Neil Napier is no stranger to sci-fi and action films. Known for his roles in ‘300’, ‘Immortals’, ‘Riddick’, voice character in ‘Assassin's Creed III,’ this talented actor has quite a filmography. Napier has landed the role as Dr. Peter Farragut in SyFy's new series ‘Helix.’ ‘Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore will executive produce this thrilling new drama and Napier will no doubt become even more well known in sci-fi fandom. ‘Helix’ premieres Jan 10.
Q. SyFy’s new series ‘Helix’ sounds like a very scary thriller that will definitely put people on edge. What can you tell my readers about your experience so far on the set?
A. Yes indeed, it is a very tense and scary show. I also think audiences will invest in and relate to the characters - they are very rich and layered, all with their own secrets. Working in my hometown of Montreal is a blessing and our crew is second to none. We have been shooting primarily in studio on fantastic sets that really create a very specific and intense world for us to play in. The cast has become a tight family and we have an awful lot of fun between takes, which I am grateful for because I spend a lot of time wound fairly tightly as Peter. The stakes in ‘Helix’ are always incredibly high, so big a helping of lighthearted goofiness is a welcome outlet.
Q. What can you share about your character Peter Farragut?
A. Peter is the brother of Dr. Alan Farragut and has been working up at the base for a couple of years. He and his brother have a challenging relationship, which is further complicated by Peter's history with Walker, Alan's ex-wife. When we first meet Peter he is already infected with the mysterious virus. Over the course of the story, Peter undergoes changes that will lead us down new and unexpected paths.
It has been a true pleasure and challenge playing Peter but I can't really get into the specifics of why without giving too much away.
Q. What is it like acting in a studio room for voice work versus live action?
A. I've had the opportunity to do some voice work in videogames, however most of my videogame work has been performance capture, where we don Velcro suits with reflective markers, a helmet cam with a mic, and our whole performance is captured digitally (think ‘Avatar’ - similar tech). The character is then built on top of that framework. It is amazing technology and a fantastic working experience. I do occasionally lay down voice in the booth, and it presents its own welcome set of challenges. While I prefer full live performance, I do also enjoy building a character solely with voice.
Q. The 'Riddick' films hold a fascination with sci-fi fans. Can you tell my readers anything about your experience on the set?
A. Ha! Well, I have to say that it was one of the more interesting ways I've died on-screen! I really enjoyed my time hanging with my mercenary riff raff pals on the set of ‘Riddick’, and what was unexpected was just how gracious and passionate Vin Diesel was. I remember one particular conversation we had, when he told me about his younger days playing Dungeons and Dragons and how he loves the mythology of it. I had no idea he was a D&D geek. And proud!
Q. Your fans would love to know if you have any hidden talents.
A. I can wiggle my ears, which is very practical. I also play guitar and sing. And I am pretty good at napping.
Q. If you were a baseball player, what would your walk up song be?
A. Nice one! Hmm. I actually play rugby and hockey, but if I played baseball, I guess my walk-up song would have to be Peace Frog by The Doors.