The universe for HBO Max’s DC Comics series Titans continued to expand in season 3 with the introduction of Tim Drake, played by Jay Lycurgo. Drake, of course, is the third character to take on the Robin mantle in the comics and fans have been excited about his trajectory this season and what’s to come.
Ahead of the finale, Lycurgo spoke to Shadow and Act about his arc in the show so far, fan reception (including all the messages he’s been getting about Superboy), representation, the finale itself and more.
The actor says that playing Drake has meant a lot to him on multiple levels, mainly because he had a connection to the character as a kid. In our chat, he gave kudos to the series’ showrunner for the opportunity to have the character played by someone of color.
“It’s huge thanks to Greg Walker [Titans showrunner], that he can see such an iconic character and allow someone of color to play it,” he said. “I didn’t know that it was going to be Tim to start off with. But once I heard that it was Tim and it was Robin…the history behind it and how much fans are passionate about it as well. To play Robin is everything because I think back to when my dad would always buy action figures of Batman and Robin.”
Though he was amped to play Drake regardless, the fact that he was making history for on-screen representation as the very first live-action version of the character hit him later on.
“I realized [it] when I started seeing tweets from fans,” he explained. “I always remember this one story…this guy that was at a Comic-Con or something [and] he was just doing cosplay in a Robin costume and he was mixed race. He just said, ‘Now I can wear this without being laughed at,’ and that’s when it hit me that I was like, I’m doing something different. And from then it was like, ‘OK I must be an advocate now. Who cares about color?’ It just worked out the way it was and all I can do now is just do the best I can and hopefully fans like it.”
He then told us a story about how a lack of representation actually contributed to how he perceived himself when he was younger.
“When I was a kid I was watching Disney and watching The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and those were the leads that I was looking up to as a kid and they were all Caucasian,” he said. “And then I’d go into school and I would straighten my hair and I would want to change my name, and it’s because we didn’t have those role models in these roles. But thank God it’s now changing and people are giving people of color an opportunity. And I’m just blessed to be in this place.”
On fan reception so far, Lycurgo says fans have been “lovely,” especially all of the DMs asking for a Robin-Superboy kiss after recent headlines.
“Look, I’m fully open to anything,” he said when we asked him about it further. “I think that I’ve said it before. There’s a community that has the voice and if we decide to go down that route, I’m all for it. And I want to tell it in a way that is respectful and makes sense if anything. I don’t want something that is rushed, because that comes with nothing. I want something that is fulfilling and that the fans can cherish and that they can relate to.”
And for Thursday’s season 3 finale, the actor teases that there are some surprises in store for fans. “I think everything will just come together,” he added. “I think there’s a villain that people are getting sick of and I think that [people will be excited for]. I think you’re going to see a team that needs to unite again and finish off what they started.”
The entire season 3 of Titans can be streamed on HBO Max. The show has been renewed for season 4.
Watch the full interview below. The above copy has been edited and condensed for clarity.