THANKS FOR AN AMAZING IAMA, FELLOW REDDITORS! - WRAPPING UP NOW.

My name is Alex Falberg and I play Semyon, a Russian bad guy in episodes 2 and 4 of Daredevil. It was a lot of fun shooting for a week and a half with an incredible team of people. When I'm not playing Russian bad guys, I play the banjo for a band called PigPen Theatre Co.. We will be on the road playing our music around the country in May. Hope to see you out there! AMA :)

PROOF

SPOILERS may be ahead. Tread at your own risk.

Comments: 1353 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

Genericname481159 karma

if your character came back as a Fire-Extinguisher weilding foe, what would your supervillain name be?

alexfalberg1324 karma

the Fireman 0__0

BertSnerpis2369 karma

False. He would be The Extinguisher.

alexfalberg1499 karma

That's funnier, I like that.

VonAether117 karma

Fun fact: The Aberrant tabletop RPG had a character named The Fireman. He was the first known person to manifest super powers (specifically control over fire), and did so while working as an actual fire fighter trying to save kids from a burning schoolbus.

Here's him on the cover of the Aberrant Players Guide absorbing the fire, and holding a kid he couldn't save at centre-right on the cover of the Aberrant core rulebook.

Okay, so that fact wasn't very fun.

alexfalberg140 karma

Totally fun fact.

parquais627 karma

Would you believe I was watching that very scene as I came upon this thread? Surreal, man...it was like someone was watching what I was doing!

alexfalberg386 karma

I hope you enjoy!

rfazzio335 karma

Me too! Just finished that episode. You did an excellent job. I really felt like you took a fire extinguisher to the noggin.

alexfalberg274 karma

Gee thanks!

m1kesta82 karma

Holy crap, I've been binge watching the entire Season 1 since this morning as well as I'm recovering from surgery! Great job, sorry you got sacked from the roof so early.

Btw, how beautiful is "Karen" in real life?

And what is your favorite snack?

alexfalberg96 karma

I hope your recovery goes as smoothly as possible!!!

My favorite snack is sometimes pickles, sometimes cherries. I think I love any kind of snack. Snacks are great!

spudmcnally23 karma

this is off topic, and i'm a guy so take this as you will, but you have an incredible face, from your brow to your chin, you are a classically handsome man.

alexfalberg15 karma

aww thanks!

HockeyPaul79 karma

Watching this very scene right now! How random and funny! Hope this isn't the last of you, "extinguisher".

How did you come to get this role?

alexfalberg134 karma

Thanks! I auditioned for it.

Andrewpruka57 karma

How do you audition for something like that? Do they bash you in the head with something?

alexfalberg112 karma

Definitely had that scream ready to go.

longestlaser561 karma

Was it soft enough?

I made a lot of the props and stunt props for that show. Rubber fire extinguisher is a classic.

alexfalberg430 karma

Such a small world!!!!! It was perfect.

PerspectiveDesigns337 karma

Do you have any advice on how to be Russian?

alexfalberg703 karma

Well, I was born in the Soviet Union, but grew up in Ohio. So - advice on how to be Russian in what context? In a tv show? - just practice an evil sounding Russian accent and you're golden.

bbplayanmbr7248 karma

Yay Ohio! It's the place that's nice to move to if your not from here, but the one your kids would want to inevitably make it their goal to leave

Source: 20yr old Ohioan (still haven't moved out damnit (college is why))

alexfalberg157 karma

I love and miss the place - my band heads in the middle of May. Stop on by and say hello!

ovsk67 karma

Ohio is a big place. Where are you guys paying?

alexfalberg142 karma

Playing Cleveland at the Music Box Supper Club on May 14th, Columbus at the Basement on May 16th :)

dsade23 karma

Might hit up the Columbus show...been craving some live music

alexfalberg36 karma

Stop on by! We love Columbus.

Immortal_Azrael296 karma

How did that not kill your character? I feel like that would kill someone. Or at least give them a severe concussion and not really in any condition to be questioned after.

alexfalberg477 karma

In reality, it probably would have.

Jokerang248 karma

Just finished watching Daredevil on Netflix, loved it. How was working with the Charlie Cox?

alexfalberg458 karma

Charlie is one of the kindest, brightest and talented people I've met. He was amazing to work with. He was very thoughtful during the more physically choreographed sequences. It was amazing to watch him problem-solve in an incredibly high pressure situation while maintaining just the kindest and most generous attitude. I'm excited to watch his career skyrocket.

