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JUNE 16, 2021 | EMMY PREVIEW/DRAMA

© Viacom International Inc.


© Viacom International Inc.


JUNE 16, 2021

EMMY PREVIEW/DRAMA

GOOD THEROUX JUSTIN THEROUX BRINGS A FAMILY LEGACY TO LIFE IN THE MOSQUITO COAST SAINTS AND SINNERS OLLY ALEXANDER AND LYDIA WEST ON THE GAME-CHANGING IT’S A SIN PLUS: KATE MARA JURNEE SMOLLETT DANIELLE BROOKS ERIC KRIPKE BRAD INGELSBY

CHARLES & DIANA’S ILL-FATED MARRIAGE LIES AT THE HEART OF THIS YEAR’S BARNSTORMING SEASON OF THE CROWN. JOSH O’CONNOR AND EMMA CORRIN WALK US THROUGH THE FIREWORKS...


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FIRST TAKE Justin Theroux embraces a literary family legacy in The Mosquito Coast Ten Things: Olly Alexander and Lydia West compare notes on their life-changing It’s a Sin experience Blockbuster television: the ultimate small screen complement to the theatrical mega-franchise

20

ON THE COVER How Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor played out a most infamously ill-fated marriage in The Crown

32

THE DIALOGUE Kate Mara Danielle Brooks Jurnee Smollett Eric Kripke Brad Ingelsby ON THE COVER Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor photographed exclusively for Deadline by Violeta Sofia ON THIS PAGE Danielle Brooks photographed Courtesy of Lifetime


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| Ten Things: It’s a Sin p. 12 | Blockbuster Television p. 16

Mission Man With The Mosquito Coast, Justin Theroux embodies both a literary family legacy and a character driven by demons A P P LE T V +

BY DAMON WISE

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


Today, Theroux seems especially nonchalant, taking a Zoom call in his New York kitchen and looking disconcertingly like Super Mario with his black woolly hat and furry Magnum ’stache. “I heard about it, I tracked it, and I asked to read it,” he remembers. “I liked the script a lot, and it just worked out. It wasn’t some grand scheme I’d cooked up or anything.” 8

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

But then, uncle Paul’s book is

family make their journey south, with

hardly the material for a sure-fire hit.

an especially tense episode involving

Weir’s film flopped in the States and

a Mexican cartel. Surprisingly, this

was a rare commercial misfire for

wasn’t in the original pitch. “When

Ford, who plays Allie Fox, a disil-

I signed up for it,” says Theroux, “it

lusioned American father who takes

was only the first two episodes [that

his family to the wilds of Nicaragua

were] already written. But the way

and Honduras to escape the urban

that Neil had pitched it to me was

jungle of the USA. Adapted by

that, yes, we were going to have this

screenwriters Neil Cross and Tom

fire on their backs through the first

Bissell, the Apple TV+ series adds

season, to essentially get us to the

more urgency to the situation: where

Mosquito Coast.”

the original Allie was an emigrant, in

With this, Theroux just about con-

the revamp he is a fugitive, a man

firms that the first seven hours of the

of many identities and surprising

show are effectively a warm-up for

hidden talents who needs to uproot

the events of the recently commis-

his wife and two children fast when

sioned Season 2. “Obviously, once

the police finally come calling. In

we get to whatever Allie’s Shangri-La

sharp contrast to the novel, Allie’s

is, we’ll still take some liberties. But

wife Margot (Melissa George) and

once we’ve landed, I think that’s

daughter Dina (Logan Polish) aren’t

when we’re really going to be able to

afraid to get their hands dirty in the

crack it open. I don’t want to spoil

tense adventures that follow.

anything or say anything, because,”

Although the book’s approach to storytelling is as episodic as the

he laughs, “I actually don’t even really know myself!”

show’s is, Cross and Bissell turn the

Interestingly, though the show’s

heat right up. Like the ’60s TV show

opening episodes alternate between

The Fugitive, it’s a story that jumps

empty expanses of desert and

from cliffhanger to cliffhanger as the

claustrophobic interiors, these were

A P P LE T V +

YOU COULD BE FORGIVEN FOR THINKING THAT THERE WAS SOME KIND OF INSIDER TRADING GOING ON WHEN JUSTIN THEROUX WAS ANNOUNCED TO PLAY THE LEAD IN THE MOSQUITO COAST, A SEVEN-PART APPLE TV+ SERIES BASED ON A BOOK WRITTEN BY HIS UNCLE: IT’S A PROJECT, LITERALLY, WITH HIS NAME WRITTEN ALL OVER IT. BUT THE 49-YEAROLD ACTOR, WHO HAS A FEW YEARS ON HARRISON FORD FROM WHEN HE STARRED IN PETER WEIR’S 1986 ADAPTATION OF PAUL THEROUX’S NOVEL, INSISTS THAT IT CAME TO HIM JUST LIKE ANY OTHER OPPORTUNITY. “IT WAS REALLY JUST THE NORMAL CHANNELS,” HE SHRUGS.


dog, and be in the present.” It’s this low-key attitude and

says Theroux. “You can mention the

philosophical approach to life that

most famous actor working and he’ll

explains how Theroux managed to

go, ‘Who’s that?’ You’ll be like, ‘His

marry and separate from Jennifer

name’s George Clooney. He started

Aniston with the minimum of media

on ER.’ He really exists in his own

attention. In short, he isn’t a show-

universe in the most wonderful way.”

off. “I wasn’t one of those kids that

Theroux returned five years later

was doing impersonations and say-

for Lynch’s last feature film to date,

ing, ‘I’m going to go to Hollywood,’”

the willfully bizarre Inland Empire, a

he recalls. Born in Washington, he

psychedelic story in which a cursed

went to liberal arts schools and had a

film production leads to murder,

“well-rounded education”, and after

hip-swinging musical numbers and

moving to New York in the ’90s, he

people with rabbit heads. Did he

graduated with a double major in

understand it? “I don’t think it’s even

visual arts and drama. “So, I decided

a question of understanding it,” he

to pursue both,” he says, “because

grins. “I have theories, of course,

both are such unsteady fields. I

but I’ve often thought of most his

thought, ‘Well, if I can strike a little

films as like great jazz records, like

rich in each one then maybe I could

John Coltrane or something. You

cobble together a life for myself.’ And

don’t ever go, ‘Do I understand that

that’s a wonderfully naive thing to do

record?’ You go, ‘No, but I loved it.’”

when you’re 20 or 21.” FAMILY TIES Left, from left: Melissa George, Logan Polish, Gabriel Bateman and Justin Theroux as the Fox family. Above: Allie’s antics put the family in a frightening fix.

most gloriously unplugged person,”

Theroux worked in clubs and

Surprisingly, Theroux has only directed once, with the 2007

restaurants, doing big anime and

Sundance entry Dedication, in which

graffiti-style murals. “I would do

Billy Crudup plays a disillusioned

anything,” he says. “I would do

children’s author. Will he direct

t-shirts for bars and clubs. Flyers, a

again? “I’d like to,” he says, “I really

couple of billboards, things like that.”

would. At one point, I was going to

Completely by chance, his first film

direct Zoolander 2, and then I ended

role was set in that world: I Shot Andy

up doing The Leftovers, and that got

not stylistic choices imposed by

I loved working again and throwing

Warhol, about Valerie Solanas, the

in the way. It’s really a question of

the COVID-19 lockdown. “We were

myself back into it, because I’d been

rogue feminist who tried to assas-

timing because in order to do it, you

dead center in our season when it

sitting on my hands for months.”

sinate the legendary pop artist in

have to clear the slates for at least

1968. More film roles followed slowly

a year and-a-half. I’ll either write

hit us,” he says. “It was the beginning

Theroux freely admits that he had

of episode five, I guess. We were in

not been especially productive in

but steadily and very unpredictably:

something that I really adore and feel

Mexico City, shooting in an incred-

those intervening months, which is

his next film was the klutzy Romy And

like I have to direct, or something will

ibly large open-air meat and goods

surprising given that his impressive

Michelle’s High School Reunion.

come to me.”

market. One of those places that

writing credits include Zoolander 2,

has people shoulder to shoulder, and

Iron Man 2, Tropic Thunder and, most

career? “I still haven’t,” he laughs. “It

oux won’t exactly have any spare

pigs hanging in the aisles and in the

bizarrely, Rock of Ages. “I definitely

sounds a little cheeky, but, honestly,

time on his hands in the near future.

stalls. It was an incredibly uncom-

wasn’t wanting to write during the

I’ve been very lucky. I describe it as

We speak on Memorial Day, during

fortable place to be when you’re

lockdown,” he says. “As you know—or

just tripping upstairs. There’s no

a break from filming the upcoming

learning that there’s a fast-moving

maybe don’t know—everyone thinks

rhyme or reason to it, there’s cer-

HBO limited series The White House

pandemic moving through the world.

they’re going to come out of the

tainly no plan. If I’ve done anything

Plumbers, a comedy set in the early

And then I went out of the frying pan

pandemic with their great novel

smart, it’s been by trusting my

’70s Nixon era that he’s currently

and directly into the fire by coming

or their best screenplay. And the

gut, which has led me astray many

shooting with Woody Harrelson.

back to New York, where I spent the

truth of the matter was, we were all

times. But overall, it’s served me well

“That should take me until, I think,

majority of the lockdown pacing my

terrified, certainly to write comedy.

because I’ve been able to have a very

October,” he muses. “It’s about the

apartment like the rest of us.”

Every idea you dust off, you think,

varied career.”

