Titans: Joshua Orpin Talks Conner’s Guilt, Playing a Superhero, & What’s to Come

Titans Season 3 has put the characters through the wringer in recent weeks.

As everyone arrived in Gotham City, big deaths have set the stage for a thrilling second half of the season.

TV Fanatic got the chance to chat with Joshua Orpin, who plays Conner, aka Superboy.

Scroll down to find out what the star teases about the coming episodes.

TV Fanatic: What attracted you to Titans?

Joshua Orpin: What attracted me to Titans. I have been a big fan of superheroes since I was very young. It’s that classic thing.

I’ve been dressing up and watching cartoons and a little later on in life reading comic books. And when the audition came along, I was incredibly excited, and I feel like it was just my historical childhood fixation on the concept of superheroes that really drives that excitement and anticipation for me.

Throughout the first half of Titans Season 3, we’ve witnessed Conner slowly come to grips with his abilities. What’s that been like for you as an actor to play?

It’s been great. It’s what you really look for as an actor. You want to play a character over a period of time and have that character grow and change and react to the events that take place and respond to the consequences of the decisions that they have made.

And, of course, the fallout of the actions that they have initiated. That’s certainly the case with Conner. He’s really, without giving too much away, he’s been quite crucial to the ability of the Titans this season to achieve that mission.

That’s always fun to play as an actor.

Hank’s death understandably had a huge impact on the team, but Conner was this close to finding a way to save him. What can you tell me about how that affects him in the upcoming episodes. 

We got a little taste of that at the beginning of the episode after, in the wake of Hank’s death. He just feels this immense crushing guilt that someone who holds themselves responsible for the death would feel, and he does hold himself responsible as much as he can, as far as he’s concerned.

If he was just that tiny little bit faster, Hank would be alive, and he wouldn’t be searching for answers within himself.

‘Why aren’t I able to live up to this promise of this promise that I make whenever I wear this giant S on my shirt? Why aren’t I good enough?’

I think that carries forward to show for the rest of the season and the events that take place, he’s continually searching for that answer.

And he finds answers or possible answers from places that we might not necessarily expect.

What have you enjoyed the most playing a superhero?

It’s an overwhelmingly surreal experience for me, just because, as I mentioned, that childhood fascination with those archetypical characters and kind of getting to in a way re-enact those childhood fantasies for real, as my job, day in, day out.

It’s just an incredible feeling. It’s incredibly cathartic, and I guess specifically, I love doing the action scenes and those displays of superpowers because that’s the kind of stuff you’re doing when you’re running around as a kid.

I’m just living out my boyhood fantasy.

I understand more than one dog plays the role of Krypto. What’s it like filming the Krypto scenes?

It’s really fun. This season, we have two that have gone to the camera. One of them is named Wrigley, and then we have a new one called Pepsi, and they’re great.

They’re a lot of fun. They’re super friendly, super talented.

We have a great team of trainers that we work with to really make the magic happen, and the dogs are a blast to work with—super cute, which doesn’t hurt.

As an actor, it’s been a challenge to give whatever percentage of your attention to making sure that you’re facilitating whatever the dog has to do in the scene, whether that’s hit a certain mark or barked on cue or anything like that, but I really relish that challenge, and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

I think Krypto is an incredible addition to Conner’s storyline and the show.

I understand the production was affected by the pandemic. What was that like for you as an actor shooting during the pandemic?

First of all, there was that big delay kind of when the pandemic hit. The whole shooting of the season was delayed by about six months, which was a little demoralizing.

Shooting it under some new conditions, a lot of protocols geared towards safety and, COVID tests, and social distancing, and just rules that kind of made things a little less fun, which was unfortunate because there’s less of that social interaction that you normally get on a TV set.

Having said that, the whole time, I felt just incredibly lucky and privileged to be working at all and to be shooting a superhero TV show during a global pandemic. I was pretty lucky.

I was just happy to be working.

The journey to Gotham has been dangerous for everyone involved, especially with Red Hood and Scarecrow around. What can you tell me about what’s coming up in the second half of the season?

As you say, inherent in any story told in Gotham city is a certain depth and darkness, and the road the Titans are traveling is a treacherous one.

Without giving too much away, we’re going to see the Titans kind of meander further down that road. Scarecrow and Red Hood are going to continue to be a huge influence on the story.

The characters are going to be tested. We’re going to be challenged. We’re going to be under pressure as a team as to whether we divide or stick together.

Our general sense of optimism will be tested, and I think either that’ll break the Titans or they’ll be stronger for it.

Okay, Titans Fanatics!

Are you excited about what’s on tap?

Hit the comments.

Catch new episodes Thursdays on HBO Max.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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