The CW's newest thriller-drama, Containment, aired its pilot episode last week and immediately captivated audiences with its realistic take on what a virus quarantine would look like in Atlanta -- an issue that is all too timely for the United States. During ComicCon, PopWrapped caught up with Chris Wood, who plays Jake on the show.
Now that the series premiere has gone public and "viral," it's time to learn more about the intense relationships that will be formed (from four-six feet away) throughout the season.
As the sole police officer in the cordon, Jake is faced with moral dilemmas and decisions as alliances unfold. Wood is known for his portrayal of Kai on The Vampire Diaries, but he's ensured us that his character on Containment isn't becoming a violent sociopath (at least, anytime soon).
PopWrapped: How would you characterize Jake, and how is different than previous characters you've played?
Chris Wood: It’s the opposite kind of character [as Kai]. Instead of an outgoing, charismatic, sociopath murderer, I play an introverted, quiet, tough police officer hero. So it’s like just – compare and contrast. But I love the new role. Jake has already become such an important part of me, and working on his story and getting into what he stands for as we go further into the season discovering who he’s going to become.
PW: The pilot episode reveals that Jake is stuck inside the contained area --
CW: Yeah, I’m stuck inside. My character ends up inside the quarantine when it goes up and he’s the only law enforcement inside, so he’s sort of forced to make some choices. His first instinct is to make himself protected from the disease and to survive. Ultimately, he will step up to the plate and become a hero in the situation.
PW: If characters cannot have any kind of physical contact, will there be romance throughout the season?
CW: It’s sort of a strange thing to think of, being inside this cordon and the possibility of that happening. But I guess when there’s a spark, there’s a spark. Once the dust settles of the cordon going up and everyone trying to figure out what they’re going to do, they have to find what they’re normal life is inside. Because once they realize they’re not getting out tomorrow or the next day, they have to figure out how to sustain life, and that involves relationships and allies. Even though they can’t touch, emotionally, they have to have other people in their lives.
PW: Is Containment focused on action sequences, or are we going to see more drama and character-based stories?
CW: It's definitely more about the relationships and about the means of survival inside the cordon and seeing how the characters are able to navigate. But it's also definitely about maintaining your distance from people, so weapons are a part of the story, and people trying to fight -- quite literally -- to stay alive. They're getting attacked or if someone's held up in a house somewhere where they're trying to protect themselves, if someone's outside and needs to escape the street, they're going to do anything they can to break into this house. So the story ultimately has very normal, civil people becoming quite violent and lashing out.
PW: How will your character try to gain control as a police officer inside the quarantine without the ability for physical contact or any outside support?
CW: That’s going to be an interesting situation because you find a law enforcement officer in a situation where he’s the only one in there. He’ll have to find a way to exercise his power because without anyone else in there, the gangs and the drug lords and those with money and weapons are going to be—that’s the law enforcement now. There’s nothing else that can be done. So he’ll have some interesting choices to make in terms of who to align himself with and how to protect himself, how to make sure he survives and ultimately, who he becomes connected with inside and how to best get everyone though the problem. So that’s a really fascinating part of the story, how the coalitions form inside the cordon and how people are going to be able to stand up for themselves and what is right, versus finding a way to stay alive. It changes your morals, instantly. As all the characters come in they say, ‘We’re going to take care of this. It’s going to be fine. We’re going to contain the virus.’ And we’ve already seen the havoc that the disease is going to reap on the city of Atlanta. We as an audience start to feel really uncomfortable because you want to be like ‘No, no, you’re wrong,’ and you want to help, but you can’t do anything, because it’s TV. So it’s very exciting. We love the show and the story.
Watch a behind-the-scenes look at tonight's new episode below, and catch Containment on Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW. Join the conversation and learn about the latest news inside the cordon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!