5 Questions With Jeff Hephner of National Geographic’s 'Mars'

Kellie Freeze
Q&A National Geographic/Dusan Martincek

On Nov. 12, National Geographic returns to the red planet with the second season of its groundbreaking documentary/drama hybrid Mars.

“There’s a new colony coming to Mars, and they will be there to look for profit to exploit,” says actor Jeff Hephner, who joins the cast in Season 2. “I play Kurt Hurrelle, the commander of that group.”

Jihae and Jeff Hephner in Season 2 of Mars (National Geographic/Dusan Martincek)

Although capitalism may be coming to Mars, Hephner answered our 5 Questions gratis.

1. If your TV had just three shows or networks on it, what would you be watching?
Fargo, for sure, on FX; Bloodline and Narcos on Netflix; and Casual on Hulu.

2. What three foods do you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Blueberries, kale and tomatoes. [Laughs] I’m starving, I haven’t eaten all day. I’m not going to eat today. It’s this weird thing: We drank so much beer in Dublin this weekend [that] I’ve just chosen not to eat food today.

3. When was a time when you were completely starstruck?
I met Harrison Ford at the Golden Globes a couple of years back. I was tripping-over-my-own-tongue starstruck. It was pretty cool. He was cranky, but in a great way. I met him another time a couple of years later, and he was the same guy. I didn’t take it personally at all. He’s just Harrison Ford!

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4. Tell us about a strange or funny fan encounter.
We had one in Dublin this weekend. This woman, a big Chicago Fire fan, just could not get over the fact that I was in Dublin. She was like, “What are you doing here?!?” I’m like, “I’m hanging out in your great city; I’m enjoying myself.” She thought it was so bizarre that I was there because she didn’t expect to see somebody from the Chicago shows just wandering around Dublin.

5. What do you think you’d do for a living if you weren’t an actor?
I think I’d be a farmer. I grew up in the country on a farm, and I like the lifestyle. I like the modern angle that farming is taking. There’s a lot of progress in farming technology that keeps it cleaner and healthier and better and puts more back into earth than it takes out, and those are things that are very interesting to me. I think I may end up a farmer.

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Mars Season 2, Mondays 9/8c beginning Nov. 12, National Geographic

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