Ben Schnetzer, star of “Y: The Last Man”, teases Yorick’s morally ambiguous relationship with Agent 355. Eliza Clark’s adaptation is based on Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra’s comic series of the same name, which ran from 2002 to 2008. “Y: The Last Man“ is finally seeing the light of day after a few years in production hell, with the first episode premiering on FX on Hulu on September 13.
“Y: The Last Man” depicts a post-apocalyptic world in which practically every mammal on Earth with a Y-chromosome dies suddenly after an inexplicable cataclysmic event. Yorick Brown, played by Schnetzer, and his pet monkey Ampersand are the only male survivors, and they are the main focus of the story as they try to figure out what will happen to the planet. Yorick’s mother, recently sworn-in US President Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane), his sister Hero (Olivia Thirlby), and his bodyguard, Agent 355 (Ashley Romans), are also major characters.
In an interview with TV Line, Schnetzer addresses how Yorick’s moral compass is important to him, and how this causes conflict with Agent 355. The American actor believes that his “Y: The Last Man” character has a strong sense of good and wrong, whereas the Romans’ bodyguard is more unclear in this regard, which causes conflict between them. Yorick’s approach, however, puts him at odds with the environment he now lives in, according to Schnetzer:
That’s a really good question, and a real sticking point. I don’t think he’s a holier-than-thou type guy, but Yorick does have a set of morals that are very clear to him. He’s got a right and wrong way of thinking, and he’s comfortable looking at things that way. Things are much more ambiguous and much more muddled with 355, and the way that she works. There’s a lot of shades of gray in this new world that makes Yorick very uncomfortable. He’s more comfortable with a clear-cut right and wrong moral compass, and maybe it’s hard for him — talking about short-term thinking — to look at the bigger picture and actually see that for the greater good, we might have to do some things that feel kind of bad.
It’s a little bit like John Connor and the Terminator in T2 when John’s telling him, “You can’t just kill people!” I remember [showrunner and executive producer] Eli [Clark] talking about that movie a lot when we were prepping to shoot. She was like, “Rewatch that movie, you guys!” I don’t know what that says about Yorick, that his parallel is a 12-year-old boy [Laughs], but it’s not an awful comparison.
Yorick’s “Y: The Last Man” season 1 arc, according to Schnetzer, was about learning to see the wider picture and breaking away from short-term, goal-oriented thinking that kept him focused inward. This, according to Schnetzer, is something his character learns as he travels and finds where he belongs into the new society that is being built. But before then, he had a guiding light in the form of a Yorick phrase from the comics: “With little power comes little responsibility.”
Fans will get a fair indication of what to expect from “Y: The Last Man” thanks to Schnetzer’s mention of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which was allegedly a major text for the showrunner during the adaptation process. It also sets a high bar, as James Cameron’s sci-fi action film is frequently regarded as one of the best in the genre. If the dynamic between Yorick and Agent 355 is anything like that between John Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800, FX on Hulu may have just premiered the next big thing on television.