You might recognize actor Brendon Zub from projects like Charmed (2018), The 100, and from the charming Christmas rom-com, The Christmas Calendar. But recently, Zub has been getting gritty in Gotham as Chuck Dodgson in The CW’s Batwoman. We chatted with him about acting, auditioning, and his seemingly shady character on Batwoman! Check it out:
SPOILERS FOR THE PILOT EPISODE OF BATWOMAN!
Pure Fandom: Okay, so, I know you probably get this question a lot, but what made you want to start acting in the first place, and to decide to pursue it?
Brendon Zub: It was probably my brother. He’s always been very encouraging, and I always love making him laugh. So we did impressions growing up, and he was always my go-to encouragement, and sometimes he’ll say “you should do acting sometime!” But, I got more serious I think in high school. I started doing the lead in the school play and stuff like that, and I was trying to become a professional basketball player but that didn’t pan out, so I was like “well, maybe I’ll try this acting thing.”
PF: I was actually reading your biography, and your childhood sounds so fascinating! Do you think those experiences helped you as an actor at all, and can you talk a little more about that?
BZ: Oh, yeah, it definitely has. It’s definitely shaped me, and who I am today. Yeah, I was born in Canada in Vancouver, however, when I was nine or ten years old my whole family moved to Hungary in Debrecen. Which is the second largest city in the eastern part of Europe there, and they were missionaries! And it was a huge culture shock for me. I went from a French immersion school in Canada, to a Hungarian immersion school, and they had to hold me back just so I can learn the language and keep up.
So, I was always very adventurous, and yeah, it was a struggle for sure, just learning the language, and everything switches over to different language, and culture, and country, so that was a big part of it. For me though, I loved it. I loved learning new languages, and cultures. And having gone there for a couple years, I did fourth grade twice. I did fourth grade in Canada, and fourth grade in Hungary, then after two years of Hungarian school, I was forgetting English. And they thought “well, he’s eventually going to go back to North America sometime, so he should probably go to a boarding school to keep up with English, and then Hungarian when he’s back at home.”
So, I went to an international boarding school called Black Forest Academy in Germany, for junior high and high school. And that just opened up my eyes more to all the different and fun cultures in Europe, and I made a lot of good friends that I still have to this day. So yeah, I kind of grew up in boarding school, and I call it the “Hogwarts of Germany”, it was very much like Hogwarts except there were no magic wands. There was a lot of beautiful castles, and vineyards, it was a beautiful place to grow up for sure.
PF: I am so jealous of you right now, that sounds amazing.
BZ: Yeah, it was super fun! When I was in Germany, I studied German, and I also learned French there as well trying to keep up with the languages. So, I guess it eventually came back around to help me in my career once I started auditioning for different French and German and Russian roles, up in Canada. I eventually got to play a a French chef on a romantic movie, so that was fun.
PF: Switching gears to Batwoman, can you talk to me about that audition process at all?
BZ: Yeah, the audition process was pretty simple, nothing quite special. But, the audition process up here, as you know, there’s a lot of Sci-Fi, Arrowverse shows that shoot up here. Like, Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, Batwoman, and so, every week I get several auditions for different shows, if I haven’t been in them. And I got a call to audition for Batwoman, and I didn’t even know what it was, and I didn’t really realize it was going to be apart of this conglomerate DC Universe. I just figured “Oh, another superhero show”.
I didn’t know my character. I auditioned for two roles. I auditioned for Chuck Dodgson, the character I got, and also, one of the other Crows, that Greyston Holt got, who plays Sophie’s husband. I didn’t know which one I got, I just know it went very well. They said “you booked the job” and I was like, “which one? I auditioned for two roles!” And it wasn’t until days before the shoot that I found out I was going for Chuck Dodgson.
PF: You probably get a lot of superhero auditions, and stuff like that, so, are you at all apart of the superhero craze? Are you kind of nerdy about that stuff, or are you over it?
BZ: I’m not too nerdy. I think I have a healthy appetite, I go to all the superhero shows and movies, and I keep my eye out. But, I was into comics as a teenager. But I wasn’t an uber-crazy-fan, I just did a lot of reading growing up. So I always put one foot in that comic kind of door, and read the occasional comic magazine. But my roommate it quite into the comics. He was more excited than me when I booked the role!
I’m learning with other people as I go. My co-star Camrus, who plays the tech-guy for Batwoman, we’ve become good friends and he’s got tons of comics on all these characters and he’s been passing them onto me, and I’ve been catching up as much as I can, and been learning as much as I can.
PF: Let’s talk about your character a little bit. So, we first meet him and we think he’s a regular member of The Crows, and as we’re watching the pilot, we find out he’s aligned with Alice! Can you talk a little bit about that relationship or tease anything about that?
BZ: Yeah! Sure, it appears to be, I mean, spoiler if you haven’t seen the pilot! Yeah, at first I appear to be just a regular old Crow lieutenant in the Crows military force, and everything appears to be going swimmingly, but in the end I’m revealed to be the double agent. Fans should pay attention to Alice and my relationship. There’s definitely something there. And they are going to find out more about my motivations for doing so, and why and how I joined The Crows, and the fallout from that. It’s very exciting! There’s a lot of twists and turns, and everything’s not always as it seems. So, I’ll just tell everybody to keep watching, and see what happens.
PF: Would you tease that dynamic [Alice and Dodgson’s] to be a partner in crime or a reluctant ally sort of thing?
BZ: I guess I can say we are definitely partners in crime. But, as the series goes we’ll see how allies and bonds and things can shift. It depends on which way they want to take the character. We’re only on season one, and there’s exciting things to come down the pipeline. There’s definitely a bond, and a romantic bond between them, we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes, and you know who wears the pants in that relationship! But there’s some mutual goals and interests there. And we’ll find out more as the series progresses.
PF: So, we definitely will get a little more backstory on your character, right?
BZ: Yeah! It’s in the pipeline, and there’s definitely more for sure. And in episode two you’ll see a bit more of some action, and there’s some exciting things coming. It’s been a fun ride so far.
PF: Do you think we are going to see Dodgson interact with Kate or Batwoman at all?
BZ: Well technically, in the pilot, we were interacting. If people tune in this Sunday, episode two, we might meet up close and personal. We shall see. I think there’s a little teaser in the preview episode clip in there too, so, yeah, it’s going to be a fun time!
Be sure to catch all new episodes of Batwoman, Sunday’s at 8 PM on The CW!