Interview: Rick Worthy Discusses The Interesting Life of ‘The Magicians’ Dean Fogg

With The Magicians season finale right around the corner, there are a lot of questions the series will need to answer. Fortunately, some of those questions can wait, because the show just got renewed for a third season. But that doesn’t mean that the season finale will rest on its laurels: fans can expect a lot of crazy moments when the finale airs on April 19.

In an interview with Rick Worthy, the actor behind the character of Dean Fogg, he spoke about what fans can expect going into the last episode of the season, as well as what he might like to see in season three.

Also, don’t miss our exclusive interview with The Magicians‘ Jade Tailor, too.

Dean Fogg is sort of a mysterious character on the series: we really don’t know a lot about him. How does that affect how you portray him on the series?

I love it. That’s how I always want to play Dean Fogg. You just don’t really know what he’s thinking, how he’s feeling or what’s going on inside of his mind. My goal is to play it close to the chest. He doesn’t really, really say a lot, but when he does, it’s important. And throughout the season, we have these little discoveries, like his relationship with a pixie named Bigby. That to me are those little things that I like the audience to discover.

Like you said, sometimes the things he says are so random. Is there anything in particular, one of these things that he’s mentioned that you would like to explore in future episodes?

Right away, I think about – I would love to – and this is as me, Rick speaking, I would love to make like a YouTube webisode series based upon individual characters. And of course, I would start with Dean Fogg. And I think, probably one of the first episodes I would make would be an origin story in terms of how he became who he is. There are loads of information that is just so hidden. Every now and then he’ll give a couple of clues. He said, in season one, he’s trying to get his magic back. He can’t cast because it’s too painful and he can’t make the right movement and they’re trying to help him. I think one of them reaches out and tries to touch his hand to try to comfort him and he withdraws and he says something about how he taught himself magic at the age of four. If you have a guy who taught himself magic when he was a baby, that’s really interesting stuff. It makes you wonder like what he is? Who is he? Who are his parents? Where did he come from? How did he stumble upon magic? He is self-taught. He never went to Brakebills, but he became the Dean of Brakebills. That’s a whole other backstory that I think would be interesting.

We’ve also seen a change in his character. He was very confident in season one, but then after the beast attack, he seemed to struggle more. Do you think he’s going to be able to get that confidence back to become the leader his students need?

I mean, he is the walking epitome of Brakebills itself. Everything goes through him. Every student at Brakebills is there only because of him. He has a staff of people, but he is the ultimate decision-maker about who gets in and who doesn’t. It’s his school. He is a very smart man and he’s the leader. And then the beast attacked him, and it not only crippled him physically, but he’s crippled spiritually. It’s shaken him a lot.

So what I wanted to do for season two and what they’ve given me is perfect. He’s struggling inside. He’s struggling with his confidence trying to regain what he lost. In the season finale, I think you’ll see the glimmer of a new Henry Fogg. You’ll see the students, they need him. And although some of them have gone off to Fillory and become kings and queens and seen things that he hasn’t, I think the circle will become complete, will come back around again, and they’ll need him just as much as he will need them. It’s a relationship that I think, that I hope, where they’ll always be together.

Where would you like to see your character go in season three?

I would love to see him regain more of his vision. The question I get often is can he see anything at all. And the answer is that with the sunglasses on, yes he can. The sunglasses are sort of enchanted and when he puts them on, he can see a fraction of the outline of someone’s face. Like he can see the outline of someone’s face, but he can’t tell what the color of their hair is or anything like that. That’s how he kind of moves around, but it’s very, very limited.

I would love to see the dean do, maybe a bit more interaction with Bigby. I thought that was terrific. When those two are together, I’d never met the actress before. When we rehearsed the scene, I said, “Hey, look, I’m going to put you in charge. Whatever you feel comfortable with, I’m comfortable with.” She said, “Great.” So we rehearsed a few times and we finally developed some chemistry, and then we looked at each other and were like, “yeah, that’s it.” It came out really funny, I thought it was hilarious.

So you’ve been on a lot of genre television shows, such as Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural. What is it about sci-fi and fantasy genres that appeals so much to you?

Well, first of all, thanks for watching Supernatural. It’s a personal favorite show of mine. I will sometimes just sit in my apartment and binge watch episodes, just me and my dog sitting there. I love to just watch old episodes of Supernatural. I loved working on the show. The alpha vamp is one of the best roles I’ve ever had. I put the dean up there as one of the best roles, as well. They’re very similar, in terms that they’re very powerful and they can do a lot. And they’re mysterious.

I love the genre of science fiction and fantasy. I moved to Los Angeles 23 years ago to be a cop on NYPD Blue. And that was my goal: I wanted to be a police officer on a show like NYPD Blue and I did it and it was great, but it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. Long story short, I think my next job after that was – I did a video game for Star Trek called Klingon Warrior, and it didn’t go anywhere, the game didn’t do very well. But it got me into the Star Trek science fiction universe. And they really liked me. Jonathan Frakes and Levar Burton, like they just called me back to audition for characters and I finally got a really cool character on Star Trek: Voyager. I played a robot and it was so much fun. I knew right away, “this is it, this is the genre for me.”

I guess you are drawn to the things that you love the most. I happen to be a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy and a very proud geek.

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