The Man in the High Castle Season 3 interview: Giles Panton talks Billy Turner

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE -- Photo credit: Amazon Studios -- Acquired via M Public Relations
THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE -- Photo credit: Amazon Studios -- Acquired via M Public Relations /

Giles Panton is on The Man in the High Castle Season 3, taking on the role of Billy Turner. In this exclusive interview, he shares who Billy is and his role as the new Propaganda Minister for the American Reich.

The Man in the High Castle Season 3 is almost here. In another week, we’ll be binge-watching the season, with plenty of questions for the fourth season (which has been confirmed). One of the newest characters on the series is Billy Turned, played by Reign and Supernatuaral actor Giles Panton.

If you haven’t seen him on screen, you have most certainly heard his voice. The Vancouver native has done voices for My Little PonyNexo Knights, the English version of Gintama, and so much more. He’s also been in the likes of The Tomorrow PeopleSoldiers of the Apocalypse, and Netflix’s Travelers. So it’s exciting to see him step into the important role of the new Propaganda Minister for the American Reich.

During this exclusive interview, Panton shares what we can expect from Billy and how he fits into the terrible world that is the East Coast GNR, Neutral Zone, and the Japanese Pacific States. What will happen in The Man in the High Castle Season 3?

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Hidden Remote: So, I loved you in Reign and Supernatural.

Giles Panton: That’s so funny.

HR: I want to say you stand out in your roles. It’s very easy to picture you as soon as you see the name pop up.

Panton: Oh, you’re making me blush. Thank you so much! I guess that ability to stand out in school has come to use and translates well to the screen.

HR: I am looking forward to seeing you in The Man in the High Castle. This is the first chance we get to meet Billy Turner, so what can you share about him?

Panton: Yeah. Oh, Billy. I would say Billy is as close to a 1960s ad man that you can get to in this world. He’s like a wheeling-dealing, charming guy who is perfectly suited for his new role as the Propaganda Minister for the Reich. He’s different to the others in High Castle.

HR: How different?

Panton:  Oh, he’s a charmer. He’s willing to crack a joke and make people smile anywhere. In the pretty uptight East Coast regime, at least in the military section, you don’t see people with that kind of gumption, willing to talk to Obergruppenführers in that way.

Photo credit: Liz Rosa — Acquired via M Public Relations
Photo credit: Liz Rosa — Acquired via M Public Relations /

HR: So, he’s the American Propaganda Minister and has just taken over this role. What has he got to look forward to? I could see this being a very scary role.

Panton: Oh, the world is his oyster. He can bend the ear of anyone, all the way to the top. It’s a very, very exciting season. It’s horrific, too. He’s not selling scotch or automobiles. He’s selling, well, “okay, let’s eliminate this whole group of people,” which is awful.

What have we got to look forward to with Billy? A lot of stuff you wish you weren’t smiling about. Like, he’s just a charming troublemaker.

HR: It’s so hard to like these characters. Like, Rufus Sewell, I love him as an actor but I can’t like John Smith. But at the same time, I want to like him. Will I have this with Billy? Am I going to want to love you but hate you every time you come on screen?

Panton: That’s tough to say. I think, Billy is a great salesman and does a good job of glossing over everything. I don’t know if you’re going to feel the impact of what he’s doing in the same way with his charming veneer.

Billy is more on the lovable scale than hateable scale. It’s going to take a lot to hate him.

HR: Sometimes those are the best characters.

Panton: Certainly!

HR: They’re the most memorable, as well.

Panton: Well, I mean, I love this role. It’s such a unique opportunity.

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HR: What was it about the role or the show in general that made you really want it?

Panton: I’m a huge sci-fi fan. I know this is alternate history so it’s slightly different. I’d been hearing about the book for years, so when I heard it got turned into a TV show it was high up on my list. I was like, “what is going on here?” because it created so many waves.

The moment the Billy Turner audition came in, I was all over that thing. And when I saw the type of character he was, that was the icing on the cake, right?

HR: What is going on in The Man in the High Castle Season 3 right now? Obviously, you’re in propaganda. How do you fit into it all?

Panton: Oh, the world is huge! You’ve got the Neutral Zone, the Japanese Pacific States. I could give you soundbites from all those areas, but East Coast GNR, John Smith is the Obergruppenführer now. That’s a political minefield.

