Robbie Amell’s Stephen Jameson is about to take his powers to high school on “The Tomorrow People,” using his advanced species abilities on the court, in the halls and on the ladies.
On Wednesday’s episode of The CW freshman drama, Stephen will raise the ire of his uncle Jedekiah (Mark Pellegrino), who isn’t pleased that his nephew is using his powers in public.
But there isn’t just trouble with Uncle Jed. The romantic ending between Cara (Peyton List) and Stephen in last week’s episode will have consequences when John (Luke Mitchell) finds out about things.
Robbie addressed all the twists when he spoke with AccessHollywood.com.
AccessHollywood.com: This episode is called ‘Limbo’ and it seems to me, from the previews, this is your Michael J. Fox ‘Teen Wolf’ episode.
Robbie Amell: Yeah (laughs). … This is the episode where I look way too old to be in high school.
Access: What does Stephen’s high school pal Astrid think about him using his abilities in sporting events now that she knows his secret?
Robbie: She’s the one that pushes it on him. She’s the instigator. She’s the bad influence.
Robbie: Astrid is, I feel like, the only light thing that Stephen has in his life, and at the beginning of Episode 7, having lost Darcy, the second partner that Stephen feels like he’s caused the death of, and with the fallout from the hookup with Cara — which happens right off the bat in Episode 7 — things are just not looking good for Stephen. … Since the beginning, he thought he was going nuts and then he’s got these powers and he thought these powers were gonna be this amazing thing and they just end up being kind of this dark cloud that’s really caused him a lot of pain and caused the people around him a lot of pain. She kind of says, ‘Well, if I had these powers, I would have fun with them,’ and he gives it a shot and you kind of get to see really what an 18-year-old kid would do if he had these powers, using them to become popular and win these sporting events and hook up with girls. You get that fun side of the powers. Obviously that can only last for so long before Jedekiah shuts it down. You can’t use powers out in the open.
Access: What are you unable to do when Jedekiah grounds Stephen?
Robbie: He slaps a suppression cuff on my wrist, which my dad on the show actually created and it completely zaps your powers. You can’t use them.
Access: How does being grounded by Jedekiah (with a suppression cuff) compare to your own experiences of being grounded?
Robbie: I’ve never been grounded in my life. … My mom was amazing. My mom would give my sister and I as much responsibility as we could handle and the whole thing was don’t disappoint her and I’m sure we did a couple times, but we never did to that extent. We were always the responsible people in our friends groups, you know, taking care of the other ones. It was definitely a different approach, but it seemed to have worked all right with my sister and I.
Access: Maybe you weren’t grounded in real life, but as an actor, you get to experience it on TV with Mark Pellegrino’s Jedekiah.
Robbie: I get to experience the grounding, but not having my powers leads to me getting the crap kicked out of me. Twice. So I kind of owe Jedekiah a little bit of a smacking.
Access: Last week, Cara seemed to be playing with fire with Stephen (i.e.: that hookup). Is Stephen the one getting burned?
Robbie: The love triangle is falling apart by the midpoint of Episode 7. At the very beginning, Cara puts an end to it. She says it was a mistake… and she actually tells John about it and John and I — we have at it. We drop the gloves and we have a bit of a fist fight, but ultimately, by the end of the episode, the love triangle is a non-issue. Finding my dad and the refuge and furthering the survival of our species is the ultimate goal and that’s what everybody — whether they say that they’re over it or not — that’s what everybody kind of lowers their head and tries to work towards.
Access: A fist fight then? So it’s not jaunting?
Robbie: No, we have a full on like just fist fight. … No powers, just a fist fight.
Access: I’m guessing you guys get to keep your shirts on for this one?
Robbie: It is a shirt-on fight.
Access: Greg Berlanti (the show’s executive producer) said at a screening and Q&A I went to that sometimes you guys do the shirtless thing on your own, when I brought up that you and Luke Tweet about shirtlessness.
Robbie: No (laughs). … That is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard (laughs). I don’t know what the context is of him saying that, but Luke and I have never walked into a scene and taken our shirts off, unless on the page it says, ‘Shirtless, doing this.’ We’ve never walked in and we’re like, ‘You know what would make this seen a lot better? If I just took my shirt off’ (laughs).
Access: Hilarious. Aaron Yoo (who plays Russell) was telling me last week that he’s winning the ‘Shirtless Sweepstakes.’ He said you win by not taking your shirt off.
Robbie: I think every episode someone’s been shirtless, whether me or Luke or Peyton, and Aaron is definitely winning. I’ll be shirtless again in 107, and then Luke is shirtless in 8 and then I’m shirtless in 9, and then I can’t remember after that.
Access Pellegrino goes full monty in 10 (laughs)?
Robbie: (Laughs) That would be awesome.
Access: We finally got to see Carly Pope on the show last week. What can you tell us about the character beyond what we saw – Jedekiah has something going on with a Tomorrow Person.
Robbie: He’s got a Tomorrow Person girlfriend. That creep! He’s interspecies mingling. It’s the same sort of thing, it’s the superhero syndrome, but it’s the super villain syndrome. She is his weakness and she will be exploited by The Tomorrow People. Even though she is a Tomorrow Person, she is the closest thing that Jedekiah has to family other than me and they can’t really use me against him, so she will be used against him by The Tomorrow People.
Access: Interesting. So finally, I want to ask you about Simon Merrells.
Robbie: He is awesome.
Access: I don’t know if that was him in the scene with you when you went to meet the head of Ultra…
Robbie: Ooh, he might have been.
Access: It sounded like his voice, with a different accent. But what can you hint at about what’s coming up with him later on?
Robbie: You meet him in Episode 8 and he makes Jedekiah look like a good guy.
Access: Have you bonded with him on set at all?
Robbie: I have. I’ve had some very cool scenes with Simon and he’s coming back again for Episode 13, I believe. He is going to be a very, very integral part of the second half of Season 1.
“The Tomorrow People” airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash