Exclusive: ‘Constantine’ Star Charles Halford Previews ‘Danse Vaudou’

As evidenced from his work as Reggie Ledoux in True Detective or Chas in ConstantineCharles Halford is an actor who fills the room. Presence is something you’re born with and is probably hard to develop even after years of scene study, and Halford brings those innate talents to Constantine.

Comic book fans know the ins and outs of Chas Chandler from the Hellblazer comics, but initiates to the TV series simply know the protagonist as Constantine’s loyal (and apparently hard to kill) right hand man.

We’ll get into what Halford said about Chas’ development in a future post, but for now here is what he had to say about the show’s state of the state and tonight’s “hands on deck” episode, ‘Danse Vaudou’ (airing on NBC, 10 pm et/pt).

CONSTANTINE -- "Danse Vaudou" Charles Halford as Chas -- (Photo by: Tina Rowden/NBC)
CONSTANTINE — “Danse Vaudou” Charles Halford as Chas  — (Photo by: Tina Rowden/NBC)

Note: Charles Halford will also be live tweeting during tonight’s episode – his Twitter handle is: @Charlie_Halford.

Can you talk about the quality of the writing on the show ? The characters definitely leap off the page.

I’m having a great time. And I think the show’s developing really, really well. The characters are interesting to me because a lot of it is based on Constantine (Matt Ryan). It’s a show about the man and the myth and the legendary magician. In the Hellblazer comics, the property that the show’s based on, he’s on every panel of every issue.

In this show, Matt Ryan has such an amazing workload and he’s just been really impressive to work with. And all the surrounding characters bring different aspects to John’s (world). As the season develops, we get into everybody else’s back stories and it’s this slow rollout of these characters. You’re thrown into a world that you’ll soon find out about.

Tonight’s episode is really action packed. Last week’s (installment) was one of my favorite episodes.

With tonight’s episode, you, Zed (Angélica Celaya), John Constantine (Matt Ryan) and Papa Midnite (Michael James Shaw) are banding together on a mission. Can you give us a preview of tonight’s dynamic?

There’s bad stuff going down in New Orleans and not the normal bad stuff that goes down in New Orleans (laughs) – (it’s) the unnatural sort.

Another cool thing about tonight is you meet Jim Corrigan (Emmett Scanlan) who, as comic book fans know, eventually becomes a character named The Spectre. He’s a law enforcement officer who John ends up allying (with) in our story because he’s sentimental to the supernatural world – which he also becomes exposed to tonight.

So we head down there and the only way for John to solve the case, especially with the push back from the law, is to (team up) with Papa Midnite who two weeks ago left him to bleed out, tied to a bench, in a warehouse (laughs).

That’s a really cool relationship too, as well as in the comics – these guys would just as soon slit each other’s throats but they have respect for each other’s magical abilities. They operate in the same world – but differently. There are times when they have to play nice, but the second they have the chance to take the other one out – they probably would.

You get a little bit of that team effort – that’s another thing that’s cool about tonight’s episode is that it requires all hands on deck to get the job done and save the most lives as possible. It’s a fun episode and there’s some pretty good spins on urban legends.

CONSTANTINE -- "Danse Vaudou" -- Pictured: (l-r) Emmett Scanlan as Jim Corrigan, Matt Ryan as John Constantine, Charles Halford as Chas, Angelica Celaya as Zed Martin -- (Photo by: Tina Rowden/NBC)
CONSTANTINE — “Danse Vaudou” — Pictured: (l-r) Emmett Scanlan as Jim Corrigan, Matt Ryan as John Constantine, Charles Halford as Chas, Angelica Celaya as Zed Martin — (Photo by: Tina Rowden/NBC)

One of the advantages of Constantine is being able to sift through a ton of excellent material from the comics.

That’s another thing I really like about the writing on the show. We have this incredibly rich source material with the Hellblazer comic books and every person on board is a fan (of the comics). Our end desire is to have a proper, serialized arc.

We’re just trying to get our feet wet and get the characters and the world established right now. But what’s great about it is that you can have these urban legend stories (as well as) just a lot of human stories. We can tap into that Hellblazer world.

Last week’s episode (“A Feast of Friends”) was issues #1 and #2 of Hellblazer. (It) was my first experience with the comics and to see it come to life – it’s just so cool in the vein of the comics to see Gary Lester (Jonjo O’Neill) in the flesh . . . it’s a bit of a dream come true to get to play in this world on a weekly basis.

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