The Titans have had no shortage of threats to deal with in season 4, but their biggest threat is still yet to come, as the fight for Sebastian came to a thrilling and heartbreaking head in the mid-season finale. The Titans have tried to protect Sebastian throughout the season and keep him from being corrupted by Mother Mayhem, and as a result, we've had a chance to get to know him as a character before his inevitable transformation into Brother Blood. ComicBook.com had a chance to speak to Sebastian actor Joseph Morgan all about the character's evolution throughout the season ahead of his villainous transformation, and while the slow burn approach to his origin was risky, it was ultimately part of what drew him to the character.
"So I knew nothing about it initially when I was first approached about the role, and I had a conversation quite early with Greg Walker, the showrunner for Titans, about the part. Because I looked up a little in the canon and started to find out a bit about this guy and his origin, and Greg told me early on that they were going to do an origin story for him. So it wasn't going to be, he starts and he's this all-powerful being. But their origin story was going to differ a little bit from what we've seen in the comics and the animated series," Morgan said.
"So that was the thing that really appealed to me from the beginning was that there was going to be a chance to establish this guy in his life and hopefully to make him relatable and to give him some humanity and to go on this journey with him as he experiences these real tragedies," Morgan said. "And hopefully, bring people with me on that journey so that they can perhaps understand why he makes the choices he does, even if they don't agree with them. And that was what appealed to me about it, to create as big an arc as possible. That was my goal. So where he ends up is nothing like where he began, but it's the same guy. You can look at it and go, it's not a different character, it's the same character. I see cracks of who he was in the end but he's been down this incredible road."
In episode 6 Sebastian finally embraces his future role as Brother Blood, though it all begins in an effort to help protect the Titans. Despite joining Mother Mayhem and enjoying the perks of the process, he's still conflicted, and it was important for Morgan to continue to highlight the person behind the villain as he heads toward his destiny.
"I really worked hard to keep those little glimpses of him even as he goes further down that dark path and his ego takes over and his confidence and his power and everything becomes huge in his world and his life changes," Morgan said. "I wanted to connect him to that humanity that we established in the beginning so we still feel like, 'Man, we've just seen these series of events and choices that have happened to take him to this place.' But he is that same guy from the beginning."
While Sebastian does begin the process of becoming Brother Blood in episode 6, he doesn't change immediately, and the transformation process will continue to play out into the next series of episodes.
"Yeah, well it's going to be gradual still. It's not like he'll come out of the pool of blood and he'll be in the suit suddenly being a different person. Like I said, it's a gradual change for him and he's going to struggle with suddenly having this power and what that means and then his relationship with Mother Mayhem and how pure or not pure that is and what that means that she's put him in this position. And I think that that's his thing moving forward," Morgan said.
"I mean, I hope that through the first six episodes I wanted to provide just some tiny glimpses of his ego coming through a little bit, that there was a little bit of this anger underneath for him. I felt like there was a few moments, like when his video game gets turned down and he says to them, 'I'm going to change the world.' I just felt like there's a little bit of that, 'Do you know who I am?' feeling to it, which is just that side of him that he doesn't know how to communicate that at this point," Morgan said. "But it is there underneath. And so yeah, I just wanted to gradually take that further and further and throughout the season we're going to see his struggle with that."
"I also was very conscious, like you say, because it's a little bit of a risk to play such a slow burn character where people are expecting when the casting is announced, 'Oh, he's going to be this villain' and then he is not for the first half of the season at least, he's this character becoming this person," Morgan said. "I was very conscious that I wanted people to be aware going into it that it's an origin story and you're going to be with him every step of the way and you're going to hopefully understand why he becomes this person so that they don't go into it going, 'Well, who's this guy? He's not scary at all!' So certainly I was conscious of that."
Although Sebastian's time in the costume is yet to come, Morgan actually tried the suit on early in the process of getting the role. In fact, he wore the suit before filming any scenes for the show.
"Yeah, really early on because they cast me in I think it was October of last year, and then in November, I was flying to LA to do suit fittings every month because it's a massive process, the designing of the super suit and everything that goes into that. So I was wearing the suit before I filmed a single scene, not in its entirety, not the finished suit, but I was going to those fittings and they were building it and we were debating colors and shapes and different things and it was slowly becoming the suit that it became," Morgan said.
"I got to wear it long before I ever wore it on camera, so I knew... It was weird starting the whole process and playing the first few scenes and then going away and doing a fitting like, 'Okay, he's going to feel like this at the end.' Because it's like a suit of armor. It's really quite heavy and restrictive and it's like if you fight in it, as I do at some point, it's like fighting underwater. It's very, very physical and exhausting, but you feel pretty powerful wearing it. I have to say, you do. You feel pretty commanding marching through a sound stage," Morgan said.
You can catch up on Titans season 4's first 6 episodes on HBO Max right now, and the next half of season 4 will hit sometime in 2023.
What have you thought of Titans so far? Let us know in the comments and as always you can talk all things Titans with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!