T h e s mok i n g g u n
Full disclosure on Stephen King’s time travel mystery thriller
To portray Lee Harvey Oswald, Australian actor Daniel Webber devoured as much literature and material as he could about Kennedy’s assassin. That included biographies on Oswald, his mother and wife, as well as perspectives from friends, psychologists and reporters who had written about him.
“One of the important aspects was developing his physicality, his mannerisms, speech and the particular look, which we spent a lot of time trying to get right,” says Webber. “There are recordings of his voice and his physicality is archived. His diary also helped reveal his inner life.”
To replicate the ’ 60s, 11.22.63’ s production and costume designers slaved over every detail. Buildings in Toronto were transformed into various stores, homes and edifices from that era. Portions of the miniseries were also filmed on location in Dallas, Texas.
“The production has such a specific look and each character and set were so wonderfully thought out to make sure the audience and the actors always felt they were a part of the world,” reflects Webber. “For example, we shot in certain locations to bring an authenticity, such as Dealey Plaza and Lee Harvey Oswald’s actual home.”
11.22.63 rekindles the fascination with the assassination of JFK, but it also delves into human nature. Webber agrees there are some bigger themes and issues explored.
“The story contains issues of race, love and obsession,” notes Webber. “However, the thing that struck me was the idea that everyday things, moments and events – which we deem inconsequential – actually impact us and lead us to transform the trajectory of our lives. That, if even one event didn’t line up exactly, perhaps we would not be where we are today. I guess it’s a question of fate.”
There’s always an immense pressure in bringing the words of an author as beloved as Stephen King’s to life. “King’s work is of such a high calibre, and has such a great standing in the world of literature and cinema, that you completely trust in the words given to you – the vision of the character and the story,” says Webber.
Putting yourself in the mind of a killer…