What To Expect From The Atom in Season 4 | DC Legends of Tomorrow
DC Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 starts Tuesdays 8:30pm from October 23
With season four of the superhero series about to premiere, we spoke to actor Brandon Routh- also known as Ray Palmer or “The Atom” in the DC drama about what fans should expect next….
How would you describe Ray Palmer at the start of season four?
Ray is happy that they defeated Mallus [at the end of season three], but conflicted about his decision to give Nora Darhk [played by Courtney Ford] the time stone.
There are some things that happen early on in season four that lead him to question whether that was a good idea and if his gamble on Nora turning into a good person is going to pay off or not. He’s a little worried about that.
The character of Ray Palmer has greatly evolved since his introduction in Arrow. Has the evolution been purposeful?
With Ray Palmer, I think they lent into what I was doing with the character much more from season two [of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow].
I think they wrote more towards that aspect of Ray. Maybe they felt a need to make somebody be a contrast to the darker characters we had in the show?
The truth is that Ray on Arrow was envisioned one way, but I swam upstream because I wanted to make him not so much like Tony Stark.
When Ray Palmer moved over to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, what were your hopes for the character?
I wanted him to have a kinder presence, so that naturally fed into the comedic abilities of Ray and the comedy gold that could be mined out of a goody-two shoes character; a boy scout character.
That idea worked and the comedy worked so they just kept building and morphing Ray into this version. I think it’s good because it’s true to a lot of my growing up. I feel like I relate to the character a lot because I was just like that.
I don’t know if it’s a character that’s represented or not; the nerdy boy-scout kid who still wants to be cool and be part of the team.
In some ways, Atom is an anti-hero because he’s an intelligent scientist underneath the mask. He’s a great role model…
The science aspect of the character is something that I hear from a lot of fans, whether they are kids or parents.
People seem to love fact that Ray is so geeked-out about science. He talks about science all the time and he’s a great, positive role model for somebody who’s intelligent. I certainly think a scientist and a physicist is a cool role model to have.
If you had super powers in real life, would you be tempted to use them for the good of the world, or would you be tempted to use them for selfish reasons?
If I could fly, I would fly and go on vacation – if that’s called selfish. But no, I’d also do my best to help the world. The thing with someone like Superman is the fact that Superman can only save humanity for so long before humanity has to save itself. For me, that’s the goal.
I feel like my version of Superman enables humanity to learn and to not wreak havoc upon itself, and to get along. Rather than super powers, it’s about teaching people through enlightenment, or whatever else you want to call it, to be better to each other. That’s the goal.
Looking forward to season four of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, what dynamic does Matt Ryan bring to the show as John Constantine? And how does Ray react to the addition of magical creatures to the storyline?
I think Ray is going to embrace the magical aspect of the season. Obviously, Ray is a man of science – but he’s intrigued by magic. He’s intrigued by that world, and the unexplained. Personally, I think Ray and Constantine will bond over that a little, even though they are very much opposites on paper. In addition to that, Ray will probably want to try to look as cool as Constantine, which would make a funny episode.
Will Constantine constantly challenge Ray’s scientific beliefs with magic?
As far as Ray’s concerned, I don’t see them having any contradiction or issues. I think Ray is excited about understanding magic and learning about it. He’s excited about understanding how it works. He’s not going to push it away because it’s not science. I think he’s intrigued by the magic and supernatural.
Who would you like to see Ray interact with the most in season four?
I have some good, fun stuff with Zari [played by Tala Ashe] at the beginning of the season. Mick [Rory, played by Dominic Purcell] and I have had a lot of stuff, too. And Nate [Heywood, played by Nick Zano]. Caity [Lotz, who plays Sara Lance] and I have never really done a whole lot of scenes together. That would be fun to see happen.
And I’d also like to work with John Constantine because I think science and magic will be a good mix.
What about Maisie Richardson-Sellers’ new character, Charlie? What can you tease about this new character in season four?
I think Charlie is going to be whoever she wants to be in front of all the characters in the show. She’s going to present a challenge for certain characters and be welcomed by others. It’s going to be fun to see what she brings to the show.
From an acting standpoint, does the addition of magic in season four result in more green screen work for the cast? And the potential for lots more action?
There’s definitely a lot more action this season, but I don’t know about green screen. What can I tease about season four? Well, we might learn some Latin.
And we might watch Matt [Ryan] ingest some strange colored potions, but that’s all I know for now.
How challenging is it to work on magical scenes that are laden with lots of special effects? How do you approach these moments on set?
When it comes to scenes like this, you just have to have a vivid imagination. Thankfully, we can go big on our show. In some ways, it’s like you have to go big or go home, because otherwise it’s not going to play out right.
In that sense, you have to rely on the director a lot during these scenes. On set, the director walks through what’s happening in detail, which really helps.
When it comes to vivid imaginations, let’s talk about one of the standout characters from season three: Beebo. How surprised were you about the success of the Beebo episode? It was very bizarre…
You know what? On paper, I thought it was going to be okay – but when I saw Beebo in the Viking world, it did seem a little incongruous. However, it really worked. People more than embraced him, which was fun to see.
There’s an internet rumor going around that you provided the voice of Beebo. Is the rumor true? Did the producers run your voice through a speech modulator for the character?
That rumor is untrue. When we recorded Atom with Beebo, I did a voice for fun. I thought they might use it, so I posted a video of that online – but it didn’t happen.
In the video, that was just my voice unmodulated. In the actual episode, it is not my voice.
What’s going on with Ray’s love life in season four? Does he still have a crush on Nora?
Well, I think that’s definitely something that’s going to be explored with Ray and Nora this season. At the beginning of the season, Ray is coming to terms with the fact that he let her go and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
He doesn’t know if all the craziness that’s happening with these magical creatures popping up all over the place is because of her or something else.
It’s confusing for Ray because she’s the opposite of anything that he should be attracted to, so I don’t think he knows what it is that he feels – but he certainly feels some kind of connection. They went through a lot together. They had life and death experiences together, so they bonded. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next.
DC Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 starts Tuesdays 8:30pm from October 23
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