Exclusive Interview: Iddo Goldberg in Snowpiercer’s driver’s seat

Snowpiercer - Bennett in the engine chair
Iddo Goldberg as Bennett on Snowpiercer episode 108. Pic credit: Justina Mintz/TNT

After discovering that Mr. Wilford was not on board of Snowpiercer, the war for control of the unstoppable train broke out last week. It was a savage scene with countless losses in the back and the upper halves of the train, leaving many questions.

Will Andre Layton (Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs) be able to successfully lead the first successful revolution on the train, and finish it, or will he consider what the first class has to offer?

Will Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) truly surrender, or will Ruth (Alison Wright) take control back on the vessel carrying the last survivors of the human race?

And what will go down in the train engine, where the engineers know and see all?

Melanie’s most trusted engineer Bennett, is bringing young Miles up to speed. Iddo Goldberg (Salem and Peaky Blinders) portrays Bennett and talked exclusively with Monsters & Critics about what might go down during Sunday’s two-hour Season 1 finale on TNT, and the surprises awaiting fans in Season 2.

Also, make sure to check out our interview with Lena Hall from Snowpiercer.

M&C: Despite being written years ago and the comics Snowpiercer is based on were created decades ago, it seems so timely from the social injustices, the quarantining, and the class wars. Did you think about this coincidence as the episodes have been airing these past several weeks?

Iddo Goldberg: Yeah, you can’t help but go in that mode of thinking about where we are at the moment in society and where people are on the train. Even when people are doing the wrong thing for the right reason, oftentimes, someone always has to pay the price. There’s always victims at the end of everything.

I was speaking to my wife [Ashley Madekwe] about this the other day. Even though we’re going through this polarizing and magnifying moment, especially racially now in the country. I want to feel hopeful as well. I want to feel that there’s a positive in this surge of power.

Even though there’s some really horrible things going on in the country right now and the mirror is being held up to the country at the moment, I really want to hope that there’s a positive future.

Snowpiercer has these parallels in just the way people are treated and the way people are looked on, just because of the class systems they fit into.

It’s highlighted and very devastating. There’s also this surge of moving forward in the train, which is mirroring what’s going in society.

M&C: We’ve seen graphic novels be translated to multiple formats, but have you ever seen a piece of fiction, work on multiple levels and in so many different ways such as Snowpiercer, but also manage to echo the themes similarly?

IG: I don’t know if I’m an authority on this because I didn’t grow up reading comics, but I will say it’s a testament to the creators on this specific piece. Everyone was able to extract something from the graphic novel and the film.

The luxury of having 20 hours to tell a story is huge, but I am in love with this cast, starting with Daveed. Working with Jennifer was incredible. I wish I had more stuff with Alison Wright, she’s just a force.

Snowpiercer Iddo Goldberg in engine
Iddo Goldberg as Bennett on Snowpiercer. Pic credit: TNT and Jesse Giddings

M&C: What was it like to be on such a large ensemble, but only being able to work with such a limited group, because the engineers were so isolated from the rest?

IG:  It was actually really good at times. For example, in episode eight, you know what happens there, it was nonstop violence [laughs].

Everado Gout directed that episode and he was so much fun to work with and part of me wanted to be down-train with Strong Boy (Kurt Ostlund), the Last Australian (Aaron Glenane), Layton, and Till (Mickey Sumner) walking around with blood all over them.

I thought to myself, I’m kind of missing out on a lot of fun here [laughs].

There’s also something nice about not being surrounded by a hundred people on the set. So, there’s give and take. I had a really great time working with Roberto (Urbina, who plays fellow engineer Javier).

Usually, on jobs, people would get their food and run back to their trailer, but we always ended up eating in the train as a cast.

M&C: Bennett’s motivations and loyalty to Melanie is an interesting subplot; we’ve seen and will continue to see that get tested, but for now, he remains loyal to her.

IG: At the moment, it appears like blind loyalty, but they have this relationship. We don’t know if Melanie is using him for that intimacy or whether that whole relationship is real. They have history, as friends and colleagues, seven years into this journey, they are more to each other.

Miles in the Snowpiercer engine
Jaylin Fletcher as Miles on Snowpiercer. Pic credit: TNT and Justina Mintz

M&C: Bennett also bears a big responsibility, grooming Miles (Jaylin Fletcher) to join, and exclusive club of engineers, of class, and knowledge. What do you think is going on in Bennett’s mind and how does that correlate to his treatment of him? 

IG: I feel like Bennett knows what’s bubbling under the surface in the back end of the train and the situation that’s developing. Miles is a bright kid, but I think this is a loyalty question.

From the moment that Bennett is following Miles through the classes, to Dr. Pelton’s ER station, he is aware [of something].

When Bennett hands-off Miles to Melanie, there’s a look that he gives to Melanie that says, ‘What the hell happened to you today?’

There isn’t time to discuss it, but he is aware of a bartering chip situation because we probably don’t need the help of a really young kid in the engine right now.

M&C: What was it like to work on a series that knew early  on that there would be a Season 2 secured, especially on a massive ensemble where you knew you had the room to show a round idea of who these characters are?

IG: When you have the knowledge that something is moving forward is very exciting.

As actors, all you want to do is work. But specifically with the show and its differences from the graphic novel and the movie, we’re able to spend a lot more time with character and investigate who the people on the train are.

Graeme and his wonderful team of writers were able to do that, by bouncing from one character to the other.

The Folgers by example (played by Kerry O’Malley, Annalise Basso, and Vincent Gale), could have been whipped past in a bigger story that needed to finish up really quickly.

With a second season looming, it’s exciting to know your character is going to peel open a little bit and people will see more of him. Subconsciously I think, it shows faith by the network that they’re digging the show.

Snowpiercer Engine Room
Snowpiercer engine room. Pic credit: TNT and Jesse Giddings

M&C: During shooting, were you confined to one area of the train or did you wander about?

IG: Absolutely, I walked around. When you walk onto the set of Snowpiercer, it’s so big; it’s very hard to see the overall vision. Going in, you do your bit, but you have no idea how cool it’s going to be and stitch together.

The entire cast suffered not knowing where we were because there were so many sets. You’d always take time to walk around, but you’d always get lost, even up to the end of the season, and the shooting that’s already happened in the second season.

You’d take a wrong turn and say, how did I get in the night car again, but it was fun, a really exciting set to be on.

The art department never stopped working from the beginning to the end. So a huge shout out to them because they never stopped working and were always sweating [laughs]. I don’t know how they did it. They’re all heroes.

M&C: What are you most excited about viewers seeing in Season 2, perhaps Bennett’s backstory?

IG:  That would be what we talked about earlier, the loyalty issue, and what appears to be blind loyalty. I’m really excited for some things that happens in Season 2 that go back a little bit and discuss where the unconditional element in Melanie and Bennett’s relationship came from.

It’s not necessarily a romantic unconditional relationship, but there is a bond of course and mission. There’s a reason for everything that Melanie is doing, and I’m excited for viewers to see more and more of that side of her.

Also, there’s the bigger scope. A lot is discussed about what brought us to where we are today, with regards to Snowpiercer.

See the thrilling two-hour, Season 1 finale of Snowpiercer, airing Sunday night on TNT at 9/8c.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments