Newbie Mat Vairo on His 'Revolution' Daddy Issues: The Conflict Keeps Rising and Rising
Newcomer Mat Vairo's first reaction to landing the part of Sebastian Monroe's long-hidden son Connor on NBC's "Revolution" was ecstatic. Then, the Huntington Beach, California, native had a minor panic attack, realizing that he'd have to learn Spanish, how to swing a sword, and how to shoot a gun. He also admitted to Yahoo TV that he was "petrified to be the new guy" on set in a phone interview last Friday. He gave us a hint about where Connor is headed (attention, shippers: We have a possible new TV romance!) when "Revolution" returns Wednesday with "Captain Trips."
How did the job come about?
I just auditioned like any other guy, and truly it was one of the easier audition experiences I've ever had. I only had to go in one time. It was surprising to get it because I had just gone through a whole string of jumping through flaming hoops and rejection. It was a nice change of pace for sure.
The "Revolution" group has been together for quite some time now and has formed a tight unit. What was your experience being the new guy? Were you pranked?
No hazing. But I was absolutely terrified and petrified to be the new guy. I didn't get a wink of sleep the night before I started. But it couldn't have been more seamless. Everyone was kind and generous and made me feel welcome in a very genuine way, and it made it easy to be new. I know that's a boring answer, but their kind welcome really galvanized me into feeling comfortable to work right off the bat.
How much prep time did you get to prepare? Did you meet your new TV dad in advance?
I found out I got it a few weeks before, which is like a year in TV guest star time, but I didn't get the script until a few days before I was going to film. I didn't meet Dave [Lyons] until the day I got there, right before we were going to go on, in the makeup trailer. I think it served the story at that point. I wasn't supposed to know him in any context, so it worked to be strangers. It helped the dynamic.
You come across as very similar, especially in reactions and mannerisms.
Genetics could play a part, but Connor grew up in a similar violent environment as Monroe, feeling abandoned, and that spurred on the countenance. We only planned a few little things here and there to emphasize that they were father and son, but the feeling of it all was mostly ideas David and I were bringing to the table separately. It just happened to match up in one of those magic moments.
How is Lyons as a fake dad?
Quite young. I don't think it's physically possible he could actually be my dad in real life. He's great. I really trust my heart with Dave. He's been there off set for me as well. We work together on how we're going to handle scenes, but he's also become a great friend away from work. He's a great guy.
Do you speak Spanish?
Oh no, I was faking it 100 percent. We had a dialect coach and Joaquim [de Almeida], who played Nunez, was extremely generous with his time. He ran the scenes with me probably 20 times every day so that we could find a rhythm, sound conversational and natural, and so that I actually sounded like someone who'd been speaking Spanish for years.