Aaron Stamford and Amanda Schull of SyFy’s 12 Monkeys joined us reporters to discuss this new series.
You know the series deals with time travel. As actors, do you ever find all the different timelines confusing and how did you manage to keep it all straight?
Aaron Stanford: Well, thankfully there’s a large army of people devoted and dedicated to keeping all that information straight, but yes, it can get very confusing at times, particularly when dealing with situations and scenes where there’s multiple versions of yourself running around.So, yes, I was definitely confused by it, but there were always plenty of people on set that you could turn to if things get to be a bit too much.
Amanda Schull: Sure, if you want my input. I concur entirely with Aaron. I also am a very meticulous note taker, so I usually have my notebook on set just even for things that they wouldn’t necessarily be – the army that Aaron mentioned of people who are dedicated to that sort of thing.I have my own notes what my character knows, what she doesn’t yet, what has happened, what hasn’t happened yet because with time travel it can get a little bit confusing for sure, not only for Aaron’s reasons where there might be multiple versions of yourself, but also you know in different years what you may or may not know and what has or hasn’t happened yet.
For people who are actually familiar with the original movie and fans of that movie, how would you convince them that they need to watch the TV series?
Aaron Stanford: Well, I’m a huge fan of the original movie and I was excited to get involved in the project for that reason, and you know I think that the – what I like about it is it’s a chance to expand and explore the universe of 12 Monkeys on a much larger scale. You know it’s a great chance to turn it into a much more epic story.You know the film 12 Monkeys was based on a short film called La Jetée by a filmmaker named Chris Marker in 1962. And it was basically the same plotline but it was a very different execution you know it was a small bite-sized chunk and then 12 Monkeys took that and they expanded it and made it their own and now what we’ve done is the same thing. You know 12 Monkeys is the inspiration and it’s the source material and we took that and we turned it into you know to something different and much more expansive.
Amanda Schull: You don’t need to be just a fan of the film or just a fan of the series. I think you can be both because you know what Aaron said that we expanded but also our characters are different from the film and the storylines are different from the film. It’s got the same sort of original kernel but its own entity.You know we have this luxury of researching episodes. We don’t – we’re not constrained by time. So, we have a lot of different characters that are introduced and – with guest stars and storylines that I think will be interesting for people who loves the movie and people who aren’t familiar with the movie.
Given current day concerns about things like pandemics, I think that the story in this show is probably timelier than it was in the movie 20 years ago. What do you all think about that?
Aaron Stanford: Well, there’s a lot going on right now for sure, but I think – honestly I think that you know this subject has been ripe for exploration for a very, very long time.
I mean, right now everyone’s mind is on you know the newspaper headlines about Ebola, so that’s what you’re thinking about right now. But you know this type of this has been going on for a very, very long time. You know it’s the plague in the Middle Ages, and you know …
I just got through reading the book about the Spanish Flu of 1918.
Aaron Stanford: Exactly, yes. I was going to say, the influenza outbreak in the early 20th century, 1918, and H1N1 – the list goes on and on. You know, it’s been a very viable threat for a really long time, now just as much as ever.
A goofy thing. If you all had a time-travel device, you’re very young where you could go anywhere you wish, where would you like to go?
Aaron Stanford: That’s a tough one. You have one Amanda?
Amanda Schull: I – you know what? I used to – I think that my answer was that I would want to go explore kind of a monumental moment in history, but maybe I would just like to go and hide probably, hide out, but witness dinosaurs, sort of roaming the earth. I think that would be fascinating.
Aaron Stanford: I mean the difficulty is this, is that you know all these periods throughout history are fascinating, but the question is, would you really want to go there?
Do you really want to give up hot showers? You know you want to give up indoor plumbing, you want to give up all your conveniences? So, I think if I could go anywhere in time I would go to a fictional future where they had created a hollow deck, like on Star Trek, and then you could visit any place you want throughout history with all of the modern conveniences.
Amanda Schull: Aaron, you’re so fancy with your answer.
Aaron Stanford: It’s the ultimate answer.
