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SONEQUA MARTIN-GREEN Leads Star Trek: Discovery to new frontiers ANGELA BASSETT Patrols the mean streets in cop drama 9-1-1 CHRISTINA HENDRICKS Crime pays off for the Good Girls ANTONIO BANDERAS Revisits his hometown hero Picasso


BRYAN CRANSTON On producing a moving childhood tale

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JEFF DANIELS From Western Godless to 9/11 exposé The Looming Tower, the actor takes a challenging look at the American condition

5/4/18 10:11 PM

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Stacey Farish EDITOR


Craig Edwards


Matt Grobar


Nellie Andreeva (TV) Mike Fleming Jr. (Film) AWARDS EDITOR & COLUMNIST

Pete Hammond


Peter Bart Anita Busch Dawn Chmielewski Anthony D’Alessandro Greg Evans Lisa de Moraes Bruce Haring Dade Hayes Patrick Hipes Amanda N’Duka Dominic Patten Erik Pedersen Denise Petski Dino-Ray Ramos David Robb Nancy Tartaglione Peter White Andreas Wiseman VIDEO PRODUCERS

David Janove Andrew Merrill SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Scott Shilstone


Carra Fenton


Kasey Champion


Brianna Corrado Tiffany Windju ACCOUNT MANAGER


​Kristina Mazzeo Malik Simmons


Andrea Wynnyk


Michael Petre


Jay Penske



Gerry Byrne


Todd Greene


FIRST TAKE Darren Criss enters murderous territory 9-1-1’s Jeffrey Mossa designs disasters The Alienist’s P.J. Dillon goes back in time


FLASH MOB Scenes from Deadline’s Contenders Emmys event


COVER STORY Jeff Daniels on taking risks, the Wild West, and governmental goings-on


THE DIALOGUE: EMMY PREVIEW Angela Bassett Bryan Cranston Christina Hendricks Antonio Banderas Sonequa Martin-Green


FLASH MOB Some highlights from Deadline’s Tribeca studio and screening series


Craig Perreault


Ken DelAlcazar


Nelson Anderson


Julie Zhu


Gabriel Koen


Tarik West


ON THE COVER Jeff Daniels photographed for Deadline by Josh Telles ON THIS PAGE Sonequa Martin-Green photographed for Deadline by Gary William Ogle

Christina Yeoh


Judith R. Margolin


Lauren Utecht


Young Ko


Julie Trinh


f @deadlinehollywood l @Deadline TWITTER



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Calling 9-1-1 p. 8 | Lensing The Alienist


| The Contenders Emmys p. 10

Murder Maker

Glee alum Darren Criss went from musical theater to notorious serial killer in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story BY H O L LY AG U I R R E


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Aaron Jay Young

D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E


5/4/18 11:20 PM

KILLER STYLE From Left: Edgar Ramirez walks the runway with models as Gianni Versace; Criss reenacts Andrew Cunanan’s fatal decision; Criss as Cunanan in happier times.

PERHAPS SURPRISINGLY, preparing for the role of notorious real-life Gianni Versace killer Andrew Cunanan in FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story wasn’t such a terrifying leap for Darren Criss, despite his upbeat musical theater background. Formerly best known for his work on Ryan Murphy’s Glee, Criss embraced this new, dark role, which not only brought him back into the Murphy fold, but gave him the chance to showcase his impressive acting chops. “Are you kidding me? This is the role of a lifetime,” Criss says of the challenge. “People wait their entire careers for something this juicy to come along. I’m thrilled to be here.”


because I think, Oh, now the party’s

will occasionally spontaneously break

going to start.’ Can you imagine feel-

out into song.

ing that way about someone? I even put it in a song I wrote.”

Embodying a bon vivant escortturned homicidal maniac was not as

Cunanan was incredibly astute,

traumatic as it might seem, Criss says.

clever and crafty. A fabulist, he report-

It was really more about finding those

edly stayed awake for days, teaching

aspects of Cunanan’s character that

himself about opera and fashion, and

made him more human. “I didn’t feel

building entirely new backstories for

like I had to go to this extreme dark

himself. He’d tailor himself to what he

place to find Andrew, quite the oppo-

believed people wanted to hear, and

site really. It was important to make

craft wildly intricate lies to order; a

him empathetic, someone we could

methodology which, to some extent,

all identify with, [because] otherwise

won him popularity. Friends who grew

it would’ve been a complete disaster.”

up with Cunanan and attended the

Indeed, it is the humanness he

Bishop’s School in a tony part of La

brings to the role that makes it such

Jolla reportedly said that he was a

a success. “I am in no way excusing

likeable character, voted ‘least likely to

anything that Andrew Cunanan did,”

be forgotten’ by his senior class.

he adds. “His behavior was absolutely

But while Cunanan was obviously

repulsive. But if I was going to pull this

an out-of-control sycophant, Criss

off, I had to find a way to make him

managed to find a way to relate to

sympathetic or his character wouldn’t

reaching; he sings, dances, composes,

him, however distantly. “I’m totally

have been interesting at all. We all

writes scripts and plays piano, guitar,

a people pleaser,” he says. “I’m not

loved O.J. [Simpson] at one point,

harmonica, mandolin and violin. He’s

really sure why. It could be that I’m a

didn’t we? Even the worst people

also passionate about literature,

baby brother, or perhaps it could be

have their good moments.”

and, it seems, something of a poetic

my Catholic upbringing, but I want to

romantic, as he recalls Anne Ban-

make people happy.”

Criss’s talents are undeniably far-

croft talking about the sound of her

Perhaps this desire partly

It’s been posited that Cunanan may have had antisocial personality disorder, meaning he had no real con-

husband Mel Brooks coming home. “I

motivated Criss’s attraction to

trol over a total and complete lack of

want to get this right,” he says, visibly

musical theater. He studied the-

empathy. “He had a lot of pain in his

concentrating. “Bancroft said, ‘I get

ater, musicology and Italian at the

life,” Criss says. “Yes, he was horrible

excited when I hear his key in the door

University of Michigan, and even now

in many ways, but that’s sad.”


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After exploring this tragic story,

“I wasn’t your typical theater geek

of Atlanta. As the city’s oldest and

every night. His energy seems bound-

Criss has found some solace in his

but I love everything that comes with

longest running strip club, he loves

less, as he never appears to stop

beloved music once again with a new

that,” he explains. “I like to think that

the place for its diversity. “It’s the only

moving and working. “Why would I?”

side venture. He and his fiance Mia

I’m friends with a wider swath of

place in the world you’ll see a group

he asks. “I don’t have the luxury that

Swier recently opened their own club

people, and get along with everyone.

of frat boys sitting next to your typical

some people have, that people are

in the heart of Hollywood, a piano

But yeah, I was known to belt out

hipsters. And then down from them

just offering me roles. And actors are

bar called Tramp Stamp Granny’s.

songs at cast parties and such.”

at the other end of the bar will be a

only as good as the parts they get, so

group of drunk businessman drinking

I can’t wait around. I can create what-

It’s a place where friends can gather

Criss’s new business was partly

to drink and sing around the piano,

motivated by his love of old-style

whatever they can. Every celebrity

ever I want whenever. Whether it’s

in line with the music festival he

seedy dive bars. His favorite bar in the

working in Atlanta has to stop there.”

music, or a new show, or a new drink,

also co-founded, Elsie Fest, where

world is the Claremont Lounge in the

During Tramp Stamp Granny’s

that’s what I am going to continue

Broadway and pop stars meet to sing

basement of an abandoned hotel in

opening week, Criss was seen taking

to do for as long as I can, and for as

show tunes.

the Poncey-Highland neighborhood

his place behind the piano almost

often as I can.” ★


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4/25/18 2:13 PM


At press time, here is how Gold Derby’s experts ranked Emmy chances for Limited Series. Follow all the races at LIMITED SERIES

The Disaster Artist 9-1-1 production designer Jeffrey Mossa conjures up catastrophes of all kinds for the high-stakes first responder series AMERICAN HORROR STORY PRODUCTION

Mossa dealt with

designer Jeffrey Mossa created otherworldly Art

“the logistics

Deco sets that scared us just as much as Jessica

of transporting

Lange’s terrifying performance.

something 16 feet

Mossa, who has secured four American Design

in diameter, having

Guild Award nominations, is once again teaming

to cut it up, bring

up with Ryan Murphy for Fox’s drama 9-1-1, which

it down and put it

was just picked up for a second season.