Watergate break-in and the master-

After that, getting back into Allie

When did he realize that he had a

In the meantime, it seems Ther-

‘Maybe I’ll write about that…’ But you

That serendipity led him to David

Fox’s world was not a problem,

can’t, because you’re just constantly

Lynch, who cast him as a Hollywood

just a hilarious retelling of the actual

he says. “We were one of the first

thinking you’re having a tickle in your

director in 2001’s trippy thriller

true story of how they came up with

productions going back into a pro-

throat, and you need to disinfect

Mulholland Drive. “Someone threw a

the idea—the execution of it and

duction. And to Apple’s credit they

the door knob. I’d love to say that I

horseshoe and I got hit in the head

their ultimate downfall.”

did a fabulous job of really creat-

was very productive. But what I was

by it,” he laughs. In a spooky fore-

“Hence the terrible moustache,”

ing as bulletproof a bubble as we

productive at was embracing my

shadowing of the future, his char-

he explains apologetically. “It’s not a

could’ve possibly created, by keeping

presence and having that monastic

acter is being pressured to cast an

moustache you choose to put on. I

everyone in location and doing rigor-

lifestyle that a lot of us had, which

actress, played by his Mosquito Coast

guess some people do. If you’re Tom

ous testing. I was thrilled to be there.

was: wake up, cook food, walk the

co-star Melissa George. “David is the

Selleck maybe.” ★

minds who came up with it. It’s really

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

9


CHARTED TERRITORY At press time, here is how Gold Derby’s experts ranked the Emmy chances in the Best Drama Series Actor and Best Drama Series Actress races. Get up-to-date rankings and make your own predictions at GoldDerby.com

How composer Carlos Rafael Rivera approached the challenge of scoring the traditionally silent game of chess in The Queen’s Gambit CHESS IS A GAME OF INTENSE CONCENTRATION, with silence only broken by the ticking of the timer. For composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, the task of scoring the game in Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit was impossible, so he opted for a very different approach. “The initial thought was, ‘Every time there’s a game, we’ll hear this music,’” says Rafael Rivera. “That went out the window right at the beginning, because it wasn’t working. Then I started to think, ‘OK, what’s going on with Beth at this point?’” Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon, a chess prodigy at the heart of the show. Her goal is to beat the Russian Grandmasters in Moscow, while trying to overcome childhood trauma and addiction problems. With the focus of the music shifted away from the game and more towards the player, Rafael Rivera centered his score around Harmon’s emotional state. “Having only one theme for her character however felt constraining. The idea was to create music that would support her rather than define her,” Rafael Rivera says. “For her addiction, it fills her, and the theme fills around her. There was a musical theme for when she wins, or if she’s up to something, or if she makes a really interesting move in the game.” As she grew as a person on screen, the music grew along with her. “In Episode 1, using only the piano felt right, because her reality was very simple,” Rafael Rivera says, “but it becomes fully orchestral by the time she has fully matured as a player.” —Ryan Fleming

HIDDEN FIGURES Producer Jennifer Zaccaro on the importance of highlighting the people behind the scenes for Inside Pixar

ODDS

1

Josh O’Connor The Crown

19/5

2

Regé-Jean Page Bridgerton

9/2

3

Matthew Rhys Perry Mason

5/1

4

Billy Porter Pose

11/2

5

Sterling K. Brown This Is Us

7/1

DRAMA SERIES ACTRESSES

ODDS

1

Emma Corrin The Crown

69/20

2

Olivia Colman The Crown

4/1

3

Elisabeth Moss The Handmaid’s Tale

6/1

4

Uzo Aduba In Treatment

13/2

5

Jurnee Smollett Lovecraft Country

13/2

pastry chef who creates edible culinary works of art for the employees, and Patty Bonfilio, the director of facility operations in charge of planning special events and managing the campus. Along with behind-

Did you know Pixar has a dedicated

This documentary series showcases the

the-scenes people, Inside Pixar also

pastry chef? That’s just one person being

artistry and culture of Pixar Animation

follows the creators of some of the films,

highlighted in the short form series Inside

Studios by focusing on the everyday

like Kemp Powers for Soul. “I think it was

Pixar on Disney+. “I’ve always wanted to

people. “Nobody’s job is too small here,”

really cool to see the Kemp Powers piece,”

tell broader stories about our studio,” says

says Zaccaro, “and everyone contributes in

Zaccaro says, “to really see that authentic

producer Jennifer Zaccaro, “and about the

a really meaningful way across the board.”

take that he brought to the table on his

people that work here.”

That involves people like Marylou Jaso, a

end was incredible.” —Ryan Fleming

10

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

VITAL PERSONNEL Patty Bonfilio, director or facility operations, in Inside Pixar.

C HA R LI E G RAY/ N ET FLI X /AN I TA AN D RA D E/ D I S NE Y +

Musical Moves

DRAMA SERIES ACTORS


© Viacom International Inc.


Richie’s story felt familiar: “I instantly related” Alexander felt a kinship to Ritchie, who leaves home for London aged 18, finds acting work, and embraces his sexuality despite the homophobia he’s experienced. “I instantly related to Richie for so many reasons,” he says. “He had these big dreams, big ambitions. He moves to London at 18, just like I did, and he’s very wide-eyed and wants to impress everybody, and be the center of attention. And I had a lot of that, too.” Alexander instantly appreciated the “fleshed out, complicated characters, and queer characters. It’s just very rare to see roles like that, so that’s so exciting.”

10 Things: Olly Alexander & Lydia West The It’s a Sin co-stars reveal how they found a connection and relished paying homage to the brave and beautiful ‘80s BY AN TO N IA BLYTH

When they met “it was love at first sight” Olly Alexander and Lydia West were set to play best friends Ritchie and Jill on It’s a Sin, but their very first meeting wasn’t a bonding sit-down. Right away, they had to sing a duet their characters would perform in the show, but luckily, they clicked. “I was already in the room, and then Olly walked in,” West says. “I think it was just love at first sight.” “We hugged each other, and that was it, it instantly worked,” Alexander adds. “You see from the show that Lyds is an im-

Rehearsals were “like group therapy”

around. I was just like, ‘Oh my goodness.’”

The cast had to recreate a very tight-knit group of friends sharing a house nicknamed ‘the pink palace’, and that onscreen closeness

The band name that brought them together Creator Russell T. Davies is also behind the show Years and Years, in which West starred, and Years & Years also happens to be the name of Alexander’s music band. Is this a coincidence? Not exactly, Alexander says. “I asked [Davies] when I met him, and he told me he was a fan of me and the band. He said he loved the name and it fit for his show. So, I was like, ‘OK, well I’ll let you have that.’ I think it was all a long-term ploy to get me in his next feature film.”

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

was helped by a special rehearsal period. “It was basically like group therapy where we all just got to know each other for a week,” West says. “We didn’t rehearse really any scenes. We all just talked about our past and our present. It was a group of very sensitive actors put together, and every single one just brought the characters to life.”

H BO M AX /RUSS FE RG USON / BE N BL AC K A LL

mediately beautiful, glowing person that you just want to be


Embracing ’80s music and fashion: “I never wear denim”

When Elton called “it was very surreal” “Elton John called us after the show, and it was just so sweet and kind,” West

The ’80s is associated with some pretty out-

says. “It was just a regular Tuesday, and I was going to work. He was just like,

there clothing and some distinctive music.

‘I loved It’s a Sin.’ And obviously, he does so much good work with the AIDS

Alexander notes that back then, you couldn’t

Foundation. He was saying how much a show like this just brings awareness;

listen to music on demand, so hearing a

a show brought into popular culture does so much in propelling the message

song felt really special. “I was thinking about

that we all just need to carry on spreading about HIV and AIDS for the better.

hearing those songs for the first time

It was amazing for him to recognize our work. He’s just such a legend, and

on the dance floor, because you

for him to reach out, that means so much to us. For me as a young actress, it

might not hear it again for months,

meant a lot. It was just very kind, and that was very surreal.”

and having a completely different relationship to the way you hear music, the way you wear clothes. Even as Olly, I never wear denim, and Richie just wears denim. On set, we would all listen to loads of ’80s music, and get together in Lyds’ trailer and dance around.”

West’s mother was an HIV/AIDS nurse West had an important point of reference for her role of Jill, Ritchie’s friend who visits patients and becomes an HIV/AIDS activist: her

The show inspired an increase in HIV testing rates In February, soon after It’s a Sin aired in the UK, The Terence Higgins Trust reported a four-fold increase in orders for free HIV testing—something they credit largely to the show. “It’s amazing,” Alexander says. “You forget some-

own mother. “She was a district nurse, and

times the power of a TV show. It’s the stories that move us, and that has had

she would go around into the hospices in the

such real-world impact, like people ordering more HIV tests. It was just so

’80s, and she treated a lot of AIDS patients.

cool to see people doing that. It’s just great.”

She told me what she witnessed and I gained inspiration from her and many others. It was amazing to be able to speak to people who lived through it, and it’s just horrifying what these poor people went through.”

West’s character of Jill is actually based on Davies’ real-life best friend Jill Nalder. And in an extra twist, the real Jill plays her mother in the show. “It just added an extra level of just care to the project just knowing that I was based on a character who actually exists and is in the room, and is playing my mum,” West says. “It was amazing.” “I remember at the readthrough, we met Jill,” Alexander says. “We were looking over to her to see her reaction, and to Russell, because this story was so important and it’s been waiting to be told for so long. It was really a privilege, and you just don’t want to get that wrong.”

14

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

It’s a Sin changed Alexander’s music The show title references a song by ’80s band The Pet Shop Boys, and Alexander has found the series inspired his own music. “I just can’t tell you how appreciative I am to have had the experience, and just how different it was to my usual career as a musician. I just found it really inspirational in so many unexpected ways. It just really opened up my mind to enjoying a lot of music from that period. When I went back into the studio, I had this renewed sense of, ‘I just want to make dance floor bangers.’”

H BO M AX /RUSS FE RG USON / BE N BL AC K A LL

Jill is based on a real-life person


SMALLER SCREEN Clockwise, from above: Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier; Pedro Pascal and Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian, and Emma Darcy and Matt Smith in House of the Dragon.

HOW TV AND VOD BECAME THE ULTIMATE COMPLEMENTARY COMPANION TO THEATER-BUILT MEGA-FRANCHISES BY ANTHONY D’ALESSANDRO

superhero movies, which have grossed

Disney’s Investor Day back in Decem-

well over $22.5 billion, Feige isn’t wor-

ber, per a statement by Kareem Daniel,

ried. He told Deadline back in January,

Chairman of Walt Disney’s Media and

“As long as [the series] are different,

Entertainment Distribution.

as long as they’re unique and some of

If anything, Disney+ hasn’t buried

the characters might cross over and

the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has

the Marvel logo is at the front, if they’re

2019], and that’s not something to

enhanced it. The streaming service

unique and interesting stories, that

theatrical window, the overwritten

sneeze at. We built those franchises

has become an outlet where Feige and

doesn’t go out of style.”

notion by the media during the pan-

through the theatrical window,” said

his team can expand the storylines of

demic has been that cinema is dead.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek back at the

secondary characters they normally

Disney+ and cinema MCU, there’s Black

studio’s December 2020 Investor Day

couldn’t chiefly focus on in their comic

Widow which hits Disney+ Premier

ers, the truth is they still can’t live

about the grease that’s running its

book movies, like Wanda Maximoff and

and theaters on July 9, Shang-Chi and

without the movie theater.

Disney+ conveyor belt.

Vision in the first MCU Disney+ series

the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will

As streaming encroaches on the

However, when it comes to stream-

As fresh streaming services make

WandaVision, Sam Wilson and Bucky

play exclusively in cinemas starting

waves in the fiercely competitive

nity and something that excited [me]

Barnes in The Falcon and the Winter Sol-

Labor Day weekend, and Eternals,

space, it’s big screen IP that’s driving

when [Disney executive chairman and

dier, and Thor’s Loki, whose self-titled

which debuts only on the big screen

eyeballs. Disney announced on its

former CEO] Bob Iger asked us to start

series dropped on June 9. Feige is using

on Nov. 5. Sprinkled, and not dated yet

Investor Day back in December that the

working on shows for Disney+,” said

these Disney+ MCU shows to weave in

on Disney+, for the remainder of the

studio plans to invest up to $16 billion

Marvel Boss Kevin Feige at the TCA

and out of the label’s big screen movies.

year are such MCU series as Hawkeye,

worldwide on consumer content for

Winter Tour back in February.

