Arts

Raf Rogers stands out in Zodiac: Signs of an Apocalypse

Photo courtesy of SyFy Network.

As it turns out, Raf Rogers always knew where his career aspirations lay. With a role in the upcoming film Zodiac: Signs of an Apocalypse, he certainly has been working hard in the direction toward his passion.

When Rogers first came to the University of Ottawa, it was to study for a business degree. His long-time interest in theatre compelled him to take an introductory class and this eventually led him to study the craft in Vancouver.

“Once in a while, you see an opportunity and you have to jump on it,” he says. “Because if you don’t, then you might regret it for the rest of your life.”

Vancouver was that opportunity. He fell in love with the city quickly and decided to move there to focus on an acting career. Since then, he’s been building his career with credits on several TV shows including Smallville, Flashpoint, and Fringe.

His latest role in Zodiac is his favourite to date. In the SyFy Network movie, a museum curator gets more than she bargained for when an ancient astrology board shows up at work. Rogers plays Joel, the encouraging best friend who acts as a humorous foil to the film’s tension. “It started out the same (as past parts),” he says of the role. “You go to table reads, you meet the cast, and you go on location. But once we got on set, what was great about the director was he let us throw it all away. He came up with things on the spot and really let us play.”

Rogers is no stranger to improvisation. A year ago, he trained at Amy Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. There, he took classes for sketch writing and improv; elements that he says keep things fresh.

“I like the spontaneity that it gives,” he explains. “I like that you can keep things moving in the direction that the writer has given, but with slight variations that keep you on your toes, and keep you in the scene.”

It was his humour and knack for on-the-spot acting that won him praise from Zodiac director W. D. Hogan. “His improv skills brought much-needed comedy and depth to the character,” says Hogan. “He took a small part and turned it into an unforgettable role. We ended up cutting him into the final scene more than we expected because of his performance.”

Rogers is interested in pursuing comedy next, especially since he says there’s a lot more coming out of Vancouver nowadays. “I feel like it’s a niche that Vancouver doesn’t fully take advantage of,” he says. “I want to do a bit of standup comedy, and I’m going to start going into those avenues a little bit more. I’ve been dipping my toes and now I think it’s time to take a more of a plunge.”

Zodiac: Signs of an Apocalypse is set to premiere on the Syfy channel Aug. 16.

 

Check out Raf Rogers’ demo reel here: