'You Don't Want To Get It Wrong': Rodger Corser Gets Hands-On In The Traitors

Stepping into his first hosting role, Rodger Corser opens up about the pivotal role he plays in selecting the Traitors, and how he almost gave away the game.

Twenty-four contestants arrive at a stunning yet foreboding manor, unaware of the dangers that lay ahead of them in the coming weeks. In the midst of these Faithful players are Traitors, willing to do whatever it takes to play a very dangerous game.

Holding it all together is award-winning actor Rodger Corser in his most unique role yet, fronting a reality series like no other.

“It was the perfect crossover for me because it was pitched as very themed,” Rodger told 10 Play, “there’s obviously a nod to whodunnits, Cluedo, Knives Out, Eyes Wide Shut… all these filmic references.”

Though he’s the host of the show, Rodger often refers to himself in the third person admitting, “It’s sort of half me and half this character we have… and he gets weirder and whackier.”

Inspired by the likes of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, Rodger’s charming host nearly takes pleasure in the ways in which his own guests’ greed has the potential to result in their demise.

Each night the Traitors plot to ‘murder’ one of the Faithful, eliminating them from the game. Later, the Faithful all gather and vote to banish a member, hoping that they’ve chosen one of the Traitors hiding in plain sight. But when you can’t trust anybody, how can you know where to turn?

For his part, Rodger is quite literally hands-on in the selection of the Traitors, walking around the table where all the players are gathered, and placing his hand on the shoulders of those who will take on the dastardly role.

“You don’t want to get it wrong,” Rodger said, “if we give away who we’re picking to the other contestants it can ruin the game! I did several laps around that table, stopped several times and made several false noises.

“It was very tense and you do notice, after they put those masks on and the Traitors are chosen, the masks come off and the game is on. The mood definitely changes,” he added.

As one of the very few people who knew the identities of the Traitors, Rodger was terrified of giving away the game.

“Do you know what I was conscious of? Overcompensating,” he admitted. “Not looking at the Traitors, you know what I mean? Then it’s like I’m trying really hard not to give it away, so I won’t engage as much at all [but] I thought that would be a tell. Giving everyone the same amount of engagement was the best bet.

“As you go through the series, you find that they make a lot of mistakes, the group. The traitors are harder to find than you think.”

With a front-row ticket to all the fallout as the group tears itself apart looking for those among them who aren’t what they seem, Rodger got to enjoy all the drama that resulted.

“It was incredible… you think the pressure is on the Traitors, of course, because they have to keep this lie up… you have to get them out of the game because, when it gets down to the end, you can’t beat a Traitor. You have to get them out of the game,” he said.

“The pressure starts to mount and they start to accuse other people, they lash out, and some of them who probably pride themselves on being quite level-headed don’t handle the pressure as well as they thought they would.”

It’s been likened to games like Mafia, Ultimate Werewolf and Among Us, but Rodger said that even the most practised player of parlour games couldn’t be prepared for the level of intensity that The Traitors demanded.

“One of our contestants hung her hat on the fact that amongst her friends she’s the ‘Mafia queen’ and is quite cold-blooded. But even she revealed that it’s a different level… a dinner party game after a couple of drinks? This is a different beast entirely.

While Rodger is having the time of his life setting up wild challenges for the group and instigating banishment ceremonies, if the shoe was on the other foot and he was playing the game the host admitted he’d struggle if he had been tapped to be a Traitor.

“I’m a terrible liar,” he said, laughing, “my wife will attest to that. I’m a horrible liar, very see-through. You’d think as an actor I’d be good at it but I think, when I’m pretending to be someone else, it’s a different thing.

“When you start telling one story to one person, another story to another person you have to have a very good memory,” Rodger continued.

“When it’s actually me, the beads of sweat appear quite quickly. I’m a horrible poker player so I’d much rather… the truth is easier.”

Find out who isn't who they say they are when The Traitors premieres 7.30 Sunday, October 16 on 10 and 10 Play on demand