The cliffhanger of WandaVision will

Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and possibly

Aside from its new The Mighty

dovetail into the feature sequel of Doc-

She-Hulk. Wrapping up 2021 will be

And it’s the feature franchises and

Ducks: Game Changers series based

tor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,

the theatrical release of Marvel/Sony’s

recently acquired 20th Century Studios

on the popular 1990s movie, and such

which opens in cinemas on March 25,

Spider-Man: No Way Home on Dec. 17 in

library that the studio plans to exploit

series as Turner & Hooch, based on the

2022, while The Falcon and the Winter

movie theaters; another movie which

in amassing premium content and

1989 Tom Hanks canine Touchstone

Soldier will form a bridge to Wilson’s

WandaVision is rumored to feed into.

meeting the demands of binge-hungry

comedy film, the aorta of Disney+ capi-

turn as the Black Captain America in a

consumers. But it’s not just Disney

talizations on legacy cinema material is

new film continuation of that superhero

Disney+? While the studio doesn’t

that sees future revenues in franchises

this: roughly ten Marvel series, ten Star

from Spellman.

report viewership figures, at the time

that the big screen has birthed, but

Wars series and 15 live-action anima-

WarnerMedia’s HBO Max as well.

tion and Pixar series being launched

Disney+ MCU shows will cannibalize

Disney exclaimed that the weekend

over the next few years. That was

the future box office of the brand’s

premiere of The Falcon and the Winter

Disney+, Hulu and ESPN through 2024.

“We had a $13 billion box office [in

16

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

“It was much more of an opportu-

Beyond Loki in the interconnected

In regards to concerns over whether

And how is the MCU doing on

of this report before Loki’s premiere,

C HUC K Z LOT NI C K/ M ARV E L ST U D I OS / LUCAS FI L M LT D./O L LI E UPTO N /H BO

Stream Wars

another piece of news to come out of


F OR

YOUR

CON SI DE R AT IO N

OU TS TA ND IN G DR A MA S ERI ES “

” INDIEWIRE


BIG BUDGET Left, from L to R: Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa in Justice Leage: The Snyder Cut. Right: Dave Bautista in Army of the Dead.

Soldier was their most-watched series

decided to pivot: Obi-Wan became a

the filmmaker’s 6th & Idaho is produc-

relegated its feature theatrical slate

ever. Third-party streaming stat service

Disney+ series with Ewan McGregor

ing with Joe Barton showrunning. The

to day-and-date in cinemas and on

Samba TV, which only monitors

reprising his classic role from Episodes

series will focus on the corruption in

HBO Max for this year only. Meanwhile,

smart terrestrial TVs, backed up that

I-III, and Boba Fett morphed into two

Gotham which goes back several years

Disney cherry-picked which titles went

claim, reporting that 1.7 million U.S.

seasons of The Mandalorian, plus his

and is told from the point of view of a

straight to the service (like Pixar’s Luca

households tuned into the Malcolm

own upcoming TV show, which hits the

crooked cop.

and Soul) or became available on its

Spellman-created series for at least

service this fall: The Book of Boba Fett.

five minutes, besting the 1.6 million who

The famed bounty character made

viewers, per SambaTV, from the release

Chapek has mentioned that Dis-

tuned into WandaVision‘s opening.

his Disney+ debut in Season 2 of The

of the four-hour-plus version of Justice

ney’s response to this has been strictly

Premier PVOD tier day-and-date.

Mandalorian, played by Temuera Mor-

League: The Snyder Cut, with 1.8 million

a matter of being flexible in meeting

million worldwide as of April 6, under

rison—the same actor who portrayed

U.S. households in its first five days;

consumers’ ongoing and continually

the 109 million+ hoped for by Wall

his father, Jango, in Attack of the Clones.

that number ranking behind the stu-

changing demands.

Street Analysts, Disney opted to put its

WarnerMedia also has movies on

dio’s drop of Wonder Woman 1984 over

“When we release a new piece

upcoming summer tentpoles, Marvel’s

the mind, and is emulating a similar

Christmas 2020 weekend, which drew

of content, people are lined up at

Black Widow and Dwayne Johnson and

plan to Disney’s in adapting feature

2.2 million U.S. households. The Zack

midnight to watch it as soon as it goes

Emily Blunt’s Jungle Cruise on its PVOD

films into spinoff series, although less

Snyder-directed DC ensemble, unlike

live on the streaming service; I don’t

part of the service (Premier) for an

aggressively. A Harry Potter series is

Wonder Woman 1984, did not receive a

think people have that much patience,”

extra charge of $29.99 to subscribers; a

rumored to be in early development

theatrical release.

he said recently at J.P. Morgan’s 49th

maneuver which could help the studio

for its streaming service HBO Max, this

to bump its sub base even further over

despite the fact that there aren’t any

chises, but alas, largely for its streaming

the summer.

writers attached yet.

service. Well before Snyder’s zombie

The other opportunity for studios

annual Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference. Warner Bros. has reported that they

heist movie Army of the Dead dropped

will respect a 45-day theatrical window

when it comes to building out cinema

at HBO and HBO Max, told Deadline

on the service on May 21, Netflix had

on 2022 releases and beyond, however,

IP on streaming is that they can tell

earlier this year, “There’s nothing in

already greenlit an anime series spinoff

it remains to be seen if Disney will

deeper stories without damaging a

development, but I think it’s fair to say

of the film, and a future prequel movie

continue to practice a Disney+ Premier

franchise at the box office. In the wake

across Game of Thrones, Harry Potter

directed by and starring Matthias Sch-

theatrical day-and-date strategy into

of Disney acquiring Lucasfilm for $4.05

and DC, these are franchises Warner-

weighöfer which follows his character

next year. While this continues to raise

billion, there was a plan to build out the

Media enjoys and it’s a big advantage

Ludwig Dieter. Army of the Dead, which

ire among exhibitors, it’s evident that

Star Wars films in similar fashion to the

for us, so there’s always going to be

had a week’s exclusive theatrical run

cinema, and its propping of franchises,

MCU, with standalone character films

interest in doing something of quality

in limited theaters, and made around

is the engine that indeed leads stream-

such as Obi-Wan and Boba Fett. The

from those properties.”

$800,000, tied with George Clooney’s

ing by the nose. The two, no doubt,

The Midnight Sky as the 9th most-

cannot live without the other.

first of these character movies, Solo: A

Casey Bloys, chief content officer

Even Netflix wants its own fran-

Two big upcoming DC series on HBO

Star Wars Story, bombed at the global

Max include The Peacemaker, based on

watched movie on Netflix, as it pulled in

box office with $392.9 million from

John Cena’s mercenary character from

72 million global households.

a $275 million production cost and

the upcoming James Gunn-directed

The experimentation of theatri-

marketing fees. This created a lot of

movie The Suicide Squad, out Aug. 6.

cal windows has accelerated during

price/value relationship very high, and

concern among Disney and Lucasfilm

There’s also a new series in the works,

the pandemic, chiefly due in part to

there’s no better way to do it than pow-

brass as to whether they hurt the

which is a prequel to Matt Reeves’

the closure of theaters worldwide

erhouse franchises cranking out regular

golden goose. It was then that Disney

upcoming 2022 Batman movie, which

for a majority of 2020. WarnerMedia

new releases on a monthly basis.” ★

18

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

Exclaimed Chapek during a February earnings call about Disney+, “The best insulation we’ve got is to keep the

COU RT ESY OF H BO M AX / NE T F LI X

While Disney+ subscribers hit 103.6

Recently, HBO Max saw a pop in


VIDEO SERIES

Go behind the scenes with the talented people who work on the most critically acclaimed television shows and films

WATC H N OW AT

DEADLINE.COM/VIDEO


20

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


THE FOURTH SEASON OF THE CROWN DETAILED THE FIRST ENCOUNTER BETWEEN PRINCE CHARLES AND THE YOUNG DIANA SPENCER, PLAYED BY

Josh O’Connor AND Emma Corrin

RESPECTIVELY, WHOSE ILL-FATED MARRIAGE BECAME ONE OF THE MOST PICKED APART TABLOID NEWS ENGINES OF THE 20TH CENTURY. JOE UTICHI MEETS CORRIN AND O’CONNOR TO LEARN MORE. PHOTOGRAPHS BY VIOLETA SOFIA


FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION STAR TREK: DISCOVERY


EXCITING; “IT’S IT’S BEAUTIFUL... ” – VULTURE

FYC


DianaSpencer EMMA CORRIN is

Llewelyn Davies, the inspiration for J.M. Barrie’s

the A-list—during a break from filming on the set

Peter Pan. There was just one issue, which might

of Grandage’s new film, no less—she can laugh

be guessed from the casting of Dench... in the play,

at the memory. “I was honestly convinced I was

Alice is in her 80s. “In my head I was like, ‘It’s acting,

going to get in,” she says. “I don’t think it was an

n hindsight, Emma Corrin has an idea about why

I want to push boundaries,’” Corrin laughs, recalling

ego thing, or cockiness. It was pure naivety. I had

she failed her audition to attend drama school.

the memory. “I’m an idiot, and obviously there was

come straight from school where I had loved

She had been invited to audition for RADA—one

no way they weren’t going to hate that.”

doing drama, and I had a wonderful relationship

I

of the world’s most prestigious dramatic

It wasn’t even her first choice. “I actually

with the drama department there. They had

wanted to do Ben Whishaw’s part, but I don’t

really mentored me. It’s that thing where you had

So, she chose a monologue from John Logan’s

think I could have done a boy’s part,” she sighs. “I

been a big fish in a small pond, and then…”

Peter and Alice, which had first been staged by

hope that’s changing. I’m pretty sure I would do

Michael Grandage in 2013 with Judi Dench and Ben

that now if I were doing it again.”

academies—and she was keen to impress.

Formal acting training is a flexible concept in the US, but in her native UK, drama school is the logical step for any aspiring thespian, so the

Whishaw. The play tells the story of Alice Liddell,

As she sits down to reflect on the year in

the young girl that inspired Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s

which her performance as the young Diana

rejection rattled her. “And in my naivety, it was

Adventures in Wonderland, meeting with Peter

Spencer in The Crown has catapulted her onto

a great lesson,” she says now. “Around the time,

24

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


FINE ROMANCE

Opposite, clockwise from left: O'Connor and Corrin reenact Charles and Diana's disastrous Australian tour; the couple's first meeting, with Diana dressed for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream; a rare happy moment. This page: Corrin in a spookily-accurate recreation of Diana's wedding day look.

