2016 Winter TCA Portraits You've haven't seen the half of just how awful Vandal Savage can be, promises actor Casper Crump.

When the extremely long-lived supervillain made his DC TV debut on a crossover between "The Flash" and "Arrow," audiences got a taste of Savage's particular brand of nastiness, but Crump says there's so much more villany to come now that the Egyptian priest-turned-modern-day crimelord is the Big Bad of the spinoff series "Legends of Tomorrow."

Crump sat down with Moviefone to reveal how he found his way into the role of a 4,000-year-old character with over 70 years of accumulated comic book history behind him.

Moviefone: The bad guy never thinks he's the bad guy--

Casper Crump: Of course not.

So, have you figured out why Vandal Savage thinks he's doing the right thing, in his mind?

Well, clearly, he doesn't know that he's not doing the right thing! But for me, as an actor, I have to sort of take responsibility for him and his actions. And I think in every human being, we have that villainous kind of side, the dark side. I mean, it's all around us. You see it every day, and that was a part of my research. I read a lot of comic books on Vandal Savage, and I saw the daily news." I was like, "Alright, there are villains all over, dressed up as politicians or writers or pop stars or whatever. "

But why? If he knew, he probably wouldn't do it. If he knew he was wrong, if he had to sort of find a reason for him to make that decision right, he probably wouldn't do it.

There have been so many incarnations of Vandal Savage in the comics over the decades. Tell me about the things about him that you zeroed in on?

I, of course, looked at his physical appearance. Even when I auditioned, I was like, "Sometimes he's portrayed as huge!" Like, massive muscle stuff, and I'm like, "OK, guys, you want me to work out?" And they were actually like, "No, no. We don't need that." And in other books, he looks like me more, and I sort of lean towards that.

But doing a comic character, it's just a gift in all these comic books at your disposal. You're like, "Oh, I can actually look at him and I can see his posture, the way he walks and stuff." And I sort of got very much inspired by that. I pulled out all the pages and put them on my wall. I don't want to copy that, but I'm very much inspired by what I read in the comic books and trying to make it my own thing.

Acting-wise, who have you had a lot of fun crossing swords with?

Oh, mostly, I had great chemistry with the whole cast, but I must say, later on you will see, of course, he meets Rip Hunter, and the scenes that I did with Rip Hunter turned out really good, I think. We just had a really fun time doing it. And Falk [Hentschel, the show's Hawkman], by the way, we were like best buddies, and we were just having a blast while we were shooting, fighting, killing each other off. Oh, great fun!

Are you the actor who starts leafing through the script for his action scenes?

No, but I do like action scenes. Not that that's something that I look for. I first read the script, I don't do the "Bulls--t, bulls--t, bulls--t, my line, bulls--t, my line..." I don't do that [laughs]. I read the whole script, of course. I go into my own stuff, of course, and I have told the stunt coordinators, "Let me do as much as possible of my own stunts." And they let me do that. They can't like pull me through a window or like throw me off a building. They can't do that. But all of the choreographies and the fighting, I do that.

What's been interesting when continuing to play a bad guy through the entire season?

It sort of leans towards another question: How is it playing a guy that has been around for thousands of years? And I was like, even with my creativity as an actor, no. I can't imagine. But what I can imagine is that every single scene he knows, no matter how tough and tense the situation gets, he can't be killed. And as an actor, this is just a great note to have in the back of your head. It gives him an arrogance, and it gives him like he's over the others. Superior.

Did you read comics at any point in your life?

I actually read a lot of Lobo. Still hoping to do a Lobo show. I want to play him, probably can't now, anyway. I didn't read a lot. I read a lot of Lobo really, a lot of Spider-Man when I was younger. And when I booked this job I started looking into the whole culture again, which is impossible to do. And I tried to understand it.

I thought, actually, I was a Marvel fan, but when I started reading and I thought back to what I had been reading all my life I found out, "Well, I kind of like Lobo. I like Batman. I like all the DC guys!" I'm not saying that Marvel isn't fantastic, but, yeah...

Is there anything that Geoff Johns or any of the producers told you about Savage that clicked and made you say, "I know exactly what I need to do now?"

I called them, actually. I called them and said, "Look, help me out here, or just tell me where do we want to go with this character." It wasn't anything specific. I'm still working on it, I think. And I think it's important to keep doing through the whole season. And if they use me next season, I don't know. Just keep working, keep exploring your character, because if you know, well, this is how he is, I think that shows in your acting.

Tell me about the experience knowing that the audience knows there's going to be a "Legends" series when you show up first in the other shows, "Arrow" and "The Flash." What was the reaction that you got from that?

Well, it was very positive. People really liked the episodes. But there have been questions after: "But you died in 'The Flash.' Has Malcolm Merlin had something to do with that?" Which we don't know. He collects the ashes. That's what he does. I think people, I hope, are excited he's coming back to "Legends" because the first two crossovers from Vandal's perspective were very two dimensional. He comes in. He throws knives. There's not much story to him, so I'm glad I get the chance to show people more of who he really is.
categories Interviews, Tv News