Set pieces include a tiger thrashing and the

The beach scenes

collapse of a ballroom at an Indian wedding.

were shot at Los

But the standout must be the “Worst Day Ever”

Angeles’ Dockweiler Beach while water shots hap-

episode, in which a jetliner crashes into the ocean.

pened in a specially-constructed tank on Disney’s

It was an epic event that took nine months to film.

Golden Oak Ranch in Santa Clarita.

When it came to plotting a set piece at this level, it was all about logistics.

“Almost every crazy stunt you see in the show, we did practically,” Mossa says.

“[There are] lots of moving parts, lots of

“For the pilot, we had the gal jumping off of

conversations, lots of hiccups,” Mossa explains.

the shipping crane out in San Pedro—that was all

Calling on his airplane boneyard contacts,

done 125 feet in the air.” —Matt Grobar



Assassination of Gianni Versace



Twin Peaks



The Looming Tower



Howards End








Darren Criss Assassination of Gianni Versace



Al Pacino Paterno



Michael B. Jordan Fahrenheit 451



Kyle MacLachlan Twin Peaks



Benedict Cumberbatch Patrick Melrose





Jessica Biel The Sinner



Laura Dern The Tale



Elisabeth Moss Top of the Lake: China Girl



Michelle Dockery Godless



Hayley Atwell Howards End



How The Alienist cinematographer P.J. Dillon captured the essence of the Gilded Age KNOWN FOR PENNY DREADFUL and Ripper Street,

anamorphic lenses to achieve a 19th-century look

cinematographer P.J. Dillon is used to creeping up the

when “lenses weren’t that sharp and you had a lot

joint. Shooting TNT’s The Alienist found him in similar

more halation.” For authenticity’s sake, he used real

territory. Tasked with capturing the ornate architecture

oil lamps and practical lighting sources whenever

and seedy underbelly of New York’s Gilded Age, Dillon

possible, and suspended huge softboxes from

sought out historical photographs and paintings—

construction cranes. Smoke and rain machines added

particularly that of the American Impressionists

texture, even when the scenes were set six stories

including Frederick Childe Hassam—prior to shooting.

high and 120 meters long. The results are an entirely

Dillon used the Arri Alexa and Zeiss Master


immersive visual experience. —Matt Grobar

OLD TIMES Dakota Fanning and Daniel Brühl in The Alienist.

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Sarah Silverman

Tracee Ellis Ross, Hilary Duff

The Contenders Emmys presented by Deadline A P R I L 1 5, L O S A N G E L E S Another fantastic round of panel discussions was had at our legendary Emmy event, as once again, we packed the day’s agenda full of top-notch TV talent.

Daniel Levy, Annie Murphy, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy

Ken Burns

Miriam Shor

Yara Shahidi

Pete Hammond, Catherine Zeta-jones

Holland Taylor, Brendan Gleeson



Dylan McDermott

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Darren Aronofsky, Ron Howard

Kyra Sedgwick

Gabriel Bateman, Iain Armitage

Ser Anzoategui

Norman Lear

Alison Brie

Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil, Cress Williams

The Contenders Emmys presented by Deadline

Sandra Oh


A P R I L 1 5, L O S A N G E L E S

James Corden

Sharon Stone

Louie Anderson


Connie Britton, Angela Bassett, Peter Krause

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Italian Masterpieces Let it Be sofa designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba. Sestiere Castello, Venice 8950 Beverly blvd Los Angeles Ca 90048 Ph. 310.858.1433

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Jeff Daniels

could be taking it easy.

The Emmy Award-winning, and Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Tony Award-nominated actor could be still coasting on the success of his turn as the lead of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, which came to an end in 2014, and which felt like the gilded cherry atop a career cake that has encompassed everything from The Purple Rose of Cairo to Dumb and Dumber, The Hours, Good Night, and Good Luck and The Squid and the Whale. But this year has been amongst Daniels’ most productive, starting with a barnstorming performance as the villainous outlaw Frank Griffin, the antagonist of Scott Frank’s superlative Netflix Western Godless. As an ensemble of actors including Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Merritt Wever and Scoot McNairy scramble for survival in the Old West, Daniels’ Griffin and his posse of misfits haunt every scene; even the ones they’re not in. And if you doubted Daniels range, look to Hulu’s The Looming Tower, the show from Dan Futterman, Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright, which adapts Wright’s searing non-fiction book about the internal squabbling that led to the US Government’s failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks from happening. Daniels plays John O’Neill, the FBI’s New York counterterrorism chief who was shooed away by his superiors when he attempted to raise a red flag about the potential of al-Qaeda to attack on American soil. Daniels’ preoccupation with the detail of Wright’s book, and Futterman’s first scripts, made The Looming Tower an irresistible leap for the actor, despite his initial fears that he had no in with the character of John O’Neill. On a brief visit to Los Angeles from his native Michigan, Daniels explains his drive to keep rolling the dice on the parts he takes even after all these years, and his need to author work that has something to say to a society teetering perilously close to disaster.


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Frank Griffin is an archetypal Western villain, but

executive is giving all of these notes like, “You have to

with the added complexity of this era of prime

say the character’s name three times on page one.”

television we’re living through. Did you have

So you end up ad libbing and improvising and trying to

as much fun with this character as it looks like

improve it. You never want to do that. You’re there to

you’re having?

act, and suddenly you have to be in the writers’ room.

EAST TO WEST Clockwise from top left: Daniels in The Looming Tower as beleaguered FBI agent O'Neill, who warned against al-Qaeda before 9/11; as outlaw Frank Griffin in Godless.

What I loved about him was that the way Frank looked at the world was uniquely his own. Everything

What are the central preoccupations then?

threw me off, boom. I thought he tore my knee. “Jeff,

he looked at and thought about and said, only Frank

Well, you gotta learn how to ride a horse.

we need one more take.” “OK.” And it worked in the corral, but the horse knows he’s not in a corral on the

would have thought that or said that. That was so Had you not done that before?

day. And sure enough on the second take he spun

Not to the extent that I was going to have to. You got

around, and you’re in Santa Fe, but the horse can see

was six episodes stretched into seven, but I got to

all these California actors that are out here and they

Colorado and he was just going to go for it [laughs].

read them all. I was saying yes anyway—even before

grow up on horses. But no, I hadn’t, so I got a trainer.

And I’m going, “I’m out of here.” I jumped and landed

then I’d committed—but I got to read all six. Having

Tommy Hull was the guy I worked with and, I mean,

on the ground, and broke my wrist.

come off Aaron Sorkin, where you don’t even question

the guy could ride up a tree. He trains the mounted

a script. I mean, if people like it or don’t like it, what-

police in the county where I live, and is a rodeo guy, so

funny. Something broke. Maybe everything broke at

ever, but I’m not going to say a word about the writing

the real deal. And I spent two months, three months

some point or another. And he could ride, you know?

today. I’m just going to be the actor. And I got to do

so that I could get up at the gallop. It’s all rhythm and

that for three years. I never once went to Aaron and

it’s all knowing that this 800-pound beast is liable to

It looks good when it’s all put together.

said, “Can I get a little rewrite on this speech? I don’t

do anything at any moment, but if you can stay on,

Thank God. It was fun, and the riding mostly went

know, see what you think. I mean, I can do it for you,

and you can start to look like you’re not scared of it,

great, but it was just those one or two times.

but I’d rather you read it. I just crossed out your thing,

you find the rhythm of it; you go.