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

25


I read an interview with Andrew Scott, and one

perhaps because of the resemblance, I think I

of the things he said that stuck with me was

assimilated the two in my mind. If I’m honest, I

that there is no one way of doing it. Literally,

felt I was playing my mother in some ways.”

that’s all I needed to hear. When you’re an actor

That same empathy came across in the

starting out, you have no control. All you can do

documentary, which also gave Corrin the tools

is prepare the best you can for auditions and

she required to find Diana’s voice. And she fell

turn up on time.”

in love with the woman she found. “I do think

Indeed, Scott had dropped out of his own

the Royal Family,” she says. “And they’re still

to join a theatre company and learn on the

negotiating today. But she made the Royal

job. Vanessa Kirby, who had starred in earlier

Family tangible in a way they hadn’t been before.

seasons of The Crown, is a newly-minted Oscar

She was a human through and through, and that

nominee this year, despite having failed an

was what I came to understand about her, and

audition for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

I think that’s certainly in the version that Peter

Her fellow nominee Carey Mulligan was turned

[Morgan] wrote.”

down by the three drama schools she applied

It makes sense that the producers of the

to. The bold resolve that inspired Corrin to

show would seek to audition their prospective

choose a monologue for an 80-year-old—the

Camillas opposite Diana. After all, one of

same confidence that told her she had aced her

the show’s standout scenes this season is

audition—is the fuel that keeps any actor alive in

a lunchtime confrontation between Diana

an industry that is founded on rejection.

and Camilla that is a masterclass for Fennell

Corrin went to university instead, and when

and Corrin; pleasant, even friendly, dialogue

she moved to London afterward, she hopped

disguising a bitter power struggle between the

sofas and worked different jobs to make ends

lines that the young Diana isn’t sure she can win.

meet as she auditioned and auditioned for roles

—Emma Corrin

“It’s a masterclass in writing,” Corrin corrects.

she never got. “Every rejection, every phone call

“It’s a complete gift for an actor to be able to

from my agent to say, ‘It didn’t go your way,’ I

bring that kind of writing to life because there is

felt the layers of my skin growing. ‘OK, cool, let’s

so much going on between each line. It’s the kind

move on.’ You have to get beyond the fear of

of nuance that really gives you a challenge but

rejection and plow on, because it’s intense.”

also is so good to get your teeth into. You almost

her own family devoured, it was the same

have a complete understanding of what each

humanity Morgan brought to the more guarded

wrong side of the desk at an audition for The

of them is thinking even though it’s completely

members of ‘The Firm’, as it’s known, that made

Crown. The show was casting the role of Camilla

not what they’re saying. They’re both there sizing

the drama so compelling to her. “I was intrigued

Parker Bowles—which would eventually go to

each other up.”

by the characters, the emotions, and the way

And so it was that she found herself on the

Emerald Fennell, who also didn’t attend drama

As the process wound on—and it would be a

they navigated this very particular space,” she

school—and the casting directors needed an

year before she finally landed the part—Corrin

says. The prim and proper stoicism of the Royal

actress to read opposite as Diana Spencer. “It

got the sense that she had succeeded in turning

Family had never previously interested her. And

was a complete no-pressure audition,” Corrin

the job of reading opposite other actors into

yet the notion that behind each of them were

recalls. “I was there reading the part of Diana,

her own audition for Diana. And when she was

these flawed human beings searching for their

which I obviously thought at the time would

eventually cast, she ran the scene again with

own place in the world made them somehow

be amazing to do, but it was a complete pipe

Fennell, this time with Josh O’Connor present at

more accessible.

dream. And yet I was also walking into a room of

the table. “The director, Benjamin Caron, said,

This was especially pronounced for Corrin

incredible creative people, and I thought, This is

‘OK, whichever of you feels you have the power

with the show’s sixth episode this season, “Terra

a chance to show them what I can do.”

in the moment, you can take Josh’s hand,’”

Nullius”, in which Charles and Diana’s fractious

says Corrin. “And it was just Emerald holding

relationship is tested by a tour of Australia.

for any audition. Diana: In Her Own Words, a

his hand the entire time, and me trying to get in

“There’s a moment where you realize, Oh god,

posthumously released documentary in which

there. But it was interesting, as the scene went

this is just a marriage struggling, and people

the Princess narrates her life story, was the key

on, that I was able to get in there when Diana

working on it,” says Corrin. “The emotions

to unlocking an understanding of a woman who

starts to bite back. It was such a great exercise,

they’re feeling—if not the particular details of

died not long after Corrin was born. “I have no

and I think it really helped us on the day to

their conversations—are the emotions we feel

living memory of Diana, but I had this weird thing

acknowledge the elephant in the room without

in relationships all the time. That’s something

where my mum used to look incredibly like her,

acknowledging it directly.”

that Josh and I really held onto; this is a marriage

From the outset, she prepared as she would

VI OL E TA SOF I A

Diana opened something up to negotiation in

drama tutelage in Dublin after six months

I DO THINK DIANA OPENED SOMETHING UP TO NEGOTIATION IN THE ROYAL FAMILY. AND THEY'RE STILL NEGOTIATING TODAY. BUT SHE MADE THE ROYAL FAMILY TANGIBLE IN A WAY THEY HADN'T BEEN BEFORE. SHE WAS A HUMAN THROUGH AND THROUGH, AND THAT WAS WHAT I CAME TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT HER, AND I THINK THAT'S CERTAINLY IN THE VERSION THAT PETER [MORGAN] WROTE.”

and often got mistaken for her in public,” she

Corrin was already a fan of The Crown when

says. “My mum’s the most empathetic, open,

she entered the audition room. Though she

sweetest person I know, and she’s like my best

claims no particular affinity for the Royal Family,

friend. And because of her love for Diana, and

nor much interest in the history documentaries

breaking down, and these are two people trying to make this thing either sink or swim.” Keeping that in mind helped across the board. Corrin describes herself as an inside-out D E A D L I N E . C O M /AWA R D S L I N E

27


actor. It wasn’t so much about the hair, the

she’s glad to be back on set, in Grandage’s

take meaning, I mean, boom, we’re done. That’s

clothes, the costume. Instead, it was about

My Policeman, and is reveling in the theatrical

a huge philosophical question. And what’s

what Diana was thinking and feeling with every

sensibility he has brought to the production.

fascinating about what Peter has done is it

particular scene. “I worked with Polly Bennett,

“We had two weeks of rehearsal on this film,”

doesn’t matter if you’re a royalist or a republican.

who is a fantastic movement and acting coach,

she marvels. “Why doesn’t everyone do that?”

I’m a republican and yet I feel so much respect

It brought her right back to her early days.

and we broke it down a bit. We’d go through

and sympathy for the Royal Family. In fact, I’m a

each scene and figure out, what’s she done

“My roots are in theater. And Michael has an

republican because I feel respect and sympathy

before this? What’s she thinking here? What did

amazing way of steering you in the right direction

for these individuals.”

she have for breakfast? The kind of weird stuff

but making you feel involved along the way. He’s

you do as an actor. But then also, what does she

genuinely interested and inquisitive about your

Crown’s construction that has made it such

want from this scene? What does she think she

take, and how you think it should work.”

a barnstorming success. He is baffled when

Working with Grandage has been a learning

wants? What does she need?”

For O’Connor, it is this aspect of The

people ask for his opinion on Harry and Meghan,

experience, of a kind she actively seeks out with

for example. “I have no idea what’s happening,

has received for this approach came when a

every job. But it’s less about learning the skills

and I don’t keep up with it. But it’s interesting

journalist reacted to a scene in episode six in

of being a successful actor, she says, and more

that people think you would have some sort

which Charles and Diana seem to find a solution

about life. “A lot of people will ask me, ‘What

of insight into these people.” He recognizes

to their marital strife—at least temporarily. “For

did you learn from Olivia [Colman] and Helena

that this is true of Peter Morgan, too, and of

a minute I thought they might work it out,” the

[Bonham Carter] on The Crown?’ And obviously

the historical fiction of The Crown’s narrative.

journalist told her. The weight of the history of

you feel like such a sponge in those situations

It is preposterous, then, that some have called

these very public figures had been momentarily

and it seeps in subconsciously. But the main

for the show to carry a disclaimer that it is not

lifted; even forgotten.

thing you learn through other people is just how

based on fact. Morgan has, for many years,

they move through the world, and how their

made it his stock in trade to imagine what goes

partner in O’Connor. “I read with him a couple

experiences have shaped them. Their stories are

on behind the closed doors of history.

of times in auditions, and we have a friend in

all amazing, and so different. That’s what it’s all

common, so we knew each other a bit,” she

about, for me.”

It helped that she had a sympatico scene

“And what we’re attempting to do is understand that predicament that they’re in and

says. “We got on really well instantly. We were

to empathize with these characters,” O’Connor

naturally comfortable and trusting of each other,

continues. “In Season 3, I did a little research

and he’s a wonderful person to act with because

into how Charles speaks and how he is in public,

he is an active listener, and he gives back.”

but in Season 4, the thing that I could focus on was marriage, and I read a lot of books about

What marks him out, she says, is an emphasis on allowing himself a world outside of acting.

marriage failure. And almost unanimously, in all

She remembers him telling her he felt the work

the theoretical books and articles and personal

could be all-encompassing if he let it. “He

stories, what always struck me—even if people

almost gave up acting to become an artist, and

weren’t admitting it—was how much love there

I think so many of us spent years trying to get here that when we do, it’s like, ‘Great, this is it.’ Almost like resigning yourself to a nunnery. He taught me, yeah, go to Cornwall and learn pottery, or go to Scotland and go fishing and hiking. It helps you; it feeds you.” Corrin’s hobbies are a little more local; she is a voracious reader and has been developing

Prince  Charles JOSH O’CONNOR is

I

is in divorce, and in separation.” Perhaps this is where the confusion comes in, since what Morgan imagines feels true, even if it is not necessarily fact. “Ultimately, Charles was

n hindsight, Josh O’Connor has to admit he

an adult, and he would not have married Diana

has become quite fond of Prince Charles, at

if he didn’t think that it could have worked out.

least in Peter Morgan’s conception of the man

Whether or not he was influenced by his family, I

in The Crown. “The Royal Family are historical

think he believed it could work out.”

figures, or they’re postage stamps,” he says.

