We are beyond pumped for Syfy’s new series, Van Helsing. The show follows Vanessa Helsing (Kelly Overton), a distant relative of the famous vampire hunter, Abraham Van Helsing. She awakens in full battle mode after years spent in a coma. The world is far different from what she remembers — vampires have taken over, knocking humans down a few rungs on the food chain.
We had the chance to sit down for a special segment of Brad and Cort Talk with Van Helsing’s own Trezzo Mahoro (The Magicians, iZombie, The X-Files). The actor spoke at length about his new role as Mohamad who battles for survival amidst the vampire apocalypse. Trezzo spoke candidly about his character’s motivations and relationships with the other survivors and his similarities with Mohamad.
Read on for Part I of our interview with Trezzo, and check back for Part II coming soon!
PURE FANDOM: How did you get involved with the show?
TREZZO MAHORO: Luck was on my side basically. I went in for an audition. I went in for a different part, and by the time I finished, they were like, ‘you know what, he’d be good for one of our main parts,’ and I didn’t even know that. They called the next day and let me know that I didn’t get the part I auditioned for, but I’d been shortlisted for one of the main characters. I had no idea who it was because Mohamad was written differently at that time.
What interested you the most about your character when you first read the script?
It mirrors me. It does mirror my life in a sense. I wasn’t born in Canada. I was born in Rwanda and raised in South Africa. Mohamad is from a place of hardship. The life wasn’t very easy. He was a street kid. That kind of helped me and drew me in when I read the script. His transition into an apocalyptic world kind of reflected my transition coming from South Africa and what I know and what I’m used to and going to this entirely different life in Canada. I was back at square one. Mohamad has to figure out this new world and fight to live and eat.
What is Mohamad’s main goal in the world now? Is he searching for someone or just trying to survive?
He has a sister named Shema. She’s the only biological family he has. Sam is like a big brother, an uncle. Just like Vanessa is looking for her daughter, Mohamad’s looking for his sister. That’s one way that Mohamad can relate to Vanessa. He’ll do anything to find her (Shema).
For your character’s back story, I know you said he is looking for his sister — have you created a backstory of your own? Something different than the writers has given you? Just for when you were creating the character to give him further depth
His own backstory — I thought about this a long time ago. His backstory, I was thinking when I got the audition, was he was raised in the ghetto and his parents did not have a lot of money just to make him more relatable to me. His parents didn’t have a lot of money, but he had awesome parents and he was well taken care of even in the situation where there was poverty around him, and he was also a big brother to a little sister and he was a protector at the same time be a social comfort to his little sister. You could also say at the same time, his little sister got him out of a lot of trouble because he is more impulsive than she is. She thinks more so, and he feels that between him and her, it is a yin-yang type thing. He feels that one cannot live without the other. So, he has to find his sister. Because of her, he is still alive, because of what she has taught him. So yeah, I feel like obviously there is a lot of love. He loves her. [He] grew up with his sis, so there’s blood right there.
If you had to describe your character using only three words, what would those words be?
A little badass. He’s probably the smallest one in stature compared to all the other characters on the show. He shows up and kind of catches you off-guard. He’s this little person, but then the vampires show up and then you see what he can do.
For more Van Helsing fun, listen to our chat with Rukiya Bernard who plays Doc on the show.
Van Helsing premieres Sept. 23rd on Syfy at 10/9c.
(Featured image courtesy Dan Power/Helsing S1 Productions/SyFy)