Trevor Roberts Talks Helstrom, What He Would Do in a New Scary Movie, and More

Helstrom may be over, but it's a solid bet that it won't be long before the next time you see Trevor Roberts, who played Father Crow -- a holy man with a dark secret -- on screen. He's the kind of character actor that you can get one look at, and know you've seen him before. Roberts has appeared in movies like Scary Movie and TV series like Once Upon a Time and Altered Carbon. Helstrom's cancellation means he's out looking for his next gig, but we took some time to chat with him about his time on the show, and some of the other projects that he might revisit down the line.

So, did he know the dark secrets of his character before he took the job? And what does he think would happen if his Helstrom character was dropped into Once Upon a Time?

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

Coming into Helstrom, did you know Father Crow's secret, or did you find that out as you worked through the scripts?

The casting process was really interesting with Helstrom. Lots of secrecy from the very beginning. But…once I was tapped for the role of Father Crow/Raum, the powers that be, gave me a pretty thorough debrief. I think it went something like, "Okay, so you're not a sleazy businessman, you're a catholic priest possessed by a demon." Blink…blink. 'Kay. From that point on, it was like having a "script Christmas" every couple weeks. We were all finding out at the table reads about the Helstrom family story, and where we all fit in the puzzle, it was a blast!

Trevor Roberts - Photo The Portrait Sessions1web
(Photo: The Portrait Sessions)

You've been working in TV for a while now. Is it still a little jarring that so many things now are seen via the binge model, so the twists and turns of a series like Helstrom are out there almost immediately?

I think it's the direction things have been going for a few years now. Myself, I do really enjoy the "longing" for the next episode. The delay of that story gratification…it's incredible if you discipline yourself. So…yeah, I guess binge culture is a bit of a bummer to me. As for being part of the cast of the show, I found myself eager to watch season one play out, but I also wanted to savour the experience. What's been fun, has been the messages that people are sending about their viewing experiences. People have been extremely passionate and excited about the show.

Had there been a second season, would you want to have a chance to play Father Crow more straight, as a human priest, or do you think it'd be more fun to see him get somehow sucked into the supernatural hijinks again?

I've thought about this… I think it would be really interesting to see what a priest is like, after being possessed by a demon for so long. That experience would have such an incredible effect on the psyche of a man of faith… that would be delicious to play with. And… if he were then possessed by a different demon, we see another side. Yeah, lots of directions to go there! (But, alas, Helstrom has not been renewed for season 2.)

Are you the sort of actor who gives yourself a backstory for the characters you play, or are you bound to exactly what's on the page?

For me, I start with what the writers give me. Words on the page are just TOILED over, so there's so much information they're giving you. And then, yes absolutely, fleshing your character … or characters out is essential. It's that kind of prep that makes it easier to 'play' when you're finally in a scene with great actors.

If the former, can you give any insight into what you kind of "told" yourself about Father Crow and/or Raum?

For Father Crow, I did some research on the Catholic Church, what that seminary program was like, and thought a lot about what Joshua's spiritual path/calling was like. And, I'd had a suspicion that I wasn't going to be playing Father Crow for very long….which, turned out to be true.

Raum was a more organic experience for me. As every script came my way, I would get to see what he does, hear what he says, see how he fails! And what I found fun to work with was figuring out that Raum is the runt of the litter. He just wants to be Mother's favorite…or even in her top 3!!

Obviously, you've been in a lot of shows with heightened realities over the years. If you could transplant Father Crow into one of those series for an arc and just go nuts in another world, which show would you pick?

I think a character like Father Crow if taken out of Helstrom, and dropped in Storybrooke, could be an interesting character in Once Upon A Time. He would OBVIOUSLY be an evil villain in a fantasy realm while being the town priest in the real world. I think I should pitch the show as a re-re-boot!

On that note – there's a new Scream coming. You've said that the Scary Movie scene still hangs over you all these years later. If you could do a new one, what would be your ideal parody role? I feel like "Wazzzzzup" isn't as timely now...!


Okay, so if I'm playing a character, in one of these movies, right now, at my age…I'm 45… I'm gonna have to go with "Ridiculously Creepy Redneck Guy" who is sadly misunderstood/has a heart of gold and a potty mouth!

Seems like a guy who'd probably make it to the third act, before getting slashed, right?