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Heading into the 13-part miniseries Heroes Reborn, viewers knew that at least one original series character — Hayden Panettiere‘s Claire — would be dead before the series even began. Little did they know that by the end of the two-hour premiere there would be a second casualty, in the form of a promoted returning character.
After four seasons of mysterious memory-wiping and doing the bidding of one Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman), The Haitian René (Jimmy Jean-Louis) was killed by his former co-worker during a struggle with a gun.
But this is Heroes, after all, and if four previous seasons have taught audiences anything it’s that things aren’t always what they seem to be. To get to the bottom of The Haitian’s death and what comes next, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Jean-Louis.
It seems like such a waste to bring The Haitian back for one episode. Will he be back in some form?
This is Heroes, where people can die and they can come back. If he dies from the get-go, viewers should automatically expect that he will somehow come back. But how and when is the real question.
So this isn’t the last of The Haitian?
No, we will continue to see him.
Did you know that ahead of seeing the script?
I did ask if that was it for me, and if that was why I came back. But from the get-go I knew it wasn’t going to just be one episode, it’s going to be a normal arc. So that was very well established at the beginning. Otherwise, I don’t think they would spend that much time to bring a character back, for just one episode. It wouldn’t make sense.
What was filming that death scene with Jack like?
It was very emotional, somehow, to have to fight each other, especially right at the very beginning of this second round. You read the script and it’s a normal thing, but as we were physically doing the scene we realized, oh my goodness, there’s a strong bond between those two characters and it’s actually really emotional to try and kill each other. In every single take there was some real emotion going on from both characters. Those two have always worked extremely well together, and in real life we know each other very well too and remain good friends. So that adds to the emotional aspect of the relationship.
What can you tease about what comes next?
Based on that first scene we know he’s no longer going to be on the good side of his good friend, HRG. So with that said he’s also going to be in connections and relationships with a bunch of the new heroes. He’s been around for a long time so he’s got the keys to many things.
Are there any new characters in particular you work with?
Ryan Guzman‘s character for sure. All I can say is you will see me interacting with some of the new faces of Heroes and maybe guiding them to the right places for the right reasons as well.
What’s the main draw to The Haitian as a character?
It was already established that he’s mysterious, but now with the second round he has a greater responsibility. We always knew very little about The Haitian. We all knew who he was, but we didn’t know the depth of him and that keeps him mysterious.That comes across in the second time as well. As much as we’re going to see him, there is always going to be that sense of mystery about him and I think that’s what works for the character, the fact that you’re never sure of anything. You want to believe he’s a good guy—yes he’s a good guy, yes he’s a hero—but there are so many other things going on with him that it’s difficult to define who he is.
Heroes Reborn airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
How do you think The Haitian will return? Sound off in the comments below.
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