Exclusive: Joel Gretsch Talks ‘V’, ‘Captain America’

Actor Joel Gretsch has been making the rounds in the televised science fiction world since Steven Spielberg’s Taken miniseries back in 2002. Since then, we’ve gotten Joel in The 4400, Journeyman and the film Push. Gretsch can now be seen as Father Jack Landry on ABC’s V. We recently got to talk to Joel about his role on the show, his ties to the world of sci-fi, and even got a response to a question that fanboys and girls have been asking for years.

The Flickcast: Starting off, what can you tell me about the things coming up on V?

Joel Gretsch: Wow, what a question. [laughs]. Lots of things. It’s really ramping up. Scott Rosenbaum, the showrunner, is writing a lot of fast, neck-breaking reveals, and you’re going to learn a lot of things of things about where each character comes from, why they are who they are. Why is Father Jack a priest? Stuff like that.

Anna’s moving. She’s got a reason why she’s here, and all that is going to get revealed. Also backstories. Erica’s relationship with Tyler is going to be revealed some more, as well as her relationship with her husband. A lot of emotional things will be happening, people will get hurt, my faith will be compromised even more than it already has, and it also gets more solidified. There is really a lot of stuff going on.

TF: We recently spoke with your co-star Laura Vandervoort, who wasn’t really aware of the original series before coming onto the show. Were you in the same boat?

JG: I was aware of it. I watched a little. I remember seeing the alien baby getting born, which freaked me out so I stopped watching. I was definitely aware of it, and some friends of mine were fanatic fans about it at the time. I really appreciate it now, though.

It was a really amazing show. Kenneth Johnson put together an amazing story, and the fact that there are still fans out there today that love what he did is a real tribute to his work.

TF: Many fans of V remember you from other roles in shows like Taken and The 4400, is Sci-Fi something that you seek out, or does it just kind of happen?

JG: You know, it just kind of happens. I got Taken because I did The Legend of Bagger Vance, a golf movie. When I did the role in Minority Report, Spielberg said to me: “I saw you in the dailies of Bagger Vance, and I really want you to do this part in a miniseries.” So that’s kind of how that happened, and how I got into the sci-fi.

After that, I got sent a script for The 4400, which I thought was a fantastic, character-diven sci-fi show, and that’s how I met Scott Peters, who ended up doing V. So it all kind of just fell into my lap, to a degree. But I like it!

Sci-Fi makes people think bigger, and ask the question “What if?”, which is great.

TF: Science Fiction has been known to have some pretty crazy fans, have you gotten the full experience with them yet?

JG: Yeah. I think sci-fi fans are pretty smart. They love detail, and there’s that kid in all of us that just loves to play, so why not? What’s brilliant about it is that life can get very superficial. God knows, I’m a part of that, worrying about having to go out and get an iPad, but if you look up in space or you listen to an astronomer talk, it’s extraordinary to think of how small we are. Pretty narcissistic to think that we’re the only ones in the universe

TF: Being on a big twisty-turny show like V, are there big moments in each script where you are completely surprised by the events that unfold?

JG: Yeah, I did. Actually, in the episode that’s set to air this week brings up that point. I remember reading it, and it was quite emotional. After the first read, I sent an email to Scott Rosenbaum telling him how emotional and powerful the episode was.

I think that the show does have those moments. There are so many reveals that are happening this year that had me just say “wow”, and taken back several times. I think the fans will also experience that when they watch the show.

TF: Since the sci-fi world was introduced to you in Spielberg’s Taken, the question got raised if you would ever play Captain America. I know we’ve mentioned it many times around the office, and we think you would’ve been our number 1 pick.

JG: [laughs] No Kidding! Aww, that’s great. I’m absolutely flattered. It’s nice to even be thought of as that.

TF: Absolutely. Has the discussion ever been brought up in the past? Is that something you’ve ever been interested in?

JG: Of course! Are you kidding me? Of course! I think I heard that Chris Evans is playing the character now. Terrific actor, and he’ll be wonderful in it. I think he’s a little younger than me, too [laughs].

I would’ve loved to do it. But no, nobody has ever approached me to do it. I’m still flattered, though!

Be sure to catch an all-new “V” on ABC tonight right after LOST: The Final Season.

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