I was wondering what it was like filming in Toronto, are you guys done filming now?
Aaron Stanford: We are. Yes, we finished about a month ago.
You’re lucky you missed really cold weather.
Aaron Stanford: Yes, it was sort of an absolutely perfect time slot. We were there from I think it was the end of July till the beginning of December, Amanda is that it …
Amanda Schull: Yes, that’s right.
Aaron Stanford: Yes, it was perfect. And I’ve been working in Toronto for the last four years on a different TV show called Nikita.We were there through all the bitterness and the really, really hot summers and the cold winter, so it was nice to have like we just hit that sweet spot where it was perfect, just got like you know the tail end of the summer and then all the fall with the beautiful foliage and then beginning of the winter and then we got out. Beautiful.
Just a follow-up to one of the other things that you mentioned. You said that you’re going to have a lot of interesting characters and I know that both Demore Barnes and Todd Stashwick have mentioned that they’re going to be on the show. Can you tease anything about their characters, who they’re going to be relating to, if we’re going to see them in the past, present, future?
Aaron Stanford: Yes, I think we’re allowed to tease out. They’re both from the future and they’re both pitted against each other on opposite sides. And one of them is going to be like – sort of like a scavenger king, and he’s like – he’s leading an assault against Demore and the force of the civilization.
Just a quick question for you Amanda, I don’t want to use all the questions, but – so how is it going to split between present and future? I’m assuming that Amanda you’re just going to be basically in the present, right?
Amanda Schull: Yes. Dr. Railly was in 2015. So, what she knows of the future is basically only what Cole has told her. So her understanding of what’s going on is limited to that at this point.
Tony Tellado: Thank you guys. It’s great to talk to you again. I’ve met both of you at the SyFy Holiday Party in New York City and that was a lot of fun and had a chance to talk to both of you for a little while, so it’s great and I’m really excited. Saw the first nine minutes of it and I’m hooked.
Amanda Schull: Wow.
Aaron Stanford: Thank you.
Tony Tellado: Right off the bat, I would say what’s really cool is the chemistry between you two, which is so important in the series like this and if people had a magic formula, had a bottle something like that, they have it. Talk about how you developed working with each other a little bit. I’d like to pose the way you brought intensity to Cole and Amanda, just you know she wants to like set up all these things to deal with pandemics and here’s this guy telling her what’s happening, it would happen in the future, so it’s like, it was almost like a (fig) kind of thing for them too more than anything else, but just talk about your chemistry and kind of get – setting that up together and working together that way.
Aaron Stanford: Well, Amanda couldn’t stand me at first, despite …
Amanda Schull: At first.
Aaron Stanford: … in fact, and it was a long period of having to win her over. That’s what have led over into our characters.No you know I think you know it gradually develops for me also you know over time, over you know we never – it’s not like a film where you read the scripts and you know what the story is from beginning to end, because you have the whole scripts right in front of you.You know we don’t really know the whole story at the jump. So you know you’re watching things, the relationship sort of unfold in real time from my perspective anyway, and like you said you know they were – they’re thrown together by fate, they don’t really have much choice at the matter and they’re very, very different people, they’re absolute opposites, but they’re thrown together and I think that through this you know the crucible of what they have to do is a very, very difficult mission. They form a bond.
Amanda Schull: I would – I could add to that, so – I mean working with Aaron just from a personal level not just you know from character level, he shows at the set very prepared and he does – gives you a 110 percent for every single scene, for every single page. And so, I think that helped with just our on-set chemistry which hopefully translates to the on camera chemistry that it’s nice working with someone who gives you as much as you give them and you can have an equal relationship and that has allowed us to be honest with the material because we both invest completely into each character.
Aaron Stanford: Yes.
Tony Tellado: I think what’s really neat too is the way they kind of perceive each is you know from your vantage Amanda, is this guy a psycho, is he stalking me and then you’re trying to – as Cole, you’re trying to convince her that you’re from the future and you have all these details about her, you didn’t both kind of speak to that line that you have you know is it – is he crazy, is he not crazy and – but yet he sees – he says some things that are believable and plausible, so kind of talk about playing that aspect of the relationship.
