Wes Chatham Says 'The Expanse' Season 4 Will Reveal Who Amos 'Really Is'

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Q&A
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He’s been coined “Murder-Snuggles.” He is, self-proclaimed, “that guy.” He’s the Roci’s expert mechanic who also, apparently, knows a thing or two about walking in heels. But underneath it all, who is The Expanse's Amos Burton?

Book fans who have read The Churn, a novella dedicated to exploring Amos’ history, already have that question answered. But for those who haven’t read the source material, pre-Season 1 Amos is a giant question mark. We know he lived in Baltimore, we know Amos isn’t his real name, we know someone named Lydia is important to him… and we know whatever happened to him growing up in the city was very, very bad.

According to Wes Chatham, Season 4 will test Amos in new ways, bringing forth a damaged and vulnerable side of him viewers haven’t seen before — a side that Amos himself probably hasn’t seen since he left Baltimore. Chatham also chatted about some changes in Amos’ relationships (it appears a romance is on the horizon!) and elaborated on the parallels between his character and the season’s main antagonist, Murtry (Burn Gorman).

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In the past, Amos has looked to characters like Naomi (Dominique Tipper) and Holden (Steven Strait) to be his moral compass. Who is he looking to this season?

Wes Chatham: If you go all the way back, he grew up in Baltimore and he endured a severe amount of abuse and trauma. Lydia was his mother figure there and ended up becoming his lover — and there’s a lot of things to unravel just in that — but ultimately, she saw that this boy who was dealing with such abuse was turning into a monster. It was very important to her that that never happened to him, so she drilled into his head, “I know this is the easy way to be. But you are not connected to your emotions, and you ultimately have the potential to become like the guys that abused me and that are abusing you.” So that’s always been in his heart and in his mind. It’s very important to him.

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So when he met Naomi, he extended that relationship to her. Now, as he goes forward, he’s learning and growing and starting to connect with his own intuition, and that relationship with Naomi has expanded to the Roci family. That is his family, that is his heart, that is his connection.

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What can you tell me about Amos’ relationships this season? Is he sticking mostly with his family, like you said, or will he be branching out?

With the whole socio-political struggle with the galaxy that Holden drags us into, I don’t think any of us is really concerned about that. All Amos would like to do is have him and his family on the Roci do their jobs, make their money, go to the brothels and the bars and live a life like that. But if Holden is going to be involved, he’s going to go there and protect his family. That is his motivation.

THE EXPANSE -- "Abaddon's Gate" Episode 313 -- Pictured: (l-r) Cas Anvar as Alex Kamal, Wes Chatham as Amos Burton -- (Photo by: Rafy/Syfy)

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And this season, he comes across somebody — and in Amos’ past, sex has always been transactional. He starts a relationship with a character, and that is the basis of how they start to have a relationship, but as time goes on it gets more intimate than either of them anticipated. So he does have a really close, intimate relationship that develops over the course of Season 4 that is unlike any other relationship that he’s had, especially outside of his Roci family.

To briefly go back to Amos’ backstory, book fans that have read The Churn know about it, but it’s only been hinted at a few times on the show. Is there any chance that’ll be explored this season?

Yes. Ultimately, through the things that Amos went through when he was growing up, he created a personality that is his way of managing and controlling the world around him to keep him safe and hide his vulnerability. As Season 4 progresses, all of those mechanisms that he has become stripped away. You get to see the damage and fear that motivates all of that behavior. You get to see that and understand why that’s there in the end of Season 4, but that also leads us into Season 5.

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How would you describe the dynamic between Amos and Murtry this season? The trailers put you two at odds, but I wonder if they might see themselves in each other a little bit.

A lot! Absolutely. I think because of Amos’ childhood and his past, he has developed the ability to read people right away and understand what their motivations are. As soon as he comes into contact with Murtry, he knows what Murtry is and what he wants. He also knows what Holden is there to do and what Holden wants, and he knows their two roads are on a collision course. They will not be able to exist in the same space. It is important to him to say to Murtry, “I see you, and this is how we’re going to have to end up.” But Murtry said the same thing, because we’re different sides of the same coin. Murtry says, “I see you, and I know where we’re going to have to end up.” It’s really a matter of all the people around us catching up to where we are at that point.

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What aspects of Amos’ story this season are you most excited for fans to see?

I’ve done a lot of work on the covering up of Amos, and creating the defense mechanisms and things we all have — there are things within us that we’re either insecure about or afraid of, and we cover them up and have certain aspects of our personality that we put forward to manage people’s expectations of us. In life those will always be stripped away at certain points, and all you have is your vulnerability, like an open nerve. I’m excited that this is the first season for Amos where all of those (mechanisms) will be stripped away. You truly will get to see what’s happening underneath and who he really is.

The Expanse, Season 4 Premiere, Friday, December 13, Amazon Prime Video