Actor Graham Rogers takes on a challenging role as an aspiring FBI agent in the Hollywood TV series Quantico—and he’s having fun while at it.
Graham is cast as Caleb Haas, a second-generation FBI guy who disgraced his family by getting kicked out of the FBI Academy located in Quantico, Virginia.
He told PEP and other members of the press through a phone interview, “It’s challenging for all [of us cast members] ’cause we have such talented writers that write really layered characters with so many sides. So I think the most challenging thing with the characters is trying to keep them alive with all the different sides to them, which is a challenge, but is really fun.”
The challenge extends beyond the set, said Graham, who revealed, “You kinda also not make assumptions about your character.” He said every week there’s a twist, and the actors “learn something new” about their character on a regular basis.
GRAHAM VS. CALEB. Graham revealed that he immediately felt the connection to his character Caleb, even during the audition process.
“The script [for Quantico] came out during pilot season, and pilot season is kind of a myriad of all sorts of projects, and it was kinda open for a good one,” he recalled.
“And as soon as the script came out, it automatically caught my eye…So I went in and I felt immediately like I really clicked with the character. And I kinda thought that there was something really funny about the character.”
The actor who played a drug-dealing professor in the comedy series Resident Advisors (2015) added, “It’s different than the last character I played. The last character I played was in a comedy. He was the opposite of an FBI agent. He was a college advisor that would sell drugs to his students and sell them and stuff like that. He wasn’t the most upright.”
To prepare for his role in Quantico, Graham had to go through research and physical training: “I kind of watched a lot of movies about the FBI and studied some of my favorite actors whom I kinda felt were like similar to Caleb. And then since it’s network television, I try to get in the gym as much as I can.”
Before the next question could be asked, Graham interjected, “Oh, I also started taking boxing classes so it would look like I somewhat know how to throw a punch. I don’t know if it showed, but I tried. Haha!”
Although it’s discernible that Graham is a lot more laidback than Caleb, the 25-year-old actor cites one thing he has in common with the analyst/agent-trainee: “I would like to think we both have a sense of humor. I like the feel of making jokes and stuff like that. I try to put jokes in that aren’t scripted, and sometimes they end up in there.”
But he immediately added, “I think Caleb’s got a little bit of…I think Caleb just is really threatened by a lot of people. And I think when he’s threatened; he tends to be malicious—not with everybody. I think Caleb’s heart has changed a lot. When he was introduced in the pilot, he was really threated by his roommate. Hopefully I don’t do that.”
WHAT’S NEXT? A lot is coming up for Caleb in the next episodes of the thriller. For Graham, he’s as excited to witness his personal growth as much as his character’s next step.
He said, “It [Quantico] has helped a lot. In terms of acting, I think I’ve really grown as an actor. On the show, you know, you get to do it every day. They write such layered characters that you’re kinda always learning new things, and new things to play about your character. You’re out there, people are watching, people are getting to see your work. There are a lot of things that used to intimidate me, not so much anymore.”
For Caleb, there’s more to come, as Graham pointed out: “You’ll see it before the end of the season, how much he grows, like in his heart. [I’m looking forward to] seeing his relationship with his father.”
Quantico Season One airs every Monday at 9:45 p.m. on AXN.
AXN is seen on SkyCable Ch 49, Cable Link Ch 38, Cignal TV Ch 61, Destiny Cable Ch 61, Dream Ch 20, and GSAT Ch 51.