Legends of Tomorrow star previews 'chaos' and 'aggro' Nate in Animal House homage
"We're playing drinking games to save the world," Nate Heywood's portrayer tells EW. "The Legends go to college. The Legends start a sorority. I join a fraternity, and there's chaos and the most Legends version of Animal House ensues."
Still want to know more? Here you go: In "Freaks and Greeks," the puckish team heads to present-day Hudson University to find the Chalice of Dionysus, which will help them operate the Loom of Fate but is currently in the possession of a fraternity run by the ancient god himself. Nate tries to get the artifact from Dion, but winds up falling under his intoxicating spell. Which mean it's goodbye, Nate, and hello, Shotgun Nate, his hard-partying persona.
"Nate, as you know [him], doesn't exist. 90 percent of this episode is Shotgun Nate, which was fun and also super weird on set because Nate was very aggro and very Bartstool Sports. Like if Barstool Sports and the Ringer created Nate, this is the episode it would be," he says.
Zano fully committed to playing Shotgun Nate and made it his goal to make his fellow cast-mates break. In fact, one of those instances — which was in a scene with Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and Astra (Olivia Swann)— may have even made the final cut.
"[Charlie and Astra are] having a very serious moment. I storm up, just hellbent on this party [the frat is throwing], and I break up this heavy moment, and I am going so hard at Maisie in character. I'm locking eyes with Maisie. She could not not smile or laugh during the take where she was looking at me, and on my coverage, she closed her eyes so she wouldn't have to look at me. But on her coverage, you can see that she's about to laugh. It's literally my favorite moment in the episode," he says.
But this is also how it usually goes on Legends, because the actors will often do something funny in a take just to make each other laugh. "We always are constantly surprising one another," says Zano. "The things we do for one another end up in the show 90 percent of the time and end up being a moment. It's really like me doing something to try and make Caity [Lotz] laugh while we're working, or Caity doing something that makes me laugh, or Tala [Ashe] trying to break me, or Jes [Macallan] trying to break me. All of those things are like the unspoken energy to the scene, but that's only because of our camaraderie and affection toward one another."
Furthermore, Zano loved "Freaks and Greeks" because it gave the entire cast a chance to explore what would've happened if they'd attended college together. "We would all be friends, for sure, and would probably get hammered," he says with a laugh. "That's the beauty of our writers as well. They don't try to go to the furthest ends of the universe. They pull from an experience all of us have gone through and put it in this [complex fictional] space, which I think is where the beauty of our show lies."
DC's Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.