Everybody flew off. Jack, who could ride, was thrown

much fun to find. Scott Frank is a good writer. I got to read all six—it

and in the margin, wrote mine.” I wasn’t able to bring

But then you get there and it’s the Kentucky Derby,

Westerns. There’s a reason John Wayne walks so

off. Michelle [Dockery] got thrown off. It’s going to

myself to do that [laughs]. And I never even thought

especially with 30 horses. Our first shot, first day, first

happen. Even the wranglers are going, “I got a bad

that way. I just got the script, memorized it, and threw

morning, was coming up and over that ridge, and 30

shoulder, I got a bad elbow, I got a bad knee…”

what I thought he had intended at the camera. It was

horses riding down to that train, and then the train

the same thing with Scott. You just go, “Oh he took

thing and all of that happens. We had a camera car

care of the writing. I don’t have to worry about it.”

and the drone and the whole thing. We got 30 of us

you’re working with a young actor, Jack O’Con-

and maybe eight actors. Each actor has a wrangler on

nell, who is extraordinary in Godless and recently

doing The Hours. Meryl Streep and me were walking

each side of him dressed as an outlaw, but their sole

owned the London stage in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

into an apartment, and there was nothing written.

job is to save our ass. And the problem is the horses

Does his passion for this charge you up?

And Stephen Daldry, the director, said, “Meryl, just say

all think they’re in the Kentucky Derby; they all want to

He’s intensely focused on being as real as possible,

a couple things to him as you’re bringing him to the

finish first. And so, that’s a different gear than riding

which is great. That’s great. Anybody who is that into

apartment.” And I’ll never forget it. She said, “What,

around in the corral with the wranglers going, “Yeah,

it is easy to work with because I really bounce off and

I have to write it too?” And she said it in a nice way;

well, he can stay on the horse in a little trot, so we

use the people I’m with, so Jack was always there,

Daldry laughed. But she was serious, you know; you’ve

know that.”

always ready, always a pro. He’s got a long career

I remember I was working with Meryl, and we were

got David Hare sitting there for God’s sake. So Daldry

And you got the LA actors, a couple of them, who

You’re 40 years into your career at this point, and

ahead of him. I hope to watch him do a lot more

said, “OK, David, what do you think?” And I don’t know

said, “Absolutely, I can ride.” And they came to Santa

things because he is an exciting young actor, he really

what she said, but it didn’t take him long to write it.

Fe going, “Teach me how to ride.” It gets real danger-

is. And he’s got the work ethic. Joe Gordon-Levitt was

So when you get someone like David Hare, or

ous real fast. That first take, first day, first morning we

another one I saw that I worked with on a Scott Frank

Aaron Sorkin, or Scott Frank, or Dan Futterman, well,

did that big ride and I stayed on, and we get to the

movie way back when [The Lookout]. The hard part,

you don’t have to worry about that. And it’s different

end of it and we hit the mark. And you could already

especially when you’re young, is keeping what you do

from being on the kind of movie where a junior

see the ambulance coming around the camera. And

between action and cut as the number one reason

you look back and one of the LA guys had flown off.

why you get up in the morning, you know? Because

Boom, hit his head, was laying on the ground. Scott

along with this comes fame and stardom and all of

Frank walks up and says, “Stay on the fucking horse.”

that. But that still has to be number one. And that’s

Then walked away [laughs].

the thing I hope Jack hangs on to.

"Westerns. There’s a reason John Wayne walks so funny. Something broke. Maybe everything broke at some point or another. And he could ride, you know?" 16

The line is, you know you’re on a Western when

It comes down to risk. Actors do it, stars don’t.

they say action and the ambulance starts its engine.

That’s basically it. Scoot [McNairy] is another one.

That’s when you know you’re on a Western.

They say action and you look at him and he’s already there. There’s a connection with any actor that puts

Any personal injuries?

that work in. You’re there, and then the cameras go

I broke my wrist. It’s still broke, actually.

away, and it’s fun. Not everybody can do that.

Isn’t that the arm that officially doesn’t exist on

After a 40-year career, is it tough to find those

Frank Griffin? He’s lost an arm.

risks to take?

Yeah, but it was a flashback scene. It was the scene

Not since television changed. Movies have really been

with the bareback horse, just me and Jack [O’Con-

changing in the other direction. I read that book, The

nell]. I lay the horse down, I hop on the horse and up

Big Picture [by Ben Fritz], and it seemed to me all the

he goes and he spins around. So he spun around,

writers went to HBO and Showtime and Starz, and

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“It was a risk, but I like the risks. I like the challenges. I like the possibility of failure. I am just not one of these guys that want to find a brand. It’s a better business move to do that. But for the actor in me…”

But yes, it was pettiness, and not just from the CIA, but also from the character of Jason Sanchez in the show. “I’m just going to get rid of you. You’re just too much of a pain in the ass, so I’m not going to hear anything you have to say about anything.” And you’re right. It’s human behavior at its worst. Bad examples of human nature in positions where that’s got to take a back seat to rule of law, which is where we are now. John O’Neill died on 9/11, a month into his role

now Hulu and Netflix and Amazon. They get to have an

Christmas [from Dumb and Dumber].” This was all

as the World Trade Center’s security chief. How

edge. They get to say whatever they want, commercials

before Dumb and Dumber To was even an idea, and Jim

much were you able to learn about him?

or not. They aren’t being told what to write. There’s a

Carrey didn’t want to do a sequel at that point. I said,

I chose not to go to the family, or to delve into his per-

freedom in that creativity. And there’s a lot of bad ideas

“Let’s get the orange tuxedo and the blue tuxedo and

sonal life. I thought I had enough with all the research

for television series, some of which get made, but a lot

we’ll just walk out. You’ll be dressed in orange. We won’t

Dan Futterman had done, and with Larry Wright’s

of the really good writers have gone there.

do anything. We won’t say anything. We’ll just come

book. I took the job based on the first episode. I

I mean, you hope it’s not a big bubble that in five

out and go, ‘The nominees for Best Catering are…’”

read the script while I was at the WGA Awards. I was

years is gone, but for guys like me… I don’t know that

I almost had him. I had his son, Michael. I said,

introducing Aaron Sorkin for the Paddy Chayefsky

they make The Looming Tower, the movie. And if they

“Michael, work with me here.” He almost did it. And

thing, which was a great honor. I flew out for that,

do, they don’t make it with me. Godless, same thing. It

then he didn’t. He went out and ad libbed something.

happy to do it. I went back upstairs to my hotel room,

reminds me of the movies they made in the ’70s when

Brian d'Arcy James had just gone out there as Shrek,

and my agent said, “This came in. It’s an offer. Let’s

the creative people were driving the bus. Not every

and Gandolfini came out and said, “For the record,

look at it. They need to know pretty quickly.” I read it, I

movie was great, but there was a lot of great, edgy,

Shrek and I are no relation.” The place went nuts. He

said, “I don’t know how to do this.” It’s street. There’s

interesting, smart work.

didn’t need it.

a thing about him being from Jersey, that he’s like a

‘Smart’ is the word that keeps coming back. You

mob guy. I’m going, “Me?” It was based on a Pulitzer

can find smart on television, and they market to

There are heroes, antiheroes and villains all

Prize-winning book that I hadn’t read, and I knew

those people. The Looming Tower and Godless aren’t

throughout The Looming Tower, which presents a

Peter Sarsgaard was on it. Michael Stuhlbarg might

marketed to people who need a quick fix. That’s

terrifying thesis: that we came so close to stop-

have been on it. But that was it, that I knew of. So I

what’s Roseanne’s show is for, which is great, terrific,

ping 9/11 from happening and petty squabbles

said yes just based on that.

wonderful. But this is a whole other thing. We’re going

prevented it.

to make a 10-hour movie about what happened

John O’Neill had a pretty good hunch, and he had

across one Frontline interview in ’97 where he was

leading up to 9/11. And all the people who are OK

Richard Clarke in his corner, but Richard couldn’t

really just giving an opinion. But it was interesting to

with sitting there, whether it’s weekly or streaming,

sign off on everything without the CIA, and then the

see him sit there and talk and I said, “I’m not hearing

binge-watching… There’s an audience sitting there

president. But he was telling them and telling them,

a Jersey thing.” He sounded Midwest or Chicago if

going, “What about us?” And that’s what television

and no one would listen. It’s interesting. I think we’re

anything. I said, “Futterman, there’s no Sopranos

is: “Here you go.” You don’t have to suffer through

less susceptible now. The Monica Lewinsky thing was

accent, right?” He goes, “No.” I thought, Oh, now I

something that’s trying to be made appealing to

going on and sex sells, and off we went. Our attention

know why they got me. All right. Then we were off and

17-year-olds on a summer weekend.

went right to that. We’ve got Stormy Daniels now;

running. It was about fitting into this guy as the scripts

no relation [laughs]. But I think it’s a whole different

came in—and having read the book you knew what

The model seems gloriously sustainable as well.

world now with the internet and with people saying

was coming, sort of.

