You might recognize Joel Courtney from his starring role in Super 8, the scifi film set in the 70s where he played a filmmaking kid encountering alien life. Now at 19, Joel's taking on a different role in his new CW showThe Messengers—but it's still pretty out of this world. After a meteor strikes Earth, Joel's character Peter and several other individuals experience something totally incredible. They die. But then they wake up, different and powerful, with the fate of good and evil in their hands. Check out what Joel had to say about his new role.
GL: Who is Peter?
Joel: Peter's a regular teenager who’s got some extra baggage from his history. He’s been moved form foster home to foster home and has struggled with his mental health and a past suicide attempt. When the meteor falls out of place and the shock wave temporarily kills him, people misunderstand it for another suicide attempt. But when he comes together with the messengers, they really become a family like he’s never had before. That's where his life really starts to begin.
GL: The meteor changes Peter, right?
Joel: Yeah! Peter is given the gift of strength—but it's kind of a need, not want situation. In the pilot there's a bully that Peter stands up to, but with his new powers, he does more than he means to and accidentally kills him. He has to learn how to control his emotions and find a good place, mentally, so he can make sure it doesn't happen again.
GL: What are you most excited for fans to see?
Joel: This is a smart show; it will tease your brain. You have to put things together, make connections, and you get to think through it yourself. Plus, the emotional journey for Peter is pretty incredible. I feel like a lot of fans can relate to it and enjoy it. And that goes for all the characters — even though we become angels, we’re just random people selected to see if humanity is worthy of carrying on.
GL: You guys showed the first ep at WonderCon not long ago. How was seeing the fans reactions?
Joel: It was pretty great, actually! We heard cheering, we heard some booing when Diogo Morgado who plays the devil came on screen. When Diogo comes out of the meteor crash, he's butt-naked and he walks up to this guy fixing a car and the guy goes, “Whoa, bro, I’m definitely calling the cops.” It’s the funniest thing. Everybody seemed to really enjoy it.