Aaron Stanford: The aspect of …
Tony Tellado: Well, it’s like you’re trying to convince her that you know you are from the future and obviously (hearing) things are saying you know this guy is probably thick or crazy and yet you say some things that are plausible and possible and you have details about it that only she would know, so it’s you know just kind of playing that line, would you – you can’t get too manic with but you have to also be convincing. And then the other way from Amanda’s point is to you know you’re – you have to – you’re a little guarded, you’re not sure what he is but yet, he does kind of reach you a little bit too. So you’re both kind of walking a fine line there.
Aaron Stanford: Yes. I mean for – from my perspective you know so you have something that you know to be the truth. You know that it’s fact, but everyone else it seems completely impossible, it seems like it couldn’t – it could not possibly be true, so it’s a very frustrating situation to be put in. You know it’s a pretty tall order to get someone to believe something that is impossible.
So you know when he ends up having to do in that scene you know it gives her bits of information here and there that you know are – they start to sway her a little bit, but you know eventually he realizes the only way to prove to someone that the impossible is true really showed him some things that is possible and happen right in front of their eyes, and that -0 that’s what he ends up having to do.
Amanda Schull: Well from my perspective I think, for Dr. Railly it’s exactly what Aaron just said that, it was really just to prove he’s not anything that he could possibly say, it’s something that she sees with her own eyes. She trust herself. She doesn’t trust this man in front of her, so she trust what she sees and she knows that to be true, which is what sort of allows her to go on this ridiculous journey with him because she knows what she saw and she knows her own intelligence, otherwise nothing he said would matter.
Tony Tellado: Cool. I think it’s going to be a relationship that’s going to be a lot of fun to see unfold as the series goes on and you guys are obviously bringing your A game to it, so I can’t really wait to see what happens.
Aaron Stanford: Thanks a lot. Much appreciated.
Amanda Schull: Thank you so much. Tony, that’s so kind of you, thank you.
Tony Tellado: You’re welcome. Take care guys.
I apologize in advance to anybody on the phone who hasn’t seen the first hour, so I’m going to ask a question that’s a little bit spoily, but we find out pretty early into the first hour that Cassie fell apart a little bit between Cole’s first two visits because she chose to tell the truth, do we ever look back at those intervening two years to kind of see what made Cassie decide to sort of tell everybody what she saw rather than keep it to herself and wait Cole out and then the second part of that is that although her career seems to fall apart between 2013 and 2015, the timeline’s unaffected as far as her still being at the CDC in 2017, so will we get into a little bit of that about how these things have managed to still keep Cassie’s timeline intact, as well?
Amanda Schull: So, you’ve seen the first two episodes and I think a lot of what you just asked both parts of those questions will be answered in the third. I think that a lot of that will be playing in the third and I think regarding what you asked about her you know not keeping her mouth shut and sort of telling – well, the police are on the scene, right when he disappears.And so, I – we don’t see on camera what exactly happened but I would imagine that they know that something happened, although they probably assumed he disappeared you know like climbing into a pole or up a ladder or you know somehow escaping. But like I said to Tony in the last call, that you know she knows what see saw and so I think that’s why she doesn’t keep her mouth shut.
She maybe doesn’t necessarily scream it from the mouth and talk, but she definitely told Aaron because he’s her partner in life and she would obviously share with him something that’s really troubling her or intriguing her, fascinating her and who knows who he told and in her state of shock what she said to the police on the scene and the report.
And you see it register for Cole, when he comes back and she immediately says she was a doctor, she’s not anymore and he realizes that he’s really upended her life, does that weigh in to how Cole approaches each mission going forward since that sort of the basic construct of the show is he’s going to have to keep coming back and using her.So do we see that way on Cole? Is he has to get …
Aaron Stanford: Yes, absolutely. As time goes on, and you know and the relationship develops and she comes to mean something to him, he does, he starts to realize really what he’s asking of her, and the toll that it takes on her and it becomes an inter struggle for him you know whether or not he wants to continue with this and put this person that he cares about you know through difficulties and in danger.
