EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Doom Patrol Star Joivan Wade Breaks Season 3 Finale & More
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The third season of Doom Patrol has reached its end as it has been one of the most emotional ones for the beloved DC heroes. One of the biggest changes is the latest progression in Victor Stone’s Cyborg journey is the hero’s decision to lose the cybernetics and become who he was before. However, it may not be as easy as Vic had expected which will now be a compelling challenge as they head into Doom Patrol season 4.
DC TV Podcasts was recently honored to chat with Joivan Wade, who portrays Vic/Cyborg on Doom Patrol. Throughout the interview, the actor spoke about the benefits but also challenges that Vic is facing now that he has decided to give up the Cyborg aspect of his life. In addition to that, Wade discusses how the production dealt with shooting during a global pandemic, as well as his hopes for a future Doom Patrol crossover with Titans, including Ryan Potter’s Beast Boy.
HEADS UP: This interview does include major spoilers from the Doom Patrol season 3 finale, “Amends Patrol,” so if you haven’t seen it, watch the episode first and then come back for our interview!
DC TV Podcasts: It’s good to talk to you, I’ve been a huge fan of what you’ve done with this character for the last three seasons. So thank you for what you do to bring Cyborg to life. It’s been an honor to watch it. First of all, congratulation on completing the third season of Doom Patrol, especially having to shoot it during this crazy time we’re in right now. How was it as an actor to have to work under such unique circumstances?
Joivan Wade: Yeah it was definitely different. It was something that we took in our stride and we used the best that we could. It was very different, even from the experience of actually being on set with the master. The protection, just having the COVID team on set, to actually having to shoot the show differently having to block shoot and shoot two episodes at a time, rather than usually having to shoot one episode at a time. So we would sometimes be shooting episode 1, scene 1, at 10 am.
And then the next scene that we’ll be shooting would be scene 7, episode 2. So having to put yourself into that shift as a character and be like, ‘Okay, where am I at? What’s happened before this, what’s going on?’ And returning into that was was definitely challenging, it was definitely different. So these are some of the things that COVID presented us with, but you know, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And seeing that we got through that. And for me, this being the best season yet was a testament to the fight that we put into making the show what it was.
DC TV Podcasts: Yeah I guess I didn’t realize that you guys would have to shoot multiple at the same times. I know that the other shows, like mentioned on Titans, that was something of a similar experience. So I would never be able to do that. So bless you guys for going through all that. I really want to talk about Victor’s big change this season. Because as far as I know, I’ve never really seen Victor in the comics ever having the option of not being Cyborg so I was quite surprised. Can you talk about your initial reaction when learned this was happening when talking to the showrunner and seeing on the page ‘Oh, this is where Victor is going?’
Joivan Wade: Yeah, I think the first time when I experienced it, it was a shock. It was just as much of a shock for me seeing it on paper as it would have been for you guys seeing it on the screen. Like you just said, I don’t have any recollection of this happening before and I feel like we’ve seen the other side of it. On some occasions, you know, when big tech has been upgraded, or on Young Justice, where the design of Vic’s cybernetics is different. And it’s like what happened before that, because he has a more of a similar design more human esque, etc. And so I always questioned ‘Well was he for cybernetic before that, and then something changed and now he became who he is now’ I never really understood or and always wondered why and what took place there. So it was all very, very fresh. And I had nothing to draw from to kind of look at that.
But I think the materials that we’ve been creating, and the journey we’ve been going on have explored these themes and these things since season one of Vic questioning who he is and wanting to come to terms with who he was going to be. And when we hit that in episode 5, with the Sisterhood of Dada and Frenzy, we really come to terms with Vic challenging himself after being challenged by Frenzy as to who is he, why is he and what does it mean to be Black? And can I experience that again? And did I have a choice and in hearing that, there was another way once he has a conversation with his mother, he realizes ‘Hold on a minute, so there was another way?’ And he wants that choice. He wants to experience that and goes on that journey to experience that and who knows where he’ll end up but yeah, we’re definitely we’re living it now man! It’s not this is not a hack, this is not fake. This is real. What you’re seeing is Cyborg stripping back and becoming Victor Stone.