The Neutral Zone, you’re going to see new heroes rise. The Japanese Pacific States, a lot of old loyalties are tested. And Billy is in the middle of this mess. He’s doing his best to guide this shape of the GNR, I guess, the shape of what used to be America.

Photo credit: Liz Rosa — Acquired via M Public Relations
Photo credit: Liz Rosa — Acquired via M Public Relations /

HR: I’m guessing he was around the War ended.

Panton: Oh, yeah!

HR: So, he knows what the world was like beforehand. Do we get to see what any of this was like?

Panton: I won’t touch on that, but I will say Billy was young enough that his loyalties didn’t run as deep as some who might have been older.

HR: The Man in the High Castle Season 2 was interesting to see John Smith had to change his mindset to save his family, but his son, you saw how he’d grown up in this regime. So, trying to see Billy with the idea that he was young enough to know but not have the loyalty, that’s going to be really interesting.

Panton: It will be interesting, especially as he’s an opportunist.

HR: Typical car salesman from the 60s?

Panton: Well, even more so, I’d say he was the guy who sold cigarettes! He was the guy to say “hey, let’s get this product out there.”

HR: That puts it a bit more in perspective.

Panton: Yeah!

HR: Where does High Castle rank on your list of jobs, because you’ve done so much!

Panton: Oh, wow! Right now, it’s number one! What a show to be a part of! Wow!

I’ve had some really cool opportunities in my career between voice work and everything else, like some fantastic moments, but this has been amazing.

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE — Photo credit: Amazon Studios — Acquired via M Public Relations
THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE — Photo credit: Amazon Studios — Acquired via M Public Relations /

HR: I’ve seen you post backstage photos with Rufus [Sewell], Luke [Kleintank], and a few other people.

Panton: Bella [Heathcoate], yeah.

HR: Who are you interacting with? Are you in America or are you in Berlin? The last we saw of these characters, they were in Berlin.

Panton: Oh, that’s interesting! Billy is a big mover and shaker in the propaganda game in this world, so I won’t confirm or deny but it’s possible he’s had interactions with people on a higher level than John Smith. That’s for sure.

HR: I’m assuming some of these characters head back to America.

Panton: Well, those rockets and airlines are very fast. They take you back and forth in a matter of hours, so you never know.

HR: So, what type of roles do you love doing the most? Like I said, you’ve done so much between guest stars, to voice work, to this.

Panton: I mean, I’ve done everything from comedy to literally playing the devil. It’s so tough to say. I’ve got such a soft spot. I cry during movies. I love all that, so I have a soft spot in my heart for romantic comedies. But then I’m a die-hard sci-fi fan and, ah, there’s no…

If there was a favorite archetype, it’s the unwilling hero. The person who wasn’t born for the job but it fell in their lap and they were forced to rise to the challenge. I haven’t played a lot of those. I’ve done a lot in my cartoon work but, that’s, in the back of my head, that’s what I love.

HR: I won’t keep you much longer, as I know you’re filming again soon. So, if you could do any dream role, past, present, or future potential adaptations, for example, what would it be?

Panton: You know, it’s actually from the Dark Towers series by Stephen King. It’s my favorite book series ever. I know they tried to do an adaptation of sorts. I didn’t watch it and I don’t know if the character I love is in it, but there’s a character called Eddie Dean, this down-and-out, caught up in a lot of bad things. He gets dropped into this world where he’s forced to step up to the challenge. That exact character would be my dream. I would love to step up to play that if they ever did an adaptation of that series.

HR: You love the meaty characters.

Panton: I love them! He fits everything. He’s tortured, he’s kind of the bad guy, but he’s put into a position where he might need to be a hero. It takes everything that I love and makes it super.

HR: Thank you so much for taking this time and I can’t wait to see Billy Turner in The Man in the High Castle Season 3.

dark. Next. Everything we know about The Man in the High Castle Season 3 so far

What are you looking forward to seeing in The Man in the HIgh Castle Season 3? What do you think Billy’s role will mean for the future of the show? Are you looking forward to meeting him? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Man in the High Castle Season 3 will be available on Oct. 5 on Amazon Prime Video.