Helstrom: Hamza Fouad talks playing a detective in a supernatural series

Hamza Fouad. Photo credit: Studio Aviva
Hamza Fouad. Photo credit: Studio Aviva /

Hamza Fouad discusses Derrick Jackson on the latest Marvel project, Helstrom

Helstrom is the latest Marvel project, currently streaming on Hulu. Hamza Fouad plays Derrick Jackson, the local detective who has a connection to one of the Helstrom siblings.

We got to know him a little better in this exclusive interview. He talked about the character, the connection to Ana Helstrom, and going into play a detective on a show with supernatural/fantasy elements.

Haven’t watched the show yet? There aren’t any spoilers in this interview, but there are some teases. It’s certainly one for fans of the original comics and fans of Marvel TV shows.

Hidden Remote: What can you tell us about Derrick Jackson on Helstrom?

Hamza Fouad: Derrick Jackson is a San Francisco police officer that has a relationship with Ana Helstrom’s best friend and partner Chris Yen. He’s honest, loyal and has a big heart. Derrick is unaware of his partner’s double life as a “fixer” that deals with the paranormal.

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HR: We know Derrick is close to one of the Helstrom siblings. Is this in a protective sense or in a “oh no, not again” sense? Or maybe both?

HF: Close isn’t the word I would use to describe the relationship my character has with Ana Helstrom, so I’d be leaning towards the “oh no, not again” side of things. We both care deeply for Chris, mine in a relationship sense of things and Ana in a family sense, and both believe the other is no good for him.

HR: How much does he know about the supernatural elements around him? If nothing right away, can you tease what he learns during the show?

HF: Derrick at first knows nothing of the supernatural elements surrounding him. However there are only so many times strange occurrences can happen around you before you start putting the pieces together. Now I’m not exactly saying he makes that connection…You’ll have to tune in and find out for yourself.

HR: You’ve played detectives and agents in the past, but not really mixed with all the supernatural elements. Did that affect the way you went into playing the role? Did it change the way you looked at the character?

HF: That’s a great question. I personally try to play each new character’s given circumstances.

In this case, Derrick is a police officer that we get to see have a relationship with one of the characters in the show. At first he isn’t privy to the supernatural elements of his world, and because of that, I approached him like I would approach any other “detective character,” and peppered in his attributes.

When originally auditioning for the role it was said that Derrick was very loyal, protective and has a big heart. Those were the qualities I wanted to highlight in this portrayal of the standard detective archetype.

HR: Which scene are you most excited for viewers to see play out on screen?

HF: I’m honestly excited for every scene, but particularly the first one my character is introduced. Without giving too much away, I can tell you it gets a little tense.

What’s also amazing about this show is its humour. They can take a tense moment and find the elements of humour which is a testament to the great writing.

Hamza Fouad. Photo credit: Studio Aviva
Hamza Fouad. Photo credit: Studio Aviva /

HR: What was the most challenging aspect of the show?

HF: The most challenging aspect of this show was hands down the secrecy of it all. Being that this is a Marvel production, and that it is based on the original comics, everything was kept very under wraps. I wouldn’t know anything other than what was going on in my scenes, which can be challenging for any actor.

However it does force you to make strong choices, and be malleable enough on the day to deliver what the writers and director envisioned.

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HR: What was the most enjoyable aspect of the show?

HF: The most enjoyable part of shooting this show was the phenomenal cast and crew! Being that this was our first season, everyone came in with positive energy and a general sense of excitement for what we were doing. Having that type of energy in all of the departments really makes those sometimes really long days worthwhile.

HR: If you could do any dream role, what would that be?

HF: My dream role would be getting the opportunity to tell an African centred story. There is a wealth of stories filled with beauty, struggle, joy and pain back home that the American public seldom gets a chance to see. To be a part of a project that highlights African culture and original stories would be a dream come true.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to discuss Derrick!

Helstrom is now available to stream on Hulu in full.