Canadian actor Tom Stevens has risen to the pinnacle of film and TV for his many critical roles in titles such as the WWE’s feature action movie, “12 Rounds 2: Reloaded,” Hallmark’s drama series, “Cedar Cove” and Fox’s family comedy, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.”
His achievements in TV are marked by occupying role after role in many leading, acclaimed shows including “Smallville,” “Psych,” “Supernatural,” “Arrow,” “Falling Skies,” “Motive” and more.
Continuing in the same coveted direction, Stevens debuted toward the end of Season 1 in Fox’s breakout hit series, “Wayward Pines.” His acting in the role of Jason Higgins punctuated again his place among today’s top working actors and evidenced the reason why his name is rolling off the lips of many industry-leading decision makers and audiences everywhere.
The psychological thriller series, based on the “Wayward Pines” novels by Blake Crouch, was developed for TV by Chad Hodge. It follows the story of a Secret Service agent Ethan Burked (Matt Dillon) who goes to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two agents who have gone missing.
In no time, Ethan learns it’s himself too who may not survive the seemingly idyllic rural town. Its inhabitants are trapped in Wayward Pines and governed by authoritarian Sheriff Arnold Pope (Terrence Howard). Those who try to escape are sentenced to a public execution called a reckoning.
Stevens unleashed Jason on “Wayward Pines” in Season 1 Episode 9, “A Reckoning.” The episode centers on Ethan’s interrogation of Harold Bollinger (Reed Diamond) and on three young men from the “Class One of the Academy.” Leading the Class One trio is Jason, and they storm a jail in an effort to reckon Harold and his wife, Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino), Franklin Dobbs (Ian Tracey) and two others.
“It’s the kind of character I always want to play,” Stevens said. “On the outside, he looks clean and proper, but on the inside, he’s an animal.”
The “Class One of the Academy” operated under the leadership of David Pilcher (Toby Jones), a scientist who founded Wayward Pines. “In this episode,” Stevens said, “Jason represented all the teachings that Pilcher has implemented on these kids. It’s a totalitarian regime implemented on small town American perfection.”
Of Jason’s characterization, Stevens explained, “I don’t want this guy to have taken a breath until he pulls the trigger for the first time. Being suffocated by society, until you get to kill, that was the sociopath I wanted to play.”
In the episode, Jason executes all of his targets except Kate, as she survives thanks to Ethan. “He saves the day at the last second,” Stevens said. “Ethan ends up coming in and shooting me.”
The role called for Stevens to act alongside Gugino for the first time, and to execute the peaking climax where he shoots her husband. Gugino starred last year in “San Andreas” and has acted in many other blockbusters such as the “Spy Kids” trilogy, “Night at the Museum,” “Watchmen” and “Sin City.”
Stevens said of Gugino, “She was a consummate professional. She was there to make the best thing possible. In every single take, she was fantastic. I had to step my game up and I felt so blessed to be around those guys.”
Filmed in Vancouver and broadcast July 16, 2015, “A Reckoning” was directed by the award-winning Nimród Antal, who directed such films as “Kontroll,” “Vacancy” and “Predators.”
“He was a rock star,” Stevens said. “It felt like being on stage at a rock show. He would come in and have so much fire in him. He would get everyone involved and everyone gets infused with passion.”
Stevens reprised Jason as he wound up surviving and appeared again in Episode 10 – “Cycle.”
“Wayward Pines” premiered last May, finished its smash debut season by July and was ordered by Fox for a second season that’s to premiere this summer.
The series has also starred Oscar winner Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) and Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis (“Cape Fear”).
The “Wayward Pines” pilot was directed by M. Knight Shyamalan, a two-time Oscar nominee known best for “The Sixth Sense.” Shyamalan also executive produces the series. The show’s first 10 episodes have reached nearly 63 million viewers in more than 126 countries.