The Strain: David Bradley on Playing an Elderly, Vengeful, Action Hero of a Vampire Expert
When a plane with all of its passengers and crew seemingly dead lands itself in New York City at the beginning of The Strain — FX's new vampire series, premiering July 13 — only one man knows what really happened.
And that's Abraham Setrakian, an elderly Harlem pawnbroker and Holocaust survivor who lost his wife to the same bloodsuckers responsible for the plane incident — and who has waited for the day to exact revenge ever since.
Actor David Bradley (Game of Thrones) described Abraham 's conflicts when Wetpaint Entertainment visited the set in March:"As soon as he realizes, he knows he's got to [battle vampires] again — then he's got this fear of failure. It's not like he's superhuman and knows exactly what to do … He's never in control of the situation. He tries to be. He tries to but even he has his doubts."
Unfortunately for this vampire expert, the CDC scientists investigating the plane incident don't accept the virus's mythological nature. "He's a complete authority on them. But persuading other people that this is the way to deal with the situation is an uphill struggle for him."
And that struggle is not without its morally ambiguous maneuvers, as the 72-year-old thespian explains: "I kind of admire his drive, even though he seems to be doing quite a lot of ruthless things … There's something attractive about that, someone who's ruthless for ultimately good reasons."
"It's just this wonderful single mindedness and desire for vengeance just gives him his strength to have more energy than he would have at his age if he didn't," he continues, "He wants to stay alive to do this."
And for David, the role of Abraham is an exciting one for him to play in his fifth decade in his acting career: "I think it's wonderful that you can have someone who's … an action hero in a way, although he wouldn't describe himself as that … Sometimes when you get to my age and you get certain parts, it's quite often they're in a bed on their last legs, or they've got some kind of illness. I've done quite a few where I seem to be in pajamas. So it's nice to play someone who's so proactive and leading the pack.
The Strain premieres Sunday, July 13, at 10 p.m ET on FX.