Sunderpool231 karma

What was more fun? Being a Russian badguy or being Tesla?

alexfalberg345 karma

They were fun in different ways.

Without revealing too much, in Daredevil, it was exciting to play a character that can pretend to have a flawless american accent and then switch to sounding like a Russian thug.

As Tesla, it was amazing to walk around the set and have all of the technicians on set greet me as though I were endowed with some sense of magic. Tesla is a super interesting character in our history. Really looking forward to more stories being told about him.

Farty_McSimmons135 karma

When you go to sleep at night, do you see the daredevil?

alexfalberg171 karma

YES

Farty_McSimmons77 karma

Follow up. Is your dad Willem DeFoe?

alexfalberg107 karma

He is not

Farty_McSimmons73 karma

No offense, but you look like he and Fred Savage conceived ~^

alexfalberg163 karma

Many thanks to you for that image.

alexfalberg29 karma

He is not actually.

angrysoopkichen122 karma

Since when do you reddit, bruh?

alexfalberg178 karma

Have always loved reddit.

Emerson7340 karma

Smart to use different account for this.. don't want the Marvel pr team coming down on you for lookin at any of those "weird" subreddits..

alexfalberg150 karma

All of reddit is a weird subreddit. But I love it!

dotcomaphobe107 karma

How was working with Rosario Dawson? Is she as flawless in person as she is on screen?

alexfalberg139 karma

She's a veteran; amazing to work with and to learn from.

wowwhatamouthful93 karma

If you could dine with any one person, living or dead, who would they be and why?

alexfalberg246 karma

Leonard Nimoy. I really looked up to him...

roflbbq58 karma

Live long and prosper

alexfalberg127 karma

The universe will unfold as it should.

dickcheney24684 karma

How did they film that scene of you getting knocked out with the extinguisher?

alexfalberg211 karma

Cleverly.

Agnt-Orange68 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this ama. If you could have 1 other marvel super hero do a minor appearance in the show who would it be? And do you really wear that much cologne?

alexfalberg139 karma

Ha! I don't wear cologne. I just stick to deodorant.

I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the lady superheroes come front and center.

ecto88mph53 karma

Was this your first acting role? If not did working on a "marvel" project stand out as different in any way.

I'm loving the show FYI.

alexfalberg101 karma

This was not my first acting role. The marvel project stood out first and foremost because of how secure the team was with keeping a lot of the material secret for so long and so well :)

Black_Handkerchief33 karma

That does make me curious: how much did you know of the plot surrounding your character / episodes beforehand and whilst you were recording the scenes in question?

alexfalberg67 karma

It was limited - The team and the director, Phil Abraham, were very good at deciding what information was important for me to know in order to give the performance that they needed.

Certain people were privy to more parts of the script than others. It was a very well organized system of keeping as much of the story a secret as possible.

Black_Handkerchief25 karma

That's interesting to hear!

Can you give examples of things that surprised you when you saw the episodes? (At least, I assume that is when you learned of the full plot!)

alexfalberg75 karma

Hmm, plot wise I was surprised by everything - truly, I knew very little about the ultimate arc of the narrative.

As a performer, the most surprising thing - watching it, I definitely understood more clearly what the director was communicating to me in the process of shooting those scenes. Sometimes in the heat of getting a scene shot in time, there's little room to reflect and ask why certain scenes get pushed in certain directions, but the director has the ultimate frame of reference. And watching it all come to fruition is very satisfying.

Black_Handkerchief17 karma

Thank you for your response!

I would never have thought you knew quite as little about the plot as you seem to have done; while on one hand I can understand you didn't 'need' to know, it just seemed natural to me that there'd be gossip and general chatter between the rest of the cast & crew in between the actual scenes.

I hope more opportunities will open up for you; for as far the typical 'beaten henchman' stereotype goes, I think you got a nice bit of screen time which you did pretty well on. I won't mind in the slightest if I see you get beat on some more in the future! xD

alexfalberg32 karma

Mighty kind, thank you.

And there was definitely more revealed to me through the overhearing of chatter and subtle conversation than by reading the limited script that was given to me. That was definitely an exciting part of being on set - deducing as much as I could through the myriad conversations that were taking place between the producers, directors, and designers.

