A moment with Michael Jonsson about Arrow’s Kodiak and Van Helsing’s Barry, The Burier

Image Credit: Michael Jonsson, photos by Eric Saide, acquired via The PR Firm
Image Credit: Michael Jonsson, photos by Eric Saide, acquired via The PR Firm /
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Michael Jonsson discusses his time on both The CW’s Arrow and SYFY’s Van Helsing about the roles themselves and the baby he throws around on set.

It’s a busy time for Michael Jonsson right now, appearing on two major TV shows, on two different networks, and with two roles that are vastly different from one another. You can imagine that his schedule is packed, but he is taking it all in his stride.

Appearing on Arrow as one of the Longbow Hunters, Kodiak, a supervillain who, in using Jonsson’s own words “is HUGE.” With sheer brute force as his weapon, Kodiak is a foe that should not be underestimated.

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Along with his appearance in Arrow, Jonsson has been involved in the SYFY series Van Helsing. Appearing as Barry, The Burier, Van Helsing is based on the graphic novel series Helsing.

Barry, The Burier, couldn’t be further from his role as Kodiak in Arrow. Going between the worlds of superheroes and villains into the world of vampires and horror would have no doubt be an experience that would make for a very interesting and fun day at the office. Michael Jonsson shared the benefits of two shows filming at different times.

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Hidden Remote had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Jonsson about his time on the two TV shows.

Hidden Remote: You’ve been juggling both SYFY’s Van Helsing and CW’s Arrow. How have you managed filming the two? Have you had any funny moments, or has it all been straightforward?

Michael Jonsson: Thankfully, both shows filmed at different times so there were no conflicts between the two, so I managed perfectly. Never had to worry about mixing the innocence of Barry with the hard-hitting Kodiak.

Both characters have been far from straightforward. For instance, the day of my introduction as the Burier on Van Helsing, I needed to smash a vampires head to a pulp. So, with this foam brick, I laid into this ballistics gel dummy and smashed his head as hard as I could with as crazy of a mentality as I could.

That got me right into character. There was fake blood flying everywhere. The next few days on set I had people coming up saying “great work”. It was nice getting compliments for what was such a psychotically physical scene.

HR: So, you have been appearing as “Kodiak” in Arrow? Did you know much about your character and the “Longbow Hunters” prior to filming?

MJ: I used to collect comics when I was younger, so when I got Kodiak it was my excuse to jump online and collect all the comics with Kodiak! I came to learn that he is the leader of the shield clan and is part of the Outsiders War.

He’s a meta with super strength and carries a badass shield. He’s also HUGE.

Personality wise, he’s sarcastic and pokes fun of Oliver. I hope we see a lot more of that. The big difference in the comics – he’s shirtless and wears an antler skull headpiece. Savagely cool.

HR: What did you enjoy the most about appearing as “Kodiak” in Arrow?

MJ: Chucking people. You may look at Kodiak and say, “he’s like a bad Captain America”, but my moves are less like Cap using a shield and more like a sasquatch. Almost every fight I’ve been in, I throw someone and I love it. Makes me look so tough. Really, it’s our talented stunt team on a pully, but let’s not tell anyone that, cool?

Michael Jonsson Van Helsing Arrow
Image Credit: Michael Jonnson, photos by Eric Saide, acquired via The PR Firm /

HR: What would you personally like to see happen with your character in the future?

MJ: That antler skull thing I was mentioning above… It’d be cool to see an arc transforming him into that. Been working out and bulking up in the hopes of hitting that storyline.

HR: You’re appearing in SYFY’s Van Helsing as Barry “The Burier”. What has it been like working with everybody on the horror drama?

MJ: One of the most fun times I’ve ever had with a character. Playing this huge innocent simpleton-like character who’s trying to survive in an apocalyptic vampire future — does it get any better? Two characters in one… with one of them being a badass vampire-killing wrestler — isn’t it every actor’s dream?

HR: The show is based on the graphic novel series Helsing. Are you a fan of the novel series at all?

MJ: To be honest, I hadn’t looked into it until I booked the role. Doing that research was fun. Liesel Van Helsing is such a strong protagonist and doesn’t take any guff, just like our Vanessa.

HR: Have you got any good stories to share about your time on Van Helsing? Onset pranks, blooper moments, things like that?

MJ: In one of the last episodes I was in, Barry was given a baby to look after. I’d walk around pretending this doll was the real baby, cooing and talking to it and crew would think I had the real thing, so then… I would drop it or throw it at people.

Those reactions were priceless. Something Barry would not do to anyone, ever. I can’t hold a candle to Aleks Paunovic though… that guy is the king of pranks on set.

HR: You don’t have to answer if you want, but what did you have more fun working on? Van Helsing or Arrow?

MJ: That changed every day I worked on either set. To go from a horror genre with so much blood and guts to playing a supervillain – I couldn’t have asked for a better or harder choice. So, I will say…

Van-Arrow-sing. (Copout, I know, but just as easy as answering which of my two kids I love more).

HR: So, what is next for you? Will we be seeing you appear in a new project soon?

MJ: I’m supposed to keep everything a little hush-hush right now. Hopefully, we’ll see more of the Longbow Hunters in the latter half of this season’s Arrow and let’s all start using the hashtag #RenewVanHelsing on Twitter to make sure SYFY knows that this is what the people want!

(Van Helsing has since been renewed for another season by SYFY from when the interview took place.)

Next. A moment with Miranda Edwards about Arrow’s The Silencer and Snowpiercer. dark

Arrow returns in Jan. 2019, where we’ll hopefully see more of Michael Jonsson. Van Helsing will air it’s Season 3 finale on Dec. 28. Season 4 does not have a release date yet.