Believe it or not, the fact that he would have a chance to play a character with the last name of “Matheson” once again is not what ultimately convinced actor Billy Burke to sign on to NBC’s new series “Revolution.” In fact, it’s doubtful that the Gary Matheson of Fox’s “24” fame could ever hold a candle to Miles Matheson, who decides to open his own makeshift bar in Chicago 15 years after the world loses all power.
But it’s not the amazing warrior prowess of Miles Matheson that attracted Burke to “Revolution.” But it was a trio of Hollywood titans instead.
“Script comes at you, it’s got J.J. Abrams written across the top, [it’s] written by Eric Kripke, and by the way, it’s going to be directed by Jon Favreau,” Burke recently told reporters, including Airlock Alpha, at San Diego Comic-Con. “I don’t need to read it. And that’s how it comes about.”
Up until this year, Kripke was the showrunner for The CW’s popular series “Supernatural,” but was looking to stretch his legs on something different for the first time in seven years. He developed “Revolution,” centered on life after a global blackout that left nothing electronic or powered able to run. It forced humans to flee into the interior portions of the country, and live life the way they did before the industrial revolution.
It’s almost like “Jericho,” but without the nuclear bombs, and a little more “Hunger Games” mixed in.
“I went to meet with Eric and John, and they pitched me on what the show was,” Burke said. “And I was like, ‘I don’t need to hear this. Let’s do this.'”
Burke plays Miles Matheson, a former military guy who seems to be an expert in all kinds of hand-to-hand combat. He escaped some of the political power struggles that erupted from various factions following the blackout, and is first seen as Chicago’s very own Sam Malone. But when his niece, played by Tracy Spiridakos, comes to town, everything changes for him — and it’s not just to talk.
“We’ll find out that he has been in the fight for a long time,” Burke said. “His niece comes to visit him, and it brings him back in. And he wants no part of it.”
But he does become a part of it, which allows Burke the actor to become Burke the stuntman.
“I’m handy with knives and swords. I have a good time with that stuff,” he said. “That’s why I got into this business.”
“Revolution” premieres Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. To see Burke’s complete roundtable session with Airlock Alpha and other reporters, watch our video by clicking here.
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