I recently had the opportunity to interview Tim Perez, who has worked on several different TV series including SYFY’s vampire drama series Van Hesling and CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Learn more about his love for acting, what inspired him, his character on these shows, and much more!
PopHorror – Hi Tim, how are you doing? 2021 treating you okay so far?
Tim Perez – My dad is ninety-two and has dementia. I haven’t seen him in eighteen months. Maybe, one hundred years from now there will be a definitive answer to what 2020/2021 was like? Can’t sugar coat it? It was bad. Real bad. Historians will have a crack at it and will try to find meaning in all the misery endured. The absurd irony is that actors prepare their entire lives for a pandemic. Much of an actor’s life is solitude. Solitude takes practice. It hurts. But, there are rules. One must have a plan to survive, a system to battle being alone, very alone. And still, it hurts.
PopHorror – I agree completely and I’m so sorry to hear that. On a lighter note, what inspired you to be an actor?
Tim Perez – Shakespeare smote me. When I was fifteen years old I saw Romeo and Juliet directed by Michael Langham at the California Shakespeare Company. It was here; Shakespeare grabbed me by the collar and made me sit up straight. In the middle of the play, I needed to pee so bad my eyes were spinning like Wile E. Coyote in The Road Runner, but I couldn’t leave my seat! Romeo had just climbed Juliet’s balcony to sneak a kiss and ask her to marry him. (I won’t spoil the end. But it’s tragic) I couldn’t leave my seat to break the play’s hypnotic effect. A story of two young lovers and their families, that hate so much, it consumes their beautiful children. The story, the intensity of the acting, and most of all the language changed my life. I felt new that day and in the end a most satisfying relief.
PopHorror – I love that one too! You’ve done so many TV series over the years. What is it like to play so many roles and characters?
Tim Perez – I have heard some say, “it’s all just a paycheck to pay the bills.” I don’t understand that attitude. Each character took a piece of me. A piece I don’t get back. However, thinking about my past and my characters is kind of like dwelling about someone who has died who we can never speak, share time, secrets, and mischief with. I tend to remember all of my mistakes… In the end, you’ve got to move on. The grass is always greener.
PopHorror – You play Biggs on SYFY’s vampire drama series, Van Helsing. Can you tell us about him?
Tim Perez – Spoiler alert! Biggs cared about his mom and dad and he cared for strangers. I gave him a backstory that he lost his family to the dark side. And his actions were more than vengeance or revenge… he wanted justice. If you front-load so much responsibility in a character, when they actually change into the dark side, it is that much more visceral and improbable. It wasn’t Biggs’ choice to turn dark, but something much more… something not rational… an infectious disease? And this drove him mad and annihilated him. He knew the risks… and he faced his fear.
PopHorror – Thanks for that insight. I appreciate a deeper look into his character and I’m sure other fans of the show will as well. Can you relate to him at all?
Tim Perez – I’m probably not as brave as he is. I’m scared of the shadow under my bed. Biggs is bigger, faster, stronger, and better. I had to enter his life and he had to agree to let me in. That was cool. He didn’t have to do that. We became friends.
PopHorror – Are you sad that this is the last season?
Tim Perez – I am sad that the crew are all out of work, as they do the hard work and set the table for actors. I am mentally prepared for the short runs of any acting job. To lose employment is worse than any cold shower. It is devastating.
PopHorror – Very true. Can you tell us about playing Fidel Castro in the CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow?
Tim Perez – Playing a historical figure, and one of the most controversial loved and hated figures of the 20-century takes practice. Previously, I had written two plays about the Cuban revolution. So I had about ten years of reading, writing, and acting as Fidel. To play Hamlet, Lear, and Richard the III also takes years of practice. I wouldn’t be big enough to wear Fidel’s shoes if I hadn’t had this experience and practice. I love to practice.
PopHorror – That’s pretty cool. Is this an exciting character for you to play?
Tim Perez – Indeed, however, the collaboration is the exciting part. To play a historical character takes a team. I had the most sensational hair, makeup, costume artists, and vocal coach. They are integral to the transformation into the character and if they have done their homework if they are inspired… I am inspired. They create a painting and open the door and tell me to do my job. It’s almost easy. But easy takes work and great care. Easy takes a great director… the amazing Sudz Southerland.
PopHorror – This show is one I have yet to check out, so I definitely will now after hearing you talk about it. Are there any other projects you would like to talk about?
Tim Perez – As a matter of fact, I’m glad you asked. If you blink, you might miss me on MAID, a Netflix show starring Margaret Qualley and Andy MacDowell produced by John Wells. My inner Cucuy comes alive in TWO SENTENCE HORROR STORY, directed by Freddy Chavez, on The CW. And my funny bone gets hit in a delicious comedic short on the actor’s nightmare called A.T.A.C.K. Produced by Nelson Leis and Vanessa Walsh directed by Natalie Bolt. In August, I’m doing a Zoom reading of my play EL, about the infancy of the Cuban revolution. The play was developed at NYU Alumni Actors Writers Workshop, curated by Judith Bradshaw.
PopHorror – Thanks for being so open with, Tim. I really enjoyed this interview and I hope you have a better year and I’m wishing you all the best in life and your upcoming projects. I definitely plan to check them all out!