Supergirl is about to tackle a threat unlike any she has ever seen this week with the Master Jailer. The former guard of Fort Rozz, the maximum security super villain prison, is looking to round up the baddies that have escaped, but when his methods are less than conventional, Supergirl steps in.
We had the chance to speak with the man in the suit, Jeff Branson, about getting the role, Jailer's ideologies and more.
Did you know what you were getting yourself into before trying out for the role?
Jeff Branson: I knew who the character was. It was on the breakdown. They were open and very forward about what role it was going to be. It was great because when we started shooting, I just fell in love with the whole atmosphere. His powers are a little different, so there are some weeks there, but I think it's going to be quite cool when everyone sees it. I knew I was playing aa super villain, but I didn't know how super he was going to be until we were shooting day by day. It got more super as we were shooting.
That suit looks intense. Is it everything you'd sort of ever dreamed of when joining a comic book tv show?
Branson: It's bad to the bone, man. It turned out so much better than I could have ever hoped. I've been fortunate enough to work a lot. You get on set and you hear that somebody's going to have this badass suit and then you actually see it and you're quickly deflated. This one. When they pulled it out, I was like, oh man. It was a lot of fitting time, a lot of the time with the wardrobe department, but it was worth every minute.
How long does it take for you to get in and out of it?
Branson: We put time into the fitting to get it right and quick and easy so that we could save time on set.Actually probably only 20 minutes to get in the whole thing. It has several pieces that connect together. They made it smart.
Were you a comics guy growing up?
Branson: Absolutely comic guy. I got turned on to it when I was young. My brother was big DC. As I grew up, I got into Marvel, but still kept an eye on DC universe. Yeah. Read as much as I can for the father of a 2 year old.
I knew exactly who I was playing was when I came up, but I love what Supergirl's doing. With her, some of the lore of the characters, I think you want to stick as close to the actual lore of the character as you can, but you also have to put into a contemporary context.
So you got to work with Lexi Alexander. That had to have been pretty cool, considering her background and the character you get to play. I can only imagine that the action in this episode is going to be insane. Was that something that you had to prep for or were you ready to get your hands dirty with any and all the action that she may have thrown your way?
Branson: I was down for whatever man. I knew who she was. I knew her background. I knew her pedigree. I did my homework on her. I was expecting exactly what I got. I wanted to get my hands dirtier, to be honest, I'm the kind of guy that likes to do his own stunts and shit.
Unfortunately, it's a lot of money of the table and you can't do all your own stunts. I get that. I think that the action in the episode, it's really engaging. It's really engaging. I think it's a combination of effects and physicality, it's nice. It's not just relying on CG to do everything. There's actually a lot of physicality too.
I know that when they announced you in this role, they had mentioned it's a recurring one. With fans getting their first introduction to you with this upcoming episode, what are you hoping that they take away from the episode?
Branson: I have no idea, we're going to have to wait to see how the episode ends. Truth be told, I think there's a similarity to him and Supergirl's position on what they're trying to do, what they're trying to accomplish. Granted, he's definitely marching to his own beat. He's taken what he thinks is right and manipulated it into sociopathic kind of projection.
He's much more of a vigilante than say a sort of a straight up villain. Is he more of an anti-hero in your eyes?
Branson: I think vigilante, it depends on who you ask, which character you ask. If you ask him, I think he's seeing it as he's finishing the job.
Branson: I don't think that he would use vigilante. I think that he would tell you that the good work that was being done and now it’s been shattered so he's putting it back together and finishing it. I think that he thinks he's truly of the opinion that this is for the greater good. These are undeniable criminals, they're dangerous people. He's a very lethal, strong dangerous man himself, but he's not using it in that way. He's using it to corral, to punish the evil doers.
Does he see Supergirl as a threat or just an obstacle?
Branson: Neither. I think he sees her as an ally.
Branson: I think he sees her as, I would dare to say that he sees a partnership in the works. That he sees potential for people with like minded missions to come together and to conquer this, finish this. He's probably confused to why there cannot be a partnership. Especially with the closeness that he had with her mother.
So what do you think ComicBook.com readers? Are you excited to see what the Master Jailer has in store for Supergirl? Could a team-up be around the corner? Let us know in the comments below.