[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for the first three episodes of Titans Season 3.]
DC’s Titans are back! The live-action TV series featuring the titular comic book team returned to the small screen this week, with the first three episodes of Season 3 marking the show’s official debut on HBO Max since its shift from the DC Universe platform. The third season follows the Titans leaving sunny San Francisco for a dark and dangerous Gotham City, where the recent loss of one of their own and the rise of a new threat known only as Red Hood presents a whole different set of complications when his true identity is revealed.
Ahead of the show’s premiere on HBO Max, Collider had the opportunity to speak with Curran Walters, whose performance as Jason Todd arguably fuels a major component of Season 3’s main story. During the interview, Walters discussed diving deep into comics research, as well as adjusting to the changes in his stunt training and that wholly new suit (and mask) as Red Hood. He also teased which upcoming episode will fill in some of the blanks on Jason’s story, and how it’s been adjusting to playing an antagonist this season.
Collider: I definitely want to dive into some specifics about the first three episodes, but I want to go back to before the season even started with everyone’s favorite subject right now, which is the pandemic.
COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAY
CURRAN WALTERS: Mm-hmm.
I know there was a little bit of a pause before you were able to get rolling. How did you use the time to prepare for this transition? Because this is such a major storyline for Jason. Did you read through the comics? What kind of research did you do to prepare?
WALTERS: Yeah, the pandemic was kind of a blessing in disguise because it gave me that much more time to really dive deep into Red Hood and everything that he does and the differences between Jason. So, I took that time to really do a lot of research and dive into the character even deeper, and plan out everything I was going to do for Season 3.
In watching these really intense fight scenes, Red Hood uses a notably different style than Robin. How did your stunt training change between this season and the previous two? What were the biggest differences that you really focused on?
WALTERS: We had some tremendous differences, actually. We kept the … we did a lot of combat training as well as boxing and all the martial arts stuff still, but as far as the main difference between Red Hood and Robin was that we brought in some military people who actually helped us do some gun training. So, we had a lot of tactical people come in and help on movements and all that good stuff.
The costume, again, is such an iconic part of the Red Hood character and the mask, especially. I imagine there was probably an adjustment period in having to wear that.
WALTERS: It’s such a different costume. I would have to say that the Robin costume is, all around, more comfortable and easy to move in. Obviously, getting used to acting with a mask and doing stunts with a mask was challenging at the beginning and, let alone, just the new costumes. You’ve always got to figure out what works for you.
Was there any influence for you in putting together the voice for Red Hood, or did you draw any inspiration from other versions?
WALTERS: Yeah. I mean, as far as what I use as when the mask is off, it was pretty similar to what I did in Season 1 and Season 2, maybe a tiny bit deeper, but as far as what that would sound like with a mask on, that was figuring out what works for everyone on the team. And, obviously, having the pandemic and everything, it’s not like I could just have a writer, or a director, right next to me and ask them if this looks good or this works well. So, it was more of just trusting my instincts and hoping it worked out.
Image via HBO Max
What was your reaction to reading the first episode script and finding out that Jason was going to die right at the beginning of the show?
WALTERS: It was pretty insane, not going to lie. Right when I opened up Season 3’s script, I was like, “Whoa, this is happening pretty quick.” I thought it was going to happen halfway through the season. But, I think the way it came together is amazing, and we have such an incredible team of writers. So, I think it looks great.
In the comics, Jason is an older character going through the Red Hood storyline, versus on the show, where he’s younger and having to deal with this very emotionally intense storyline that also feels a little more condensed. Was that a challenge to play a very intense emotional shift for the character right from the jump?
WALTERS: Yeah. Anytime that you get to a switch like that in such a quick time, you see, it’s definitely a challenge. And it’s… we did a lot of flashbacks and stuff, so it was a lot of finding out what works. What he’s like on the tear gas, what he’s like not on the tear gas, what he’s like when he’s withdrawing. So, yeah, the emotional journey throughout the whole season is pretty intense.
You’re basically making the transition from a character who is, arguably, part of the main group of heroes to somebody who is a major antagonist this season. What that’s been like, to play that shift?
WALTERS: Yeah. It kind of goes back to the emotional part too. I mean, it’s just such a transition. It’s two totally different characters, but they do have similarities, obviously, but yeah. Overall, it’s been such a great challenge and a journey that I’m very thankful for.
Image via HBO Max
What do you think Jason’s biggest motivation has been in driving his actions against his former teammates? What’s fueling him to take these steps? Because we see he’s a little more manipulative and, in a very dramatic instance at the end, hurting people that he used to team up with.
WALTERS: What we saw at the end of Season 2, him feeling betrayed, I think he kind of feels, to Bruce, that he was a mistake, and Bruce doesn’t even believe in him. So that was the final straw. Obviously, he gets interested with Scarecrow and whatnot. So, yeah. It’s a beautiful journey we get to explore. Hopefully, the fans are going to love it. And we see so much emotional stuff of Jason this season. It’s pretty intense.
The show has definitely always gone to some fairly dark places. I don’t think anybody would argue that. Episode 3, especially the end, is a particularly low point for this group, especially because they lose one of their own in a very heartbreaking fashion. Do you think there’s a possibility for Jason to make amends, or is this the beginning of him heading down a darker path than even we’ve seen from him?
WALTERS: You know, that is such a good question. There’s a possibility for both, obviously. That everyone remembers at one point we were a family, we were a team. So that’s always in the back of our minds, but at the end of the day, I did kill somebody that was family at one point. So, ultimately, it’s up to the Titans and ultimately it’s up to me if I want to change my ways of Red Hood. That’s something that we follow throughout the season as well.
What can you tease looking ahead to the rest of the season? I know you probably can’t say much, but are we going to get flashbacks, a little bit of backstory there? Because there’s definitely some time missing between Jason’s death and when he re-emerges.
WALTERS: Episode 5. Episode 5, we get to tell a beautiful story about Jason and everything that happened.
The first three episodes of Titans Season 3 are currently available to stream on HBO Max, with new episodes premiering every Thursday.
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About The Author Carly Lane (365 Articles Published)
Carly Lane is an Atlanta-based writer who considers herself a lifelong Star Wars fan, newbie Trekker, diehard romance reader, nascent horror lover, and Wynonna Earp live-tweeter. She is a former contributing editor for SYFY FANGRRLS and has also written for Nerdist, Teen Vogue, Den of Geek, Motherboard, The Toast and elsewhere around the Internet.