New this month to superhero TV, SYFY’s Krypton has added one more series to the DC v Marvel war for live-action television dominance. Despite the show’s location of his home planet, Superman’s absence in a world generations before his time allows breakthrough performances from new Kryptonians to shine. Ann Ogbomo — who plays the incomparable Jayna-Zod on Krypton — is one such star who appeared briefly as Philippus in the big screen Wonder Woman. We chatted with the rising DC actress to ask about her new role and the new world of Krypton.
Did you have any affinity for comics, DC or otherwise, before your roles in Krypton, Wonder Woman, and Justice League?
Before I got cast in Wonder Woman, I can’t remember when I’d last read a comic. It was probably curiously looking over a friend’s shoulder in Primary School. When I got cast in WW I started to immerse myself in a world that was so familiar to me as a child from the screen. The Superman films and Wonder Woman TV series were my favorites. It’s been a joy to discover these characters in book form as an adult.
We’ve seen you in the role of warrior before. Do you think you carried any of Wonder Woman’s Philippus into your role as Jayna-Zod in Krypton?
I think the only thing Philippus and Jayna have in common is that they can fight. Essentially their mindsets are very different. I think this is due to the environments in which they live and how they have been trained. Jayna has seen nothing of the blue skies, seas, mountains or lakes that Phillippus has. I imagine the lack of Vitamin D has also had a huge role to play in how different Jayna is. Philippus has been created by Gods and trained by women whereas Jayna may have been genetically engineered. Jayna’s most influential trainer was most certainly male and her relationship to women and the world is very different to Phillippus’.
Krypton, despite being lightyears away, feels a lot like our own world and suffers from similar issues like wealth inequality and unchecked police authority. Would you rather Jayna-Zod or Phillippus lead us through these turbulent times? What do you think they’d prescribe?
Do you know what? This is a question that I have asked myself on many occasions. We know that the Amazons strive for peace and that Zods have a history of wreaking havoc. What I love about playing both characters is that whatever idealism they have, they are forced to reevaluate their values and beliefs to achieve what is right in the new situations they find themselves in. I think both of them want the world to be a place where people can live well and safely. However, what this looks like is very much informed by the societies that have conditioned them. I can’t pick one or the other right now but I think Jayna would prescribe order and Phillippus would listen to people before making any decisions. She has a big heart and incredible wisdom.
Our first few glimpses of Jayna-Zod are arguably harsh. Will we get more vulnerable moments with her this season?
She is harsh and I love that about her. The military guild is no place for hugs and kisses. Vulnerability is an inescapable human emotion and I think if you look closely you’ll see it in her.
Your character’s daughter, Lyta-Zod, for better or worse, is a person comfortable with breaking the rules. Do you think you would be proud to have her as a daughter, despite her defiance? Do you think Jayna-Zod is?
I think Jayna loves her daughter more than anything on Krypton. While moments of pride are rare, Lyta is her life. Me personally? I’ve never even thought of that. I consider Lyta in a purely fictional context.
Krypton is very much about regular/non-super people just trying to do their best. Will we see what makes Kryptonians super in their own lives?
I hope so. Surviving on Krypton seems like a super feat in itself. And when Brainiac arrives, the stakes take them all to another level.
How do you think Krypton’s origin story fits into our current DC universe, given the ‘death’ of Superman?
I think the TV series is completely separate to the films so it doesn’t have to fit at all. There may be nods to what’s going on elsewhere in the DC universe, but essentially Krypton is a separate entity.
Tell us the truth! DC or Marvel
The truth? There’s nothing like healthy competition to make you thrive. There’s no earth without the sky.
Krypton airs Wednesdays at 10pm on SYFY.
Jonnell Burke is a student of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an Eraserhead enthusiast, Orson Welles imposter, spandex suit inspector, and RPG queen. When not polishing her Marvel encyclopedia you may catch her backpacking through Nanda Parbat. If you tolerate Wolverine slander you may catch these hands instead. Jonnell aspires to be abrasive, uncomfortable and soon available at a channel near you.