Your performances in the first two episodes were really riveting and I’m already loving this version of the story. Can you tell us about how each of you came to be cast, where there multiple rounds of auditions for you both and chemistry reads or the like?
Aaron Stanford: Well, Amanda you were – was cast first. So, why don’t you take the lead?
Amanda Schull: I don’t even know if that’s an accurate statement though because I don’t – I would say you know I got the script before Aaron and I did go into the hopper before Aaron did, but I think it wasn’t until Aaron and I had a chemistry read together that they finalized the casting. I’d say that that was really when it was all filled up.Wouldn’t you say, Aaron?
Aaron Stanford: Yes, I would say. You know it was a confusing casting process and that’s usually how casting processes are. You know there – they can be sort of a mess. Because you’re looking for something very specific and you’re looking for oftentimes a very important chemistry between two characters, so they don’t necessarily want to nail one person down until they’re sure the other person’s going to be and they’re sure if those people are going to have that sort of intangible ephemeral thing between them you know that spark.
So, yes, the – I can tell you the final round for me was coming in and reading with Amanda and it was – I still remember it was you know was a great experience, they really put us through it, there was a lot of improv and she came 100 percent prepared and ready and it was extraordinarily helpful. And you know we make something happen in the room, the – I think that’s how I got the part anyway at least.
Your chemistry together is very engaging. But Amanda, you appeared in an episode of Nikita in 2013, I don’t recall specifically, but did you have any scenes with Aaron then or perhaps get to meet him at that time?
Amanda Schull: No. I didn’t have any scenes with Aaron. All of my scenes were with Maggie and I had one scene with Lyndsy. So I didn’t get a chance to work with Aaron or Noah at all.
Aaron Stanford: No, she was busy kicking ass on that show, so it’s a primary function.
Amanda Schull: I think that final ass that was kicked was mine, however.
Aaron Stanford: Well, always Nikita was easy to do you know? You got some good ones in though, for sure.
Amanda Schull: I got a couple of punches in.
It’s surprising you know it still surprises you, everyone have seen the movie you know 20 years ago will be happy to know to how different it is. What –going back to time travel question sort of on a more personal level again, if you could go back and change one thing either globally or personally, what would you maybe pick at this present moment?
Aaron Stanford: I didn’t prep for that one man.It’s so much, that special …
It’s so much that’s why it would totally change from moment to moment.
Aaron Stanford: I would definitely moment to moment because it’s like butterfly effect you know? It’s a ripple. You know if you change …
Amanda Schull: It would change one thing, what does that change going forward? I mean maybe you’re not supposed to get so heady with this question, but this is really …
Aaron Stanford: I tell you what, I’m not prepared until like I have a nice long bull session with a bunch of friends and we talk about like what’s the most important thing to change, I won’t be confident in my answer.But I will say this, but what I – one thing that I would love to do, which I think anybody would love to do is go back in time and find a much younger version of myself and fill myself in all the things that I don’t need to worry about and give myself a little bit advice on life.
Amanda Schull: Yes, but Aaron that would totally change what you would be like going forward.
Aaron Stanford: Yes. It’s true. What if you – she’s right, what if you screw everything up?
Well what if there were no repercussions?
Aaron Stanford: See that makes …
Amanda Schull: Well how do you know there – how do you know there are no repercussions?
Maybe because you can do it again. It’ something you can go back and do …
Amanda Schull: OK. You mean over and over again.
Aaron Stanford: Because the leprechaun who’s allowed us to travel back in time then there are no repercussions.
Amanda Schull: OK. There are probably some people whose numbers I would delete a lot faster than I did.
Well, and I imagine maybe in doing the research for your roles and for you know different time in history in different locations, were there any surprises that you came across with – that you – was unexpected in doing a research?
Aaron Stanford: Yes. I mean one of the – well the very first unexpected thing that I came across was that essentially time travel is possible, it’s mathematically possible. It’s been proven to be so, which was not something I was aware of. I thought it was entirely a flight of fancy and fiction, but the truth is they – essentially they know how to do it, it’s just a matter of having the technology and the resources to do it. So that was an eye-opener for me.
Amanda Schull: When we went to go do the pilot Aaron, and I was going for you know this hair and makeup test before we actually shot it and we were only going to be in Detroit for one night, we had – Aaron had a carryon of about six different books relating all to time travel, that he thought he was going to somehow read all in one evening and be able to totally understand time travel by the time … … we started …
Aaron Stanford: Yes.
Amanda Schull: … shooting.
Aaron Stanford: I didn’t really think that one through.
Now you could give yourself more time to read them.
Aaron Stanford: And then of course you know almost none of them proved to be helpful because you know our version of time travel is you know is our own. It’s like it’s a fictional version of time travel that’s – that is a little more conducive to storytelling.
I know how – at the beginning of the call you guys talked about obviously how much the show is different in that, but I’m curious was there anything in particular about the characters from the movie that maybe you thought about as you created your version, like anything that you did pull from at all?
Aaron Stanford: For me you know it was a really interesting role for Bruce Willis, what he did with it. You now, he’s generally remembered for you know really his action roles, just remember the John McClane, and he really brought this child-like innocence to the role in 12 Monkeys and it was expressed in his experience of our presence you know of our roles. This was a man coming in you know unimaginably unpleasant, difficult place where all of the you know pleasures, comforts, and everything, art, it was all take – stripped away from him.So his experience of our world was very similar to that of a newborn. He’s experiencing everything for the very first time and I really liked that choice and that idea, so I did try to bring a little bit of that to my performance as well.
Amanda Schull: Well, I didn’t re-watch the film before we shot the pilot. So, I didn’t want to try to – I didn’t want Madeleine’s performance to affect my performance because we’re different characters and I don’t think I could ever do her performance, she’s brilliant you know? So, I didn’t – I made the choice to be different from that, how – and we are different characters in a lot of senses, different careers and you know different life trajectory.But, going forward in the series, I did watch the show – the film before we shot the show and I think that the soft spot that Dr. Railly has for Cole is probably a very similar dynamic as in the film that you know a lot of things can happen on the periphery but at the core there’s a connection between the two characters.
I was curious, do – you two have any like favorite action scenes or anything? I don’t know how much you know is in the season following, but I know you’re at least like running away from the exploding watches like, the best way to put it.
Aaron Stanford: Yes.
Amanda Schull: Aaron did a lot of fight and action sequences. He’s great at them.
Aaron Stanford: Yes, there’s a lot of action. I’m trying to think, if there’s a – if there was a favorite. I mean, I think any favorite action sequences I had involve another actors we have in the cast, Barbara Sukowa who’s a very, very well-known and celebrated German actress if you don’t know her.Has been around for a long time and has a pretty amazing resume and body of work. But one thing that she had never done ever was an action scene. She’d never been involved in an action, she’d never watched – heard a gun fire, she’d never fired a gun, none of that. So, basically any action sequence were she was on the – was around or on the scene was my favorite because I could watch her react to these things.She was so like blown away by everything in sight. That was a lot of fun for me.
Amanda do you have any?
Amanda Schull: I actually do get to do a bit of action around the series, and anytime that I know I get to do something I’m very excited. There was one scene with you Aaron where I slipped into kind of like a slow-motion like slide to my knees, that was not one of my favorite things. But I …
Aaron Stanford: Which scene was that?
Amanda Schull: It was in that warehouse that night, and it was really slippery. I don’t want to give so much on the phone.
Aaron Stanford: That would be cool, yes.
Amanda Schull: … yes, like painful to watch in my embarrassment. But you know I think anytime I get to do something myself I’m thrilled just because I love to be physical with my work and so I’m always excited when I have an opportunity to do that.
If I can remember correctly, it’s been awhile. In the original movie, I think they held the belief that time was somewhat immutable, that is you really can’t change anything significantly by going back in time, but in the series, the opposite at least appears to be true in that that’s actually Cole’s mission to go back in time to change the past to prevent the …
Aaron Stanford: Yes.