O’Connor came to The Crown late. His friend,

with a friend. During lockdown, she made a new

“And when they first came to me about this

Vanessa Kirby, had appeared in the show’s first

pen pal. “She’s called Trish and she lives on a

role, my biggest question was, where’s the soul?

two seasons, and as the phenomenon brewed,

beautiful farm,” Corrin says. “She’s had the most

He’s a figure, he’s a face, and I have no idea what

he would run into her at parties. “I think the

incredible life and has wonderful stories; I went

that’s like in real life.”

first time I saw her, I said, ‘I haven’t seen it yet.’

her passion for writing, working on a screenplay

to stay with her for a bit when lockdown was

But as he concludes his two-season stint on

But then, when I ran into her again, I had to say,

over. She does lino prints, and I spent a week

The Crown and gets ready to hand the role to

‘You’re amazing!’ Partly because I knew she

learning how to do linocut and printing. I just love

a new actor, he has been forced to reappraise,

would be amazing, but also because I thought,

being open to stuff like that. Creating.”

especially after essaying Charles’s agonizing

Well, I’m going to have to watch it eventually.”

For now, though, Corrin is fielding the many

struggle with his relationships with Diana

He understood the show would recast after

offers that have come off the back of The

Spencer and Camilla Parker Bowles in Season

its second season, and when he did finally

Crown’s rollout, and experiencing for herself a

4. “I feel more connected to him now because

catch up, he marveled at the performances and

little of the tabloid interest that once hounded

in fact it’s all soul. The idea that a young man

thought, “Anyone taking over from that lot is

the Princess. As the world starts to open up,

has to wait for his mother to die for his life to

doomed to fail.”

28

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

V IO LE TA SO FI A

Corrin says the greatest compliment she


I FEEL MORE CONNECTED TO HIM NOW BECAUSE IN FACT IT'S ALL SOUL. THE IDEA THAT A YOUNG MAN HAS TO WAIT FOR HIS MOTHER TO DIE FOR HIS LIFE TO TAKE MEANING, I MEAN, BOOM, WE'RE DONE. THAT'S A HUGE PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTION. AND WHAT'S FASCINATING ABOUT WHAT PETER HAS DONE IS IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU'RE A ROYALIST OR A REPUBLICAN.” —Josh O’Connor

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

29


weird, bloody claw of a hand. It’s so terrible.” He was more aptly cast recently as Romeo

happening at the moment. I’m excited about

alongside Jessie Buckley’s Juliet in a new

Emma’s writing, because she’s a proper writer,

production of Shakespeare’s classic romance for

whereas I’m just thoughts on a page.”

the National Theatre. It was going to be a stage

It has been a learning curve. “The BFI asked

play before the pandemic put paid to those

me to send them a beat sheet,” he recalls.

plans. Instead, director Simon Godwin shot the

“I’d never heard those words in my life. I sent

play as a film, and it was released by PBS.

them a painting, a piece of music, and a bunch

“This was my last chance to play Romeo,

of ramblings. They must have thought I was

because I’m definitely too old,” O’Connor says.

bonkers. They were like, ‘Yeah, so, anyway…

He had left drama school at the same time

what’s the film?’” He described it to them as Taxi

as Buckley, and they had been looking for

Driver meets Derek Jarman. “And they said, ‘Are

something to do together. It took on added

you crazy? No one’s going to fund you to make

resonance because of the approach to shooting.

Taxi Driver meets Derek Jarman.’ I was just listing

“I don’t want to spoil a 500-year-old play, but

things I liked.”

there’s a moment at the end where we’re on

O’Connor’s interests are myriad, and many

our deathbed, and as the camera pulls back

of them lie outside acting. His grandmother

we come through the National Theatre, and all

was a ceramicist, and he has been cataloguing

the empty seats, and it is haunting. Then the

her work. “She’s still with us but she doesn’t

message comes up, ‘This company made this

really practice anymore,” he says. “She made

film in 14 days during a worldwide pandemic.’”

sculptural ceramics. And I have made ceramics,

The circumstances of the production might

Now, he too is reckoning with the idea of

head, you just want to get it out, so that’s what’s

but I’m not brilliant. It’s a dream of mine to get

have been necessitated by the pandemic,

into it properly and learn. I feel very fortunate

but it became an unusual hybrid process

that through my acting I’ve been able to get

that O’Connor relished. “What we held onto

closer to my great love, which is craftsmanship

throughout was the rehearsal process,” he says.

and ceramics.” For O’Connor, working with his hands is an

passing on the mantle. “Whoever takes over

“It’s a process we miss so much in film. And it’s

from me will have the task of taking on the

my favorite moment, being in a room with a

extension of the same therapy he derives from

trauma that I’ve set up for him,” he laughs.

bunch of actors and working stuff out. It’s like

acting. “We live in a time in which, with phones

therapy. And then we shot it and the mad thing

and technology, we’re so removed from touch,

will be—Imelda Staunton and Elizabeth Debicki

was that having rehearsed it, everything went

and what I grew up around. My grandfather

have been lined up to play the Queen and Diana,

out the window once you start filming. But all

was a sculptor. I just remember the smell of

among the names already announced—but the

that work was there.”

wood and the way his hands would work with it,

Speculation is rife about who his replacement

smart money is on Dominic West. O’Connor and

Simon Godwin, says O’Connor, “Did not give

like my grandmother with the clay. The idea of

West have previous: he was Marius to West’s

a crap about film. He said to me, ‘I went back to

taking something natural and making something

Jean Valjean in a British television adaptation

watch some films,’ and I asked him what he’d

beautiful with it, with what god’s given you, that,

of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. “He will be

seen. He said, ‘Titanic,’ and I’m like, ‘What?’ That

to me, is the purest form of art.”

unbelievable [as Charles],” says O’Connor. “Just

was the film he started with. I was like, ‘Check

before I did The Crown, I worked with him and

out Citizen Kane!’” But Godwin’s freshness to the

himself in a particular performance, but he is

Olivia [Colman], actually. We shot together for

process was exciting too. “His openness was

hesitant to subscribe to the Method, which is all

weeks while he was literally carrying me through

sensational. There is so much ego in film and he

about that kind of approach to acting. “It’s that

the sewers of Paris. He’s great.”

doesn’t have a bit of it.”

thing where you’re just in it. There’s something

O’Connor had a tough time on Les Mis,

Like Corrin, O’Connor has toyed with his own

He likens it to the feeling that he has lost

peaceful and just natural about that.” He

though, precipitated by an attack of eczema

interests behind the camera. He has a story-by

marvels at Olivia Colman’s ability to “just show

right before shooting began. The skin on his

credit on a film in pre-production that he wrote

up” and mine the depths she does. “There are

hands cracked, and he had to take steroids

with a friend nearly a decade ago. “It’s inspired

times where I look back on my own work and go,

to calm down the symptoms. “They cast me

by a boy we went to school with, and by my

‘I can see me; I can see the work.’ And it’s partly

when I was slim and cool, and then because of

own obsession with Desert Island Discs,” a

because I’ve been in a difficult place with my

the steroids I put on loads of weight, and I was

long-running radio program in the UK in which

own mental health, or life has been going on to a

bulging. Poor Ellie Bamber,” says O’Connor, of the

celebrities pick the records they would take with

degree where I just haven’t put the work in. And

actress cast as Cosette. There he was, playing

them if stranded on a desert island.

that’s fine, everyone goes through moments

Victor Hugo’s stalwart young romantic hero.

Another script he wrote is in development at

like that. But I think committing to a role, like I

“And there’s this hilarious scene that my friends

the British Film Institute, and he hopes he will

did with God’s Own Country and Only You, and

all take the mick out of, which is kind of harsh

be able to direct it. “I mean, I certainly don’t see

hopefully The Crown, where you really invest in

considering I was in trauma. Cosette’s there

myself as being a writer, but I think directing, one

who you’re playing… That’s the moment where

and then Marius comes into frame with just this

day,” he says. “But when an idea comes into your

the magic happens.” ★

30

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

COU RT ESY O F N E T FL I X

THE EMOTIONS THEY'RE FEELING—IF NOT THE PARTICULAR DETAILS OF THEIR CONVERSATIONS— ARE THE EMOTIONS WE FEEL IN RELATIONSHIPS ALL THE TIME. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT JOSH AND I REALLY HELD ONTO; THIS IS A MARRIAGE BREAKING DOWN, AND THESE ARE TWO PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE THIS THING EITHER SINK OR SWIM.” —Emma Corrin


Rapidly Maturing HOW DIANA’S ICONIC LOOK PROGRESSED FROM INNOCENT YOUNG GIRL TO CONFIDENT PRINCESS IN THE CROWN

P

rincess Diana was always known for iconic looks,

According to Hall, the makeup at that point was all about a particular

throughout her life in the public eye, from her

subtlety. “The way to do that was to use what she had, which was just

fairy-tale wedding gown worn with the Spencer

incredibly youthful, gorgeous skin,” Hall says, “and we used round shapes

family tiara, to her black ‘revenge’ dress from the

in the way we applied the little makeup that we did use, like cream blush

night Prince Charles admitted his infidelity. In

or highlights.”

Season 4 of The Crown, the princess, played by Emma Corrin, displayed

After Diana marries Prince Charles and joins the Royal Family, her

the evolution of her style, from her arrival as an outsider to become a

appearance shifts towards a more traditional look. The sweaters and

fully-fledged member of the Royal Family.

natural appearance are gone, replaced with elegant looks more befitting

“It’s a visual story of a young girl, albeit an upper-class young girl,

of a royal. One big change was the addition of more obvious makeup

but still a girl with actually very few clothes and terrible old sweaters,”

to make her appear more mature. “We used 1980s makeup trends for

says costume designer Amy Roberts. “And just introducing her to this

shimmers and cooler colors,” says Hall, “and we used sharper angles with

stultifying world of the court, and being dressed by the court, to slowly

the blush to accentuate her bone structure.”

having her own voice and a say in her own design.” “She had different wigs throughout the season, and they were

As she became more confident and started to make choices for herself, her looks started to mirror her emotional state. “On the Australia

progressively more highlighted with dyed-in darker roots,” says hair and

tour, she wore that shimmery blue dress as she dances and laughs with

makeup designer Cate Hall. “They were more overtly styled as the season

Charles, that was so romantic and lovely and devastating,” says Roberts.

progressed, with more product, more volume, more waves as she aged.”

“It was pure romance, and you thought, for a minute, they might be OK,

When Lady Diana Spencer is first introduced, she is dressed as a tree fairy for a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She hides

but in the end it ain’t going to pan out for those two.” Diana’s use of makeup started to take on a more personal meaning as

behind a plant as she talks to Prince Charles, in the perfect picture of

well. “The blue eyeliner, which she was so known for, was something she

innocence. Roberts says this was the intention for her appearance at the

would use more deliberately as she was stressed,” says Hall. “The more

beginning of the series, “introducing this innocent girl into this rarefied

upset she felt, the more eyeliner she put on, effectively to hide behind.”

world of the court, like a breath of fresh air.”