The amount of money they’re spending on Godless

no. You’ve got all these investigations and all that,

and The Looming Tower and they’re going, “We’re

in the public sphere. But someone then was going,

I like the possibility of failure. I am just not one of these

thrilled with the results.” So I guess we opened. But for

“Pay attention to this Bin Laden guy, and al-Qaeda. I

guys that want to find a brand. It’s a better business

the actors, for the writers, you’re not doing something

know they haven’t done anything yet, but I’m telling

move to do that. But for the actor in me…

you’ve done before. That’s what I’ve found. And I

you something’s going on. I can’t tell you what. I don’t

couldn’t have told you that was coming.

know yet, but we need to put more manpower on

play, off-Broadway or wherever, and when you do the

this.” And he got resistance.

next one nobody says, “We want you to do exactly

And look, I’ve been lucky. I mean, I came into television and I had Aaron Sorkin driving the bus. I get it that

John’s way of doing it didn’t help. He burned

I read the book, I searched O’Neill, and I came

It was a risk, but I like the risks. I like the challenges.

It comes from the theater. It comes from doing a

what you did in that other one, just do it for us.” If

it’s not like this, but I came in at a time after, I think,

bridges. He screamed and yelled. He didn’t have a

anything you’re being told, “That thing you did before,

Jim Gandolfini changed the landscape. I mean, David

political bone in his body, yet he’d go down to Wash-

we don’t want to see any of that.” That’s the world

Chase and the show [The Sopranos], but Jim changed

ington, the center of all things politics. He was right.

I come from, which is ‘character actor’, but it’s still

television—the original guy who broke down the door—

He just went about it in a way that didn’t get it done.

becoming other people.

he didn’t do just anything. I kept trying to get him to do

The biggest frustration is the thought that these

I don’t think I’ve ever come close to doing. I mean,

stuff. He’d say, “I don’t want to fucking do that.”

people, who were supposed to keep us safe, were

Will McAvoy [in The Newsroom] yelled a lot and John

engaged in the kind of office politics that go on

yelled a lot, but other than that… Peter Sarsgaard

for God of Carnage. I said, “I got an idea.” Because

everywhere, when their jobs were too important

really plays the guy McAvoy would have been. Smarter

they’d sent 100 pages of jokes that he and I could do,

for that. They had a greater responsibility they

than hell. Whereas John’s smart, but he’s street-

and Jim’s reading through them and he hates all of

were ignoring.

smart. The guy just gets impatient and starts slapping

them. I said, “Jim, let’s go as Harry Dunne and Lloyd

Cue Robert Mueller, I hope.

people. That was fun to do.

where he made the antihero popular in a big way. And

I remember we had to present at the Tony Awards


So O’Neill was an opportunity to do someone that


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LIFE IN PICTURES Clockwise from top left: with Joan Allen in Pleasantville; The Purple Rose of Cairo with Mia Farrow; as Sig Mickelson in Good Night, and Good Luck; with Chris Messina in The Newsroom; In Fly Away Home with Dana Delany and Anna Paquin; Dumb and Dumber with Jim Carrey; with Meryl Streep in The Hours, and The Squid and the Whale with Laura Linney.

It’s hard not to fall in love with him. That was a battle to get right. We were wondering about that. Here he is, he’s got two girlfriends and a wife in the first episode, saying, “Stay with us.” He’s a damaged guy. Perhaps the lovability comes with the hindsight of knowing he was on the right side of history. Yes, that. I think that. And I don’t know that it came through, but we played that it wasn’t just, “How many girlfriends can I have?” He was searching for something. That’s how I looked at it. And he finally finds it, later on in the series, and settles down with one relationship, and he goes back to the church. He’s out of the FBI and he’s ready to change. He doesn’t want to be that guy anymore. “And so tomorrow, I start my job at the Twin Towers; I’m going to be a new guy.” And that’s probably not too far off, based on the stuff that his partners were saying. He was an insecure guy. He’d give a speech that was fucking brilliant to his agents, and then he’d say, “How did I do? Was it good? What do you think?” Strong and insecure. It’s so complex, and it felt a lot like Godless. You’re mentally ill to be doing what Frank Griffin was doing. But we made the choice to not try and understand why he was the way he was, which makes it more momentto-moment. It was the same thing with O’Neill. The sting in the tail for this man was that he was pushed out of the FBI and became security chief at the Twin Towers in August 2001. If this were fiction, you would never believe that. You read that and then you call Futterman and you go, “This didn’t happen, right?” If it were fiction you’d get notes going, “Change the ending. Not plausible.” Do you think he knew in his last moments, based on the work he’d done for the FBI, that it was most likely an al-Qaeda attack? I wonder if he knew. There’s video of him going back into the tower to get more people out—he got so many people out and then he went back into the tower, and that’s when the tower came down. I wonder if he specifically knew. He might have. Larry Wright said something really good. I didn’t even think of this when we were shooting. “He spent all those years leading up to that day trying to get Bin Laden, and on that day Bin Laden got him.” The entire story is so remarkable because we just


0514 E1 Cover Story Daniels-06.indd 19


5/4/18 11:57 PM

don’t know that this happened. That these things,

know right now. Now we’re into how many clicks did

will come where that kind of behavior is no longer

based on events and people, and the things people

you get by being the first? “Oh, I was wrong? Delete it.”

considered acceptable. Something has to happen.

said, happened. The show is a dramatization of the

In the old days, when I was younger, it was double

An event. And it may be Bob Mueller. And it may be

thing that happened that changed life for all of us.

confirmation. It was a big deal on Newsroom; “You

not just obstruction, or collusion, or this thing in the

And you don’t know what you think you know, by the

don’t have two.” With the internet, you don’t need

Southern District of New York with the porn star going

way. In fact, you don’t know anything. That’s what I

sources; you speculate. And even the cable shows

to the hearing for Trump’s lawyer. Someone has to do

came into it with. I remember Richard Clarke going in

now, that have to hang on to viewers for eight more


front of Congress saying, “Your government has failed

minutes; they’ve already laid out their two facts that

you.” I remember that day. But that was it.

they do know, and they’ve got six more minutes to go.

going to be right, and that’s it? That’s the end of the

Who are the heroes going to be? Is Orwell just

They’re going, “I don’t want to speculate, but I think

story? Who are the heroes going to be? Is it going

It’s also remarkable how little people were

what might be happening…” and off we go. We don’t

to be Chris Wray? Is it going to be Bob Mueller?

prepared to admit all this after the fact.

hear the word “speculate”. We don’t hear “think”. We

Is it going to be Rod Rosenstein? Is it going to be

Some were. Because some people didn’t get along

hear, “They said it on TV.”

McCabe? Is it going to be all those FBI agents, the

or didn’t share information that they should have,

CIA, who have been insulted for the last year or so

3000+ people are dead. So, there’s some blood on

Which is what creates the concept of “fake news”

that Trump’s been in power? Who’s going to rise up?

their hands. People died that day because other

and gives it legitimacy even if the President

And, who is it going to be in Congress? Who are the

people didn’t do their jobs correctly. That’s why it was

chooses to direct that phrase at verifiable facts.

people that are going to be there in November 2018?

a crime. A lot of people just didn’t want to talk about

It’s a lack of scrutiny and the general public not

it because of that. Mistakes were made, and had

paying attention. “I can’t be bothered.” It’s not the

marched the day after the inauguration? Are they

they not been made, that day might have just been

Fourth Estate. That security guard you have to pass

going to be there November 18? Hell hath no fury like

September 11th 2001, another Tuesday.

through before you get in? No, he went around that.

a country full of women scorned. Be prepared to duck,

But I need things to hope for, and this is one of the

orange man.

Are the heroes going to be the women that

Did you ever talk with Aaron Sorkin about this

things: that journalism comes back. It comes down

project? So much of The Newsroom hinged on

to, where do you go to get the truth? Is it their truth?

