#TheMessengers at #WonderCon: @PardoJD & @TheAnnaDiop On Their Gifts, What Sets the Show Apart from Anything on TV

We’re only one day away from the premiere of The Messengers on The CW, but we’ve still got lots of great inside information to share straight from the cast and creators. Today, we’re sharing our WonderCon chat with JD Pardo (Revolution–oh, and human/vampire hybrid Nahuel from Breaking Dawn: Part 2) and Anna Diop (Everybody Hates Chris). They were able to give us a little more information about their characters, the diversity of the cast, and what sets The Messengers apart from anything else on TV.

JD plays Raul, another one of the five core Messengers we meet in the pilot. Raul is an undercover agent in Mexico whose cover is blown just before the meteor-like object hits, sending out the shockwave that temporarily stops his heart. JD relates to Raul in that his father is a retired LAPD officer. “To kind of be in that world a little bit and be in enforcement, it’s kind of cool,” he said.

When Raul wakes up, he discovers his gift. “The cool thing about the Messengers is that they have to unite. They have to fight together in order to help humanity and stop the apocalypse from happening. Each one of their gifts aids them in these missions,” JD said. “Raul is able to hear negative thoughts. He can’t hear every single thought; it’s a negative thought.”

When we discovered Raul’s gift, we immediately wondered how it would impact his relationship with the other Messengers. After all, they each come from very different backgrounds–when they finally meet, tension seems inevitable, and having an inside line to the others’ thoughts would certainly add some intrigue to that dynamic. However, JD revealed that Raul does not use his gift against the Messengers. “There’s a moment where he’s trying to, but it’s hard because this gift is God-given. So, it’s not like it’s his own powers. He can’t just use it, which I think happens to all these characters–which only adds to the confusion [and] the ‘What are we doing? How are we doing? Do we even believe what we’re doing and how we’re doing it?’ It creates a cool dynamic,” he said. 

Anna also weighed in on the complicated nature of the Messengers’ gifts. “I think when they work is when it’s going to help them with what it is that we have to do. With these gifts come a responsibility. There’s something that has to be done, a task that comes with it. They come as needed for what it is that we’re doing.”

Anna’s character, Rose, is perhaps the most mysterious and intriguing person on the show so far–and whether she has her own gift or is a Messenger remains to be seen. She is a nurse who, after being shot in the opening moments of the pilot, has spent the last seven years in a coma. “It’s no accident that is was seven years,” Anna said. “That’s something you find out in the second episode, and it happens to be at a time where all the Messengers come together. So you kind of see why it happened at that moment.”

However, we won’t have to wait too long to learn more about this mysterious ER nurse. “I can tease that Rose wakes up!” Anna said. “She becomes a sort of leader to the Messengers. For now, she’s the wild card. You have to just kind of see what happens with her and why she’s so important to the Devil or why she’s gunned down in a seemingly random way. All those questions are answered.”

In the meantime, Anna told us a little more about who Rose is–and we can’t wait to officially ‘meet’ her. “She’s a leader. She’s very empathetic She’s very loving, I think, and very patient and kind. She has a lot of pain, though, that she deals with, just like each of the Messengers, because we’re all human. We’re still dealing with our own minds, even though we have this thing that we have to do,” she said. “But [Rose] doesn’t bring it to the forefront. She deals with it and does what needs to be done.”

Though Rose will apparently serve as a leader for the Messengers, she won’t necessarily hit it off with all of them. “I think throughout the season, you’ll see Rose and Vera [Shantel VanSanten] butt heads a lot,” Anna said. “Vera is very adamant in what she believes, and she’s always asking questions and always needs to know why. I think for Rose that she is maybe the most difficult.”

We also asked Anna and JD what makes The Messengers different from anything else on TV. They praised the diversity of the cast, as well as the broad scope of the show. “I think The Messengers really delves into the personal lives of each of [the characters], and that’s something people can relate to,” Anna said. “I think there’s one character on the show that at least someone would be able to relate to. It deals with–yes, the supernatural aspect, but it also deals with, again, their personal lives and their pain and just how they interact with each other.”

Another element that certainly sets The Messengers apart is the very diverse cast–in terms of not only race, but also age and beliefs. “You get to see in these moments how different people are and how we believe in all these different things,” JD said. “Here you have a show where you have these different walks of life being forced to live together and to fight together… They don’t believe in the same things. You have an atheist, you have a Christian, a Catholic–Alan believes in aliens. They have to respect each other in order to fight together.” “The Messengers represent community, you know?” Anna added. “We can’t have a show representing community and it’s all [one race]. And not just in race–there’s an atheist and a Catholic, and all different walks of life.”

We look forward to learning more about Raul and Rose in The Messengers.

Check back tomorrow for our final WonderCon interview with The Messengers cast, as well as our review of the pilot (which you can catch on The CW tomorrow night!)

The Messengers premieres on The CW Friday, April 17. Will you be watching?

In case you missed our other WonderCon interviews with The Messengers team, here’s where to find them:

Fangirl, avid reader, & Anglophile. Current obsessions include: Dylan O'Brien, Teen Wolf, Game of Thrones, brunch, SDCC, and gingerbread lattes. Not a queen, a Khaleesi. Contact: chloe@fangirlish.com.