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

31


Emmy P re v ie w: D rama

Kate Mara In FX’s A Teacher she crosses an unthinkable and life-wrecking line B Y A N T H O N Y D ’A L E S S A N D R O

In FX’s limited series A Teacher, Kate Mara is an educator who grooms and seduces her student, played by Nick Robinson (Love, Simon). The show tracks the fallout of their affair, echoing such real-life scandals as Pamela Smart and the late Mary Kay Letourneau—an especially arresting subject to cover in the era of #MeToo. Mara brings a subtle sympathy to the intricacies of Claire Wilson, forcing viewers to peel back layers in search of her motives. A Teacher is another notch in Mara’s belt of elevating material in a resume which includes such roles as compromised journalist Zoe Barnes in Netflix’s House of Cards and Hayden McClaine in Season 1 of American Horror Story: Murder House.

When it came to the psychology

complications, and her past?

she’s thinking, and whatever, but I

couldn’t quit each other.

of high school teachers who are

Well, we decided very specifically

really admire the ending because

Well, I mean, I don’t think it’s just

involved with their students,

that she was very much the

[showrunner] Hannah [Fidell] just

one thing. I think that most people

what did you learn?

caretaker as a child, with her mother

really wanted to give the character

probably can relate to that kind of

Well, that’s complicated, because

being ill and then passing away, and

of Eric the opportunity to finally

relationship, where it’s somebody

I really don’t have an answer. I

her father being an alcoholic for

have the last say, and to finally be

that, for whatever reason, whether

definitely did research into these

most of his life. That was something

able to have the power and the

it’s just a physical connection, or a

stories, and specifically the Mary

that was important to us because

control, and to look across the table

chemistry, or if it’s just emotional,

Kay Letourneau one, and there’s a

it then shines a light on maybe why,

at this person who really changed

or, I just think that there’s so many

documentary that I watched that

even in her early 30s, she’s feeling

the trajectory of his life in so many

layers to it. I think that the main

I found really fascinating. But it’s

like she never really had a childhood,

ways, and really say most of the

thing is that they both, in that

not like I could go and talk to one

or was never able to let go and

things that he had been thinking

specific time in their lives, really

of these people. I don’t have an

experience that kind of high school

and feeling. So, I thought that was

feel seen by the other person, and

answer, and I think that was one

or even college life, that the kids

very cool, and I also think that

it’s almost like they both feel like

of the reasons why playing the

that she’s teaching are. So, that was

leaving something, not that it’s

they’ve been rescued, in a way, by

character and exploring the show

something that was important for

open-ended, but, I like the feeling of,

the other person. I think that really

is so interesting, because you just

us to do, and we show some of that

some people are going to like this,

just pulls them together, over and

have to do your own assessment,

in the show, but a lot of it really was

and a lot of people are not, and it’s

over again.

and try and find pieces of these

just for us to know as well.

a complicated story, so it’s going to

specific people and stories that

have a complicated ending.

Do you think it’s a bigger stigma

maybe do make sense, or if you

What were your thoughts on the

were to make up a backstory about

ending where Nick Robinson’s

people’s responses, because a lot

crimes than men?

somebody and maybe why they

Eric Walker blames Claire for

of people are like, “It doesn’t matter

Yeah, 100%. I think there’s a real

got to this place, it’s hard, because

ruining his life?

that she served time. What she did

difference between if it was a man,

there isn’t just an answer for that

I definitely sympathize with her.

is not forgivable.”

and if it… I think if it was a man,

that we’re aware of.

I think it would probably be hard

What struck you about Claire’s

32 6 DDEEAADDLLIINNEE .. CC OO M M // AAW WAARRDDSSLLI N I NE E

It’s really interesting hearing

for women to commit these

most of the time when we see that

not to, since I played her, and

What kept Claire and Eric

headline, or we hear that story, we

I do, I know all the things that

coming back together? They

automatically go, “Oh, no, that’s


SIREN SONG Kate Mara as Claire Wilson in A Teacher.

wrong.” There’s nothing, you know,

when we were both auditioning for

The first one is definitely Brokeback

‘hot’ about it, right? And then, when

things on a daily basis, there were

Mountain, because when I got

it’s a woman—and I think is one of

occasionally things that we were

that part, I remember it being

the main reasons we wanted to

both being auditioned for, and we

very exciting. I was in such a small

were living together at the time, so

amount of that movie, that at the

we would actually help each other.

time, it didn’t do very much. But

We would read lines with each

when the movie came out, it really

other, and there was actually a

did feel like it opened a lot of doors

movie that I auditioned for—that is a

for me. That movie definitely led

terrible movie, but I did it anyway—

to the role that I got in this movie

that I had to put myself on tape for.

called We Are Marshall, which then

It was some sort of romantic role,

led to the role that I did in Mark

and she was reading the guy role

Wahlberg’s movie Shooter, and

for me. I just think of that, and it

then continued. It definitely opened

makes me laugh, because we sent

doors for sure.

tell the story—people have such a hard time, or people have a much harder time seeing a young woman as the villain, as the predator. They just do. That’s just the reality. And a lot of kids as well hear this story, or younger people, and go, “Highfive, cool, you had a thing with your older teacher.” We touch on it in the show a lot, but, absolutely, I think that there is definitely a difference, and that’s one of the reasons why I find this kind of story so fascinating, because it really is a cultural thing, and it's specifically in our country, I think. It’s something that our society has really very specifically

C HR I S LA RG E / FX

created as this stereotype. Have you and your sister Rooney ever been up for the exact same

Some people are going to like this, and a lot of people are not, and it’s a complicated story, so it’s going to have a complicated ending.

in the tape, and it’s her voice doing the lead guy role, and me being

What do you recall as the most

romantic with her, and I did get the

rigorous audition you’ve ever

part. So, we had real moments of

had to go through over the

being able to be really supportive

course of your career?

of each other when we were first

Definitely for The Dark Knight

starting out, which I think is such a

to be Catwoman. That was the

rare experience for people to have.

most exciting and intimidating by far, but also so lovely, because

When you look back at your

the experience was so kind of

role in a project?

resume, what were the projects

dreamlike, and Christian Bale was so

Yes, back in the day. I mean, maybe

that created a wave of success

cool and supportive. It’s just a very

now we are, it’s hard to say. But,

in your career?

surreal experience doing that. ★

DL L II N S LS ILNI E DDEEAA D N EE ..CCOOMM/ /AAWWAAR RD D N E33 6


E m m y P re v i e w: D ra m a

Danielle Brooks The Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia star and co-EP on bringing the life and struggles of Mahalia Jackson to light B Y R YA N F L E M I N G

Growing up as the daughter of a deacon and a minister, church and gospel music has had a major influence on Danielle Brooks. After her breakout role in Orange is the New Black, Brooks combined her passions for acting and singing in The Color Purple on Broadway. But Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia takes her back to her roots to play the legendary gospel singer and activist, Mahalia Jackson. As both the star and co-executive producer, Brooks made it her goal to tell the story of everything Mahalia overcame in her life to become the legend that had inspired Brooks as a child.

How did you get involved with

Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Hol-

Mahalia's life beyond just the

Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahalia

Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia?

liday, who had mentioned her name

music alone?

Jackson was one of them. And you

Was this a role you were search-

associated with my voice. From

I wasn’t. I wasn’t until 2016. I’ve

know, these posters give you the

ing for?

there I was just trying to figure out,

been doing research on her since

generic gospel singer, queen of gos-

Yeah, pretty much. This is some-

how do I get something made?

then, because I was so curious. I

pel music, but I saw her face with

knew that generally we have things

those round cheeks and dark skin.

thing that I had been interested in

I told my managers and agent

since 2016, when I entered into The

at the time, “I’m really interested in

in common, but what makes up

I was like, “Man, this reminds me

Color Purple, and two of my cast-

playing Mahalia Jackson, how does

Mahalia Jackson? What was her

of myself.” So, I was introduced to

mates had mentioned that they felt

this work?” So, the universe does

life? Who is she? I got really curious

her, generally speaking, at church.

that my voice sounded like Maha-

this thing, and luckily, a few years

about knowing the ins and outs of

And then later in 2016, I really took a

lia Jackson. And I was like, “wait,

later, I get the call from Kenny Leon,

her. One of the first things I learned

deep dive.

what?” And I was pretty stoked

after working with him in Much Ado

was that she was married and

about that because they opened

About Nothing in the Park, and play-

then divorced. And for a Christian

Growing up in the church, how

a can of worms that I didn't know

ing his leading lady over there. He

woman at that time, that was a big

experienced were you with sing-

that I needed to have a taste of.

called me and asked me to step into

deal. I was super curious on how

ing gospel music?

At the time I was super inspired by

the shoes of Mahalia Jackson for

someone had kept such a good

My first solo at church was six years

Chadwick Boseman as he played

Lifetime. And it didn’t take much for

reputation and for us to not know

old. I sang, “I Won't Complain”.

Jackie Robinson and James Brown,

me to say yes. He always jokes that

all of her hardships. And so that’s

What does a six-year-old know

and he was from South Carolina

it took a prayer, because I was like,

where the research began for me

about complaining? I didn’t know

as well. So, I think to find someone

“Let me pray on it,” which is a very

with Mahalia in 2016.

about hardships, but I was a very

that I had related to and looked like,

Mahalia Jackson thing to say. And

I did learn about her in church

shy singer actually. I was asked to

and really could embody, Mahalia

so, I did and it just felt right. It felt

when I was a little girl. But in church

do some solos in church, but the

Jackson, it just felt right. It felt like

like the right move for me to align

we would go to Bible study and

few clips that my parents have

someone just came down from

myself with people who are going to

Sunday school and we would have

shown me of me singing a solo in

heaven and gave me the sign that

be passionate about the project.

these little classrooms and we’d

church was very shy behavior. But

have pictures of monumental

I always credit the foundation of

I was supposed to play her. And that's what I felt through those

And before starting the movie,

people in the African American

my passion for being an artist to

two people who happened to be

how familiar were you with

community, like Jesse Jackson and

the church because, to me, there

34

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


GOSPEL SONG Danielle Brooks as Mahalia Jackson in Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia.

were so many similarities. I mean

And so, it’s the fabric of who I am

Luther King Jr., that she sang at all

from the audience, to having the

the same way that it was for Maha-

of these major events. I’m thinking

preacher, which is similar to hav-

lia Jackson. It means a lot to me to

of the event in 1963, the march on

ing the lead in your show or movie

get to have sung all of her songs and

Washington, when she told Martin,

to embody her through this music.