DC TV Podcasts: You were speaking about your mother because I also want to talk about Silas and as the huge Phil Morris fan that I am, I love seeing you guys banter, whether you guys are having these heartbreaking moments or where you guys are at each other’s throats. I’ve always loved seeing the complexity of that relationship. And I’m kind of curious about your thinking, Do you feel that there will ever be a time where they will be at peace? Or do you think it’s always going to be a bit rocky as we go into seasons 4, 5, etc?
Joivan Wade: I think it has to get worse before it gets better. And I think that’s kind of just a testament to life, greatness is on the edge of destruction. I think that that’s exactly where they’re at right now. It’s a destruction in which they’re going through and we’ve kind of hit this crescendo where we’ve constantly gone up and it’s constantly going around to the point where he’s at a place now, where he’s taking the totem pole for himself and decided ‘Look, I’m going to do things my way for a change. I’ve always been under your guidance, always been under your rock,’ if you will.
And now things are changing, I’m going to do things my own way. And I think that it could be rocky, and it could even itself out. It just depends on how Silas responds to Vic. Really, I think Vic has now taken initiative, and he’s going to do what he wants to do. And as he’s doing what he wants to do, how Silas is going to react to that. I have no idea. But he’s doing it. And I think that’s what’s going to take its toll and decide where we end up. It’s going to be based on does Silas accepts him for who he is? And does Vic accept himself for who he is? And from there, we’ll see how they both respond and take it from there.
DC TV Podcasts: I’ve seen the finale and I love that, of course, in true Doom Patrol fashion: It’s crazy, it’s heartbreaking, it’s incredible. And I’m still trying to get used to Cliff as a huge robot now. But I wanted to ask because like, I had to laugh a bit when Victor had this moment with Rita like, ‘Oh, so now you’re on board to do a superhero team?’ But as comedic as that was, what do you expect for Victor for next season now that he’s a little bit scaled-down, but still have a role on the team?
Joivan Wade: Yeah, I think that what’s really interesting is seeing the fact that his cybernetics do not define him. I think that him being a superhero is the heart, and he doesn’t ever lose the heart. And that’s what makes him the superhero he is protecting and serving is in his blood, it’s in his veins, it’s in his heart It’s not in his suit. And we start to explore that in our finale and it’s a cool thing to kind of take a look at. I have no idea where we’re gonna end up in the next season or where Vic’s gonna go. But we do know that he is in a place that he understands what he has lost as losing Cyborg, losing Grid, and his cybernetics.
We see that when he goes to use his arm cannon when they’re trying to fight the baby Madame Rouge and these different elements. When they’re trying to put the plan together, and he’s like ‘Grid, run me,‘ and he will realize Grid is not here. So he starts to realize what he’s actually lost and whether or not he can cope with that is a whole other thing we’ll see. But we do know that he is a superhero at heart. And that’s what’s most important. And we’re just going to have to find out whether or not that is enough for him to be able to continue with, or if there’s a way to, for him to be able to actually find a way to use that to his advantage and to reinvent himself. And I’m interested in exploring that and seeing what that looks like, as a superhero in his new role in the team. But he definitely doesn’t like the idea that he can’t do what he needs to be doing. He’s so used to playing the role that he plays. Yeah, it’s going to be a difficult pill to swallow, but he’s going to have to swallow it. He’s made his bed, so you’re gonna lie in it.