Parkland, Florida happened. Hardly the first. And

real-world events, the flawed ways the news

Is it a left truth or a right truth? Where’s the actual

those kids have mobilized everyone, I would hope,

media reacted in the moment, and the value of

truth? I think there are still people out there in the

from voting age 18 and above, around the country.

hindsight, so it’s hard not to see the similarity.

press, and also in Robert Mueller’s office, that are still

After everything they went through, and everything

I didn’t talk to him about it. At all. But there is a look

devoted to that. That’s my hope.

they’re dealing with in the aftermath of that, that

back. We’re shooting an episode in November. It’s

And then you’ve got the kids. An event happened.

they’re able to go on CNN and put sentences together.

going to air in July. It’s probably been written since

With every angry outburst on Twitter I feel a little

September or October. So even if we’re covering

more hopeful, I don’t know about you.

then maybe this kind of way of the world will make

something that happened in September, October,

Yes. The phrase “cornered animal” comes to mind.

a turnaround. I’m hopeful. I still think there are some

we’re six months later. So we were always going to be

My wife’s on Facebook. She’s pretty good about

heroes out there.

in hindsight. We didn’t have that quick a turnaround.

being discerning about what’s true and what isn’t.

And occasionally, yeah, we’d go back there and he’d

But she’ll go, “Listen to this,” and she’ll read me

The hysteria from the right as a result was

call them out on ratings versus journalism. “Why are

something that makes me go, “How can that possibly

deafening. Conspiracy theories used to be easily

we staying with Casey Anthony?” Which was one

be true?” Sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn’t. And

brushed aside. Now you hear people squawking

episode. Because it got eyeballs. Aaron was just going,

it comes down to, that’s the way things are. No one

about those Parkland kids being actors set up by

“Just be careful. A lot of what you’re doing is great, but

has to be accountable. No one has to be responsible

the left to espouse an anti-gun agenda. And it’s

it’s a slippery slope.”

for anything they do or say. Just get a team of lawyers,

everywhere you look.

and say the other guy is lying.

I think it’s all about race. I wrote a play that my theatre

And it’s not the anchors so much as it’s the news directors. So now, you’ve got Trump running for president, and he’s calling in to Sunday shows. And it’s

Or call the other guy everything you’ve been called, which is Trump’s thing. But I’m hoping the day

If all those people show up in November 2018,

company did, called Flint. The problem with the water is in there, but it’s more about systemic racism. The

always in the first 10 minutes of the show, because the ratings are there. “We want you to come into the studio.” “Oh no, I’m going to call from my bed, OK?” “That’s OK for us.” Aaron would have been screaming about that. Charlie Skinner wouldn’t have let him on the air. Nobody learned those lessons. Because of money, and being number one, and the competition that exists now, versus when we were doing Newsroom. Even five years ago, or whenever it was. The competition with the internet; I mean, that ship has sailed. We did an episode about the Boston Marathon where CNN said the wrong name. And again, that was Aaron going, “Be careful. Pretend Edward R. Murrow is standing off-camera. Make him happy. Make him pleased.” With the internet, it’s even harder to get a handle on that stuff. We all want to


“Who are the heroes going to be? Is Orwell just going to be right, and that’s it? That’s the end of the story? Who’s going to rise up? Are the heroes going to be the women that marched the day after the inauguration? Are they going to be there November 18? Hell hath no fury like a country full of women scorned. Be prepared to duck, orange man.”


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water was bad in Flint, but it’s predominantly black now, so did that have any impact on how it was handled? We don’t know. But it’s not the only example. Trump tapped into all those white manufacturing males, and [other] men and women. I live there. I live in Michigan. I live around all those people whose car jobs went to China and Mexico when the car companies figured out that the union wasn’t the only option; that they could build a plant somewhere else. And they did. And you’ve got a lot of angry white people that were working in mixed company; you know, white, black, Hispanic workers that were all on the same line for years. Now all of a sudden, it’s that white guy, that white woman, that worked the line is on the blocks. And white people don’t want to be on the blocks. Blacks and Hispanics are supposed to be on the blocks. So he tapped into that. And he turned people, he said, “Go ahead. Press that button. It’s OK. You’re getting screwed. They’re the ones that are screwing you.” You watched him do it. Barack Obama once said something about progress happening in peaks and troughs, not a straight line. But that ultimately, the graph was trending upward. Do you believe in that? Are we just in a deep trough right now? For centuries, people like, oh I don’t know, Jesus, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Tutu, have been trying to fight power and greed. For centuries. That’s always going to be a default. We’re human beings. You have to step back from that and realize that the progressive line will never be straight. Because all of those people who are given the opportunity to make incredible amounts of money, and have incredible amounts of power, regardless of how they attain it, will always be there. So, to get past that is going to be going through it, going around it. That’s what’s going on right now. You don’t have to be a Democrat to be against Trump. You really don’t. And I tell that to people around where I live. It’s OK. You can be a Republican. Go ahead. You just don’t have to be that. That’s my big problem, is that we’ve lost decency, civility, accountability, responsibility, class. As a country, we’ve lost it. You go on The Looming Tower tour, to Paris and Berlin, and you’re talking about it, a lot of journalists are looking at you going, “What’s going on? What are you people doing?” And we’re all guilty by association. I also think it’s the end of the Republican party. I thought that in the middle of primaries, and then he gets the nomination. And then he wins. What? But I think that’s why these guys are hanging on. Because if they don’t, if they impeach the President, you’ve got to go talk to that 32% base or whatever it is. Tell them why. Because a lot of those guys go back there and those people are going, “Don’t you touch my president.” When do those guys have the guts to turn to their constituents and go, you’ve been conned? I’m waiting for that day. ★


0514 E1 Cover Story Daniels-06.indd 21

Josh Telles



5/4/18 11:58 PM



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5/4/18 10:10 PM


to sit down with her and just really capturing a vibe, because I actually never played a cop before. You just


have this idea, like, “OK, you’re running, you’re pulling your gun, you’re tough.” These cop stereotypes. But to sit with this woman and just have a meal, talk about experiences, about family, If you didn’t know she was a cop and that there was a Glock on her hip at the restaurant, you just wouldn’t imagine. She was so gentle and sweet, and you just wanted to be friends right

The actress brings her unique talents to a tough cop role in Fox’s 9-1-1 BY M AT T G RO BA R

away. That was really informative and welcoming—our day-to-day consultant was able to make that happen. He made sure that I was able to get with a sister who came up through the ranks when there were very few women coming through the police academy, so you’re talking about those sort of experiences. Was there a most challenging or most satisfying aspect of the series for you in Season 1? Those polyester uniforms that don’t stretch or give,

ANGELA BASSETT BROKE THROUGH back in the ’90s when she portrayed Dr. Betty Shabazz (Malcolm X) and Tina Turner (What’s Love Got to Do With It). It was this latter performance that snagged her an Oscar nod. Her role in How Stella Got Her Groove Back is still a girls’ night staple, and her blockbuster creds are reconfirmed this year with roles in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Mission: Impossible—Fallout. In Fox’s 9-1-1, Bassett’s LAPD Sgt. Athena Grant is faced with a tough question. Which is harder to deal with: a gun in your face or a husband coming out of the closet? From the prolific mind of Ryan Murphy, 9-1-1 follows the professional and private lives of LA’s army of first responders.

that’s a challenge [laughs]. But also, just the relation-

What was it that got you invested in 9-1-1?

