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NYCC Interview: Titans Star Alan Ritchson Talks Series Tone, Teases Hawk & Dove-Centric Episode

Alan Ritchson

Titans star Alan Ritchson, who plays Hank Hall/Hawk, spoke to TV Source Magazine at New York Comic Con over the weekend, teasing what fans can expect to in the first season, and gave some details on a special Hawk-centric episode that will be the focus of Episode 10.

“You’ll get the origin story for how they (Hawk and Dove) meet in Season 1,” teases Ritchson. “And I will say – I’ve done, I’ve been in the business a long time, I will say this is my proudest work so far today is episode 10, which is the origin story of Hawk and Dove.”

He says the episode as an unexpected departure from the show, previewing the episode gives the feel of that of a mini-movie.  “It’s a very special break from what the shows been doing up until that point [and] gives you more perspective of where these two are coming from. It was beautifully written. The subject matter is – it’s a much riskier take for a studio to talk about the things we talk about on that show and we did. It addresses things that are real and are dark that people experience and spend their life trying to move past.”

Titans isn’t the first series where Ritchson plays a superhero. He previously played Aquaman on The WB’s Smallville years ago. He says what drew him to the project was executive producer Geoff Johns telling him the series would be structured more like a 12-hour movie, different than any of the other superhero shows on television. “[Titans] explores the human condition, the relationship between Hawk and Dove and their conflict with the Titans, and that it was going to be portrayed in a more real, gritty, raw way and it wouldn’t have the same kind of glow, that’s kind of romanticized on a lot of other shows.”

Titans Ep. 102–Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie / ©2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

Don’t think you’re getting the Hawk you necessarily know and love. Ritchson describes his Hank Hall “this alcoholic, pill-popping vigilante” – a superhero without any super powers. That gives a different take on the character and allows for a deeper dive into what drives him. “To me it’s about humanity. This guy has a lot of pain and masks it with pharmaceuticals and codependency. I, and many others I think, can relate to those kinds of human struggles, that [is] what I’m interested in exploring.”

One of the frequently used adjectives about Titans is “dark” – when discussing the tone and subject content of the series, something that the hunky star despises, dismissing it as ridiculous. “It doesn’t say anything about the content. Are we exploring the human condition in a way that scrapes the scab off that people are afraid to talk about? Yes, it does. It does it in a really cool way. It’s a no-holds barred look at these guys’ lives. It’s a look behind the mask. You spend time in Hank and Dawn’s apartment and they’re not doing anything super and that’s special.”

Titans is going for a more realistic viewpoint of superheroes, delving into the fabric of not only what makes someone a hero, but also what makes them a person.  When asked why he thinks the audience wants to see a more broken superhero, Ritchson said one word – hope. “I think it gives us hope. I think we need more hope. We all feel broken, we all are, we have a hard time talking about it, so getting the chance to escape to a world where we recognize ourselves on screen and also to see potential to do something great, gives us hope.”

DC Universe’s first original series, already picked up for a second season – from Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television – debuts its first episode on Friday, October 12 on DC Universe Streaming Service.

For more information, visit DCUniverse.com.

About the author

Michele Curran

Michele Curran is the newest addition to the TV Source Magazine team! She is a proud New Yorker with a passion for all things television, movies, and music. Follow her on Twitter @MimiC1019.