October 30, 2017 7:00 am

Enrico Colantoni reveals why he joined ‘Travelers,’ and why everyone should watch

Enrico Colantoni stars as Vincent in 'Travelers.'

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Canadian actor Enrico Colantoni has been on TV for three decades, starring in such a wide variety of shows it’s hard to keep them straight.

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His latest stop is on the Showcase show Travelers, playing the mysterious character Vincent alongside his Canadian counterpart, Eric McCormack (Will & Grace).

The mind-bending Travelers features time-travelling specialists (McCormack and Colantoni among them) who live inside host bodies of other people in order to remain hidden. The purpose of their time travel is to prevent a future apocalypse, and essentially save the world from destruction.

READ MORE: ‘Travelers’ Season 2: Eric McCormack and Nesta Cooper on what’s to come

To complicate matters, Vincent appears out of nowhere with an unknown agenda. What is he up to? In Episode 3, airing on Monday, Oct. 30, we’re going to find out even more.

Global News sat down with Colantoni in Toronto to talk Travelers, the relevance of the show and how Vincent isn’t evil (like you may have thought he was).

Global News: What made you want to join the Travelers cast?
Enrico Colantoni: I was reminded [recently] how complacent actors can become when they are offered the same guest-star roles. TV can be a little mundane and predictable. They sent me the pilot just so I could figure out what the f**k was going on, and I binged Season 1. I thought… wow. This was not what I expected from a sci-fi show. It’s layered, the spiritual elements of it, the prophetic elements of it, the human aspects of it… how human it was.

Sci-fi is probably the last element that intrigued me. I fell in love with it, the idea of Vincent in this world. It’s hard to walk away from that.

There’s something cool about playing a “patient zero”-type character, too.
Oh yeah, for sure! And Eric thought of me, and I wanted to work with him.

The Canadian connection.
Eric and I knew each other way back when he was doing the original Will & Grace and I was doing Just Shoot Me. I saw Travelers and I go, “Look at that motherf**ker, he’s so good.” He’s so detailed, so not Will. So not a comedic guy. They are all so good in this. And I know when everybody’s good across the board, that stuff is written very, very well.

It’s not one actor who’s standing out. It’s all of them.

Did it take you a while to wrap your brain around the mythology of the show?
[Laughs] There were a lot of phone calls to Brad [Wright, the creator]. He tried to explain the overall arc of the character and the 12 episodes that were happening… but it’s really simple when you think about it. It makes sense because it’s so detailed and perfect.

WATCH BELOW: ET Canada visits the set of Travelers

Tell me more about Vincent. What’s his story?
This guy comes… he’s the first traveller, 001. He shows up on 9/11 in one of the towers. He comes in as the prototype, and he needs to confirm whether [the time travel] works or not. He has to get back to them and say hey, I’ve arrived, it all works. What happens is I end up entering the wrong body. Something goes wrong and I freak out and run before the plane hits. He’s been on the run since 2001.

He’s the first guy who’s gone rogue, who knows enough to not have any cellphones, to not be found. If they find him, they’re going to kill him. He’s supposed to be dead. He’s been hiding and manipulating the future. He becomes a billionaire tech guy who’s a recluse.

Is Vincent evil at all? Does he have any evil intentions?
I think anybody watching Travelers… and this is why I think he’s so sympathetic… would do the same thing [as Vincent]. I get a second chance. If they find me, I’m dead. I need to survive, I need money. I’m going to play the horses and call every World Series winner, I’m going to make a lot of money and I’m going to hide.

For people who aren’t into Travelers, or who dismiss it based on the show description, what would you say to them to get them to watch?
I’ve converted quite a few people already. [Laughs] You don’t have to be a fan of sci-fi. You have to want the adrenaline rush without the exploitation of it. It’s real human stuff, but they happen to be consciousness from the future coming in and taking over a body. They have to live the life of that body and prevent the world from imminent destruction.

From an older perspective, you see the world now and the immediacy of things, the immediate gratification. When you see a character enjoying mac and cheese, and relaying that, reminding us, the people in our time, of how wonderful that is… shows like this remind us of what we have now, that we might take for granted. Shows like this could potentially save us from ultimate destruction if we learn to appreciate the minutia of our lives.

‘Travelers’ airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showcase.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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