5 Questions with Mario Van Peebles

Mario Van Peebles

SUPERSTITION is a new series on the SyFy Network that will roll out internationally in 189 countries in Spring 2018, marking a milestone in multicultural TV for a global audience.  From the start, SUPERSTITION was created to bring a diversity of voices, backgrounds and fresh ideas to the horror/thriller genre to engage a large worldwide audience. The show’s creators proudly stated  SUPERSTITION to be the most diverse genre TV series ever created for the global mark

The storyline centers around the Hastings family, owners of the only funeral home in the mysterious town of La Rochelle, Georgia. The family also acts as the keepers of the town’s dark secrets and history. Known for its haunted houses, elevated graveyards, odd townsfolk, and rich history of unusual phenomena, the town is also a “landing patch” for the world’s darkest manifestations of fear, guided into the world by an ancient, mysterious malefactor. XLrator Media’s Barry Gordon and MVPTV’s Mario Van Peebles(“Roots,” “Bloodline,” “Hand of God,” “Empire,” “Lost”) are the producers, with Van Peebles serving as one of the writers, the director and star in some of the episodes. Mario is the son of the legendary filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, known for his classic film ’Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song‘, during the Blaxploitation film era. Mario’s daughter, 19-year-old Morgana Van Peebles stars as his granddaughter ‘Garvey’ in the new series. Former WWE superstar wrestler Diamond Dallas Page is also a key cast member.

The Tribune sat down to chat with Mario Van Peebles, as he answers 5 Questions about SUPERSTITION.

TRIBUNE: The storylines of SUPERSTITION really do play into the various superstitions that so many different people have believed in all of their lives. VAN PEEBLES: Well, I was just saying you have this melting pot of America, and you’ve got Jews, and Italians, and Chinese, and Brits, and everybody together, and you get sparks, you get great art and music, folklore, and folklore, of course, leads to superstition, because people come with all their superstitions from the old countries, but you’ve got all these various countries they’re drawing on, and we share them. And so, the South is American Gothic, and the South, if you will, is a very rich place. You look at a place like New Orleans where you have all this great folklore, and that’s what we’ve thought about. We play with some of that. Each episode we touch on different superstitions that are around.

TRIBUNE:  Mario, your fans are accustomed to seeing you, this handsome, hunk, pinup guy, and now they see you on Syfy, something like this – what’s the reaction been like among your fans? VAN PEEBLES:  You know, it’s been fun in that this is the first show I’ve done. But this is my first time as an adult working in this sort of thriller/horror space, especially in a series, and being a creator.  I traditionally do film, but this is the first show I’ve done where we get such a live, reactive audience, and we live tweet. So, if you watch the show Thursday night at eleven, you can live tweet with us, and the cast live tweets, so you get their reactions in real time, and they don’t mince words, and it’s been fun, and they’re smart, and they get it. It is a Multikulti show in this horror space – we wanted also sort of a ‘no-BS’ meter to be waved across the show, and that is that characters don’t do stuff they wouldn’t really do. You’re not going to go into the haunted house and look for that kitten, you’d come back tomorrow. You’re not going to follow the noise, that ‘Come on, guys, quit playing around.’ No way, man. So, it’s a fun show that way, and people really react, and there’s some twists and turns I could tell you now. My character is 778 years old… Yeah, so black don’t crack, and brown hits the ground.(LoL)

TRIBUNE: To further speak of the cast, you guys have such a diverse cast, which includes former WWE wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. Who would have thought? Were you guys as surprised as I was at  what a good actor Diamond Dallas Page has turned out to be? VAN PEEBLES: I wasn’t that surprised after I met him. Diamond Dallas Page has got a soul for acting. He feels like someone who’s been around a minute, gets the joke of life, seen slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and misfortune, and he does good stuff with his life. I wasn’t surprised by the texture and the soul of it. The acting skills part I was pleasantly surprised by, but the soul, I wanted actors that were smart, but had a consciousness, and he’s got a consciousnes.

TRIBUNE: I understand the caat members of  SUPERSTITION are really into live Tweeting with the fans? VAN PEEBLES: Yes, I love the whole live tweeting concept because it puts you directly in real time in touch with the viewers . It’s like that annoying guy in the movie theatre, you suddenly enjoy it when you’re live tweeting, and people are seeing things in real time, or asking a question, or experiencing, laughing with something – that’s a lot of fun.

TRJBUNE: What’s the next film for you in 2018? VAN PEEBLES: Releasing a film titled ‘Armed.’ It’s a thriller. It’s sort of about that old saying ‘nothing stops a good guy with a gun like a bad guy with a gun’. I play a good guy with a gun, but he’s got many guns, and many, many guns, and his concept of what a good guy should be is a little bit skewed. The script is based on three real stories. It’s the kind of story that you could see unfold at your local school, movie theatre, or wherever, because we’ve seen it every day. And so, it’s a thriller, but it’s a thriller that obviously is very relevant to the times we’re in right now. We hope it will be released in February 18th.

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