4400 is upping the ante this week in its sixth episode, which focuses on AMARR’s Hayden.
Shadow and Act spoke with the actor ahead of the episode, which will focus on filling out more of his character’s backstory.
Just as the original series, the 4400 reimagining focuses on people who were “who were overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalized, vanished without a trace vanished before showing back up. The government is trying to figure out what happened, while those who just returned are realizing what happened while they were gone and how they’re now different…literally and physically.”
Hayden has been described “an introspective, prescient boy whose origin remains a mystery.”
“I actually never heard of the original series until I got the audition,” the actor said of the previous iteration. “And then after I booked it, I went on Netflix, because they’re like showing all four seasons. So I did some research, tried to see some similarities between my character and maybe one of the others, because I know with reboots, they usually have some character that’s similar to a character that’s on the reboot. So I looked for some things, and I saw there was this character named Maya, this little girl. And was like, ‘She seems a little similar to Hayden.’ So it actually helped me a lot, because I took some things from her for the OG fans to relate to.”
On the character’s arc so far, AMARR notes how slowly but surely, the audience is learning more and more about him.
“I feel like when you first see Hayden, he’s very quiet and mysterious, but I would say compared to the fifth episode, or just even the sixth episode, he’s starting to really build his foundation within the 4400 and become closer with everybody other than Mildred,” he said. “What’s so exciting about this episode is that you really get to see the dynamic between [him and] most of the 4400 and how he has to rely on them to help two of his friends.”
Specifically speaking about the Hayden-centric episode, the actor teased what’s to come as the audience and learns more about his experience in the 1930s.
“You’re going to see a lot of Hayden’s backstory and why he doesn’t trust people,” he said, noting that he’s always had an idea of where his initial journey with the character will lead.
“When I first started the show, they gave me like a rundown of how the show would pan out with my character and my character’s arc,” he continued. “And when we got to the sixth episode, stuff really started to make sense in a sense. In the sixth episode, you see Mildred, who is the closest person to him within the 4400…[and we also] go back to the ’30s. And that shows with him and that his family was not the best to him. But his mom was really kept him stable, and when something happens to her, he basically has nobody. And he’s later institutionalized for certain reasons, but he’s always been looked at as an outcast, and you’re going to see why in this sixth episode.”
We also learn more about the time period Hayden was in, as the character seems to fit in anywhere. “You’re really going to see the clothes that I wear,” he added. “We shot in this museum and it really definitely helped me get into character when I saw the old sweaters and stuff like that. And it’s just so cool just how we’re just playing just people instead of playing characters. I always say this, but with this role, what I love so much about it is that I really feel like I’m playing an actual person and I get to dive into different things. I know with Hayden, he suffers from a lot of trauma, and it’s like I don’t have these intentions of doing it just to tell a little thing for the show. I want to actually help people that are actually dealing with that and even different people in the show like Dr. Andre. Even in the 20s [and] even now….we’re in the 2021 and a lot of Black people aren’t really getting credited for things that they do. And I feel like that’s so important to talk about. Definitely a conversation starter.”
Looking beyond episode sixth, AMARR also teased the rest of the season as the cast wraps up filming. “We’re shooting episode 12 right now and we have about one more episode to shoot — and there’s a lot more action. I was watching the fifth episode for the first time with the rest of the cast yesterday, and you know how it ramps up on the fifth episode? It’s just going to keep getting better. More powers are going to be exposed — a lot more powers are going to be exposed…a lot of secrets. People coming back, even from the original 4400. There’s so much going on. I’m very excited for people to see just the relationships between all of the characters, because we really grow as a family throughout the season.”
The actor also talked about being a part of impactful projects like 4400 and Colin in Black and White.
He explained, “Honestly, I feel so blessed. I was talking to my dad and my grandma yesterday about it, just how I feel really blessed to be a part of these projects that are really pushing the boundaries with different conversations that people try to avoid. And it’s not like we’re just being like, ‘Oh, we’re forcing down your throat,’ but it is conversations that need to be had or need to be said. I mean, I see it all the time on Twitter just even with the 4400, you see people that are like, ‘This is too provocative.’ And it’s like a lot of people, and I’ve noticed that when it gets to human rights, it’s like that’s too political. I feel really blessed to be a part of just telling stories that mean so much more than just a sci-fi show or a football show. It means so much more and it’s so much more to life.”
4400 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.