"Cape" star James Frain reveals show's secrets

Sun Jan 9, 2011 8:45pm EST
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By Philiana Ng

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "The Cape," from creator Tom Wheeler, delves into the dark, seedy underbelly of a city filled with corruption and power-hungry, comic book characters.

The new NBC drama centers on police officer Vince Farraday (David Lyons), who is framed for murder and accused of corruption, and as a result, is forced to create an alter ego based on a fictional comic he and his young son read.

Taken in by an eclectic group of circus performers who provide him with his superhero "ability" (yes, with a cape), Vince teams up with an enigmatic blogger named Orwell (Summer Glau) to try and clear his name.

"True Blood" alum James Frain, who portrays the calculating Palm City leader Peter Fleming, recently talked with The Hollywood Reporter about his latest project.

"He's such a manipulative strategist and he doesn't really live in the world of people, he lives in the world of strategy," Frain said of Peter's alter ego Chess. (Not to mention "there's a goal he's working toward.")

THR: You play Peter Fleming, and then there's Chess.

James Frain: I play basically two guys, two characters fighting for the mind of one man. He has created this alter ego as a way of controlling the city, but it turns out that this character starts controlling him. We go into that a little bit with a bit more of the psychology of who this guy is and why he's done this strange transformation. But what's also interesting about it is the villains on the show - and there are lots of them - are very colorful and larger-than-life characters, and I think that's where Vince kind of gets his inspiration from, adopting a disguise. They've created the world of disguise and he has to operate within it.

THR: Will we find out more about your character specifically? Why he created this alter ego and why he has this need to be this other person?   Continued...