We chatted to Nick Creegan about his growing acting career including major recurring roles on Batwoman and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
You might recognise actor Nick Creegan for playing Marquis Jet on hit CW series Batwoman. Or, perhaps, you saw his turn as Richie Wheatley on Law & Order: Organized Crime. We chatted with Nick about his transition from Journalism to acting, landing these major roles and being the first person of colour to play The Joker, as well as so much more.
Read on below for Nick’s interview with Courageous Nerd. Or, check out the video version on our YouTube channel, linked below.
You’ve had back-to-back roles on big shows over the last few years. Just to rewind, what got you into acting in the first place?
Nick Creegan: I had done acting as an extra-curricular activity in college. Theatre was a lot of fun but I just didn’t see it as a realistic career path. So, I decided to be a journalist and I was a sports journalist for a while. That was also unrealistic in a lot of senses, there aren’t a lot of jobs for that industry.
I was lucky enough to be a sports journalist for a few years. One day, I decided to create a sketch on Instagram and that went viral. I got cast on a TV show and that’s when I decided that this was what I want to do.
How extensive was the Journalism qualification process?
Nick Creegan: There was no qualification process other than going to college. I went to University, got my Journalism degree. It helps when you have internship experience.
You’re currently on Batwoman, playing a variation of a very important DC Comics character. Could you describe how you got cast and finding out who you’d be playing?
Nick Creegan: I play Marquis Jet and I had no clue he’d eventually transition into a variation of The Joker. Until, a day before I flew out from New York to Vancouver to film this. The showrunner, Caroline Dries, she spoke to me and asked my thoughts on the character so far. She kind of just blurted it out, “I think this would be a good time to tell you… you’re going to be the first person of colour to play The Joker.”
It was a big deal. The Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix is one of my favourite films so it was really cool to hear that I’d be next in line to do this.
You also portray ‘Richie Wheatley” on NBC’s Law & Order: Organized Crime. How different are the two shows and your approaches to playing the separate characters?
Nick Creegan: The biggest difference I think would be the candour of the characters themselves. Marquis Jet and Richie Wheatley, they’re similar in certain ways. They both have powerful families but Richie Wheatley was more like a lion cub, trying to get to a full-grown lion. Marquis Jet has the swagger of a lion already. The first scene, you see him walk in his mother’s office with his chest out and sizing up Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie), turning his back on his mom.
You see that he had this different type of swag to him. I think the approach was very different in knowing that this guy [Marquis] was going to be full-blown insane at some point. Richie Wheatley was more reserved.
Would your portrayal have differed if Marquis was in the Kate Kane tenure on Batwoman? How much does Ryan Wilder being the lead affect your performance?
Nick Creegan: Ryan and Marquis are siblings, so the Kate Kane character wouldn’t have connected in the same way. Unless, they had made him Kate’s brother. The fact that I’m the brother of Batwoman adds to the whole Joker-Batman dynamic, for sure.
Dylan McDermott played your father on Organized Crime. Did you have any discussion with him about the characters and their lives before the story took place?
Nick Creegan: We didn’t have any conversations about who the character was beforehand. I did have a lot of conversations with him about how he takes on his role. [Dylan] actually is the one who spoke to me about animal work and how he picks an animal every time he does a project. That’s why I decided to consider Richie Wheatley to be a lion cub, after that conversation with Dylan.
Are you told plot details in advance, so as to “plant seeds” for the audience so they’re not thrown off? It depends on the show and character, right?
Nick Creegan: It definitely depends on the show. In Law & Order, they would tell us certain things. Like when Richie killed Gina (Charlotte Sullivan), I had no clue that was going to happen until maybe two weeks before we filmed the episode. When they sent out the script, everybody was shocked. They were like, “Oh wow, poor Gina, Richie’s a murderer.”
In Batwoman, when we first started, I wasn’t doing The Joker transition until around episode 5-7. I knew from the very beginning what was going to happen. It really just depends on what the actual situation is. How hidden and secretive the production wants to be, so there are no leaks.
Are there any other projects you have coming up that you can discuss at this time?
Nick Creegan: I have a movie, my first feature film is coming out this year. It’s called Good Egg, an adventure comedy starring Yara Martinez, Andrea Londo, Joel Johnstone and myself. That’s going to be coming out this year, I’m very excited about it. That was a lot of fun to work on and shot in New York City. I’m thinking people are going to really enjoy seeing a different side of Nick, as this character.
In a wider sense, what do you hope to accomplish with the rest of 2022?
Nick Creegan: I like to choose words and phrases for each year. Last year, 2021, was consistency. For me, this year, I think is No Limitations. I want to strive and do things not even imaginable to me, at this moment. I want to dare to dream bigger than I can possibly dream of. The Joker role really showed me that nothing is impossible. I never expected myself to make history in this way, this early on in my career.
It basically just jump-started my mindset in terms of what’s possible. So yeah, I think 2022, aside from the career path, just want to look at life overall. No Limitations, we can pretty much do whatever we want.