Helix just wrapped up its exciting second season on SYFY and I had the chance to chat it up with actor Jim Thorburn who played Caleb. As it turns out Jim’s character (SPOILER ALERT) played a MUCH bigger role than any of us could have anticipated, even Jim himself. Jim has quite an impressive resume thus far in his career as he has acted in Geekly shows such as Millennium, Fringe, Smallville, Stargate, and many more. Look for him to appear in the show Motive and the mini-series, The Fixer this year. Check out our interview below!
DFAT: Growing up did you always want to be an actor? Or was it something that you decided to pursue later in life? What factors influenced you to follow that path?
Jim: Growing up I always dreamed of being a World Cup ski racer and pursued that goal into my early twenties. It wasn’t until I was working in art dept. and set decoration on the TV show “The X-Files” where I became intrigued by acting. Every time I was on set, I’d find myself transfixed on the process and performances I was seeing and I was hooked.
DFAT: That’s quite the change up! Tell us about your experience working on the X-Files and how it launched your acting career.
Jim: Chris Carter was developing his new pilot “Millennium” with David Nutter directing and thanks to their support I was able to get an audition for the project which I booked a role. It was an amazing first acting experience and to this day I’m very grateful to them for giving me that opportunity.
DFAT: What was working with Lance Henriksen on ‘Millennium’ like?
Jim: That was very cool. I remember getting in the van going to set to block our scene and sitting beside me is “Bishop” from “Aliens”! Not to mention a lengthy list of great films and TV shows. He was very supportive and a real pro.
DFAT: That’s amazing, what an experience! You’ve appeared on MORE than several different Sci-Fi TV shows. Tell us a little about those roles. Is it your favorite genre to act in?
Jim: I have appeared in ”StarGate”, “Earth Final Conflict”, “Merlin and the Book of Beasts”, ”Continuum” and now “Helix”. The roles are all very, very different and as actor, it is fun because you really get to stretch and play. After my experience on “Helix”, it has definitely become one of my favourite genres.
DFAT: When taking a look at your experiences with TV shows and movies, do you prefer one over the other when it comes to acting?
Jim: I really don’t have a preference. I’ve done most of my work in TV and I like the quick pace at which the production moves. However working on features is pretty amazing as the pace slows down sometimes to make room for very elaborate shots. It can also present opportunities to work with incredible talent, like the Danish director Ole Bordenal, who directed the feature film “The Possession”.
DFAT: I am a huge fan of Helix, I hope you don’t mind talking about that for a little while. Did you know going into the role how big of a part you would be playing in the final outcome of the season? Can you tell us a little bit about your time on set during the production of season 2?
Jim: I didn’t know the specifics of where the character was going. I was contracted for a minimum of six episodes so it was exciting to see what they were going to do with me. I couldn’t believe it when it was revealed that Caleb was Soren. My time on set was great. The entire cast and crew were very welcoming and supportive. I had a blast shooting the scene with Brother Michael. It took basically the whole day to shoot. We were up on a 30 foot riser that really gave the feeling of being on a cliff with massive FX fans blowing.
DFAT: Do you think that Caleb/Soren will play a role again in the future of the show? Can you tell us anything about season 3?
Jim: Personally I’d love to see Caleb/Soren come back as I think that character is just warming up and has some questions of his own that need to be answered from the past and the future. Unfortunately I don’t know the current status of the show’s renewal so I can’t give you any insight into season 3 yet.
DFAT: Any exciting upcoming roles that you can tell us about? What do you have planned for the next year or so?
Jim: 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. I haven’t quite planned anything for next year as of yet.
DFAT: Maybe it’s time for a vacation, haha. Speaking of TV, What current show would you love to be a part of?
Jim: That is a tough one. There is so many great shows being made right now, but if I had to choose…I would lean towards “The Walking Dead” and I’m loving that new Netflix series “Bloodline”.
DFAT: If you could only pick between acting in either Avengers 2 or Star Wars Episode VII, which one would you choose and why?
Jim: Star Wars Episode VII. In two words” Millennium Falcon”! From the trailers I’ve seen it feels like the tone of “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back”. Can’t wait.
DFAT: Isn’t that the truth! If you could be any superhero who would you be and why?
Jim: Spider-Man. I grew up watching the animated TV series based on the comic books. He’s mysterious but not dark and seems to be the most grounded. He actually kind of reminds me of Caleb.
DFAT: Your experience definitely speaks for itself. What advice would you give anyone out there who may be interested in pursuing a career in acting? Or life in general?
Jim: My advice is to surround yourself with good people, stay humble, read voraciously and stick to your dream.
Many thanks to Jim Thorburn for taking time out of his busy schedule for this interview. You can catch Jim on the TV show ‘Motive’, currently airing on CTV. Best of luck with all your future endeavours!