Bella Swan’s slightly naive, overprotective dad Charlie in the Twilight Saga has very little in common with Revolution’s gruff, seemingly invincible warrior Miles Matheson — except for two things: They’ve got the most hilariously quotable lines of their respective stories, and actor Billy Burke gives them both a soft underbelly that keeps us sticking around after all the bloodshed. Before Revolution returns from winter hiatus tonight (8 p.m. ET on NBC), we caught up with Burke to chat about what went down when Bret Michaels dropped in on the show’s “post-power world,” how he keeps sane while filming the show’s outlandish fight sequences and how he feels about the Twilight vortex a year and a half after its conclusion.
VH1: Despite the sometimes horrific circumstances of Revolution’s post-apocalyptic world, you always seem to be having a blast. What do you get a kick out of the most in your job?
Billy Burke: Most of the time, we come to work and it’s obnoxious hours and a pretty tough schedule, but we’ve got amongst the cast and the crew — there’s a great spirit on set. We have a great time taking everything as seriously as we can and taking the piss out of it when we need to.
VH1: When do you need to take the piss out of it?
BB: The nature of the show, because it’s a serial drama, there are a lot of moments that would be considered soap-like. Because they’re repetitive, and you have to keep telling people what had happened and you have to remind them through dialogue. Some of those things are met with a little bit of tongue-in-cheek on set, and we try to get away with as much comedy as we can. Hopefully, some of it makes it way to the actual airing, but most of it doesn’t.
VH1: Are you a wiseass like Miles in real life?
BB: I use sarcasm as a tool, yes. I think it helps get one through any day. But here again, I mean, we take the job quite seriously. But if you take it too seriously you’re going to be putting nails in your head.
VH1: What’s harder to do, or easier to do, than it seems onscreen?
BB: When we first started out, a lot of the action sequences were [difficult], because of other things the not least of which was the unbearable heat we sometimes have to shoot in, because last year it was set in North Carolina and this year it was set in Austin, which is 104 degrees every day in the summer. But the sequences themselves turn out to be quite fun. It is a lot of work and a lot of memorizing choreography and things like that but you do get to put your own spin on it and you get to f— around a little bit and kind of make it your own. That’s not as grueling as it might seem.
Next: What’s up with Bret Michaels?