Midnight, Texas Set Visit Diaries: Jason Lewis (Joe Strong)

In our next Midnight, Texas Set Visit Diaries entry, we chat with Jason Lewis. He tells us about Joe embracing his true nature, the citizens of Midnight banding together as their town becomes a tourist destination, and how the Midnighters are more of a family in Season 2.

Read our chat below, and if you missed it, check out the first diary entry featuring showrunners Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder.

Midnight, Texas premieres this Friday night at 9/8c on NBC.

We didn’t learn much about Joe in Season 1. Will we discover more about him in this new season?

Joe is holding onto a secret and hiding from society. He knows that there’s this jerkwad from Hell trying to take over reality. Joe played it close to the vest [in the past]. He had left the fold to fall in love with a demon, and [his mentor] Bowie wanted to eradicate him for that. I think all of us characters are in Midnight because it’s a place where we don’t have to deal with an unforgiving or unaccepting society.

This is a much more dynamic season for Joe. He is no longer hiding a secret. Moreover, he’s got to start figuring out after a thousand years of hiding — hiding his purpose and hiding from the world — what does that mean? Who is he going to be now? In the first season, we went from being a community to a family, and that family is going to be tested throughout, both individual tests of each character, and also tests of the bonds that tie us.

How has learning about Joe’s true nature affected the other Midnighters and his relationships with them?

If it’s Bobo, he’s just in awe. If you were to discover a creature that powerful around, it would make you wonder where your place is. Joe is very much a protector of others. Not being able to realize his purpose of fighting and slaying evil, that energy was poured into protecting others. Now that he doesn’t have to hide that. He can lean in and embrace it and who he is.

There are hints that Joe may be caught up in a love triangle this season. What can you tell us about that?

There is a character who comes in, this cowboy demon hunter who is living a life that Joe has denied. Joe was created to fight demons, and he ended up falling in love with one. It became something that Joe ended up denying, but that’s like denying your base nature. So, in comes this demon hunting cowboy who puts pressure on Joe and makes Joe question the reality he’s living in.

Joe’s [morally] grey area has to do with not fulfilling his purpose and having left the fold. His purpose is to hunt and slay demons, but obviously, he has a conundrum in that, because he’s in love with a demon. We got to see that in Season 1. When I was looking at it and creating a backstory about it, I think there was a certain disillusionment that Joe had gone through because destruction for destruction’s sake is an unsavory thing. I think it reached a point for him that he was just tired and worn from doing so. Then you have this [demon hunting cowboy] fanatic who loves it, which makes it even more distasteful. When you see this creature, Chuy, who is supposed to be all these things that you’ve been indoctrinated to think is something [bad], you’re like, “You’re actually the kindest and most beautiful of us all in spite of your given nature.”

Are there any costars that you’re spending more time with on screen this season?

Actually, I find is there’s greater dispersion of us this season, a greater integration of us with each other in general. We interact more and engage in those relationships more. It’s a much more integrated family than it was in the first season. We’ve come together for each other’s common good. We realized that you’re either a Midnighter or you’re not. And we’re all Midnighters.

How does Joe feel about these new hotel owners in Midnight and what they’re bringing to the town?

They come in and they bring a natural conundrum. Midnight is a secluded community, and we didn’t really want outside influences coming into town. In comes not only an outside influence, but they’re inviting people into the world by opening their hotel. You’ve got a healer, Kai, inviting people from all over to come in and check us out, wanting it to be a tourist destination. We all have varying opinions about what that means and those opinions get tested as we go along and learn more about it. Joe is wary at the start, but a little more neutral than some of the other characters. Joe is an angel, but he’s not the cherub on top of the Christmas tree. He has a really powerful energy and is a force of nature. That allows a certain amount of room to not be laissez faire about things, but also not jump to quick judgment. He can give people a chance. Also, Joe’s a creature who has lived this long in a conundrum of his own values, so who am I to judge?

Can you talk a bit about what’s been the most exciting or challenging for you this season?

I’ve definitely gotten to do some work this season that I’m proud of that’s really exciting and fun. There are some good storylines that challenge expectations. They challenged my own expectations. Part of the fun of playing a story is playing against audience expectations. Leading you down a road that is going to drop off a cliff is a really good way of telling a story. And then there’s a big airbag at the end of the fall.

Photo Courtesy of NBC

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