goal or purpose is?
OC: From our perspective, we just want the freedom to live. That’s it. We were part of that program and now we just want to live. And for us, it’s really just tormenting people and scaring them and sucking up their energy to sustain ourselves. That’s what we feed off of. But now that we have Amanda in the group, we kind of have this perfect situation in that she has this debilitating disease that causes her to suffer incredibly and for us, that’s what we feed off of. It’s kind of a match made in heaven there. So, I don’t think the Rowdy 3 have a purpose beyond, you know, just trying to survive.
TM: Now, the show is gaining a solid following pretty quickly. What do you think it is about Dirk Gently that reels the audience in?
OC: From the first day I read the script, I kind of already knew that this is going to be a—you know, it’s a fandom show. It’s a cult show in that it might not be your thing, but if it is your thing, you’re going to love it because it’s so weird, it’s so quirky. There’s so many fun things about it and coming from the Supernatural fandom, this show is meant kind of for that group. It’s a Sherlock show with a Doctor Who world and a Supernatural element. So, there’s so much fun to be had and it’s kind of surprisingly gory and violent, but it’s really funny and the characters are so well developed that it’s just fascinating to watch. And I think the rewatch value is really high because there’s so many little Easter eggs that you just don’t know until later on, and it’s not until, like, a second or third viewing that you kind of pick up on these things. I think for a lot of those reasons—I think once it’s out on Netflix, it’s going to be picking up speed. It’s just such a good show.
TM: It’s also a very smart show and one that gets more complex with each episode. Have you been surprised by how the show has pieced everything together?
OC: Yeah. I mean, when we were shooting, we had the same excitement about reading the scripts. We just wanted to find out what happens and how it happens. So, there’s that excitement that we get to relive because I think most of us forgot what happened. But it’s fun to be part of something that we’re curious about and we’re excited about. I absolutely love it.
TM: Aside from your own character, is there a character that you relate to the most or is your favorite?
OC: There’s a lot of great characters on the show, but I absolutely love Bart. Fiona does such a great job with Bart and, I don’t know, it’s just such a fun character and a fascinating character. That’s one of the characters that I’ve always wanted play. She’s like this crazy assassin and she does it so well with the voice and how she kind of holds herself. It’s just so fun to watch her. One of my favorite scenes is just her going to the gas station and it’s in this process of being robbed that she just shoots the robber without a second thought, and it’s just that kind of thing that I love in that character so much.
TM: Any other projects in the works that you can tell us about?
OC: That I can tell you about? No. Unfortunately, no. Dirk Gently is the big one. We got picked up for season two. I’m really excited for it. I think we start filming next year, probably about the same time—maybe April or May. So, I’m really excited about that.
Be sure to check out Osric Chau in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and follow him on Twitter at @OsricChau.
Tara Martinez is a New York-based writer with a passion for pop culture and a penchant for analysis. She frequently covers film, television, and representations of women in the media.