PALEY FEST: THE TOMORROW PEOPLE Panel with Robbie Amell & Mark Pellegrino

Paley Fest Previews Fall TV.

Saturday, September 7th, 2013 – The Tomorrow People with cast Robbie Amell, Mark Pellegrino and creative team Greg Berlanti, Julie Plec, Danny Cannon and Phil Klemmer.

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  • Moderator Rob Moynihan (TV Guide) asked why do a remake of a 70s British cult children’s show? Greg Berlanti watched the series on Nickelodeon as a kid in the 80s and talked about it with Julie Plec when they met in college. Berlanti says he carried the box set of DVDs around for years as he tried to procure the rights, finally buying them a little over a year ago.
  • Moderator jokingly asked if there was a direct line to the Amell household from the CW? Berlanti says he met Robbie Amell when he did an episode of Brothers & Sisters. So he knew Robbie before he cast Robbie’s cousin Stephen Amell on Arrow.  Berlanti actually got Robbie Amell his green card and later he told him he was bringing him in for his Tomorrow People pilot. Amell read “sides” for Stephen Jameson and felt connected to the character but they brought him in to read for John instead. “I think I’m more of a Stephen,” Amell said and ultimately producers agreed.

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  • “It’s a matrix thing,” Robbie Amell said about being the “reluctant chosen one.”  The Tomorrow People pilot definitely has a Matrix vibe, with Stephen stopping a bullet and time with his mind (a fourth power). One of the producers told Amell to watch Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko as well.
  • Moderator remarked how Mark Pellegrino is “no stranger to supernatural shows” and asked about his character Dr. Jedikiah Price, who’s not only the nefarious head of Ultra, a paramilitary group hunting the Tomorrow People, but also Stephen (Robbie Amell)’s uncle. Pellegrino says he likes Jedikiah’s commitment to the cause and the family dynamic which is almost father and son. Or not. A fan asked if Pellegrino if Jedikiah would have killed Stephen if he hadn’t been interrupted in the pilot. “I was gonna go through with it, ” deadpanned Pellegrino.
  • Producers teased a new character more evil than Jedikiah who will appear in the back half of the season. TVLine later broke news that Simon Merrells  from Spartacus cast in the role.

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  • Question about the love triangle between Stephen ((Robbie Amell) and fellow Tomorrow People Cara (Peyton List) and John (Luke Mitchell). We will learn more about the characters’ backstories in Lost-style flashbacks, especially about their traumatic breaking out experiences. And the search for what happened to Stephen’s father will drive the first season. Is he alive? Is he dead? If dead, who killed him? Jedikiah?
  • A fan asked Pellegrino if he’s ever played anyone who liked his brother? Pellegrino cracked up laughing (a rare sight on camera) and then answered the question seriously. He thinks Jedikiah loved his brother but something happened along the line.

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  • Another fan asked about Tomorrow People not being able to kill. Apparently these genetically-evolved people can put someone in a coma for life but not kill them.
  • Tomorrow People’s stunts are different from other shows because of stops and starts and jumping in for VFX. Robbie Amell says he’s been allowed to all his own stunts so far except for one fall and praised the “incredibe” stunt and fight coordinators doing double duty on the Tomorrow People and Arrow.
  • Moderator asked Robbie Amell if he sees a crossover with Arrow starring his cousin Stephen Amell? Robbie says he’d be happy to play a tree on Arrow.

The Tomorrow People premieres on October 9th after Arrow on The CW’s #Amell Wednesdays.

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