Black_Handkerchief17 karma

Replies like those make me salivate for some actual details of stuff you thought you figured out, or stuff you actually did manage to figure out. ^_^

alexfalberg34 karma

At the beginning of the process, I had no idea if I was going to be in two episodes or just one. At the end of my week of shooting the scenes for the one episode, the director, Phil Abraham gave me a polite handshake and said he was looking forward to seeing me again on set soon.

That was the first clue I had that I'd be asked to be in another one.

ShelfDiver12 karma

That is so cool. Getting the performance needed without knowing or divulging exactly how it fit into the overall structure has got to be a difficult but interesting challenge for both actor and director.

alexfalberg12 karma

Very much so - but the production team was very good at knowing how to get around this necessary hurdle.

canuckfanatic47 karma

Did Charlie Cox struggle with maintaining his American accent at all? Did he keep the accent when the cameras were off, or did he just switch it on when he had to?

alexfalberg56 karma

He turned off the accent in between takes. He's a brilliant guy and so great to work with. He makes it all look very easy :)

Violentgoth44 karma

Thanks for your work! What's one of your funniest memories on set?

alexfalberg123 karma

The days were quite long - often running around for 12 hours. And of course there are the lunch and dinner breaks. But there's not a ton of time to get in and out of makeup and costume for those dinner breaks. Getting drenched in fake blood and then hoping that someone will want to sit next to you and socialize during the dinner break was pretty funny.

Violentgoth39 karma

I was crew on a small horror film and we had to shoot all the fake blood scenes last because it's so hard to clean up. Hope you had a shower near by and good luck in all your endeavors!

alexfalberg39 karma

Showers aplenty :) thanks so much take care!

munkeybeerd40 karma

Are you fluent in Russian?

alexfalberg68 karma

Yes

MeatBoyPaul38 karma

да

FTFY

alexfalberg10 karma

Nyet...

beowaffle740 karma

[deleted]

alexfalberg85 karma

Do your homework and eat your spinach?

cosmosjunkie39 karma

I just finished episode 2. What were you saying on the phone in Russian just before getting hit in the head by a fire extinguisher?

alexfalberg51 karma

Yelling at one of the other Russian thugs to call the brothers and that I'd found 'him'

page_matthews35 karma

Hi Alex, what makes you laugh and are you tickly? Where are your most sensitive spots? :P

alexfalberg68 karma

Your question makes me laugh. It tickles me.

LibrtyUniversity34 karma

Did you do your stunts or was that a double?

alexfalberg56 karma

Definitely a double. Amazing guy named Aaron Vexler.

LibrtyUniversity30 karma

How did they do the knife in your eye?

alexfalberg85 karma

Clever camera angle, good choreography on Charlie's part, and the director telling me to scream louder.

Sxi13932 karma

did you enjoy playing a russian?

alexfalberg56 karma

very much so.

gunslinger_00629 karma

I'd just like to say that you were very creepy and did that part justice for sure.

Great work.

alexfalberg42 karma

aw thanks.

Sxi13912 karma

any other TV roles you will be in this year?

alexfalberg30 karma

Not that I know of. But my band will be traveling the country late spring and early summer. Hopefully we'll catch you on the road :)

redlinezo614 karma

Well, whats your band's name?

alexfalberg33 karma

[(the PigPen Theatre Company)](www.pigpentheatre.com)

redlinezo628 karma

So close on the formatting!

alexfalberg42 karma

Teach me teach me

blockplanner31 karma

How did you know she was lying?

alexfalberg47 karma

Good ears ;)

ceeman30 karma

Who does the lighting on the show? It is amazing.

alexfalberg44 karma

Matthew Lloyd, a genius.

ceeman22 karma

Thank you. Yes he is. My Brother and I talked about the lighting almost as much as we talked about the story.

alexfalberg35 karma

He was meticulous. Watching him negotiate his choices with the camerman and the director was very interesting.

i_want_to_lick_her27 karma

What was the atmosphere like on set? Were there expectations about how the show would be received? Could you tell whether people were worried about how the show would do during filming?

I guess just... what were people behind the scenes thinking about the show before it went on air.

Also, when did this actually film? Just generally curious how long it takes from filming to airing.

alexfalberg50 karma

The brief time I was on set was in mid summer. I think they shot the whole series from then until December or so.

Most people on set were very excited. They were giving it their all day in and day out. A lot of strenuous work.

One of the sound engineers said to me that its impossible to predict if something is going to be brilliant or not. It may feel like its great on set but then the final product might not be that great. And vice versa - a project might feel not so good but end up being extraordinary.

