EPIX’s FROM unravels the mystery of a nightmarish town in middle America that traps all those who enter. As the unwilling residents fight to keep a sense of normalcy and search for a way out, they must also survive the threats of the surrounding forest – including the terrifying creatures that come out when the sun goes down.
For the release of EPIX’s FROM, Nightmarish Conjurings’ Shannon McGrew spoke with actors Harold Perrineau, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Eion Bailey, where they discussed how they came to be drawn to the ambitious project, how they would learn about their characters with each episode’s script, and the reasons for why these families might be drawn to the mysterious town in EPIX’s FROM.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to speak with me today about FROM. To start things off, can you talk about being part of this project and what attracted you to your characters?
Harold Perrineau: I think the writing of the show is one of the things I was really, really drawn to. The writing of the show that Jack Bender and John Griffin were going to be behind, the production and the directing and the post-production, they were going to make the show really, really great. As far as my character of Boyd, I’m always driven by these characters that have sort of questionable intentions. You think they want one thing and maybe they want something else and how they get there is always kind of curious. I really love playing characters like that.
Catalina Sandino Moreno: I just find it interesting that they created this world and that the people…not everyone gets stuck there, just certain people and you wonder why this family is stuck there. Maybe they just need to heal something, maybe they have to deal with something. You just start wondering why these families, specifically, are stuck in this town while others are stuck in this town too. What happened to these people that they’re in the same position altogether? The character of Tabitha is very interesting. I find that there’s a lot of space for her to grow. I love the interactions with the kids, I love the problems that she has in her marriage, it’s just such a fertile character.
Eion Bailey: We’re all just here in this place working out our shit. As Catalina said, this place provides fertile ground for that.
When we meet Boyd, he has taken on the role of sheriff in this town. And it quickly becomes apparent that he’s struggling with some inner demons we aren’t privy to just yet. Harold, can you discuss taking on a complex character such as him?
Harold Perrineau: It was really interesting, there were a lot of questions to ask. In the first four episodes, you don’t actually get to find out all the other things that he’s actually struggling with that are driving him forward. When I had the talk with John and Jack, we talked about sort of the pain that’s underneath and pushing him. That stuff was really a double-edged sword. It sucked walking around feeling like that all day, that kind of pain and hurt, and like on edge all fucking day. Those are the things that were really fun about creating it, but also kind of tough. Just walking around with that weight on your heart, that was kind of tricky, but fun.
As for Jim and Tabitha Matthews, we meet them at a pivotal place in their marriage when they arrive in the town. Catalina and Eion, can you discuss the family dynamics between you two and how that’s impacted by these mysterious events?
Eion Bailey: The trouble that we’re in, conversely, provides the opportunity for us to heal those wounds because there’s no way out unless we come together and work together. And we find there’s still a lot of love between us that maybe we were wondering if was still there, and only in these extreme circumstances do we realize, oh, there is still a great deal of love and there is a desire to heal this family. There’s so much heart in the show, which is such an interesting thing in this genre. I’m not ultra-familiar with the horror genre, but certainly the science fiction genre. There is so much love that all the characters are feeling and fighting for the desire to retain in their lives, which really gives us something to play with. We are all trying to hold something together that feels meaningful. And with the backdrop of sheer terror, it’s a really good juxtaposition that I credit John Griffin for immensely.
Harold Perrineau: Cat and Eion, it reminds me, this is a terrible reference, but when 9/11 happened my little family was really, really struggling. We were really struggling and we lived right near the twin towers, and that kind of impact changed a whole bunch of dynamics in the struggles that we were having. And, as you guys have been talking all day, I just remember that time we were really having a hard time and those towers, shit the whole world changed. The whole fucking world changed and made us realize what was actually really important. It’s been so interesting watching you guys talk about it and go through that. It keeps reminding me of that.
Catalina Sandino Moreno: This family is set up for a breakup. In the first four episodes, you hear them talk about the divorce. When they find themselves in this town they know it’s better to be together than apart, and that it’s more than whatever they’re going through. They have to deal with it together. That’s the beautiful thing about this place. I know there’s monsters and other things that can kill you, but if you see it from another perspective that’s kind of like stop for a moment, be with your family, take care of your family, and you’ll deal with it.
The first four episodes really keep viewers hanging on with each surprise that’s revealed. Did you all know everything about the story off the bat or were you only fed snippets here and there?
Catalina Sandino Moreno: I was just given episode by episode, and you just kinda hear gossip about what’s going on [in the] next episode. I was just so curious to see who’s going to die, what monsters are coming, am I going to die? As Harold was saying, the writing is just so good that as you’re reading it, you just want to know what’s happening in the next episode because it just locks you into the whole story. It was just very interesting to do that in this kind of new genre that I was just getting myself into. I think the writing and of course the actors, but especially the writing as you’re reading it you want to know what’s happening next. And at the end of this episode, the end of the season, you just want to know what’s going to happen. You just want to keep knowing more.
Eion Bailey: Whenever I would go on a fishing expedition with our creator, John Griffin, just to find out a little bit extra of what might happen down the pike, it was like nothing was ever biting. Mine went down into the abyss and there was nothing there. That guy’s a steel trap [Laughs]. He has some tricks up his sleeve for sure.
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