We’re not going to say Mark Pellegrino is destined to play a villain. After all, Lost’s Jacob — one of an impressive number of TV characters he’s brought to life — turned out to be a mostly good guy. But his mere presence in the premiere of The Tomorrow People tonight on the CW (9 pm ET) lets us know that the heroes are in trouble. His Dr. Jedikiah Price is the leader of Ultra, an organization that is trying to find and neutralize the so-called “Tomorrow People” or homo superiors, a new species with powers of telekinesis, telepathy and teleportation. We recently spoke to Pellegrino, however, and he defended Jedikiah’s motives as pretty reasonable. He also managed to share his thoughts on his roles in Lost, Mulholland Drive, Supernatural and Doogie Howser M.D., and — brace yourselves — how he came to love Glee and One Direction.
VH1: Hi, Mark! So, I could just call your Tomorrow People character the villain, but do you have a better way to sum up Jedikiah for us?
Mark Pellegrino: I think he is a man devoted to the purpose of protecting the human race from the superior species that, in all of my research and studies, when in competition with an inferior species, not only defeats it but wipes it out.
VH1: Will we be able to relate to him too?
MP: I hope so. Especially in episodes 8 and 9, you see the more human side of Jedikiah. Jedikiah to me is a combination of scientist and politician. And what you see more in earlier episodes, especially the pilot episode, is the ruthlessness of a politician who has a grander vision of things than just this moment, an “ends justify the means” kind of animating philosophy. You see how much internal sacrifice he has had to make by the personal revelations that happen later on. It’s tough living for an ideal, and I think that’s what Jedikiah is living for.
VH1: Does the idea of a real life “homo superior” species scare you?
MP: It depends on the values of the person. If the person’s bad, yeah, they scare me because they can do quite a lot of things. Through the course of the show, you see breakouts that are mistaken as bad but aren’t. Some of them are doing bad things for noble reasons, because they’re on the fringes of society. And then you see really bad ones. You see people that are very scary. So you definitely get to see what it would be like if somebody with those kind of powers and horrible anti-life values were let loose in the world, and it’s frightening.