I was invited as media to cover this press event. All opinions are my own.
Are you watching The Family on ABC? This new series is definitely one you’ll want to see!
About The Family:
“A family is shaken to the core when a politician’s presumed dead son suddenly returns. After disappearing a decade earlier, Adam Warren’s homecoming to Red Pines, Maine, is initially met with astonishment and joy, but suspicions soon begin to emerge. Is he really who he says he is? Leading a stellar ensemble cast, Oscar-nominee Joan Allen stars as Claire Warren, who not only has survived the heart-breaking loss of her son, Adam (Liam James), but has used her resiliency and surrounding adversity in the aftermath of this tragedy to fuel her own political aspirations and rise to power.”
While in LA last week, we had the opportunity to sit down with two of the show’s producers, Jenna Bans and Laurie Zaks, along with a few of the talent – Alison Pill (Willa), Zach Gilford (Danny) and Floriana Lima (Bridey). We watched last Sunday’s episode while live tweeting with fans, and screened tonight’s episode early. As if the twists and turns in this new series couldn’t be any more thrilling – there’s so much unveiled in tonight’s episode that you absolutely won’t want to miss it!
“The Family” Cast Interview:
When asked where the concept of the show came from, Jenna shares that she actually lived across the street from a sex offender growing up, and ABC had been interested in a new mystery thriller series so she married the two ideas into one.
Alison Pill, who plays Willa on the show plays a very intense character. In person she’s really chatty and fun spirited though. So we had to know how does she pull off all that emotion on screen!
Alison shares, “we have really good writers. And I think the touchstone for me is the moment when myself and Madeline Arthur switch places on the bed in the motel. She’s fully frozen at thirteen. She is somebody who will do anything to keep her family together. Everything else that is built up-all of this armor is only to get to her ultimate goal, which is having her entire family under one roof again. I also love the fact that she’s written in this way that was a slow burn with Willa, of like not understanding her.”
Is it hard to go back to normal after being in such a dark place? Alison mentions, “It’s funny because I say I’m not affected by it, and most of the time, I’m not, and we did have a set full of great people. But in this scene that’s just at the end of that episode when she’s like: how are you this person? I couldn’t stop crying.” She also shares that she goes home and binge watches Veronica Mars, which she’s never seen before and cooks, so she carves out time for sanity, as she put it. Jenna added that they were shooting multiple episodes at the same time which helped break up those intense moments. They touched on the production schedule being pretty hectic because episodes would overlap and there would be different directors too.
When asked about research for the backstory, Jenna disclosed that they had a psychiatrist and consultants, along with great friends in the business that she can call for advice on the police scenes.
Will there be a season 2 of The Family? The cast and producers hope so! Jenna shared that she can definitely see 3 seasons with the show. Interesting fact: If you want your favorite show to stick around watch it live or within 3 days of DVR’ing. The numbers only count for up to 3 days, so if you’re totally slacking on week old episodes…get on it! 🙂
They raved about Joan Allen, who plays Claire Warren on the show. Alison said, “You guys, Joan Allen is so good at acting.” Floriana added that’s she’s really nice too. Alison also shared that Joan’s a great cook – mentioning, “she made cookies from her grandmother’s recipe. A hundred and fifty cookies on her day off and brought them in before our holiday break. They were like cakey, amazing cookies with delicious icing.” All of the cast raved about how good they were.
Don’t forget to tune in Sundays at 9/8c on ABC!
More about tonight’s episode, titled “Sweet Jane“: Claire wrestles with the emotional ramifications of Willa’s scheming. Meanwhile, Nina observes that Adam disappears every night from his home and sets out to track down his mysterious destination. Hank makes a shocking discovery that reveals his true involvement in Adam’s kidnapping.
Photo credit Coralie Seright