SDCC 2017: Midnight, Texas

  • Midnight Texas SDCC
  • Parisa Fitz-Henley Dylan Bruce Midnight Texas SDCC
  • Jason Lewis Yul Vazquez Midnight, Texas SDCC
  • Arielle Kebbel Peter Mensah SDCC Midnight, Texas
  • Charlain Harris Midnight Texas SDCC

Midnight, Texas is the latest Charlaine Harris book series to be adapted for screen. Her most well-known series adapted was True Blood. So, the expectations for NBC’s new paranormal drama are high, and the excitement is palpable. Harris herself said, “I love the fact that [the show] has really stuck to the message of the books….This series really sticks to the point I was trying to make in the books, and I really love that.” If that doesn’t add to the anticipation for you…well, it should!

We had a great time chatting with the cast and creators of Midnight, Texas about what to expect this season.

One of the biggest draws of the project for everyone involved was that the show is adapted from Charlaine Harris’s books:

Monica Owusu-Breen (executive producer): [The book’s] theme is community. It’s got this romantic heart to it. It’s about relationships and love.

Peter Mensah (Lemuel): The combination of Charlaine Harris’s well-established track record with stories, working with our show runner, and our first episode director [is] itself the DNA of a great show.

Arielle Kebbel (Olivia): I did read the books because I felt it was really important for my character. She had a very painful childhood, and it’s shaped who she is today. [It explains] why she has her trust issues and her anger issues. For me, I wanted as much information as possible so i could do my best.

Dylan Bruce (Bobo): Charlaine Harris, [executive producer] Monica Owusu-Breen, [executive producer] David Janollari, NBS, supernatural show. It had all the elements that I like in TV.

David Janollari {executive producer): From the get-go [Monica and I] both fell in love with Charlaine’s trilogy. We really fell in love with the characters, the world that she created, and the humor with which she approaches the supernatural and subverts your expectations at every turn….That made us immediately fall in love with this family that we call The Midnighters.

Creating the town of Midnight involves a great deal of special effects. Everyone agreed that the show delivers:

Yul Vazquez (Reverend): A show like this can live or die by the quality of the special effects, and there’s always a fear that it’ll fall short. This was beyond any expectations that i had. It’s pretty incredible. The special effects are insane. You could really not get that right and have egg on your face, but this is so brilliantly done.

Jason Lewis (Joe): That was such an integral part of the show well before we had wrapped. [The special effects team] are so passionate and gave it their all–both the props and CGI, we have some talented artists with us.

Peter Mensah: I love the fact that the flights of imagination become real.

Arielle Kebbel: We have the best crew. I mean, our sets are insane. our production coordinators and designers were incredible, and our special effects people are insane. It all came together, all the elements. Everyone in front of the lens and behind the camera worked equally hard together to create the town of Midnight.

Dylan Bruce: The cool thing with our show is that we use a lot of practical props and costumes and enhance them with CGI. So, it wasn’t that much of a stretch of the imagination when we were working with the supernatural elements. When we saw it come together, it was awesome.

Parisa Fitz-Henley (Fiji): And some of the stuff when you saw it in person…our “big bad”! I can’t really say much about it because it would give things away, but I will say being in the room with him/her/it that I couldn’t look at it. I had to literally turn my chair around, and I like scary stuff. Our art team really knocked it out of the park.

Midnight, Texas isn’t just a supernatural show. It’s a show about people, relationships, and a community. That is what the team is hoping audiences will be attracted to:

David Janollari: What was really fun about making the production was casting it. This was a big cast and a hard cast to find the right actor for the right role, but we think we did that.

Monica Owusu-Breen: They’re individual characters, and then they are The Midnighters. They’re a community, and they’ll have each others backs. They’ll fight for one another even though they are really different from one another. It was important to cast a group that would work well together as well as individually….There’s something about [this story of] a group of people who are so different and have been alienated and persecuted and are together and have each others back and live in a community where their differences are celebrated that I think audiences will love.

Yul Vazquez: Cinematically, I’ve always loved watching characters who have a moral dilemma. I think it’s the most interesting thing to watch in humans. That was the case with [my character]. He becomes a reverend because he has a dark nature that he is in conflict with; he became the reverend to counteract that. He walks around pretty much all the time with a slight level of sadness because he’s never completely the happiest person. I don’t know anyone that can’t relate to that.

Jason Lewis: This is a wildly entertaining show, and I think it does what stories do best. That is providing us with a conversation outside of the one that we’re relegated to; to see that you’re not alone in this.

David Janollari: It delivers on the supernatural front. I think that is what the audience is going to expect…I think what will surprise the audience about Midnight is its hopeful romanticism.

 

 

Featured Photo Credit: Mark Davis/NBC

Taraneh

Taraneh has been happily living in NYC for over a decade, but originally hails from the Midwest. Enamored with books at a young age, she grew up making stories, playing make believe, and loving the musical and performing arts. She is great at binge-watching TV shows. Some current favorites: Schitt's Creek, A Court of Mist & Fury, Chris Pratt, and The Magicians.

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