Jim Thorburn plays Caleb on the hit SyFy series Helix. We spoke to Jim about wrapping up the second season of the show, his experience filming and working with the cast, and what his hopes are for the series moving forward.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Jim Thorburn below:
To start off, can you talk a little about how you got into acting and entertainment? Has anyone influenced or inspired you as an actor?
I got into acting while I was working on the TV show “The X-Files” in the art department and set decoration. It was here I was able to watch countless scenes first hand by some truly talented actors. The list of guest stars was crazy. A few actors that influenced me while working on the show was Brad Dourif, Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black. David Duchovny also gave me some great advice as I started out.
As your resume continues to grow, is there anyone you would love to work with someday, if you could pick anyone?
Wow, that’s a tough one. As a director it would be Ridley Scott or Christopher Nolan (I really enjoyed Interstellar). Actor wise, Mads Mikkelson.
Most recently, viewers will recognize you from SyFy’s hit series “Helix”. Can you talk about your character and what originally attracted you to the role?
I played the role of Caleb, who is later revealed to be Soren. Caleb exists 30 years in the future on the same island as the current story line. I was really attracted to the mystery of this character and how stoic he had to be while protecting so many loaded secrets.
Your character Caleb, in particular, played a large part in the twists and turns of the season 2 finale. What was your reaction when you read the script?
I was thrilled when I read the first episode “San Jose” beginning with my reveal of taking off the mask in the sugar shack. I only had the first two scripts when the shooting of season 2 began which made my part even more interesting as I didn’t have any idea of where my character arc was going. There were a lot of thoughts on set and from fans as to who Caleb was and why was he on the Island? The actual outcome wasn’t revealed to me until the last week of shooting and I have to say I was very pleased with how it ended.
Were there any challenges you faced when filming for that role?
In the episode “San Jose” I was definitely a little nervous trying extract the contacts from Dr. Walkers eyes. Even though the tweezers were filed down and dulled my hand had to by very steady while she screamed, kicked and resisted. I was sweating it, thinking…”Great, my second day of shooting and now the lead is going to be wearing an eye patch for the next 12 episodes!”
Has your athletic background come in handy for these types of projects?
Always. Acting is a craft and can be challenging at the best of times. Having the discipline I learned as an athlete has been huge. Be it long days, intricate shots, stunts or just the pressure to perform, I’ve always drawn from my athletic background.
Moving forward, if Helix returns, what are your hopes for a third season?
If Helix returns I would be excited to see Caleb/Soren off the Island in an urban “Blade Runner” esque setting fighting the Ularia corporation alongside Dr. Alan Farragut. Yep, that would work for me!
You got your start in the business by working behind the scenes. Is that something you still hope to pursue in the future?
Currently I’m focusing on acting only, but I’ll always have a connection to art dept and set decoration. I’ve had the privilege to work with some very talented designers and learned a great deal regarding the importance of tone in both tv and film which always contributes to my acting.
Being active on social media is a must these days. How has the fan support been for you so far?
Being involved with Helix and seeing the response fans have had for the show and the role of Caleb has been amazing. I am truly thankful and I really appreciate their support on all levels.
Finally, what can your fans expect from you next?
I have a guest starring role on the tv show “Motive” (a police procedural drama following murder investigations) airing May 10th on CTV. My character is Charles Castella, an attorney involved in lucrative illegal schemes. His obsession with a beautiful criminal associate may have prompted him to vicious reprisals—But now years later, he may pay for his treachery.
We want to thank Jim Thorburn for taking the time out of his schedule to answer some questions for us. We really appreciate it!