Jackie Earle Haley is a critically acclaimed actor who’s had a long and industrious career in the industry, dabbling in the science fiction and fantasy genres in recent years. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as pedophile Ronald James McGorvey in Little Children. However, he is most known for his roles as vigilante Rorschach in Watchmen, Freddy Krueger in the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, and Odin Quincannon in AMC’s Preacher. Jackie Earle Haley is now portraying The Terror on Amazon’s The Tick.
Screen Rant got a chance to talk with Jackie at San Diego Comic Con 2017, where we discussed how he approached playing The Terror, what attracted him to The Tick, and what his experience was like in Battle Angel Alita.
Jackie Earle Haley: The Terror is still The Terror. He’s evil and you kind of ride this balance of trying to play something grounded or sometimes the writing is funny, but at the same time you reach for the laugh as well. So there is, you know, it’s a different experience but that’s what makes it cool. As an actor you want to challenge yourself and try different things and it was interesting searching for the tone of the performance for The Terror. It was challenging for Ben the whole season searching for the tone for the whole show.
And you are getting to live out the geek dream in the next couple of years with The Tick, Battle Angel Alita, and The Dark Tower. But what attracted you to the role and the premise of The Tick?
Jackie Earle Haley: I read the pilot and I could tell that it was incredibly funny, but you could tell it was really developing and setting up a season arc and characters that are growing to grow. It’s Arthur’s origin story and I got on the phone with Ben and he talked me through this season and where it was kind of going. And it just sounded like a really cool project. Amazon being behind it was huge because they are able to give what I think is really important to fund it properly. So this version is a completely different iteration from anything we’ve seen before because it is now comic book movie parody and it needs to look like a comic book movie and that takes some dough and Amazon was a great place to do it.
Recently we’ve seen a lot of superhero movies out there and that’s what the market is right now, but it seems that Hollywood is tapping into a new genre and that could be the anime genre. Speaking of which, Battle Angel Alita, what can you tell me about that?
Jackie Earle Haley: What can I tell you about it? That was a completely new experience for me. And I’ll tell you why. At my age, I feel like I have done everything in production. It’s like I know what’s going on in just about every department and the director. You know I am a director as well. And so I get on this thing and my character is completely CGI. I am playing a very massive robot dude and it’s a really good script. It was great working with Robert. Met James and he is a sweetheart, but working with Robert and the cast was really fun. Everybody did a good job, but it was a really different trip doing motion capture. I am wearing a helmet and a bodysuit the whole time and sometimes there was actual movie cameras and sometimes there was none. But even when there was movie cameras, there were other cameras pointing at me for reference and infrared things everywhere. You can find out how they did it online, but it was a trip doing that. Yeah. Different. Really different.
The Tick premieres on Amazon on August 25, 2017.