Deadly Class is a pretty cool concept: teens in a top secret elite boarding school training to be assassins, sort of like a more honest version of the X-Men. We visited the SYFY show’s Vancouver set and chatted to the cast and crew about adapting a cult comic, learning to fight, and the kids who inhabit the halls of King’s Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts. Here are six things you need to know:
Benedict Wong Is Bringing a New Side to Master Lin
In the comics the Dean of King’s Dominion, Master Lin, is an enigmatic if slightly sparse character, but when we sat down to chat with Benedict Wong he let us in on how the show’s version contains multitudes including a tragic backstory. “Lin is like this onion which will slowly unfurl, might make you cry a bit,” he said. “He just has this mysterious past, this lineage. This is it about Lin; he flips on a dime, so we don’t really know whether he’s benign or not.”
This Is Not Your Average School
A boarding school for assassins sounds like it would be a wild ride, and according to the young cast it’s nothing like your normal school, for better or for worse. “One of the good things about King’s Dominion is that they judge you based on your skills or talent, which doesn’t really happen in real life. Here, if you’re talented Lin won’t care if you’re a man or a woman as long as you practice and do your homework!” Maria Gabriela de FarÃa, who plays the daring and duplicitous Maria, stated. “The reputation and respect is what makes you survive, and if you show weakness you will never survive,” added Michel Duval, who brings to life one of Maria’s love interests and fellow Soto Vatos gang member Chico.
The Fight Training Was Intense
As you can imagine, getting ready to play an assassin takes a lot of preparation, and for Lana Condor, who plays Yakuza assassin Saya, it was an intensive experience. “I focused the most on training because I knew how much Saya was going to have to physically fight,” she said. “So I did a lot of physical training, and the pain my body went through… I actually brought that into the character because she has so much pain in her past, and the pain I felt lifting a weight, I was like ‘This is whaaat it must have felt liiiiike.’ My body was broken; it was horrible.”
The Kids Are Complex
Though it’s a show about teen assassins, many of the cast were quick to share that they felt their characters were not everything that they seemed. “I was talking with the director, and he was saying my character has been killing since he was seven years old. That’s a life that’s not normal for a kid. Everytime they kill, they’re killing a part of that kid too. So you’re really watching these kids killing their own childhoods,” Duval told us. His cast mate de FarÃa felt the same way about her role too, saying “Maria was kidnapped and raised by the head of the Cartel as his daughter, so even though she has this certain set of skills that make her deadly, this isn’t who she wants to be. She’s always looking for a way out.”
There’s A Lot of Romance
Just like the comic it’s based on there are a whole lot of love triangles in Deadly Class, and the cast shared why they thought that was important. “There’s a love triangle between Maria, Saya, and Marcus. I think what offsets it from what you usually see on television is that they’re both well aware of each other’s relationships with Marcus and they still have a good relationship. I think in television you usually see women who are super catty, but this shows that Saya and Maria are still together and supportive,” Condor explained.Duval agreed. “Chico knows that Marcus and Maria are having a thing but he lets it go, doesn’t do anything about it. Instead he tries to think of how to overcome it, and I don’t think that’s something you see too often. If you see a love triangle between two men and a woman, usually they’re gonna fight each other. But here everyone takes their time; they’re trained for this.”
It’s a Show To Lose Yourself in
In the wilds of 2018 we all need something to lose ourselves in, and the cast definitely see Deadly Class as a good space for that. “A lot of people right now can relate to feeling misunderstood or isolated, and I think with all the crazy stuff that’s going on right now this show could really offer up a support to make people feel less alone,” Condor explained. “It’s a relief, you know this world is a crazy world,”Â Duval shared. “And sometimes it’s good to just watch a good show where every scene is just filled with so much depth and so well written, and the characters are so diverse! Any teenager who feels alienated in high school can see the story of Marcus and how he tries to survive this crazy school.”
Images: SYFY, Image Comics
You can watch the pilot of Deadly Class on the SYFY app now.