The Tomorrow People Producers Talk Show’s Shirtless Scenes, Simon Merrells Joining As ‘The Founder’

Robbie Amell and Luke Mitchell have each had a few shirtless scenes on The CW’s Wednesday night drama “The Tomorrow People,” but the boys are in on the skin-bearing fun.

“There have been times when we don’t even write it in and the dailies come back and you’re like, ‘That’s not supposed to be a shirtless scene,’” Executive Producer Greg Berlanti said when asked about the gents getting shirtless on the show, during a chat with reporters on Monday.

“That doesn’t happen on ‘Arrow,’” Berlanti, who also is an EP on the other drama too, continued. “We have to like we write it… so everybody knows, everybody’s ready. [With ‘The Tomorrow People,’] you’re like, ‘That wasn’t supposed to be a shirtless scene! When did that scene become shirtless?’”

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Plenty of actors offer a little push back when they have shirtless or scantily clad moments in TV and film scripts, but Greg said “The Tomorrow People” boys actually embrace it (in fact, as fans know, they joke about it on Twitter).

“It’s like the opposite of like what I’m used to,” Berlanti said, laughing. “One time I even signed off, I’m like, ‘No… that should not be a shirtless scene.’ There’s a fight scene coming up in Episode 5 between Cara and John like, ‘No, he doesn’t have to be shirtless in that scene.’ And the dailies came back and he was shirtless.”

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Fellow EP Phil Klemmer chimed in noting that an upcoming “Tomorrow People” guest star, Simon Merrells, who recently played Marcus Crassus in the final season of Starz’s “Spartacus” franchise, could also join in on the fun, should his role require a shirtless moment.

“Simon Merrells is coming on and he’s a man who didn’t wear a lot of shirts in his last show, so we’re gonna have to find a way for him to…” Klemmer said.

“He’s in a suit,” Berlanti confirmed.

Simon’s “The Tomorrow People” character is currently being referred to as “The Founder,” and he’ll appear a little further down the line, in a position at Ultra that is higher than the one held by Mark Pellegrino’s Jedekiah.

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“If Jedekiah’s Darth Vader, he’s a bit more The Emperor. There’s that dynamic, but he’s definitely affiliated with the organization from way back when,” Berlanti explained. “When we were [casting], you’re like, ‘We have to find someone who’s more threatening than Mark Pellegrino.’”

Enter Simon, who played the formidable opponent to the rebel Spartacus on the Starz show.

Klemmer said there was an interesting moment between Simon and Mark during a casual event for the cast, which demonstrated they cast the right man.

“It was great, We had this like cast dinner, where just randomly, without instruction, no assigned seating, they found each other in the middle of the table and they were sitting across from each other and at certain points, you’d look down and see them both like laughing, but like bad guy laughing,” he recounted. “It [looked] like they’re in a scene where they’re like planning evil stuff. … Both lovely men, but terrifying.”

“The Tomorrow People” airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

-- Jolie Lash

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