Athena’s husband comes out of the closet in the

Athena is an exceptionally strong and complex

The big draw for me is that I had this history of work-

midst of their marriage. The family dynamic that

female character. Is she emblematic of the roles

ing with Ryan, Brad [Falchuk] and Tim [Minear] over

ensues must have been challenging to portray.

you prefer to take on?

the course of four years with American Horror Story,

Yeah, playing with the nuance of that was really

I have always been attracted to strong, resilient

and each year, I was always very excited to start. The

interesting. Part of it is being accepting and under-

female characters, so I’m really thrilled to have this

characters that were written for me were always very

standing, but the fact is, we were in a relationship—

opportunity to portray her weekly—the complexity

intriguing, very different from something I had done

we were husband and wife—and then he sprang it on

of who she is—and just delve into her humanity. A

before. I know that they appreciate actresses—and

me. He sprang a new person on me, and he’s going all

lot of times, I’ve been able to play strong, boss lady

mature actresses—those with history in what they

the way in. She’s dealing with embarrassment; she’s

type characters and I’m filling those shoes, but you

bring to the screen. I knew that I was in territory

been lied to and now is being disrespected—whether

just imagine that there’s something more going

where you’re going to be challenged and pulled and

it’s with a man or with a woman, it doesn’t matter. So

on. To really unpack it, open it up and see her going

excited about what they’re going to bring to the table.

it was really a delicate dance, I think, as an actor.

through these different situations and issues, I’m

I had faith that it would be a good ride to take.

ship of the family dynamic. It’s a challenge that I welcome, that I relish, that I really enjoy discovering. This woman who’s fresh out of a marriage and a mature woman and now she’s back on the scene. What does she want, and how does she go about getting it, and is love still possible? Is it love that she wants, or is it lust that she needs at this time? Dealing with that and the season ending was a surprise. I’m reading the script like, “What?!” [laughs]

really excited by that opportunity. It’s really fulfilling. You’re also a co-executive producer on the

It’s been a really great year.

What did you make of Athena?

series. What impact has that had on your

Athena is very accomplished and quite the profes-

creative experience?

What’s your feeling on what differentiates 9-1-1

sional. She sees things as black and white—it’s right

In the past, coming on as an actor, you get the script,

from other procedural series?

or it’s wrong. She thinks quickly about how to neu-

you read it as, ”OK, well how can I have some fun

It definitely has the, “Let’s solve the crime, the

tralize a situation, and it may not be straight by the

with this character?” But because I came on as an

emergency of the hour,” but multiply that by four.

book. She’s been in probably hundreds of thousands

EP, I was able to have a different sort of relationship

But I think also that these people who seem to have

of situations, but she understands human nature. I

this time around, and I was able to be in communica-

it going on, they have these complex personalities

really appreciate her smarts as an officer.

tion about, does this ring true about my character?

and lives where they don’t have it going on. If you’re

I was able to do that early on, because the writers

on the outside looking at others, just glimpsing their

motherly, she’s caring and she’s unsure, and I think

were still figuring it out themselves. I’m appreciating

humanity, we think, “They have it together, and I wish

that’s probably what resonates with audiences for

having that opportunity.

I did.” But you can really relate when you see that

At home, she’s a little bit unstable. She’s soft, she’s

all the characters. In their professional lives, they’ve

there’s times when they misstep, or misunderstand,

really got it going on. But when it comes to these

Did you meet with any real police officers in

or are just rejected. It’s very reflective of what goes

interpersonal relationships, you can’t control that,

preparation for your work on the series?

on in life, and there’s that quirky tone that, I think,

because your emotion is invested in that and it gets

I did meet with a sister who’s been a lieutenant on the

Murphy and Falchuk bring to it. But that’s life. You’ve

real. It becomes a tangled knot that’s more difficult.

force in LA for about 28 years, getting the opportunity

got to laugh to keep from crying sometimes. ★


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Michael Buckner

D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E


5/4/18 10:10 PM


for them, and feel for them. That’s what’s brought me so much joy in making it. We first took it out to


broadcast, and we got into a bidding war when we pitched it, and I pitched it personally. I brought in Greg Mottola, pitched him the idea, and together, he and I shaped the rest of it. We pitched it, and we had them crying and laughing in the room. You originally sold it to NBC. What happened?

Walter White shows his softer side with Amazon’s The Dangerous Book for Boys BY J OE U T IC H I

We did finally sell it to NBC and they got to a point where they still enjoyed it, but there was a problem. They were worried that it would be rejected if the father was dead. So we got asked the question, “Does the father have to be dead?” As soon as they asked the question, I knew that we were not going to be on the air on a broadcast network. I think that was four years ago, three years ago, something like that. I said, “We’re trying to be honest. There’s millions of families that don’t have a father and mother figure in their home, for one reason

ONN AND HAL IGGULDEN’S BESTSELLING guide to boyhood seems like an odd candidate for a television adaptation. It is, after all, a non-fiction how-to with no narrative to speak of. And yet, for Bryan Cranston and his Moon Shot Entertainment production company, the philosophy at the heart of the book—that kids should look up from their devices and experience the world first-hand—was undeniable. The touching family comedy from Amazon Studios follows Wyatt (Gabriel Bateman) and his brothers as they attempt to process the loss of their father.


or other, either through loss or divorce, or whatever. Or you’re raised by your grandparents, or an aunt or an uncle, or something. This is normal; people will relate to this. If it’s not you, it’s someone you know, and this family is not stuck in a maudlin kind of sensibility. They’re just trying to figure it out, as any family would.” Was this before your relationship with Amazon with Sneaky Pete?

Where did your interest in The Dangerous Book for

getting there, especially in something that’s creative.

Yes. This was the first show that Moonshot sold. We

Boys begin?

So, instead, I let it go. I told Sony, “Give it back. We

had a good relationship with them, and then that

I think there’s enough cynicism in this world, and I

can’t do it. We don’t know.”

one part about the father was worrisome for them.

wanted to create a show that—without sounding

And by letting it go, that clenched fist trying to

Even though we tried to convince them otherwise,

syrupy—I wanted to be wholesome. I wanted to bring

figure something out released. I was running on the

it was a hurdle that they just didn’t feel, at the time,

some hope to the world. Where you see a family

Charles River in Boston, not even thinking about it,

they could leap.

struggling, and, yet, their nucleus is strong, and they

and all of a sudden, like a lighting strike, it hit me. I

try to work out their problems. And every show has

literally stopped in my tracks, and I start putting the

all grow, we all learn. The show is where it’s supposed

a dose of uplifting revelations to it, and whimsy, and

structure together in my head. I ran home, put it

to be, and we’re excited about Amazon. They’re very

fantasy. It’s really lovely, and I hope we get a chance

down on paper, then pitched my producing partner.

happy with it, and we’re doing our best to try and get

to continue, because there are so many stories that

He got it. We pitched Sony. They got it. We called the

families to pay attention to it.

we would like to tell.

Iggulden brothers. They got it. We had a show.

I think now would be different. I really do. But we

How did you handle the father character with How did you get from the original non-fiction

What was the pitch?

Amazon in the end?

book to this concept? It seems so detached.

The Iggulden brothers wrote this because they were

The big question going into our six episodes with

It is detached. It has tentacles of inspiration from

lamenting the fact that their boys were so lost in

Amazon was, “How much do we deal with it?” I said,

the book, but it’s not based on the book. I have a

their devices that they were missing life. You cannot

“The entire six episodes.” Otherwise, he didn’t mean

television production deal with Sony, and they said,

experience life with your head down. You have to

that much to us, to have him leave. This has a ripple

“We own the rights to this title. Do you want to

have your chin up to experience life, and that’s what

effect. Sometimes the thought of a lost loved one

create a story?” I was wracking my brain. How can I

they wanted, and that’s what The Dangerous Book for

brings you pure joy. Sometimes it brings tears. Again,

create a story where there are no characters and no

Boys is. If our noses are down, there are people we’re

that’s honest. But we promise not to sit in any one

plot, and it’s all just a how-to book about embracing

missing. There’s all kinds of relativity to it.

emotion. We’re not going to wallow in that, we’re

boyhood? So I thought about it, and thought about it, and just came up blank. Just couldn’t do it. I was in Boston at the time, in the run of All the

So I took a leap, and I said, “First of all, it shouldn’t be in the drama department. Move it over to com-

going to move it through. Just like normal life, you want to move through an emotion.

edy.” This isn’t really a classic comedy; it is a family

Way before it came to Broadway. Like so many things,

adventure. Sometimes you’ll laugh, sometimes you’ll

What made Gabriel Bateman the ideal choice to

if you’re staying hyper-focused on something, there is

cry, but you’ll feel. That’s the goal, to make people

play Wyatt?

also a level of resistance that’s present. When you’re

really feel.