… plague from even occurring. Is this actually a true statement something that they’re changing or are we going to find out more information as the series go along? Just what can you say on that without giving too much away?
Aaron Stanford: I think I’m allowed to say that your observation is 100 percent correct. In the film, the understanding was that time was fixed. There was absolutely no way that they could change it and Cole’s mission was only to go back and observe and bring back information. And that holds with the current theory of time travel that comes from Einstein’s theory of relativity that you can travel through time but you cannot change it.So, for the series, I think they sort of – in order to tell the kind of story they wanted to tell, they needed there to be the possibility of change. So they sort of went a different route and there are ultimate series of time travel that do allow things to be altered and changed and that’s quantum theory.So, the movie goes with relative theory and the TV should go with the quantum theory.
And as a quick follow-up, I guess that was related to the question I had about the character Leland Frost. Now I have seen – this is a little bit spoiler already question you know I’ve kind of bummed out at the end of the pilot, I love the pilot, but at the end with what happened with the Leland Frost character because I actually love the actor, but he had mentioned being whole – in 19 you know (pick), like two decades prior, is that something we’re going to see again? Are we going to see that character again? Can you give any hints to that?
Aaron Stanford: I think that’s something that we can’t actually spoiler.
Amanda Schull: But I think that we can say that you’re a very observant audience member.
Aaron Stanford: Yes.
And I’m wondering to both of you, when you were given guidance about playing your roles, did the producers give you any guidance about how you deal with pandemics? How – what is the edge by dealing with health crisis going out of control? And I’m wondering how comparable it is to what Helix was doing?
Aaron Stanford: I think – well, they might’ve spoken to you a little bit about that Amanda. I mean, you’re you know you – your character ends up working for the CDC.
Amanda Schull: Right. Well, I – they didn’t give me any guidance specifically about how my character would deal with that other than what a virologist would do specifically in that instance. And in episode 3, you’ll see a flashback of Dr. Railly dealing with that exact scenario, and so you’ll understand and I was – you’ll understand how she would handle that sort of situation because she becomes immersed in it.
Aaron Stanford: They get into various various little bits of protocol here and there, right?
Amanda Schull: Right, yes.
Charles Roven was the executive producer on the film I think on the film is a producer on this, did he give you any guidance about how to play your roles or what the tone of the series should be compared to the tone of the film?
Aaron Stanford: No, he didn’t specifically. He stayed you know as – in terms of performance, I know that he stayed pretty hands off and he allowed us leeway to you know to sort of find our own way, which is great. You know it’s – this is – it’s – the show is inspired by the movie, it’s based on the movie but it is definitely not the movie. It is a – it is an entirely different thing and that was the idea, we wanted to make it our own.
Simon Applebaum: Amanda anything for you?
Amanda Schull: No, Chuck didn’t give me any direct character notes. I’m hearing this right – both he and Richard Suckle are very generous in allowing the writers, the you know the creators and then the actors as well, of a lot of interpretation and a lot of flexibility, so we’re very fortunate in that regard.
I was wondering if either of you were given show bibles ahead of time to detail your character’s back stories or did you essentially discover all those of types of details as the shooting progressed?
Aaron Stanford: I certainly wasn’t given a bible, but I did have a sit-down with Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas, were the two writer-creators of the show, and they gave me a rough breakdown of what the character’s journey was going to be. And in TV, I think that’s usually as good as it gets because that’s all the writers had, a rough idea.And as time goes on and they watched the episodes develop, they see how things change on the day and what the dailies look like and what the acts look like when they’re cut together you know there’s always little nips and tucks and tweaks that are going to be made.
