REVOLUTION: Getting Physical – David Lyons on Sebastian “Bass” Monroe

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David Lyons wants to get down and dirty. The Australian actor, whose character, Monroe, is the leader and co-founder of the militia, has had a distinctly different experience while shooting Revolution. “Our band of heroes has a very different shooting schedule than I do,” Lyons explains while away from the Geek shoot for a few minutes. “I’m usually at the end of the schedule because most of my stuff shot is in the studio. That will probably start changing in the second half of the first season.

I hope so, because I want to get out there and get physical. Certainly for the mid-season finale, there was a lot of swordfight work that I started doing a couple of weeks before we filmed it, but Billy [Burke] has had to do the majority of the sword work. I’m hoping that as my character gets a little more unstable, a little more physical, that there will be more fight stuff to do, because I enjoy that kind of stuff.”

Monroe, who is obsessed with turning the power back on, finally got his wish in the mid-season finale. After holding Rachel Matheson hostage for many years, she built him a device that turns on anything in the immediate vicinity. “The difference between Rachel and Monroe is that I have no concept of the science or the enormity of the science. Monroe has an obsessive pursuit of power at any cost. He’s blinded by rage and the hurt of his best friend and only family leaving him. With him, there is an element where he is racked with fear, anxiety and paranoia as to people wanting to overthrow him. I don’t think he sleeps very much. He’s constantly looking over his shoulder.”

Lyons wasn’t given a history for Monroe before jumping into the character. “I was looking forward to hearing the backstory,” he says, “but in the beginning it was difficult; we would get a standalone scene, and Elizabeth and I would try to concoct as much [backstory] as we could. I knew there was an immense sense of loss, and I had it in the backstory I created that he had lost several people who were close to him. But I didn’t know until a few weeks in that it was the family. I knew that Miles represented his one true family.”

The character of Monroe may not be much of an intellectual, but Lyons has given much thought to the value of communication in the world of Revolution. “What’s interesting is that the lack of power has created the need to communicate in the eye-to-eye, face-to-face, voice-to-voice method of yesteryear. And we also have to fight in that way — a very physical, tactile way. I think there is something beautiful in that. There’s a lot of drama in that, but also a lot of human connection.”

Does that sociological climate have any influence on why post-apocalyptic films and TV shows are more popular than ever? Maybe. “I think that there’s a feeling of turbulence on an international level and the concepts of the apocalypse, whether they be a physical manifestation of it or a cultural manifestation of it, are not too far from the public consciousness. We’re not only clashing around the globe culturally and economically, but overriding all of that is the environment. The place we inhabit is dying. I think we will see the ramifications of that as we go, I’m not suggesting an apocalypse, by any means, but you only need to look at what is going on in the environment to know that the earth is hurting. It’s a symbiotic relationship.” — N.G.

5 Questions

1. Favorite post-apocalyptic movie?

“Mad Max. Being Australian, it was a massive part of my childhood.”

2. What technology could you not do without?

“Recorded music. Led Zeppelin does not exist in any form in an apocalyptic world, and that brings a tear to my eye.”

3. Where would you hole up if something happened?

“Australia, if I could get there, the woods.”

4. The one person you would take with you?

“My dog, Sadie.”

5. What are you a geek about?

“Music and musical instruments, I collect them, especially guitars.”

Read our other interviews with the cast:
REVOLUTION: Learning to Trust – Tracy Spiridakos on Charlie Matheson
REVOLUTION: Inner Strength – Giancarlo Esposito on Captain Tom Neville
REVOLUTION: Genuine Beauty – Elizabeth Mitchell on Rachel Matheson
REVOLUTION: Passion Matters – Billy Burke on Miles Matheson

Photography by Charles Bush.

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