“Tell them about the dream.” And

or theater show. And having the ushers and the general experience that you get being there. Having the ensemble, which is like a choir, and the programs, which are like playbills, there were so many similarities. So, the transition just made so much sense for me. But church was

then there were moments where Your singing in the movie is

you sing things like “Amazing Grace”

incredible. How did you capture

or “Precious Lord”, where, to me, it

her unique voice?

made more sense to be in a more

I never quit until I felt in my spirit

intimate space.

that I had gotten it. I sang all of the

For me, since I was a little girl,

music live, but we pre-recorded and

I've always struggled with being

went over the music a week early

OK with my own singing voice and

in Atlanta. And I’m glad we did that

not being so judgmental to the

because it gave me the time to find

voice that I have been given. But

her voice. I knew it was tricky. We

it’s so much easier for me to hide

had two different spaces, like the

and show the vocal range that I

studio space that’s really intimate

do have through a character. So, it

and then we had this grand open

was easier for me to do that when I

space that kind of felt like being in a

played Sofia in The Color Purple on

smaller church. It felt that way, but

Broadway. It was much easier for

it was more open and I kept bounc-

me to use all of the gifts that I have

ing back and forth from it, trying to

vocally through Mahalia Jackson

find her voice and figure out where

versus Danielle Brooks. It has really

it lives in my body. And the open

been a great freedom for me to get

gospel 24/7. I love gospel music. I

space really helped to find songs

to sing and just release all of that

can pretty much sing, or name any

like “How I Got Over”. These things

and get to share more parts of who

gospel song or know most hymns.

that she sang marching with Martin

I am with the world. ★

the foundation for me to gain my confidence as a singer. To learn how to speak in public, when you’re having to stand up in front of everyone and say the Scripture. They had Youth Sunday, where every third Sunday the Youth would take over the service. And we would do the Scripture and we would sing in the COU RT ESY OF LI FE T I M E

It has really been a great freedom for me to get to sing and just release all of that and get to share more parts of who I am with the world.

choir and we would pray. That really was the foundation for me. Gospel music truly is the heartbeat of me. You know, I listen to

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

35


E m m y P re v i e w: D ra m a

Jurnee Smollett The Lovecraft Country star on blood memory, losing sleep over her role, and the upside of being underestimated B Y M AT T H E W C A R E Y

Actress Jurnee Smollett has earned some of the best notices of her career for Lovecraft Country, HBO’s hit supernatural limited series. She stars as Letitia ‘Leti’ Lewis, a young African American woman drawn into an occult odyssey through the segregated and virulently racist America of the 1950s. Malevolent white people, some involved in strange, mystical activities, and bloodthirsty beasts pursue Leti and her traveling companions, Atticus ‘Tic’ Freeman (Jonathan Majors) and Montrose Freeman (Michael K. Williams), across 10 episodes of supercharged action. HBO may order a second season, which would once again put Leti through the wringer.

What was your reaction when

was so struck by the show, writ large,

had it with my father. So I under-

small ways and in big ways. So, the

you first read the script?

and that what [creator] Misha Green

stand it. I understand what it’s like

posture, the walk, the way some-

Number one, after reading it, I lost

and [EPs] Jordan Peele and J.J.

to feel estranged from a parent, only

one sits or stands is very thought

sleep. I felt such an overwhelming

Abrams are doing felt so disruptive

to then lose them for a second time

out. But you get the information of,

desire to play Leti. There was such a

and that they were providing such a

through death. So, I connected to

OK, she’s a former track star, “You

fear that there would be anyone but

compelling counter narrative to this

Leti in a very deep way.

better get your ass on a treadmill,

me playing that. And I don’t really

very dominant narrative within film

have that sort of reaction usually to

and TV and within this genre space. My mentor Alfre Woodard talks

simple, because she would have the

line towards the end of the first

muscle memory. Not only would her

I’m able to trust what’s meant for

about the idea of finding the eyes of

episode where you tell Atticus

muscles kick into gear because of

me is meant for me. And with Leti,

the character. How does your charac-

you ran track in school. And then

the muscle memory, but the actual

it just felt like I was so called, that I

ter see the world? And Leti sees the

a scene where you are sprinting

fear that is propelling her forward, it

lost sleep and had real anxiety over

world through the eyes of the aban-

to keep ahead of monsters.

is life or death. The stakes cannot be

whether or not it was going to come

doned child. Interestingly enough, I’m

I tend to approach my characters in

higher for this woman, so that just

my way.

blessed because I don’t have that

a very physical way, in general. The

brings out another element of a real

relationship with my mother, but I

physicality is very important to me in

primal gear. I did train physically with

We actors are crazy in that way. I

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

E LI JOS H UA AD E / H BO

roles. I’ve been doing it so long that

Jurnee!” [laughs]. It was pretty It’s a very physical role. There’s a


first take, I ran so fast that I actually

an extension of her dignity.

bumped into the cameras. I read that Misha Green is workThe costumes for your character are spectacular. And they say something very important about Leti. I understand you were quite involved in making those choices and working with the designer. I love the element of building the character in collaboration with all the different departments. And in this case, Dayna Pink, our brilliant costume designer, was such a lovely collaborator. We exchanged probably thousands of images back and forth for inspiration for Leti. And it was exactly that—it was an extension of Leti’s armor. It was not about vanity as it was, for so many Black women during this era, an extension of their dignity, right? The second I step outside the house I am representing my race, I am pushing my race forward. Post the Civil War, there was such a spirit of dignity within the Black community, in every aspect—education, occupation, family. Speech was important, how

I felt such an overwhelming desire to play Leti. There was such a fear that there would be anyone but me playing that. And I don’t really have that reaction usually to roles.

ing on a second season of Lovecraft. Anything you can tell us? It’s above my pay grade. It’s so funny about being an actor, we’re told where to go and what to do and have very little say about it. But, yeah, I love playing Leti. I love the show. It kicks my ass. When we wrapped Season 1, I thought, there is no way in hell I could ever step back into this world. And yet now I’m like, Oh, I just want to go back. And I have no idea what Misha’s planning. All she’s told me is that it’s bold and unlike anything that has ever been on TV, but we haven’t actually been picked up for Season 2 yet. I know as much as you know, man, honestly. I have no doubt if, and when, there is a Season 2, whatever Misha plans will for sure be disruptive. She has such a gift for using the art of storytelling to illuminate the humanity of Black folks in a way that feels disruptive and fresh at the same time, but also uniquely

you dress was important because

familiar. Lovecraft is a family drama

the idea of pushing your race for-

at its heart. Each family could relate

ward was of prime importance in

to these family members. It’s a very

the community.

challenging task to make something

It’s something that is so beautiful

so uniquely familiar in this way. I

to me. I’ve talked about this before,

remember watching Parasite and

how growing up, hearing stories of

thinking, Wow, he [director Bong

my grandmother, and even though

Joon Ho] is bringing us into a world

my grandmother cleaned the homes

that feels so unique and fresh, and

of white folks in the South, she was

yet feels so familiar at the same

my trainer, Jeanette Jenkins. We did

a beauty queen. She was the first

time. That’s really storytelling.

a lot of strength training and I had

Black Ms. Galveston. And she would

just had my son. So, when I was

go to work every day and clean their

What are you shooting now?

coming into the pilot, I had a bit of

toilets and their kitchens, with lip-

I’m shooting Lou with Allison Jan-

‘mom bod’ insecurities.

stick on and her hair done and her

ney. It’s a film for Netflix, reuniting

dress perfectly pressed because

with my Lovecraft Country boss,

is they propped the camera on the

she wasn’t going to allow them to

J.J. Abrams. He’s producing. It’s an

back of a tractor. The DP and the

rob her of her dignity. There’s a great

exciting thriller in which I enlist the

director were like, “We'll go slow

quote by Eleanor Roosevelt where

help of Lou, Allison Janney’s charac-

to start and, don’t worry, we won't

she says, “No one can make you feel

ter, after my daughter goes missing.

leave you too far behind.” This is

inferior without your consent.” And I

And we have to pretty much track

what one of the camera operators

think about my grandmother, is that

the kidnapper through the woods.

was telling me. It’s so awesome to

she was not going to allow them

We just had the table read over

be underestimated. It’s my favorite

to make her feel inferior. And so I

Zoom yesterday. I can’t wait to get in

thing, because it fuels me. I was

thought about that with Leti and

the mud with this woman. I’m such

like, “OK, all right, great.” I know the

this is her armor, it’s not vanity. It is

a fan of her work. ★

What was fun about that scene

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

37


E m m y P re v i e w: D ra m a

ANTI-HERO Eric Kripke with Jessie T. Usher as A-Train in The Boys.

Eric Kripke The Boys’ showrunner talks Season 3, breaking down the superhero myth, and hitting “the zeitgeist bullseye”.

We’re in the middle of shooting. We’re just over the halfway point by a couple of weeks. So, full-on production. It’s all happening. I went through the quarantine and was on set for

B Y M AT T H E W C A R E Y

Where are you in production?

about three-and-a-half weeks, just in the beginning, to get everybody off and running. But since then I’ve been

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

here [in LA]. I doubt you want to divulge any Season 3 spoilers, but maybe you could talk about your goals for the season as you get to work on it. We’ve been certainly a political and satirical show. We were really

JAN T H I J S

Behind the scenes on The Boys, Eric Kripke is the man. He developed the hit Amazon Prime series, based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, and has served as showrunner and head writer since its inception. The Boys subverts the superhero genre, imagining a present day where awesome avengers, controlled by the unscrupulous Vought corporation, purport to stand for “truth and justice” while secretly committing heinous acts. Filming of Season 3 is underway in Toronto, with Kripke—who previously created the series Supernatural and Revolution, and co-created Timeless—again at the helm.


interested in exploring both the

capital. I got handed this beautifully

happening in the world, that we really

recent history of Vought, the com-

tailored suit and felt I just had to strut

want to talk about?” And then only

pany in the show, but also through

in that as much as I can.

when that’s over and literally in the

that the recent history of the United

One thing we do, though, probably

States… We got really interested in

even more than the comic, is we really

the myths we tell ourselves, to feel

try to hew to a very ruthlessly logical,

that we’re righteous, really exploring

grounded place of what would really

America itself as a myth.

happen, what would it really look like…

A big element of the comics

if Supes were really real, and if you

actually are flashbacks to World

applied the complete fucking absur-

War II and Vietnam. I always really

dity of the superhero myth to the

loved it because you got to see how

actual world we live in. Where those

the superhero phenomenon didn’t

gears grind are funny and strange

just affect the present, but how it

and absurd. I love living in that sort of

affected parts of the past as well.

deconstructed space, of just simple

And so we have this character, Soldier

questions like, if you were The Flash,

Boy, played by Jensen Ackles, and

you would be blowing up people all

he’s been around since World War II

the time? If you were Superman and

and was the first Vought superhero.

you had eye lasers it would not be a

Through him and through his story,

cute little puff of white light when it

we’re able to explore a lot of the his-

hits you, it would be a horrific evis-

tory of the country, really.

