Exclusive Interview: Rogue’s Joshua Sasse on Playing the Vicious Alec Laszlo

April 23, 2013

We all know the Laszlo family is tough—you have to be in the crime world—but Alec Laszlo packs some extra punch. Despite his father’s desire to lead a normal life, Alec is ready and willing to go into the crime world full-force. Our Rogue insider, Ira Parker, caught up with actor Joshua Sasse to find out what it’s like to play.

Ira Parker: How would you describe your character?
Joshua Sasse: Unpredictable, loyal, volatile, loving.

IP: Why do you think Jimmy loves Max more than he loves Alec?
JS: Max represents everything that Jimmy wants for the future and Alec represents everything Jimmy has come from, which is fine for Alec because he looks up to his dad and that’s what he wants to be. But for Jimmy that just reminds him of everything he is trying to get away from.

IP: What’s it like going from a scene where you are playing in the park with your daughter to a scene where you are holding up severed heads? How do you reconcile that as an actor?
JS: You just have to sort of draw on different areas of your life. Everyone has a million different characteristics within themselves that they don’t exercise all at once, or during the day. You are different with your girlfriend than you are with your boss or with the guy you buy coffee from. So you just sort of tap into that different world for a different moment.

IP: How did you prepare for your role as Alec?
JS: I tried to do a lot of research into the Oakland area. I would look at that style and type of character from this world. You start to build on all these bits and pieces that you have in your head, and slowly mould them into something cohesive. And then you start to grow with the part as much as anything. It really becomes a part of you. Luckily the text does a lot of the work for you. You don’t have to create something out of nothing.

IP: What part of Alec’s personality do you think is most like your own?
JS: Loyalty I suppose. I’ve traveled so much in my life and I’ve had to really rely on my family and my friends and I like to believe that I would never ever let them down. And that is definitely something in Alec’s character that I responded very strongly to. It really resonated with me.

IP: Who is he loyal to?
JS: His family and his gang. The group of people he’s with. He would never ever betray someone.

IP: Well, he severs the heads of his crew…
JS: But that’s different.

IP: Beats the crap out of Max.
JS: For the greater good.

IP: What kind of songs do you think we’re going to find on Alec’s playlist?
JS: Do you want to hear one?

IP: Absolutely.
JS: This is my Alec theme song. [Plays song.]

IP: Is that Air Supply?
JS: Ha ha. It’s called “I’m a Man,” by Black Strobe. Music that really gets you pumping, really gets you fired up.

IP: Favorite scene of the season?
JS: Shooting a gun and all that kind of stuff is really fun, but as an actor it’s really nice to do something that is important and integral work. Getting deep in a relationship between two people. That’s really enjoyable. I have a lot of great scenes with Marton [Csokas] (Jimmy). I think they could be my favorite because of they’re the times when I’ve done really honest and reactionary work.

IP: The Mars Rover Curiosity found proof there was once water on Mars. How does that make you feel?
JS: Unsurprised. Of course there is life in the universe, of course there is something bigger than us. I mean, considering how big our galaxy is, and that it’s just one galaxy in millions. I think it’s ignorant to believe there’s anything less. Why wouldn’t there be water on another? We are in one tiny little galaxy, it makes complete sense. It’s just an element formation like anything else.

IP: What was the last movie that made you cry?
JS: Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere with Stephen Dorff. I thought it was fantastic. I think it was really good because it shows the other side of an actor’s life and it’s not about the glamour, it’s about the loneliness. I really, really appreciated it. I thought it was incredibly well done, well acted, and it was a real piece of work – showing an emotion rather than just a story line. And it made me cry, big time.

IP: Do you have tattoos of your own?
JS: Yeah. I’m covered in tattoos to the chagrin of my agent.

IP: Ha ha. Any favorites?
JS: One of my favorites is my number 37 tattoo. My dad died when he was 37, in a plane crash, and it just reminds me to live life everyday, because it might end at any moment. I’ve got another one that says “Willy” and a kiss in bright pink. That’s my best friend’s signature and it just makes me happy.

IP: Best and worst part about being on set?
JS: Best is you get to express yourself. I’m doing everything I’ve wanted to do and I have a platform to really give something of myself. The worst part? I don’t know. The pressure. Having a time frame in which to do the work. But sometimes that pressure helps brings out something else in you.

IP: Who is your favorite villain?
JS: Cardinal Richelieu from The Three Musketeers. In the end of it all, even when he loses, he is really gracious about it and he just makes his plan for the next move. He accepts it and carries on. I like it, because the character has longevity.

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