'The Outpost' Star Anand Desai-Barochia on Loyalty, "Oddball" Characters, and Fans

janzo the outpost
(Photo: The CW)

When most people think of fantasy shows on The CW they think of Supernatural, the network's long-running, fan-favorite series. However, the Winchester brothers aren't the only ones dealing with mysterous forces anymore. The network's latest summer drama, The Outpost, is bringing its own take on the genre in action-packed adventure with some serious Game of Thrones vibes to boot.

The series follows a young woman, Talon, on a mission to find those responsible for murdering her family and wiping out her whole race, but, as she quickly discovers, she's going to need some allies. One of those allies is Janzo. Played by Anand Desai-Barochia, Janzo appears to be a simple brewer, but there's far more to him than meets the eye. Speaking with ComicBook.com, Desai-Barochia explained that fans shouldn't be fooled by the Janzo's "oddball" appearance.

"Yeah, Janzo is a special, special guy," Desai-Barochia said. "It depends how you look at him, but at first, you think 'Who is this person?' When you first meet Janzo, you think 'Is he a bit creepy?' And then you think, 'Wait, I think I actually want to root for this guy.' He is that oddball character that, there's always one in the group, and that is definitely Janzo. However, don't be fooled by his ... At first, he comes across as very insecure and introverted, and that comes across in his physicality as well. But whatever Janzo doesn't have physically, he definitely makes up for in brains, and he is definitely a force to be reckoned with."

That force to be reckoned with comes in with Janzo's side work. While he earns his keep as a simple brewer, he's really more of a scientist, and it's that skill that makes him a valuable person to know in the world of The Outpost.

"However, his real passion and his real observation and talent lies in being an alchemist," Desai-Barochia said, "and so by day, he works in the pub, and at night, he has his laboratory underneath the pub where he makes his magic potions and he cuts things up and ... so I think it's just like given that everyone knows that Janzo is a bit of an odd guy. Generally, people let him keep himself to himself, but they also know that if they need any help, that he's the person to go to and they don't even question it, really."

Those in the world of The Outpost may not question it, but Desai-Barochia said that fans might want to pay attention to Janzo as the season continues to unfold. Specifically, the actor hinted that there might be more Janzo than anyone might expect -- even beyond his special skills as an alchemist.

"The things to watch out for, I would say, it keep looking at Janzo's demeanor, because not everything is as it seems, and just keep an eye on his interactions with different people, because his loyalty is with Talon, but he completely transforms," Desai-Barochia noted. "When you see him at the beginning to the end of the episode and as we go on through this new season, this character is so multi-faceted, and he is changing every single episode. So just keep an eye out for his relationships and interactions with others."

And fans of The Outpost will do just that. The show may only be a handful of episodes in, but it already has a devoted fanbase, something that Desai-Barochia has experienced firsthand both while live tweeting the show weekly with what he called "very intelligent fans" but also in person at his first San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month.

"The second we got there, we did a panel, and then we went on to do signings and it was quite, quite overwhelming for the three of us," he said. "It was myself, Jess Green, and Jake Stormoen. And we only put out two episodes so far, and there was over an hour-long queue for people coming to meet us. And that was really ... I was just taken aback by it, because we thought, you know, we're a small show, the momentum won't have picked up yet, but we were completely wrong."

"This genre and these fans, they all know about it," he added, "and that was a really humbling moment for me to see that even just with two episodes, the word is getting out there and we already have folks following it, and it was a really humbling moment."


The Outpost airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.