He’s a special young boy, very sensitive and astute,

trying so hard to get something, and the exuberance and the extra effort, it’s keeping you at bay from


D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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Whether you’re a child, a parent, or a grandparent, I think you’re going to invest in these people, root

bright, clever. But he’s still a boy, and we don’t want to drag the boy out of him. ★


Michael Buckner

5/4/18 10:13 PM

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5/4/18 10:25 PM


Had you ever worked with Jenna Bans before? I had never met Jenna before, but we spent hours


on the phone over the course of a month talking through ideas, and I got a sense of who she was, and how much she believed in her show and vision, and I began to trust her. I realized she was listening to me; she wanted to hear what we had to say. It feels like she values our opinions, and knows that we’re on set living it every day, so we know how it feels and how things may look one way on the

From Mad Men to Good Girls, the star takes a criminal turn

paper, but when you start interpreting them, things can change.

BY PE T E R W H I T E Has working with the likes of Bans and Matthew Weiner made you want to produce or direct? I’ve thought about producing for a while and I’d love to do that. This year was the first year that I thought I might like to direct. I was on set all day, every day, which was the first time in my whole career that

HRISTINA HENDRICKS IS BEST KNOWN for playing Joan Holloway in AMC’s Mad Men, a role that earned her six Emmy Award nominations. However, since the end of the period drama in 2015, the Knoxville, Tennessee-born actor has been keen to spread her wings, and her latest role is as one of the leads in female-driven heist comedy Good Girls. In the NBC show, which was created by The Family’s Jenna Bans, she plays Beth Boland, a suburban housewife, who, along with her sister and best friend, played by Mae Whitman and Retta respectively, finds herself mixed up with gangsters after a raid on a local supermarket.


I’ve done that for such a long period of time. I got a much closer relationship with the crew than I’ve ever had, and even greater understanding of the mechanics of how everything was working. I got pretty excited about problem solving and storytelling, and I may pursue shadowing some directors this year and see if it’s for me. You’ve starred in a number of feature films recently. Does that flex a different muscle than

What attracted you to the role of Beth Boland?

co-stars, and even with the network, to make sure

television does?

I was originally attracted to the idea of comedy and

that we don’t slip off this track that we’re on, and to

I approach film and TV in the same way. In televi-

drama genres bleeding together, and getting to expand

make sure that we keep the vision and not wander

sion you get to create a character over time, and

what I get to do. I generally work in drama, and I liked

off, especially with a show that is genre-bending.

you don’t know the end of a story, which is exciting,

the idea that this was an edgy, funny show on a net-

Because it’s on a network, we’re constantly checking

whereas in a film you know the beginning, middle

work that understood that things were changing, and

in to make sure we’ve got the tone we want—it’s

and end, and you know the answers already. The

the old formula’s not working anymore. NBC wanted to

really just about having a heightened awareness. It’s

way we shoot is the same way, and the way I

do something different. I had always felt on Mad Men

challenging and fun, and really rewarding, and I know

approach the material is the same; you just have to

that we had pioneered that wave of changing AMC and

Mae and Retta feel the same way.

say goodbye to your friends quicker on a movie set.

cool if we could change network television too? I was

Do you feel that it’s a good time to have a show

You recently starred in Tin Star, a UK drama

excited about working with these other women, and

about three women kicking ass?

series. How was that experience?

exploring a show with three great friends who love each

I think it’s always been a really good time, personally,

I’m in the middle of filming Season 2 of Tin Star right

other, and how much fun that would be.

but people are definitely responding to it right now.

now. The opportunity to work with Tim Roth, who I

There’s a lot of conversations, and a lot of things

adore, was a great draw, and it was a different kind

What was it about network television that

going on in our environment, politically and socially,

of project with a different kind of tone. I’ve been up

needed to change?

that this speaks to. It was written before any of this

in Calgary, freezing my ass off, climbing around in

What audiences seem to like, and what you see at

Time’s Up movement started, and it just happens

waist-deep snow for the past few months. It’s been

awards shows, are cable shows, and it’s because

to be even more relevant right now. It was written

a joy, and also brutal.

there’s more artistic freedom, and they’re intelligent,

before, because it’s a show that’s needed to be

and they’re following their leaders and creators.

written and exist either way.

cable to a certain extent, and I thought, wouldn’t it be

Do you believe that Good Girls can run for a number of years?

There’s been so much fear about what the masses want on network television that it’s always glossing

Was it true that there was a real-life robbery

That's always the hope, but you can never roll the

things over and making them softer, and making sure

taking place during filming?

dice, or put money on it. You have no idea how

that everyone’s happy all at once, and that’s not what

I wasn’t on set, but during the hold-up scene in the

people are going to respond; you can just hope

people want. They’re finally starting to realize that.

pilot, apparently next door someone was trying to hold

you're making the best show you can. But I would

up the store, so everyone had to take a break and let

love to play Beth for a while, and I love to work with

Does that pose a challenge as an actor?

the cops deal with that. It was just a very surreal situ-

all of these people, and I think there's so much that

It doesn’t pose a different challenge for me, but

ation. It was actually quite brilliant; pop up on a movie

can be done with these characters—and it can

there are a lot of conversations with our creator and

set and see if you can get away with something.

really go anywhere. ★


D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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Dan Doperalski

5/4/18 11:11 PM

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started working there. You don’t know how many times in my life I


questioned myself. If I didn’t turn around in that staircase that night, would I be talking to you right now? Would I be in Los Angeles? I like those things. If Carlos Casagemas didn’t commit suicide and Pablo Picasso didn’t get depressed, and the Blue Period doesn’t exist, what would’ve happened? Would we be doing a series about Picasso? So, all our lives are made of these moments, these moments when we

How a lifelong love of art led to a role as one of history’s ultimate painters

turn around and suddenly something happens. We call it destiny, right?

B Y H O L LY A G U I R R E Picasso hurt a lot of people, but we seem to forgive artists that. Do you see that in the world? I forgive him, yes, but I was not a victim of him. I guess I forgive him because he never tried to justify anything that he did. He never came to anyone and said, “Well, no, I wasn’t an asshole with you.” He just assumed that he hurt people and said, “This is me.

HEN ANTONIO BANDERAS AGREED to play Picasso for National Geographic’s second season of Genius, it was with the proviso that the show be entirely true to the real life of the artist. Having grown up in Picasso’s hometown of Malaga in Spain, Banderas had a personal stake in that . piece of history, and had in fact turned down a previous offer of the role in a different production for fear it wouldn’t do the man justice. Imbued with reverence for the painter from a very early age, telling his story had been a long-held dream for Banderas.


You take it, you leave it.” I don’t think he was cruel for being cruel. Genius is a pathology and I think there are some who are sick with that. They are very capable of doing certain things that affect a really large number of people for good. They influence art and science, but at the same time it comes with a price. We always talk about his behavior with women. It was the behavior of him with everybody; men and women. He fought some of his best friends, too. He fought Matisse, who was his dear friend; he

Do you remember the first piece of art you loved?

I remember one day I said to my mother and my

loved him a lot. With [Marc] Chagall, they didn’t even

Yes, but it was for its sexual content: The Three

father, “I’m leaving and I’m going to Madrid. I’m going

talk anymore, and at the end what was the price?

Graces by Rubens. I remember that it was in a book

to try to be a professional actor.” My mother said, “Oh


that my father had, and I was very young. I must

my god! You’re kidding me.” I put together $100. My

have been six years old, but they impressed me. It

mother, you know what she did? She sewed pockets

Are you religious?

aroused me just to see these three women holding

inside my pants because she thought that that way

Yes. I do believe; I feel comfortable living in the

each other like that, totally naked. That was the

if they got stolen, they wouldn’t find the money. It

mystery. I am not someone to say that we know

first impact that I received from art. It was from the

was really uncomfortable because if I went to a bar to

everything. I do believe in karma, though. If you create

sexual side of it.

grab a coffee, I’d have to go to the bathroom just to

a negative environment around you, bad things are

pay. I had to take the pants off to open the pockets

going to start going there, and if you are positive,

and get to the money.

good things are going to come. Sometimes bad

Was your family very interested in art? My father and my mother were very much theater

things happen for a reason. I had a heart attack a

aficionados; they took my brother and I very early on

How long did a hundred dollars last?

year and four months ago, and it was so interesting

to see things that came from Madrid or Barcelona to

One day I was completely desperate and I thought,

what happened to me. I really don’t regret that. I’m

Malaga. That for me was absolutely a discovery—all

OK, this is it. My adventure’s going to finish here. I have

happy that it happened, because it taught me that

those incredible images. I immediately understood

to go back to Malaga. This is not happening. I took the

the only thing that is really, really perfect is death.

the ritual that was happening [on the stage], an

staircase and I was almost on the street and there

That’s perfect, and everything else is uncertain.

almost religious thing in which people are at an altar

was a woman who was a secretary in the National

telling a story to other people who accept the game

Theatre, but I knew that she was the daughter of a

What did your heart attack make you appreci-

of listening.

very famous Spanish actor. I caught up to her. She

ate in your life specifically?

was called Alicia Moreno. I said, “I’m José Antonio

I knew what important things were, and you realize

When did you decide to act?

