On Saturday, March 31 on Syfy, former Caprica actor Esai Morales steps into the role of scientist Tom Reynolds in Seattle Superstorm, about a UFO crash that sparks a series of fatal weather events in the Pacific Northwest.
In Seattle Superstorm, an unidentified object crashes into the Puget Sound off the coast of Seattle, which forces Major Emma Peterson (Ona Grauer of Stargate Universe) to investigate. As a result, Peterson asks her fiancé (Morales) to look after their teenaged kids. But as the danger escalates, instincts leave him unable to ignore the increasingly violent storms and earthquakes.
For Esai Morales, filming Seattle Superstorm almost a year ago was a departure from what fans saw of his character on the now defunct Caprica.
Although Seattle Superstorm airs on the same network as Caprica, how does Esai Morales look at his time on the Battlestar Galactica prequel in relation to working on a less serious disaster movie?
“I enjoyed my time with the folks at Syfy and I felt I was safe enough there. So yes, it’s a different animal. With Caprica, one episode was probably more than the budget of this whole piece, but it’s just a different scale. So what you have to do is you play with your imagination. You literally have fun.”
But after thirty years in the business as an actor, Esai Morales certainly knows how to transition from serious subject matter to more fun projects. Having co-starring in such emotional dramas as La Bamba, My Family, and The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca, Esai Morales has also played key roles in vastly different movies like Freejack and Fast Food Nation.
In television, prior to playing Joseph Adama on Caprica, Morales has been equally as versatile and diverse in his choices of characters after landing roles in such iconic shows as Miami Vice, The Outer Limits, Tales from the Crypt, 24, NYPD Blue and Jericho to name only a few. To say the least, Esai Morales has always been one of the best, most underrated actors in the business.
So, after leaving the world of Battlestar Galactica behind, what was it like for Esai Morales to step into a fun movie like Seattle Superstorm as compared to the seriousness of Caprica?
“For me, the fact that Caprica isn’t there anymore and the fact that I have a young child, I can’t be too snooty and go, ‘Oh well, this isn’t Martin Scorsese directing and producing.’ I can’t afford that. I have to be realistic and see that there’s an opportunity here to play a guy who wasn’t a stereotype, who wasn’t even Latino, he just was.
Working with Ona Grauer and these wonderful young actors along on the line with us was just a chance to play and a chance to learn a little bit about science. It’s actually quite fun when you talk about all these things and you go, ‘Okay, what the heck does that mean?'”
But since Seattle Superstorm is also about a female military officer who needs someone to look after her kids while she battles a deadly storm, Morales also found a real world difference between Caprica and the fun of a Syfy original. Although Seattle Superstorm is more B movie disaster fun, it still has characters in conflict.
For most actors, getting a chance to act in a movie like Seattle Superstorm is a fun one-off project.
As crazy as it may sound, however, there’s a relatable dynamic at play in Seattle Superstorm that people will find much more accessible than the religious symbolism in Caprica.
“It was antithetical in the sense that it wasn’t as heady. It wasn’t some sort of “what is it to be human?” conundrum. But at the same time it is “what is it to be a family?” It’s a different dynamic yet similar things are at stake, the survival of your family.”
Seattle Superstorm airs Saturday, March 31 on Syfy at 9/8c.