There is nothing more dangerous than a family member intent on revenge. In the case of Michael Chasseur (Demore Barnes), he is hell-bent on avenging the death of his sister, Clementine (Kandyse McClure). In the HEMLOCK GROVE world, there are definitely “things that go bump in the night.” But does Michael know that yet? Is he prepared to take on the monsters who may or may not be hiding in the dark in the town of Hemlock Grove? With a little luck and perhaps a word of warning from his sister before she died, Michael just might have an inkling that there is a lot more going on that it appears on the surface.
In a press interview from the set, Demore Barnes talked about Michael’s quest for vengeance and whether it really is an achievable goal given the supernatural obstacles he will be faced with.
Is Michael on the path of vengeance or what is he up to in Season 2?
DEMORE: His sister was killed, so he is definitely on a path to get to the bottom of it. I guess you could say vengeance is probably in there.
How much was he aware of his sister’s real activities?
DEMORE: I think as the season unfolds it will become much more clear. It’s going to be interesting for the audience to see how much Michael was aware of and how oblivious he actually is. We’ll watch that unfold.
Is Michael going to be a force to be reckoned with?
DEMORE: He’s badass from the beginning.
How badass? Are we talking weaponry?
DEMORE: We’re talking intellect. We’re talking weaponry. We’re talking strategically. I think people might be surprised or they might be interested to see how wide and how deep he runs.
What have you noticed about the second season that is different than the first?
DEMORE: I think the sense of cohesiveness of the characters on the show. Obviously, it goes without saying that there’s a way that the characters are developing in a really significant way, but their lives are becoming more intertwined. Everyone has their objectives and some of them overlap. It’s kind of interesting to see when two different characters want completely opposite things. Also there was something really cinematic about Season 1 and I think we’re going to see even more of that. We’re also going to see in large part the influences of Mr. Roth, but then also of Chic Eglee who worked on DEXTER and THE WALKING DEAD. I think the audience will see some of those echoes.
Is there going to be a main antagonist, like a “big bad” in Season 2?
DEMORE: Yeah. Definitely. That central antagonist is just going to be ratcheted up. I think across the board what you’re going to see and enjoy is that everything is going to be ratcheted up. There’s going to be a lot which is unexpected. There’s going to be some things and characters dangled out there that will have the audience on the edge and wondering “how does this resolve?”
Is Michael going to regret this journey that he has undertaken — the search for his sister’s killer and what happened to her?
DEMORE: I don’t sense any regret. He loved his sister dearly. It was interesting how Michael appeared towards the end of last season and I think there was some gray, if not ambiguity, of the nature of their relationship. But the fact of the matter is that each was all that the other had. So that was taken away from him. So he has no regrets in pursuit of vindication or vengeance.
Will the priest character from Season 1 have a part to play in Michael’s quest in Season 2?
DEMORE: There will be a bit of a tango. I think it will be interesting to see who is leading the dance and who is following.
What impresses you the most with this show?
DEMORE: The cast is exceptional. It’s an extraordinary cast. Every time I jump into a scene or I watch a scene behind the monitors, it’s just like the calibre of talent is extraordinary. I think it’s fun. At a glance and seeing 10 episodes, you could assume that it’s going to be less than, but it is remarkable to note just how rich and robust the season still is with just 10. It’s just the right proportion; just the right size. Plus, the talent all around, our producers. It’s always interesting to see what they’re going to come up with.
What was your first reaction once you found out the direction of where Michael’s story was going in Season 2?
DEMORE: “What’s he wearing?” (Laughs) I’m wearing a sheriff’s outfit. That’s what’s clever about the design of it is that it seems out on the sleeve and out in the open. It is a way that affords Michael, and the writers, a much more sort of broad and a lot more latitude in terms of choices and decisions they make because of his role as sheriff of the town. There are powers and abilities that Michael has available to him that he otherwise wouldn’t have and he doesn’t always have to be under the cover of darkness — but then there is a darkness within and in the world he is in that he has to deal with. So it enables the writers to surprise in a way that it wouldn’t. It becomes much more obvious if it’s just Michael in the dark.
Does Michael’s new job position afford him the opportunity to interact with the entire cast?
DEMORE: Definitely. Everyone is a suspect. Everyone is potentially going to be at the end of his investigation.
What would be one word to describe HEMLOCK GROVE?
To find out who exactly how insidious things are going to get in Season 2 and if Michael will make it out alive, be sure to tune in on Friday, July 11th when the entire second season of HEMLOCK GROVE will be available for binge-viewing on Netflix.
(Editor’s note: Special thanks goes to Netflix which made this interview possible with a sponsored trip to the set of “Hemlock Grove.”)