Domínguez Banderas, what should I do to work in the

they are the most simple ones; friendship and

It took a little time for me to rationalize that feeling

National Theatre?” She laughed and said, “OK, do you

family, pretty much. If you have that, you have

of wanting to be an actor because for me it was

have a telephone number?” I said, “No, but I can give

everything. Money became the least important

forbidden—I mean, prohibited. It was already decided

you a telephone number of a friend of mine.”

thing, big time. Money went down to place number

that I would be a policeman, secret police. To live in

Two days after, this friend that had the telephone

35. It’s true that I have stopped smoking, and that

Madrid and be an actor was something not done.

came and shouted, “Antonio, come down. They’re

was probably the stupidest thing that I was doing

Imagine the tribulation when I realized that I wanted

calling you from the National Theatre for a test.” For

before, but then I said, “No. I want to continue liv-

to be them. I didn’t want to say that to my father

a play called La hija del aire by Pedro Calderón de

ing, doing what I want to do.” I want to live life fully.

and my mother. It was like coming out of the closet.

la Barca. They tested me, and two months after, I

That’s what it is. ★


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Michael Buckner

5/4/18 11:14 PM

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5/4/18 11:14 PM


that we explored in Season 1 that made people question the spirit of Star Trek and our show, but it’s only because we were servicing serialization.

M A R T I N -G R E E N

What was your understanding of Star Trek before all of this? Did you watch the show growing up? Yeah, my parents used to watch Star Trek from time to time. I remember specifically seeing episodes of the original series, and Next Gen, and Voyager, and

The Star Trek: Discovery star seeks out new life and new civilizations BY J OE U T IC H I

Deep Space Nine on television. I never sat down and actually watched it, but I remember it being there. I remember knowing what it was, and then I certainly learned what it meant. I learned what a pillar it was in entertainment history. When I had the opportunity to come on board, I set out to watch everything that there ever was, because so much that I had seen was bits and pieces from different shows. I hadn’t seen any of the original movies. I had only seen the J.J. Abrams franchise. I knew what it was; I knew that it was an heirloom. I

FTER MAKING AN IMPACT as Sasha on The Walking Dead, Sonequa Martin-Green strapped into a spacesuit this year to play Specialist Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery, the first Trek series to premiere since 2001’s Star Trek: Enterprise. But the firsts didn’t stop there: Martin-Green was also the first black woman to lead a Star Trek show. As she readies to shoot Season 2, Martin-Green reflects on the responsibility she felt stepping onto the bridge of the Discovery, and shares her passion for the inclusive message of Gene Roddenberry’s sci-fi utopia.


knew that it’s a very, very prodigious endowment. I said, “I’m going to watch everything that there is. Watch every single episode of every single show and every single movie.” I didn’t realize exactly how long it was going to take me to do that. You’re already on set for Season 2. I’m beyond excited. Thrilled. We’ve been talking a lot gearing up for Season 2 about that story we’re going to tell, and how we’re going to continue, and how

The fans seem to have embraced Star Trek:

is more expansion. I talk a lot about acculturation,

we’re going to jump off, because the war chapter has

Discovery over the course of this first season.

and how ideally speaking, acculturation should be a

come to a close. What happens now? What hap-

How much has that meant to you?

two-way exchange. I have taken in your culture, while

pens now that the war is over? Because a lot of what

It means a lot, because it was quite an arduous

you have also taken in mine. Now we are greater, and

happened to Michael Burnham and all the characters

journey, Season 1. We’ve been met with such fierce

bigger, and grander than we were before. I definitely

wasn’t able to be delved into because there just

love and support. At the same time, we’ve been met

don’t want to isolate those people who have trouble

wasn’t time, because we were dealing with this war.

with quite a bit of vitriol, because people are innately

leaning in. I’ve always tried to be encouraging with

Wrestling with all of these things, it’s like you have

uncomfortable with change.

that and say, “How about you just come on board—

to sort of put it aside because of the immediacy of

From the very beginning, from the moment we

pun intended—and see how it changes you, and see

the moment. I’m thrilled to see what happens when

announced what our show was going to be and who

what it does? See if it opens you up. Because we all

the chips fall and things are done. Now what are we

was going to be telling the story, there were lots of

truly believe it will.”

going to do? How are we going to look at ourselves in

people who were rubbed the wrong way by that.

the mirror? How are we going to look at each other?

There was a conversation that was being had for a

I can’t think of another Star Trek show that has

long while at the beginning about how that response

as strong a first season as Discovery—but it’s not

The war is over but the show still found a

was completely antithetical to the legacy of Star Trek

until the finale we see just how clever it all is.

cliffhanger in that final shot. Is Michael about to

itself. There was a period of that.

We had a lot of confines. First, you know, the canon is

meet her brother?

our central nervous system. We were also purposing

You know, [executive producer] Aaron Harberts, he

for me, is that people are comfortable with innova-

to establish our own identity. We wanted to get into

said after the finale, on After Trek, that Season 2 was

tion, to a point. It’s hard for them to grab ahold of

the hyper-serialized storytelling space, which is quite

going to be about that line between science and

diversity and change, and what they consider to be

different than any other iteration. There’s certainly

faith. He also said that there’s going to be a lot of

‘other’. It’s hard for them to grab ahold of that or

been serialization in Voyager, there was serializa-

family dynamic. It is the Enterprise in that shot. We

relate to that when it is too far, in their opinion.

tion in Deep Space Nine, but never before has that

all know who is on the Enterprise. You see Sarek and

been essential; the foundation. We are going to tell

Burnham look at each other, and there you have it.

What I think I learned, or at least it was reaffirmed

Certainly antithetical to the utopian idea of Star

this story as a novel in chapters. Already, it’s such a

Trek. That not only can we get along as a planet,

new space, and it’s one that we have defined, and

What do you think of the fan speculation about

but we can get along as a universe.

reached for, and pressed into. Because we have

why Spock has never mentioned his sister?

Yes. It’s the epitome of hope. There is nothing to

canon, we have this sort of outline and we have to

Alex Kurtzman, who helped create the show with

be afraid of with the ‘other’. There is only gain. We

find ways to jump off of it, and find ways for people

Bryan Fuller, said, “I know a lot of people are asking

are only greater than the sum of our parts; we only

to feel that this is familiar, yet unfamiliar in the most

why he didn’t ever mention her.” He was like, “Trust

expand. The only thing you have to look forward to

exciting way. I do think that there were certain points

us. There will be an explanation.” ★


D E A D L I N E .C O M / AWA R D S L I N E

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Gary Wlliam Ogle

5/4/18 11:16 PM

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5/4/18 11:16 PM

Paul Feig

Ansel Elgort, Suki Waterhouse

Christina Hendricks, Marianna Palka, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Gbenga Akkinagbe

Jennifer Morrison, Chiara Aurelia, Hala Finley, Nicola Peltz, Alex Pettyfer, June Carryl

Dree Hemingway, Sam Boyd, Michael Angarano, Patrick Gibson, Jay Ellis

A P R I L 1 9 -2 3, N E W YO R K

Rachel Weisz

Common, Eva Vives, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Betty Gilpin

Deadline/ AwardsLine Screening Series: Give Us This Day (An AT&T Original) APRIL 22, TRIBECA FILM F E S T I VA L , N E W YO R K

Peter Billingsley


Shane Elrod, Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist


Deadline Studio at Tribeca presented by Nespresso

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Deadline Hollywood - AwardsLine - 05/14/18