HOLR sat down with Daniel Maslany, star of one of YouTube Originals, to get the scoop on Impulse’s newest season.
Season 1 of Impulse gave viewers a look into the life of Henry Coles, a new-in-town high school student with supernatural teleporting abilities that activate at inopportune times.
As each episode unfolded, Henry settled into her new surroundings while coming to terms with her newly-discovered powers. The show is based on a Steven Gould novel, which is part of the Jumper series. Canadian actor Daniel Maslany, brother of Orphan Black star Tatyana Maslany, plays Henry’s friend Townes Linderman, who helps her come to terms with the changes while dealing with his own challenges, some stemming from his own autism and adolescent angst.
Ahead of Impulse’s second season, HOLR met with Maslany to discuss all things Impulse.
How are the stakes raised this season on Impulse?
Every character has accepted what is going on now, with the supernatural stakes. But everybody has to decide how they’re going to move forward. Things get a little bit deeper into the conspiracy, the world gets a little bit bigger, and we go outside of Restin a little bit more this season. We see the characters reconsider what they have decided about themselves. There’s a line and, if they cross it, they may become someone else and they can’t really go back.
How does that play out for your character, Townes?
He loves being a sidekick but that proves to be really challenging this season because he has such a routine and schedule. He has a really comfortable life so breaking out of that and stepping into the unpredictability of the tele-porter world is very stressful for him.
What initially drew you to this character?
It’s really exciting to play a character who is excited about something. He has such a clear motivation and such a clear admiration for Henry. And the first scene that I shot with Maddie, I was like, ‘Oh my God. She’s amazing.’ You don’t have to work hard to be a fan of hers in a scene. I’m probably the biggest fan of this show so to get to walk on-set and be a fan in the scene is really fun.
Being that your character is autistic, was there anything intimidating about taking this role?
I met with a specialist who had worked with young boys with autism, especially in high school. He was able to give me some background information that helped me bring myself to the part and not have to approach it from the outside-in. There are many stereotypes and tropes that can be easy to lean on but the writing never does that. He may be singularly focused on this exciting thing because it involves superheroes and video games and comic books and how they all relate and this could be happening in reality. That might seem sort of narrow but he’s also a really loving person and a very emotional person. And those are things that you sometimes don’t see portrayed. I feel safe with the writing because the writing is so strong. And the more I could bring my own social anxieties into the role, that just made the character richer and allowed me to not feel like I’m playing a stereotype. Instead, I’m playing a version of myself.
What do you hope viewers can take away from your portrayal of Townes?
I hope that viewers won’t see it as a stigmatized portrayal. I think if we can get rid of the stigma around it and see how wide the spectrum is. That was something that the specialist and I spoke about a lot. Because I would go into specifics, maybe just like Townes, because I was trying to figure it all out and check all the boxes. But the truth is, it is such a wide spectrum and there are so many ways that it can show or that you can be affected by it. So there was a real liberty in that as well.
If you could teleport anywhere, where would you go?
I would teleport to wherever I’m late to because I’m always afraid of being late.
New episodes of Impulse are available now on YouTube.
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