Following stints on Game of Thrones and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Yorkshire, England-born actor Dean Jagger found breakout success as part of Cinemax’s Warrior series as the character of Dylan Leary, an Irish immigrant fighting for himself and his people in 1800’s San Francisco, California.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com shortly before the October 2 season two premier of Warrior on Cinemax, Jagger looked back on season one, then forward to season two, and how they compare, and what fans can expect from a show that he expects to change the martial arts landscape on television.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Dean, look back on season one of Warrior for us and tell us your thoughts on how it went and the kind of reaction you received from it.
Dean Jagger: I feel season one was a great start for us. Jonathan (Tropper, co-creator and writer) did a fantastic job of establishing the world and introducing these phenomenal characters; and there was many as well; and that’s not always an easy thing to do. I feel like, from my stand point, from my character’s standpoint, (Dylan) Leary was campaigning due to lack of work to Chinese labor on behalf of the Irish.
Compared to the first season, this season seems a little bit less personal, but on a much larger scale in terms of the system. I feel like compared to season one, it’s just ramped up in every way. We get to the nuts and bolts of everyone’s wants and needs much quicker. I feel that people are going to be happy. I think it’s the twice the show season one is.
I think we did great. I think we became acclaimed. I’m very proud of that. For my character, in season one it was more like a man on a mission, as opposed to really delving into Dylan actually is. I think the show was ultimately well-received and I think that everyone’s ready for season two for sure.
MMAWeekly.com: Jonathan recently told us about ramping things up for season two. Is that more exciting or more pressure knowing things would escalate in season two?
Dean Jagger: There’s a little bit of both. There’s always a little bit of pressure because you want to do a good job. I feel that because it is a bigger show and everything is bigger, everyone really dialed into that a bit more, I feel. I know that I did.
I just knew what to expect coming into season two from season one. Season one really caught me off guard, the level of intensity, and how it fast it actually was, and the workload, it was amazing we did it, it was daunting.
In terms of training and things like that; what Brett Chan helped us do to our bodies was unbelievable. It’s transformational. I hadn’t been in that kind of shape for 10 years. It was a really tough, but fantastic challenges, and one of the great experiences of my career so far.
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MMAWeekly.com: What can you tell us to expect from the upcoming season?
Dean Jagger: It’s much more ramped up in scale. In terms of my character, I feel that Dylan is going to continue that fight; he’s going to fight for the Irish and whatnot. But there’s only so much of that you can do before you’ve got to question what you’re actually doing. I feel like in season two people are going to understand Leary a little bit more. Not to say what he does is justified, but I feel that people will relate more; he’s slightly more relatable this season, absolutely.
I can’t begin to tell you how much it’s ramped up in action. If you thought season one was balls to the wall, season two is hell on wheels, it really is. It’s much larger, in bigger settings, with much more huge moving parts. In terms of my character, Dylan Leary gets back into it and does what he loves to do which is scrap. You’re going to see much more of that this season. If he goes down – and I’m not saying he goes down – but if he goes down, he goes down swinging.
It’s going to be worth the wait. I feel like there are going to some fights that’s going to change television history when it comes to this type of fighting. I’ve not seen this level of fighting on television yet. I’ll say that. I’ll underline that.
MMAWeekly.com: Thanks for taking time out for us, Dean. Is there anything you want to add in closing?
Dean Jagger: I want fans to catch Warrior season two on October 2 at 10 PM EST. It’s going to turn some heads. It’s going to be talked about. Don’t miss it.
Warrior Season 2 Official Trailer
(Video courtesy of Cinemax)