ceration. Exploring all that makes the

I’d say in previous seasons the

world feel more credible, but it’s just

boogeyman for you to be scared of

great fun to break down the super-

used to be, “The terrorists are com-

hero myth that way.

ing to get you.” And now it’s sort of

last week, we’re like, “All right, where’s

All good genre is a metaphor for something. I happened to stumble into this great job that had the perfect metaphor for the exact second we’re living in.

the exploding whale, or the giant dick, or where’s all the things that go on the front of the cereal box?” But that happens very late, because we try to really make sure our infrastructure is on solid ground. You have assembled a wonderful cast of actors. Some of whom weren’t really known before. One of the standouts is Antony Starr, who’s from New Zealand, playing the all-American ‘Homelander’. Casting for me is a lot of luck, because you never really know. You’re guessing on some video that you’re looking at. For him, he was shooting some indie movie in the high desert somewhere and did a selfie audition in his trailer. And it took him a while to even get to a place that had the internet to send it. It was just like he was

metastasized into, I think, a much

It’s a character-driven show,

more ominous, “Your neighbor is

unlike a lot of superhero content.

coming to get you.” And that’s scary

When I was working with Seth

was he had this take on the character

to me, how politics are turning us on

[Rogen] and Evan [Goldberg] to cre-

from the jump, that was the Ameri-

each other. So, we want to explore

ate the show in the beginning, one

can hero whose mask is cracking

what it means to be in America, really.

of the things we quickly landed at

and revealing the sociopathy under-

was, everyone will expect us to be

neath. Just from the jump he had

One of the most remarkable

shocking and outrageous and gory.

that charming American smile, that

aspects of the show is how you

So, we said the most surprising and

almost game show smile down pat,

take on contemporary social

subversive thing we could do is have

but you could see it in the corners of

issues—authoritarianism and

an incredible amount of emotion and

his eyes that he was very, very dan-

celebrity, for instance, which we

heart and hook people into the char-

gerous and psychotic.

just lived through for four years.

acters. That’s the one thing that peo-

Part of it was, I do admit, dumb luck,

ple weren’t expecting on this show.

nitely the only actor we put forward

because all good genre is a metaphor

Part of it was just the nature of, what

for that role… He attacks this as seri-

for something. I happened to stumble

can we do to really surprise them?

ously as any actor attacks anything.

into this great job that had the per-

We try to give it the psychological

on Mars, sending this tape to us. But what I really responded to

He was a slam dunk. He was defi-

Ants consistently gets angry when

fect metaphor for the exact second

focus of an indie film, in the middle

we’re on panels and people talk

we’re living in. I’ve been waiting my

of these flying lasers and fights and

about, “You’re the best villain.” And

whole life to stumble into something

whatever. We, in the writers’ room,

he’ll say what a good actor should

that hits the zeitgeist bullseye, and

spend 75 percent of the break talking

say, which is like, “I’m not the villain.

I don’t take for granted that I finally

about, “What would that do to them

How many times do I have to tell

found one. Part of it is just really rel-

psychologically? And where are they?

you? I’m misunderstood.”

ishing this world Garth Ennis created

And what is their level of insecurity

that is about celebrity and authori-

at this point, or paranoia?” We spend

And then I realized he really believes

tarianism, and social media and

the vast majority of the time talking

that. And that’s what makes a great

misinformation, and how corpora-

about getting inside these characters’

actor great, that it doesn’t even occur

tions present a shiny, happy mask to

heads. And only then when that’s

to him that they’re the bad guy, be-

the world, when what is behind that

over, we say, “What does that remind

cause they’re so deep inside, making

mask is the most ruthless drive for

us of politically and satirically that’s

that character human. ★

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

At first I thought it was shtick.


A TRUE STORY. A POWERFUL TRIBUTE.


E m m y P re v i e w: D ra m a

How Mare of Easttown’s emotional hometown hero story became a huge whodunnit hit B Y A N T O N I A B LY T H

In HBO limited series, Mare of Easttown, creator Brad Ingelsby tells a story of the Pennsylvania community in which he was raised. No stranger to writing about this setting, having visited it before with his screenplays for Out of the Furnace and The Way Back, this time he dug yet deeper into local lore to pinpoint the character of Mare, played by Kate Winslet. She and her co-stars, including Jean Smart and Julianne Nicholson, perfected those tricky Delaware County vowel sounds so convincingly that SNL even created a skit about them, while crime fans quickly became obsessed with solving the show’s twisty, dark murder mystery.

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

I don’t know that the accent is that

you’ve set in PA, but how much

important,” but it was Kate that said,

pressure from your hometown

“No, if we’re going to tell a story about

community did you feel to get

this part of the country, then we have

things perfectly right?

to get it right.” It wasn’t just me, it was

I only wanted to do it if I was

Kate, it was the production designer,

convinced we could tell it in an honest

it was the costume designer—we all

way, in a sympathetic way. And, also

had a sense of wanting to do right by

in a way that was able to capture the

these people, and that meant we had

region and the community, so I think

to try to get everything right, from the

it was a commitment to getting the

sneakers Kate wears, to the backpack

details right. And, if we were able to

she carries, to the beer bottles. We

get the details right, from the beer, to

all just wanted to make it as honest

the pizza shop, to the t-shirts, to the

as we could, and I felt like if we gave it

music that was playing in the bars,

everything we had, then the people in

it was all incredibly important to me

this place would respect us.

and to the cast. I remember saying to Kate about

Jean Smart has said the ‘O’ sound

the accent in particular, I was worried

was the hardest, and the accent

that it’s such a specific accent that

is so varied it’s unpredictable.

I was a little bit apprehensive to ask

I think that was the trickiest part. I’ll

a whole group of actors to try to nail

go home, onto my wife’s street, and

that accent, and I was also worried

if I knocked on the door you’d get

that it would be on their minds all the

a really harsh accent in one house,

time, that it would get in the way of

and a couple of houses down the

their performance. So, I was ready to

accent would be different. So, it

raise my hand and say, “Hey, listen,

was so hard to really lock down the

M I CH E LE K. S H ORT/H BO

Brad Ingelsby

This isn’t the first thing that


SAT U R DAY, AU G U ST 14, 2 02 1 A N AL L- DAY VIR TUAL EVE NT f e atu r ing b ra n d new interviews w i th the nominees SP EN D A DAY W I T H T H E C R E ATORS, WRI T E RS A ND TA L E NT F R OM TH E M OST ACC L A I M E D S H OWS ON T E L EV I S I ON TODAY

co n t e n d e r st el ev is io n . d e a d l i n e .co m


accent. My wife spent her whole life there, she grew up there. She has a really subtle accent, but a friend of hers who spent the same amount of time there, for whatever reason has a really harsh accent. So, we tried to create a spectrum. We could say this is really harsh, really subtle, and let’s land in the middle. That became a part of our effort, to record as many voices as we could and just to create a range, and then Kate wanted to land in the middle, but it required listening to so many voices. I’m curious about how, as a man, you decided to not only make your protagonist a woman, but also a former basketball star, disrupting

DETECTIVE WORK Ingelsby compares notes on the set of Mare of Easttown.

traditionally male tropes and then I wrote a movie about [basketball].

Kate signed on 48 hours after

And of course people want

I did a movie called The Way Back,

reading your script, which is

another season. Do you?

which is really about athletes. So, I’ve

amazing. How apprehensive were

I mean, listen, the chance to work

explored it myself, but it felt like we’ve

you about the casting of Mare?

with Kate again, it’s such a dream,

never seen a woman that had this

I’d say the whole show was going

she’s so wonderful. But, I think we’re

to sink or swim just based on that

both smart enough and we’re aware

character. I mean, it really is the

enough of the dangers of it, and

eyes and the ears of the audience.

we also wouldn’t want to do it just

The great emotion of the show is

because we could do it. That isn’t of

Mare’s character arc. And Mare has

interest to us. I think if there was a

so much to go through in the show,

deserving chapter in Mare’s life that

just the range of emotion. The humor,

was able to build on the opening

the tragedy, the trauma. I mean the

season, that felt like it would be a

therapy scenes alone are just so hard

story that would, in some way, carry

to pull off, and they could have gone

on her journey...

sideways really quickly. That could

I never anticipated an audience to

come off as really hokey, it’s really a

get so wrapped up in the ‘whodunnit’.

tight rope walk that requires an actress

I always thought it was a story of

of Kate’s skill, and, to be honest, I

the community. It was about the

never in a million years thought Kate

characters, and yes it had a murder

would do it. I’ve had the experience

mystery that was serviceable, but I

of, you send a script off to an actor, it

never imagined that week-to-week

takes months, they never return your

chatter... I mean, listen, if I had a

call, they never read it, whatever. So,

chance to write Mare again I would

to even get a read was incredible, and

love to, but I just don’t know what

then to get her to sign on was just a

that looks like.

moment of glory and what it means in this community, and so it felt like that’s an interesting subversion of the genre, the trope of a male that’s had glory and has to find a second one. It felt like that was interesting. Then in terms of the female relationships, I grew up around a lot of women, it was my mom, the sisters, she had three sisters. She had to go to my grandmother’s every week. We’d have dinner, and I grew up with a stutter as a kid so I didn’t like to talk a lot, because when you have a stutter as a kid you’re always embarrassed to talk because you might say something wrong, or not be able to get it out. So, I always was a good listener, and so I spent a lot of time listening to my mom and her sisters, and my sisters, and I was always just so moved by their

I always was a good listener, and I spent a lot of time listening to my mom and her sisters, and my sisters, and I was always so moved by their relationships.

relationships and the way they took

dream come true, because she can do

care of each other and each other’s

anything. And, she’s just so committed

When did whodunnit pop into

kids. They talk to each other and they

to, I would say, not just the character,

your mind? It was so unexpected.

were able to lean on each other, and so

but the story. I mean, the amazing

It took a long time. I was committed

those relationships were meaningful

thing about Kate is after a couple of

to not writing a single word until

in my life, and I was able to pull from

weeks I gave up on Mare, it became

I knew the ending, because I love

those experiences a lot.

Kate’s creation. She took ownership of

these mystery shows. I’ve seen so

I think that what I love about

the character, and I was very happy to

many over the years, and the worst

the show the most are the female

stand on the side and say, “It’s yours,

thing is when you get to the ending

relationships, and that the men are

Kate.” But, even after that, she was

and it’s a bit of a let-down. I’ve seen

really the ones who were trying to

so committed to the story. I mean,

a number of those, and then you

mess everything up, and the cause of

she would even give me notes on the

question your commitment to the

the conflict in the community.

police timeline.

hours that you spent watching it. ★

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

M I CH E LE K. S H ORT/H BO

just letting that live?


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