Q: How do you go about playing such a dark, twisted character without dehumanizing him? As an actor, how do you approach that?
Garret: I guess you can’t think of him as that. I thought he was just a guy who’s had some bad luck in his life and it really makes him angry, the way the world has treated him. He’s just not responding to that bad luck, in a healthy way. He’s not seeking therapy or retraining. He’s blaming everyone else, and he really can’t let it go. He’s physically incapable. It’s everyone else’s fault, and he gets obsessed with punishing them. He’s mete-ing out his own twisted justice.
Q: Does the material tell you when it’s important to bring that characterization, as opposed to just letting him be the monster?
Garret: Maybe sometimes I should do that, but I feel like that’s easier. I have to be careful how I sound because it sounds like I’m good at doing it, but what I want to do is bring humanity to things. I feel like it’s more interesting if there’s a little complexity and, in a way, more monstrous because it could exist in the world, like Ted Bundy or the BTK killer or the Green River killer, where you’re just like, “What? How can you have that stamina, to do this over decades, and still wake up and dress yourself, or think you’re all right?” I don’t think Krug is a serial killer. I think he’s a spree killer. He’s just got some wrong ideas about how to exist.
Q: Did you do an entire backstory for this character?
Garret: I think it’s helpful to. I don’t think it matters, if the audience knows what it is. It’s probably better, in this case. You can be that monster. It doesn’t really matter, does it? He’s come to your door, for whatever reason. But, it was helpful for me, yes.
Q: On Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, you play this guy who is a machine and he’s detached. And, there is a little bit of that in this character that makes him a monster. Do they have anything in common?
Garret: I was hoping to be completely different from that. It was refreshing for me to play someone that’s so emotional. The machine doesn’t care. He’s almost not a bad guy. He’s just doing what he’s programmed to do. He doesn’t hate the Connors. He doesn’t have any feelings for them, whatsoever, which is what makes him scary. “I’m going to do this thing ‘cause it’s what I’m programmed to do, and I can’t be reasoned with.” But, this guy has rage and feels some kind of release from what he does. He needs to feel like the leader from the pack, and powerful. That’s what rape is. It’s a power game, and Mari won’t give him that. She keeps trying to escape. She wrecks the car and she burns Sadie. Those girls are something else. They do not stop fighting. From the moment we come into that motel room, they’re trying to get out. It’s pretty impressive. They’re impressive girls.
Q: What was the hardest thing, emotionally, for you to do in this?
Garret: I suppose it would have to be the assault. I would almost feel bad, saying anything else. But, it was oddly focusing as well. It was one of the most focused days I had because I was determined to do it right and do it on time, and bundle Sara off to a hot bath.
Q: How was working with Dennis?
Garret: I liked Dennis very much. He’s only done Hardcore, which was a really good movie. He handled the sexual stuff in that really well. It’s about teenage prostitutes in Greece, who go mad and go on a killing spree. But, it’s so sensitively handled and so believable, I thought he could do this well. I had absolute faith in him, in short order, because we have similar tastes. We like things messy, and we like things believable. He wasn’t going to let anything cheesy, on screen, and that’s a really freeing feeling, especially doing a horror movie, although I don’t know if it is pure horror. That he wouldn’t put anything dopey up there was great. How many times have you screamed at the screen, “Don’t go there! Why? That’s stupid. Now, I’m out of this movie.”
Q: Are there feelings that you’ll get a Season 3 (T:SCC), or is there disappointment because of the Friday night ratings?
Garret: I don’t know. I always feel like shows are going to be canceled. That’s probably a knee-jerk response as well. I prepare for the worst and start looking for another job, just in case.
Q: Do you have a satisfying resolution for John Henry, if this is it?
Garret: It’s never satisfying, is it? I’m usually dead when series end, so this will be my first time living.
Q: Have you seen a cut of The Road yet?
Garret: I did. I saw one about three weeks ago. I think it looks great. I’m a big fan of Cormac McCarthy, so I might be an easy audience. But, I think that kid is something else. Kodi Smit-McPhee is his name. He’s an Australian kid. Talk about clicking in and out of character. He was like, “It’s fun, I reckon,” and then they’d call action and he’d be a little American kid, all intense and sad. They called him “the alien” on set because he was so good. It’s annoying, really. I was like, “I’ve studied for years. You can’t just show up and be good.”