The following interview excerpts are from roundtables that Flickering Myth staff writer Justin Cook took part in at October 2018’s New York Comic Con…
Of the many great characters and moments that the first season of the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg-produced sci-fi comedy Future Man gave us, Derek Wilson’s Wolf, a gruff military man from the future, emerged as a true standout.
A scene-stealer in every sense of the term, having gone to the Rogen and Goldberg school of comedy before with a regular role on the debut season of the duo’s other current TV series, AMC’s Preacher, Wilson knew exactly how to play into the show’s particular brand of bonkers, R-rated humor — it was just a matter of finding his voice.
One of the aspects of Wolf that immediately makes the character stand out, beyond his hard-to-miss facial scar and excessive costumes, is his gravelly, hardened and unmelodious speaking voice. During a New York Comic Con roundtable with the show’s cast and showrunner, Flickering Myth asked Wilson about if there were any characters that inspired his voice and the story behind it.
“Oh yeah!” he replied. “When I showed up to the pilot, I was brought on to do this 2 days before we started shooting the pilot, cause I was shooting Preacher with Seth & Evan. So I came in and had very little idea of what to do with this character, which you can see if you watch the very first pilot, like it’s not fully formed yet. And Evan Goldberg came up to me and said, ‘Just for now, try your best, like, macho Batman voice.’ And so it hasn’t stayed there, but that’s where it started.”
Although Wilson claims that doing the voice typically doesn’t hurt his throat, he did reveal the one scene in season 1 that got his voice to break, saying, “It’s hard to do in a setting like this, but as soon as we’re in a scene, it’s just there. It only hurts if I have to project a lot, if it’s a big audience scene or something I have to go back to my theatre training and try and get into that, which is tough with the throatiness of it. I hurt myself only once and that was in season 1 in the TruffleDome. It was a long day and a lot of yelling. It actually kind of works. Towards the end of the scene, you can hear my voice going out, and I’m just sort of over it and tired, and it works.”
On his favorite aspects of playing Wolf, Wilson zeroed in on the tender, loving side of the character that the audience will get to see more of in season 2 as Wolf is unexpectedly thrust into a family situation where he becomes a father figure to a child.
“I love it when he finds something that is surprising to him and affects him in a way that’s surprising,” Wilson stated. “In this season, he finds love in various forms and that was really fun to play because it’s a surprising thing. The thing is, he never goes halfway. He goes all the way, everything else be damned. Like, ‘This is what I’m doing.’ So, yeah, I think it was finding love that was a fun thing to play with this season.”
See Wilson’s incredibly fun and layered performance in Future Man season 2, which, starting today, is available in its entirety on Hulu.