Amanda Schull: I wasn’t given a bible either and like Aaron I had a couple of long conversations with both gentlemen, as well as checking e-mails and we’re very fortunate that both of them came up periodically to watch and we could talk between scenes and even talk during the scenes about what did he meant and the trajectory of the character you know in the short term as well as the long term over the course of the – in episodes, and my character does have a very specific arc and they wanted to make sure that I was aware a bit of the endpoint, that they knew that they were going to get to, so I could keep that in mind, which is a nice luxury because as Aaron said with television you don’t know where you’re going but I knew the definite point that I was going to finish up, I just didn’t know the specifics of how I was going to get there, so I just needed to make choices along the way that would justify that endpoint.
Aaron Stanford: Yes. You usually know the start and the destination and the road there is sort of a question mark.
Amanda Schull: Yes.
The first two episodes essentially you’re a twosome, you’re a pair, but with the character that Noah Bean plays and Emily Hampshire plays as well, it seems like there’s a possibility that at some point you could become a trio. Is there a third character that – or an additional character that either of you spent the most time with besides each other that you might want to talk about shooting how that went?
Aaron Stanford: I think Noah would be the third member of the ménage a trois you speak of, right? Noah Bean plays the character of Aaron …
Amanda Schull: Aaron Marker.
Aaron Stanford: … Mark, Matthews …
Amanda Schull: You have trouble remembering that name.
Aaron Stanford: Matthews’ love interest. And he is put into a very difficult and precarious situation. He is in love with Cassandra but he believes that she’s lost her mind and in trying to protect her he ends up pushing her away and damaging the relationship and then it develops from there. I don’t want to get too much into it because that’s spoilery.
He seems like ripe for perhaps becoming a trusted ally or maybe not. One last question here, your series was the first to be paired with Philips Hue home lighting live effect system.
Aaron Stanford: Yes.
I’m wondering if either of you have gotten to experience an episode of your show yet with that system.
Aaron Stanford: I – as a matter of fact just experienced it. I was – I went to the CES conference in Vegas and they had their whole rig set up in a room playing on a loop with the pilot, so we got a chance to see it and it’s pretty cool. It’s pretty cool I got to say.You know it’s fascinating, they have to – in order to make it work, someone has to write what’s called a lighting score, so it’s similar to scoring the show with music. These guys score it with light, so it’s really nice addition to the experience and it turns it into an even more immersive experience. A lot of fun.
So you mentioned that there are different versions of timeline effective and how time travel is characterized between the show and the movie. Does that give you a little bit of a safety net from episode to episode where sort of in the back of your mind, well we can reset this, is something kind of goes one way or another with the characters or with an art, is that ever brought up in the conversation that if you mess something up or something goes sideways, there’s going to be other opportunities to go back and fix it?
Aaron Stanford: Yes. There’s an element of that but I think they didn’t – don’t want to use too much of that, you don’t want to lean too much on that because it takes the stakes out of the situation. You know you want there to be the sense that things matter you know that if you don’t achieve this goal or if you screw this one thing up, it’s going to have consequences.So, I think what they’re trying to use the time travel element for is more to complicate and make things more difficult and less to use it as a get out of jail free card.
Talk about working with Tom Noonan.
Aaron Stanford: Wow, what does – what can one say about that? I mean he absolutely inhabited the character. I mean plays a very, very frightening and imposing character and pretty much the entire time he was on set he had the entire cast and crew terrified of him.
So, he …
Amanda Schull: That’s so – that’s not true. He’s a softie.
Aaron Stanford: I was terrified. He’s an imposing guy. I mean, yes, every once in a while he drop character, but you know he really – he’s a consummate method actor.
Amanda Schull: Well you know I think I had a unique experience with him because there was – we definitely had a few nights where for whatever reason Tom and I had downtime together while you were working and so, Tom and I spent – there was one Friday that was bled into a Saturday morning that Tom and I sat in our chairs until 7 o’clock in the morning and I just listened to Tom tell old acting war stories and just his life stories, just has me riveted.And then we’d go out and we do 30 seconds of the scene, and then we come back and he go, so where was I? And we pick up exactly where he had left off. So, I …
Aaron Stanford: Man, I’m sorry I missed that.
Amanda Schull: I just have such a soft spot for Tom. I adore that man.
Aaron Stanford: Tom Noonan is terrifying and lovable.
