Wednesday nights will treat Fans of fantasy to a new series called Motherland: Fort Salem, which focuses on a group of modern-day witches who fight the Government’s wars using combat magic. The show is set in an alternate version of modern-day where Women run everything.
We were recently lucky enough to talk with Kai Bradbury, who is one of the shows few male cast members and plays the role of Gerit Buttonwood on the show.
You can check out what Kai shared with us about the new series as well as some of his other roles below:
SciFiPulse: What was it that made you decide to take up acting and what would you say has been the biggest thing you have done thus far?
Kai Bradbury: Because of all the creatives in my family, sometimes I think I was groomed to end up in the arts. I fell in love with theatre arts in high school. It gave me an unparalleled means to self-express. Making a living out of acting had always been daunting, but with so much support around me, I felt empowered to take it on.
In my journey so far, I’d say playing Gerit on ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ has been the biggest opportunity with the amount of work and scale of this series considered. I had never spent so much time playing a character and it was a great pleasure getting to spend several months with the talented cast and crew of this show.
SFP: Your IMDB shows that to date you’ve done a lot of science fiction and fantasy with roles in series like ‘Man In The High Castle’ and ‘The Boys’, and now you have a series regular role in ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’. Are you a fan of these kinds of shows or is it just because there seems to be a wealth of shows like this now?
Kai Bradbury: I’ve been very lucky to work on some pretty high profile Sci-Fi fantasy projects. There certainly is an abundance of these genre shows and I think that’s a harken back to the escapism we saw with the entertainment industry in the 1930s. In dark times, I want to escape to a different world or even imagine how things could have been. There must be something about me and my look that fits the world of the future or alternate past, these projects seem to find me. I’m a huge fan of the genre and hope to continue in that direction.
SFP: From what have seen of the teaser for ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ it looks like a teen fantasy series with a bit of a difference. What can you tell us about it and the role that you have in it?
Kai Bradbury: ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ is set in the present day of an alternate history. In the late 1600s, the witches cut a deal with the US government during the Salem witch trials; if the persecution was ended, the witches would fight and protect the country and run the military. For hundreds of years, they are conscripted and trained for battle and today, we follow 3 new recruits as they join the ranks of Fort Salem. I play a male witch named Gerit Buttonwood who has eyes for Tally, played by Jessica Sutton. As you mentioned, the show certainly is different from anything we’ve seen, but it still has all the drama and romance you could want from a teen fantasy series.
SFP: We’ve seen a lot of spin-off shows with shows of this type. For example ‘Vampire Diaries’ has had two with ‘The Originals’, and ‘Legacies’. Do you think there is potential for that sort of thing with ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’?
Kai Bradbury: The creator, Eliot Laurence has built an entirely lush and diverse world to explore. I believe we’ve only scratched the surface here and there are many things to see in future seasons, certainly enough for a spin-off.
SFP: An unusual thing about ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ is the fact that it is set in a world where women are very much in control as opposed to it being a patriarchal society. How does your character fit in with that and are we likely to see storylines of the male characters trying for equality and so forth a bit like the Women’s movement?
Kai Bradbury: Without giving anything away, I’ll say that seeing how a world works in a matriarchal society is exciting and refreshing. The women hold the power here, that’s why they fight the front lines and run the operation.
SFP: Another show you were recently involved with was ‘Warigami’, which went out on CW Seed and was your first leading role. What can you tell us about this show and your experience in making it?
Kai Bradbury: Much like ‘Motherland,’ ‘Warigami’ is a new story and a new world. The media is saturated with re-makes and re-boots. We’re hungry for new life. I had an incredible time working on ‘Warigami,’ it was a big growing experience for me as an actor. It’s an action-comedy-fantasy that centers around Vincent and Wendy (Emily Piggford)- a pair of long-lost twins who reconnect discover they have magical abilities and band together to rescue their grandfather and the world from animmanent danger. It was a blast learning fight choreography and getting to connect with other Japanese-Canadian artists. It is currently available on CBC Gem and The CW Seed.
SFP: Have read somewhere that you have a love of musicals and I’m wondering if you can ever see there being a musical episode of ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’. A bit like what has done with shows like ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Supergirl’ in the past?
Kai Bradbury: That’s right, in fact my formal training was in music theatre. Funny enough, most of the cast of ‘Motherland’ has singing or dancing abilities. Now that you bring it up, a musical episode (though tonally wouldn’t fit) would be a lot of fun and to miss a chance to have Taylor Hickson (Raelle) and Demetria McKinney (Anacostia) sing a duet, would be a crime.
Motherland: Fort Salem airs every Wednesday Evening on Freeform at 9 PM EST