Life for Ephraim Goodweather — Corey Stoll's character in FX's new vampire saga, The Strain, premiering July 13 — would be so much easier if he had more than 24 hours each day.
In the show, Eph is the head of the CDC unit investigating an outbreak with hallmarks of vampirism — all the while dealing with the frustration and disappointment of the wife and son he's neglecting.
The constant imbalance of his work and home life is one of Eph's greatest conflicts, as Corey explained during Wetpaint Entertainment's set visit in March — and a "zero sum game."
"The more successful he is, the more he has to sacrifice his personal life," Corey observed. "He hasn't really found that ability to harmonize those two things."
Corey also describes Eph as a blowhard, a narcissist, and someone who believes he's right all the time.
"The model that [co-creator Guillermo del Toro] kept on referring to was Orson Welles. He was sort of a model for the character. The boy genius who had succeeded in everything in his life, up until when we see him. And then suddenly the guy who went to college early, Rhodes Scholar, [an] incredibly successful and an idealistic doctor… Now that he's maybe not so young, everything is sort of coming crashing down all at once. And he really doesn't have the skills to deal with failure … He doesn't understand that he's failing for the first time."
Still, as Corey elaborates, it's not Eph's fault that his work is so demanding: "The consequences are so dire and so concrete in his job. It just sort of seems that when you're having a debate between whether I was on time for soccer practice or I dealt with this outbreak of the measles in Brooklyn… Yeah, this is life or death. But unfortunately, that's the constant nature of his job. So that's going to constantly win out."
See how Eph navigates the imbalance when The Strain premieres this Sunday, July 13, at 10 p.m. ET on FX.