Amanda Schull: Tom Noonan is a giant softie.
Aaron Stanford: He’s soft serve ice cream in a steel shell. That’s what it will be – that’s where we’ll be …
We obviously don’t know very much of what is coming, we’ve just seen two episodes, but do you foresee, are you able to shed any light on if there might be a chance of the story arc actually concluding while then opening up room for new story arcs down the line?
Aaron Stanford: How – I mean I would say absolutely. You know anything is possible and that’s the nice thing about this premise and type of story. You know it could really conceivably go absolutely anywhere.I haven’t talked to the writers about exactly what their plans are for season 2, but you know they crammed a lot of story into season 1. I mean, in my opinion it’s like three seasons’ worth of story.So, yes, where we go season 2 is really anybody’s guess.
Amanda Schull: I think what’s interesting about the writers just you know tag on with what Aaron just said is that yes, we did cram three seasons of story and I was talking to Terry and Travis about that one day and Terry – Travis I think as we said, they have a motto that they never read anything not you know that if they have a desire or you know an interest in a particular storyline or particular scene or something and they think something could be great, they write as if they’ll never get that opportunity again, as if there’s never going to be a second season or a next episode.So, I think that makes a really interesting viewing for an audience because it is so jam-packed. There aren’t a lot of dull moments. I actually can’t think of a single dull moment. It’s like freight train.And then as an actor, you don’t ever feel like, we did this already you know rehashing this all over again, because those two guys are really creative gentlemen and they don’t ever want there to be a dull moment and I think it’s also for selfish purposes that they get really excited by the subject matter and they love to write and create.
Aaron Stanford: Yes, they’re the biggest fan boys you’re ever going to meet. That’s what great having them work on the show because they absolutely – they you know eat, sleep and breathe this stuff, they just – it’s all they care about, it’s all they’re into, so it’s nice having somebody like that during the show.
Where do you – where – is there – where would you each like to see your characters go? What direction?
Aaron Stanford: It’s tough to say. Like I said, there are so many different possibilities. The only thing I care about is that the journey’s a long one, I’d like that and you know as always you know you want to see your character stretched to extremes you know so wherever Cole goes I want it to be somewhere that is very, very far from where he began. I want to see some kind of very, very fundamental change in who he is.
Amanda Schull: I agree with Aaron that you know a, I would like for it to be a very long journey and b, that I do – it’s really exciting for an actor to be able to change and how rewarding is it to be able to know the core who this person is and where they came from and then have the gift of storyline over the course of a series, a season, even an episode, and also what the subject matter with time travel be able to be different versions of this person and be so affected by major events that it changes this person on so many levels that we’re really given this luxury of creativity but comfort within one person you know one character.So I think we’re spoiled in that regard and if I could say that you know choose anywhere where – for my character to go there, actually taking her to some pretty fantastic places over the course of the first season, so I can only imagine that it’s going to get even more exciting if we’re lucky enough to have a second.
I guess you’d probably haven’t worked the terms but Aaron, I was wondering if you could talk with or talk about working with Kirk Acevedo you know?
Aaron Stanford: I didn’t hear that, working with who?
Jamie Ruby: With Kirk. I don’t know how to pronounce his last name, Acevedo.
Aaron Stanford: Kirk, yes. Yes, he was fantastic. You’re a fan of his from something specific?
I loved Fringe. I got to be honest.
Aaron Stanford: Yes. He was great to work with. You know he’s the real thing and he absolutely will go wherever he needs to go to get the job done. Very, very intense actor and great to have as a scene partner because you know you’re you know that’s your lifeline in the scene, you’re reacting to what they’re doing and Kirk was always deeply, deeply invested in the scene, and it was great to be opposite that and feed off of that.
Special Thanks To The SyFy Channel
PODCAST: Brian Herbert
From 2013 - Easily recognizable to sitcom viewers as the hilariously slimy lawyer Jackie Chiles on Seinfeld, and renowned throughout the fanboy realm as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter on Smallville, Morris is splitting his time this February celebrating his latest triumphs. .....