Holy Reveal! The Voice of Rao Speaks up About That 'Krypton' Twist
Spoiler Alert: This interview includes vital deets from Krypton's fourth episode, "The Word of Rao."
In a shocker worthy of a Daily Planet headline, Krypton fans just learned that the planet's ruling God—known as the Voice of Rao—is being played by Blake Ritson—the actor also starring as the show's much-hyped villain, Brainiac.
Up until now, the role of Rao has been absent from IMDb and the show's press releases to maintain the mystery, but in the final moments, of the April 11 episode, "The Word of Rao," the enigmatic overlord of Kandor tore off his six-faced golden head dress after becoming infected by Brainiac's nano-parasites, giving viewers their first peek at the man behind the creepy AF mask.
Watch the stunning reveal here:
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Ritson talked with TV Insider and shared a little bit more about who is who, what it's like pulling triple-duty and why Krypton's population may be about to take a serious hit.
Congratulations on keeping a big secret! This episode and the next one are full of secrets being revealed.
Blake Ritson: [Laughs] It's a show of many secrets. And yes, there are many more to come.
Did you know when you signed on that you were going to be playing both of these characters?
I knew from day one when David Goyer approached me and said, "How would you like to play the big bad Brainiac on the show?" And I was like, "Amazing, terrific, sounds super-exciting."
Then he said, "Listen, I've got this crazy idea that you also play the Voice of Rao, and that he becomes infected by Brainiac and becomes another villain in the show." I just thought that sounded like an amazing ride, an amazing adventure. And it has been.
So that must have been nice, heading into all of this with that knowledge.
Yeah. David has this amazing encyclopedic knowledge of the shows he's putting together. Where he plans so far ahead. I think that's why a lot of the characters he creates are so layered and have such extraordinary depth and complexities. He just knows where it's all heading. And for an actor, it's amazing to have that sense of trajectory.
So the question is: Are the Voice of Rao and Brainiac the same person? Or are they two individual characters?
The way I've always considered it is I actually play three characters in the show. I play the Voice of Rao, who is the de facto leader of Kandor and the highest authority of the religious guild. I play the Brainiac-infected Voice of Rao, who we're about to see very shortly. He's gonna become a very palpable, noisy, violent presence in Kandor. And then I play Brainiac.
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The Voice of Rao has, so far, been pulling the strings but been relatively docile. Are you saying this newly infected version is going to become a physical force now?
Oh yes. I mean, if he was essentially a brooding, silent threat before, that threat is about to become very, very noisy indeed.
So we saw in the end of Episode 3 how the parasite—Brainiac's nanotechnology—appropriated the body of Rhom (Alexis Raben). It consumed her humanity and gave her an array of extraordinary abilities, super-intelligence, super-strength, telepathy, telekinesis. And we witnessed there the devastation that a random citizen in the Rankless district could cause.
So, you can probably imagine that the gravity of the threat when the Voice of Rao becomes infected. He's already the most powerful individual in Kandor. He has the power of life and death over every citizen, he controls day and night and the climate within the bio dome surrounding the city.
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He can also influence the actions of his followers. The devout will do whatever he says...
I mean, he's effectively a cult leader! He's thought to be a semi-deity channeling the will of Rao. And I think Episode 4's real reveal is that he is purely human and a very shrewd political operator.
That has been part of the fun thus far, is what is under the mask? Is it something semi-robotic? Is it something alien? And I think the reveal in Episode 4 really is: No, he really is purely human.
It's very much like those Star Wars moments where we find out that underneath the masks, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren are both just men.
Yeah, absolutely. I've spotted a lot of Star Wars references you can kind of map on to the mythology. But I think those kind of references you can also link back to Greek mythology. These big, epic reveals. And there are many more reveals to come.
Will we find out exactly what the Voice of Rao's endgame was before being infected?
Well, the exact identity of who he was before he was infected is, for now at least, something of a mystery. But we may yet discover more about that as the show continues.
And how will Daron-Vex (Elliot Cowan) feel about this new Rao? He was already planning the uninfected version's assassination.
There's a really fun kind of fluidity of events. Just as the Voice of Rao has been exposed to be a kind of fraud—he isn't this deity who can cause all the problems of social unrest—there are these threats to his power. There are these plots afoot from the Vex family.
But then he's infected by Brainiac and given this extraordinary array of superpowers. I can't say too much, but the gravediggers in Kandor are gonna be kept very busy in the latter part of this season. [Laughs]
Krypton, Wednesdays, 10/9c, SyfyAlertMe