Hamza Fouad on Helstrom, Arrow, and More

Helstrom may be over, but it's a solid bet that Hamza Fouad , who played San Francisco cop Derrick Jackson, will be back in the genre space again soon. Before coming to Marvel's horror-themed super-show, Fouad appeared in The Twilight Zone, Arrow, Supergirl, The 100, and Supernatural. What's maybe impressive is how wide his variety of characters in those have been, ranging from terrorists and werewolves to cops and white-collar criminals. On Arrow, Fouad was part of The Quadrant, a powerful organized crime group, while on Helstrom, he was a police officer who was in a relationship with Ana's friend Chris Yen.

While Helstrom is over (and it wasn't when we spoke, so some of the phrasing might reflect that), his next project has him wearing a badge again. Fouad will next appear in the upcoming Netflix series Firefly Lane with Scrubs's Sarah Chalke.

Fouad recently joined ComicBook.com to break down the first season of Helstrom and talk about some of his other recent projects.

Hamza Fouad - Studio Aviva web5
(Photo: Studio Aviva)

First of all, I have to ask this...with Diaz out of the picture and the rest of the Quadrant dead, does that mean your Arrow character is by default the highest-ranking gangster in the country?

Yes it does! I'm impressed that you knew that. Here's hoping The CW bring me back.

OK, a bit more seriously – is it tough balancing the need to play a smart, competent character but also being a cop who has no idea what's going on under his nose?

That's a great question. I most definitely found it a bit challenging at times. However, playing that type of role, you always have a sneaking suspicion that something isn't right. Which in turn makes it so much more fun to watch, because you're always waiting for the payoff. Regardless of what direction the character goes, I found that as long as I played each scene with as much honesty as possible given the circumstances, everything just falls into place.

It seems like in the last couple of years, the two things people have thought when they saw you were "cop" or "Christmas." Which do you prefer?

I have an affinity for working in both types of projects, but I would lean more to playing officers. One of the goals I have on my career bucket list would be to play one of the stars of a hit cop drama. Those characters have so much heart, and a level of emotional depth, that would be any actor's dream to play.

I kind of feel like heartwarming Christmas TV movies and superheroes are two of the biggest things on TV right now. Having hit both, what is your favorite part of each of those worlds?

I really enjoy the camaraderie I experience when working on holiday movies. Once you've done a few of those, you start to realize that a lot of the time you're working with the same people. That's from the actors, to the makeup department, to the gaffers, and camera crew. It has a warm family dynamic, that makes shooting so much more fun than most sets.

Growing up obsessed with comic book characters, I also geek out anytime I get a chance to work on a superhero set. It's always so surreal to see these characters I idolized as a kid, come to life in front of my eyes. My 10 year old nephew also loves those kinds of shows! Which gives me cool uncle points whenever he spots me on them.

Obviously, Helstrom is a show where everyone has secrets, and almost everyone is a little evil. What do you think when you look at a script like that and say "okay, so here's the world I'll be living in."?

I think to myself how lucky am I to be doing what I do. I had an overactive imagination as a kid, and would never sit still. The fact that I get to use that part of myself in my "grown-up job" as a performer still baffles me. So when I see a script that has built up an entirely new reality, I often just feel very grateful to be a part of the project.

In the last few years, you've been part of the DC Universe (twice), The Twilight Zone, and Supernatural, among others. Is there anyone, in particular, you'd like to make a return trip to?

You already nailed it.. I'd love to come back to the DC Universe as the highest-ranked gangster in the country!


Kind of on that note, if you could take Derrick Jackson and pop him into any of the other worlds you've inhabited, just to see how he would play there, where would you want to see him?

I'd honestly feel as if Derrick would do well to stay in the comic book world. It's always fun to watch a character that grounds the story in reality. Whether or not he fully knows what's going on, he is still a cop that's just trying to get by like everyone else.