This week, The CW unveils their newest series, The Messengers. Several people have near death experiences and wake up with new powers and a calling to meet in one place. They don’t know that someone else is after them. One will meet him in the pilot, premiering April 17.
Diogo Morgado plays The Man, and that’s the only name he’s given. Considering the spiritual implications of The Messengers, we might think of many other names. I got to meet Morgado in January when The CW presented The Messengers to the Television Critics Association.
Diogo Morgado: Actually, I must tell you that when I got into this project, they wanted me to read for another character, not The Man. And I had a look at The Man and was like, “I would like to have a chance to read for this guy, whatever he is.” The way he manipulates and the way he actually creates the struggle between good and evil in all of us, that was the most interesting thing for me. Especially coming out of the last thing I’d done here was Son of God, playing Jesus. For an actor, that’s the best you can have after something so special and so enlightening, to have something dark and mysterious and complex.
Nuke: There are hints, but is he The Devil?
Diogo Morgado: Well, he’s definitely dark. He’s definitely dark. His purpose, the way he’s going to be presented along the series, it’s going to be revealing, interesting and surprising. We never say that he’s The Devil. He’s the darkest. He’s the baddest of the story. But his intention and his purpose has some logic. We’re going to find out later on. I don’t see him as The Devil as we know it. What I love is the fact that he doesn’t have any powers. He can’t inflict any pain directly. The only thing he can do is manipulate people and try to control the events and the outcomes that way. He has to allow free will to remain untouched.
Nuke: Is The Man the ultimate villain, or does he have a boss too?
Diogo Morgado: We don’t know. So far, he’s in charge of trying to get the outcome of the story changed. That’s pretty much it. He’s definitely the bad guy of the story.
Nuke: Did you change your voice to sound somewhat otherworldly?
Diogo Morgado: I think the more mysterious he is, the more weird and not specific he is about the way he speaks, about the way he moves, about the tone of his voice, about the way he acts and he walks, the more interesting his character. So that was intentional.
Nuke: He goes after Vera first. Does he eventually go after everyone?
Diogo Morgado: Well, he will try to control each one in different ways.
Nuke: Are all your scenes one on one, or do you get some big group scenes too?
Diogo Morgado: I have everything. I have with each one of them, and I have with the whole shebang group.
Nuke: Are the children fair game too?
Diogo Morgado: Well, he’s already using the kid against the parent. That’s the thing. It’s about the messengers, not about the kids. There’s a sense of weird honesty in him so he wants to play a fair game. He wants to win because he’s entitled to win and he makes everything to honor the way he’s going to win. Because ultimately this is the challenge, the fight, the game, so he has to win, but the way he wants to win is with dignity. So he’s not going to use really dark things as using kids.
Nuke: So he’s a sportsman.
Diogo Morgado: He’s a sportsman. There’s a sense of honesty because if you go to the actual story, he is a fallen angel. He was once one of God’s creations. We all are, but he’s older than anyone in the story on earth. So there’s a sense of fair play in whatever is going on.
Nuke: How did Son of God change things for you? Have things been different since it came out?
Diogo Morgado: Well, what actually changed for me was I got known in a different market because I’d been working since I was 15 mainly in Europe. Portugal, Spain and a little bit in Brazil as well. That’s what actually changed, so I got known through that work a little bit all over the world, because it was a successful movie. That was pretty much it. Nothing else changed that much.
Nuke: Does that background inform you doing a spiritual story like The Messengers?
Diogo Morgado: To be honest with you, I don’t see The Messengers as a spiritual story. We use the Book of Revelation as a background, the apocalypse, to have a purpose for our story. Mainly what I think the story is about is about the choices that we make. It’s about the way human beings behave towards each other and every day we make small decisions that we think are just for us. All our small choices impact somebody else around us. Sometimes we have good intentions the way we do stuff and how we choose things. You have the best intentions and then the outcome is the opposite. The struggle between the good and evil inside of us is I think the pillar of the series. The way humanity is going to be tested through the messengers and the way the world is on the cusp of ending or not is going to depend on their choices. The choices that they think are the most important are sometimes the least important. The little ones that they thought were just a means to an end, those are the choices that actually matter.
Nuke: It’s such a big ensemble, how many scenes would you say you have every week?
Diogo Morgado: I don’t know the number. I could say that, for instance, episode nine I have 35 pages out of 45. That doesn’t mean that there’s not an episode that I’m probably in one or two scenes. It’s not consistent because it’s not a CSI type of show. It’s a long narrative.
Nuke: So episode 9 is one to watch for for The Man?
Diogo Morgado: The show is about the clues and the riddles the messengers have to pass and overcome. The Man, there’s two ways for him to be there, before or after. Sometimes during. So there’s a specific time to use my character. We have five or six messengers and we have to go to each story. The outcome of that results in one event. The Man will be before and after, sometimes during. There’s a specific time for that, but other episodes, he carries the episode with one messenger. Sometimes he’s disguised as someone else and only the viewer will know it’s actually him.