Actors Ryan Cartwright and Azita Ghanizada as well as producer Ira Steven Behr say that it was the humor of the pilot for Alphas that drew them to the series as much as the stories of people with extraordinary abilities.
“I was actually excited by a lot of the good humor in it, because I love comedy,” Cartwright, who plays Alphas team member Gary Bell, tells Spinoff Online. Enduring another “horrible pilot season in L.A.,” as the actor termed it, Cartwright claimed Alphas’ realism and sense of fun immediately appealed to him.
“A lot of the pilots I was going up for were comedies, but they didn’t compare because the comedy was a lot wetter and not as real,” he adds . “The humor in Alphas comes from the people trying to rub along. I really liked the comic element of the characters’ relationships with each other.”
Behr agreed, adding, ““I’ve done a lot of genre television and it has always been a struggle, one I have kept fighting, to try and get humor into the shows. Here was the chance, right there on the plate, to do honest, real character-driven humor in a show that had enough other elements in terms of drama and mythology that the humor was going to be woven into that fabric in such a way it could not be pulled out.”
But it wasn’t just the humor that drew Ghanizada to the role of Rachel Pirzad. She says she felt a connection to Rachel with both being raised in what she called “conservative homes.”
“[I] understood very quickly what it was like to live in a conservative home. I’m a child from Afghanistan and grew up with very strict parents in the United States, and that was part of Rachel’s journey from the pilot,” Ghanizada said. With a heightened form of synesthesia, her character Rachel can enhance one sense at a time –taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight — to superhuman levels, but at the cost of all her other senses.
“I think Rachel is all heart,” Ghanizada said. “You see her being the authority in the pilot because she has the ability to track all of this evidence in all the cases. But she’s not very confident because she’s been told her whole life this is a condition — if anything, a disease – and it’s created a lot of fear.”
Fans can tune in Monday for the 90-minute debut of Alphas on Syfy.