Interview with Alphas’ Ryan Cartwright

SyFy’s Alphas was one of those shows that truly surprised me. I had gone into the series originally expecting something like Heroes and had ended up with a story closer to X-Men, but somehow darker. And a lot of the show’s appeal has to do with actor Ryan Cartwright’s portrayal of Gary,  a young autistic man who has the ability  to view and interact with wireless communication signals in the air.

I had the opportunity to chat with Cartwright and discuss this fascinating character as well as the new season of Alphas.

When preparing for the character of Gary, Cartwright admits that he had a good month and a half to to do research. He stated, “And it was great, it was really good fun just looking at a part of the world that you’d never seen before, and also with autism, if you research it enough, you end up appreciating looking at the world through their eyes.”

Cartwright watched a lot of documentaries on autism and read a lot of books and online resources about the topic. “The firsthand account stuff from autistic people in its true form really helped because it helped me understand the neurology behind it which gave me the grace to come up with the mannerisms and stuff myself knowing the reason I’d be doing them as opposed to just meeting someone and copying mannerisms,” he said.

Last season, the character of Gary saw a lot of changes. Throughout season 1, Gary slowly developed more independence and Cartwright assures us we will see that continue. “He decides to move from his mother’s nest and descend on the office 24/7 and tries to make it his new home,” Cartwright explained.

But Cartwright also mentioned that the death of Anna in the series would affect Gary a great deal. “His continuance of trying to keep Anna’s voice alive because when she died at the end of the last season – it affected him deeply and made him question his place within the alphas and also kind of people’s motivations which he’s not very good at figuring out.”

So what can we expect in the new season of Alphas? Cartwright gave a few details: “There’s a lot more of a story line with regards to the kind of re-emergence of Red Flag, and Stanton Parish is very heavily influential on the arc. And, you know, a lot of it is obviously the alphas kind of falling apart as a group and just trying to stick together and weather the storm of just wearing each other down with their abilities and their own passions.” He went on to state that Parish will be up to his old tricks and “proves a lot more menacing and dastardly this time around.”

When asked what super power he would like if he could have one, Cartwright turned out to be downright sweet. ” I don’t know, just cheering people up, that would be nice,” he stated. “If you could just like nod towards someone and they just cheer up instantly, that would be nice — cheering people up, making them laugh.”

I had one final question for Cartwright, but our time ran out. Fortunately, he was kind of enough to answer me on Twitter. In other interviews, he’s mentioned XBox a few times, so as a gamer myself, I wanted to ask about what games he likes. His answer? Battlefield, Skyrim, Halo, GTA and Dark Souls is what he’s into at the moment.

Don’t miss the Alphas season premiere tonight on SyFy at 10/9c.

Like Science Fiction and Fantasy? Check out my new novel, Zeus, Inc.

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