This particular project was so much fun to be a part of and I think turned out to be pretty great!

dpkimsecks24 karma

10/10 would watch get hurt on film again.

Do you find acting to be your passion or music?

Also, How'd you land that gig?

alexfalberg33 karma

Thanks! Hmm... it's so hard to choose.

What I will say is that in a musical performance, there are fewer questions that have to be answered in a straight-forward and literal way. In acting, there's a lot of information that has to get passed along with dialogue or whatnot...

Music has this mysterious ability of being just a bit more universally satisfying to all.

qwertyaugh21 karma

I saw The Old Man and the Moon when it was in Boston and I was blown away by it. Were you involved in the synthesis of the piece? If you were, what was that process like?

alexfalberg27 karma

I was indeed. It's near and dear to me. The guys I work with in PigPen are guys I went to school with for theater. We formed the company whilst in school and have been working for nearly a decade together. The process is highly collaborative and not easy, but extraordinarily rewarding.

Philtheguy20 karma

When Daredevil was jamming something into your characters skull, what was he supposed to be affecting?

alexfalberg27 karma

Basically my eye.

rini620 karma

How is it playing the Banjo? Did you learn guitar first? Apparently, it's the thing now. I'll visit your band's site sounds cool! :-)

alexfalberg38 karma

Can't recommend the banjo enough - if you haven't yet, check out Bela Fleck's documentary on the banjo and its very eclectic and not so obvious history. He is a hero of mine.

I grew up playing the piano. And then jumped to the banjo. Strange I know.

Andoo20 karma

I literally just finished that scene as I am typing this. What the hell was he stabbing at in your eye?

alexfalberg33 karma

a paring knife. those sharp little knives that can chop your finger off...yeah

DKCURT18 karma

Hey! I literally just finished that episode! (Ep 2) If you could be any superhero, who would it be?

alexfalberg33 karma

Doesn't really count but when I was little I really wanted to be the Terminator...or maybe Robocop. One of the two.

c3p0o17 karma

Perfect pizza?

alexfalberg61 karma

I'm not sure what you are asking. All pizza's are created equal.

FloppyRedwood17 karma

Currently on episode 11, will there be more seasons of daredevil on netflix and when does he put on the damn red suit?

alexfalberg47 karma

I wish I knew! What I do know is that Marvel and Netflix are planning something huge.

slvrfire16 karma

How was Vincent D'Onofrio?

alexfalberg28 karma

Unfortunately I never got to work with him. But I think he's incredible. He came to set one day. Really really really tall guy.

loyalcynic15 karma

I just want to be a person in the crowd in a marvel movie. Far in the background during an explosion or something. It's on my bucket list. Where do I start? Where did you start?

Also, I just saw that scene yesterday, you are a very convincing Russian! :)

alexfalberg27 karma

Thank you!

As for your bucket list. If you are interested in doing background work, it's actually not too difficult to land an audition to do that sort of work in movies and tv shows. If you do some digging online, you'll find the resources that will point you in the right direction.

RangerBob1914 karma

I saw you guys do a performance of The Old Man and the Moon in Glencoe, Illinois! I thought it was definitely one of the best musical theater performances I've ever seen. Do you have any advice for a young, aspiring Bluegrass musician like myself?

alexfalberg17 karma

Practice, and find people to play with.

transientcylon11 karma

Forget the fire extinguisher. How is your eye? twitch

alexfalberg19 karma

It was a tough scene to film.

BigNikiStyle6 karma

I just watched episode two not more than an hour ago! Quaint!

Did they let you keep anything from the show? Maybe the extinguisher?

Do you speak Russian or was that accent just good acting on your part?

Also, great job! That eye-stab scene looked pretty damn real, man.

alexfalberg10 karma

I really do speak Russian. I didn't really get to keep anything. Maybe a tie clip.

leafeon1234 karma

If you could have any superpower, what would you pick?

alexfalberg7 karma

Definitely no need for sleep.

TerminallyCapriSun4 karma

Okay, this one's kind of boring compared to the other questions, but it appears nobody's asked it yet: what was the first speaking role you landed, and how did you get it?

alexfalberg8 karma

I mean... I've acted in plays and done student films for a while...

DingoDeacon3 karma

Do you hate Ben Affleck as much as I hate Ben Affleck?

alexfalberg4 karma

I think hate is a strong word.