DC TV Podcasts: Yeah, I mean, any superhero always have to go through a big challenge to become a bigger superhero. So, knowing that Victor has overcome so much, it will be interesting to see where that goes. I was kind of laughing a bit watching the finale thinking ‘Okay, they’re doing time travel now this season.’ Could this mean they could do Multiverse stories maybe like a visit to the Titans universe? Because every time I see Cyborg and Beast Boy love on social media, I see you, I see Ryan Potter [who plays Beast Boy on Titans]! I mean come on, we got to get to that point at some point! Do you think we could be getting closer to it now that the show is exploring new territories like time travel and maybe the Multiverse?
Joivan Wade: Yeah, I think we never know, it is a cut above my paygrade to kind of dictate where we’re going to be. But yeah, I’ve always hoped since season 1, I’ve always hoped that there would be a world that we can explore that and Cyborg wasn’t there [in the Doom Patrol episode of Titans season 1.] And I wasn’t fortunate to be able to be a part of that world in Titans season 1 when the Doom Patrol was kind of birthed to the viewers. So, I haven’t gotten to experience that. That episode exists that happened. In the future, maybe there is an opportunity to do it again, who knows, that hasn’t happened yet. And it may never happen, but it could I don’t know. I’ve got so much love for Ryan and naturally, our bromance in real life as my brother.
I mean as my good friend and I love to share a screen with him and bring the chemistry and the love that we have for each other as friends to the screen. And I’m a huge Teen Titans fan. And so my world and my Teen Titans is, Vic and Gar, that dynamic and that bromance with these guys eating pizza and playing video games. It’s just as much as it is for you guys wanting to see that that is for me. I’ve expressed this since season 1 that I’d love to see that happen and so yeah, hopefully in the future. Maybe we can make it happen. But yeah, this is down to down to the big guns, the producers, the writers, the showrunners to if that’s in the plans for either show, because it’s so technical. But yeah, who knows anything can happen. So we’ll see. But yeah, I’m rooting for just as much as you guys are.
DC TV Podcasts: For my final question before I let you go; I know fans are always sharing to you on social media what they want to see for Victor. But you as someone who’s spent more than three years playing this character, what do you feel you haven’t gotten to explore with Vic yet? Is there anything you are hoping to see in the next season?
Joivan Wade: Yeah, I think what I’d love to experience is I love to see Victor, in a world where he gets to put his cybernetics to use and his full way. Being on a character-driven show is so much about the characters and the journey of these characters. And so we haven’t really been able to explore the combat side of things. And there’s only been a few moments where Vic’s really been able to fight [like in] episode 4 of season 1 when he’s using the cannon, and then fighting just before he gets betrayed by Willoughby Kipling is one moment. But I love to be able to explore that. Funny enough, now we’re in a position where he’s lost his cybernetics [laughs] So if it was going to happen at any point, like now there’s not going to be the time. But maybe at some point in the future.
And I just love to see these characters come together, I’d love to see this band of heroes actually become their full potential. That’s something that myself and Vic share, we want to see everyone become their full potential, and seeing as to why Vic is always trying to help Rita, to realize her powers and to be who she was destined to be. Maybe we’ll get to the point where we get to explore that in its entirety, and the whole team will find a way to try and control what it is. But right now we’re in a place where everything is broken. And it’s the most broken than it’s ever been. And when things get broken, and they have to mend and when things do mend, they become stronger than they were before. And so maybe this is the time to make it happen. Maybe not, who knows. I think that the beauty of it. I love being so much a part of it, but at the same time, I’m so far away from it because I’m sitting there as a spectator, as a viewer as well waiting for these episodes, waiting for my conversations with the showrunners to know exactly what’s going to happen and where we’re going to go this season. So yeah, it’s exciting, and I’m looking forward to it. But who knows, man who knows.
DC TV Podcasts: Well, thank you so much for your time and again, congrats on a phenomenal third season. Once again, you’re kicking ass as Cyborg, who is one of my favorite characters. So best of luck with Doom Patrol season four!
Joivan Wade: Thank you, man!
The first three seasons of Doom Patrol are available to stream exclusively on HBO Max – Doom Patrol will be back for a fourth season.