Last week, The Legend of Korra made its triumphant return with an hour-long, two-part premiere. Now that Book Two has officially begun, fans have a better idea of what's in store for Korra and her journey as the Avatar... but what about the fabulous bending brothers?
A few days before the premiere, I had a chance to catch up with P.J. Byrne, the voice of Bolin, and David Faustino, who voices Mako, at Nickelodeon Animation Studios, where we discussed the show's long-awaited return, what's in store for their characters, guest voice actors and more...
IGN TV: So I first want to talk to you guys about the premiere. How excited are you for everyone to finally see it?
P.J. Byrne: We're pumped. Obviously we saw it with a crowd at Comic-Con, and that was an amazing experience because it was the first time that we saw it. To watch it with them was like, "Oh my gosh, this is amazing!" I just think they keep raising the bar with how smart the show is, the lore of the show, the art just looks so beautiful, the new characters they're introducing... Every time I see it, I'm just so wowed by it, so I just can't wait for America to get wowed -- like David Faustino.
David Faustino: Yeah! I was thinking, it'll just be nice to have the fans not mad at us anymore. [Laughs] Because they were angry. They wanted us to show it already, they wanted a premiere date. We didn't even know, they wouldn't tell us. But it's good that they're finally excited about it and that it's finally happening. It did seem like a long wait.
IGN: You said Comic-Con was your first time to see it. What was your personal reaction to seeing the premiere for the first time, along with all those people? Because it was obviously a long time after you had recorded it.
Faustino: Exactly, and that happens to us. We're so far ahead, we're like, "Wait, what season is this?" But it's cool to see because, like you say, you forget about everything, and then it's all fresh. You get to just watch it for entertainment value.
Byrne: Yeah, like who our enemies are, certain plot twists, or like, "Is he on our side? Is she on our side?" It's a mind trip.
IGN: In terms of scale, from that trailer we saw at Comic-Con, it seems like it's going to be a much bigger, more massive book. Is it kind of exciting for you to see that world start to explode now that you've established all the characters and their stories?
Byrne: Yeah, the cool thing about this is, you're really seeing Korra's family, and you're seeing the Northern Water Tribe and Southern Water Tribe. You're also opening up this other dimension into the Spirit World. Then you're mixing people that you think were kind of family members, like Tenzin, and seeing a little rift between them. Then there's Korra having to deal with her parents. There's so much happening, while still having them try to solve the world's problems. As an actor, though, the more things you have to deal with -- the more problems, the more conflict you can have -- the better the product, I feel. And there's a lot of things happening!
Faustino: You know, he was saying how intelligent the show is, and it's true. It's too intelligent for me, I'll put it that way. [Laughs] And I'm sort of not kidding. I'm just like, "Wow, how are these kids that smart?" They're following every single character, every nuance.
IGN: We've already seen a little more back-and-forth between the two brothers this season, but it also seems like Team Avatar may be splitting up. What do you think is going through Mako and Bolin's heads right now, given what's happened in the premiere?
Byrne: I think the big thing is, we're not necessarily as petty, at least from Bolin's perspective. Even though they're not together all the time, you do see the love they have for each other, [and] that's what keeps them very close... This is sort of the first time they're not around each other day to day to day to day, and you still see that they really are the most important people in each other's lives.
IGN: Obviously a lot's changed for them too. There's been this six-month gap, and Mako's doing the whole cop thing, Bolin's doing the whole pro-bending thing. Do you think we'll see more of that as we go, or is that going to be diverted now with this whole spirit element entering into it?
Byrne: I think whenever there's going to be a problem with Korra, we're always there to help her or be there for her. But we do, on some level, have our own separate lives, whether it's the love interests or me pro-bending. But I still need my big brother. If you saw the team Bolin picked for pro-bending, it's ridiculous. I just think he was eating noodles thinking, "I want to get back into pro-bending," and then there's a firebender and waterbender sitting next to him and he's like, "You guys look cool! You wanna go?" And then, like, that’s it -- not understanding that they're basically competing in the NFL of bending. You can't just bring in anyone. But he just loves people so much that he's like, "These people seem like great people. Let's go win a championship!"
Faustino: I can totally see Bolin doing that.
Byrne: Yeah, that's something Bolin would do, and that's why he needs his brother, because he's so trusting and so honest. He just loves people. He would bring anyone with him, so he has a hard time; he makes that speech like, "Why isn't everyone being awesome and amazing?" He then has that little thing at the end, "Where is Mako and Korra?" So it's hard for him, but he's learning. If his brother's not there to make these intimate, hard decisions and has a better view on the world and can understand people better, then he has to start making these decisions now. And I think that will play throughout this whole book, him making decisions on his own.
IGN: Also, Bolin is teaming up with Asami on this new business venture with Varrick. First of all, I have to ask, what's it like working with John Michael Higgins? Had you guys worked with him before?
Byrne: I have, yeah, on Evan Almighty. He's awesome. He's a good energy, he loves to sing, he's wickedly smart, he can improv better than I think anyone in... America. [Laughs] I'm not even kidding you.
Faustino: He just comes off so perfectly with that character. It's so great.
IGN: So what do you think Bolin makes of this partnership between him and Varrick and Asami, all of them working together in Future Industries?
Byrne: So, these are people he knows. He completely trusts them. Asami he trusts emphatically, and since there's no more pro-bending with his brother -- I think he realizes that his team is bad -- he thinks, "You know, I might need a new profession. Oh, let me learn about business! People do these business-y things." So I think it's sort of this exploration in being an adult. He'll learn. I can't tell you any of the new stuff [Laughs], but he'll learn.
IGN: And how do you think Mako is going to react to Bolin and Asami's partnership, because Asami is Mako's ex-girlfriend. Do you think there's going to be some tension there?
Faustino: Well, I don't think Mako's caught up in that anymore, and I think Korra's...
Byrne: You guys love each other. You and Korra are down.
Faustino: Yeah... I mean, if I were the character, I would have a problem with it. [Laughs]
Byrne: And actually, David Faustino does have a problem with it.
Faustino: I do. I have a major problem with it.
Byrne: He's the person online typing out all the problems, like, "What is going down with Korra and Mako?"
Faustino: But yeah, I think they're passed that at this point.
Continued on Page 2, as Byrne and Faustino talk about Bolin's new love interest, recording in the studio and meeting fans at Comic-Con.
Source : ign[dot]com