Straight From Hol­ly­wood

Film star Matt Dil­lon tack­les mys­tery and con­spir­acy the­o­ries in his first TV se­ries lead role in Way­ward Pines.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - Mar­garet Gar­diner is a mem­ber of the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press As­so­ci­a­tion. Born in SA, the for­mer Miss Uni­verse win­ner now lives in LA. She’s writ­ten two books and reg­u­larly in­ter­views show­biz’s big­gest stars.

NEED TO

KNOW!

Way­ward Pines is a once-off, limited-edi­tion se­ries – only 10 episodes are planned and there

will be no sea­son 2.

Way­ward Pines

Sea­son 1 Thurs­days FOX 21:00

There’s some­thing very weird go­ing on in Way­ward Pines (2015- cur­rent) – Se­cret Ser­vice Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dil­lon) can’t seem to es­cape the small town where it’s not clear who’s an en­emy and who’s an ally. As the mys­tery un­folds, Ethan’s got his in­stincts and a few sim­ple in­struc­tions to go on: don’t talk about your past, don’t try to leave and al­ways an­swer if you cell­phone rings… What fas­ci­nated you about Way­ward Pines? I think that good mys­tery writ­ers are a lit­tle para­noid. They go right to the dun­geon and I have a ten­dency to do just that. I like re­ally dark, in­ter­est­ing sto­ries. I thought that this had the po­ten­tial be­cause, when I read the first two episodes, that’s all I knew. I was re­ally in­ter­ested in the guy’s back­ground, his his­tory, his trauma and how he ended up here. How much of this was some­thing in his mind and how much was real. I felt like it was a re­ally good yarn, like a good book.

Have you ever been in a sit­u­a­tion where you were afraid of los­ing your mind and

how did you fig­ure it out? I try not to think about it too much be­cause then I re­alise that I am los­ing my mind [Laughs]. The beauty of act­ing is that we get to play th­ese char­ac­ters and live in tem­po­rary worlds.

Did you ask to read the en­tire sea­son

be­fore com­mit­ting? No. It’s a tricky bal­ance. For the be­gin­ning of the show, it’s very sub­jec­tive from Ethan’s stand­point. I didn’t need to get too far ahead of what was go­ing to hap­pen be­cause I was learn­ing stuff about my char­ac­ter as my char­ac­ter was dis­cov­er­ing stuff him­self. I was in­volved in con­ver­sa­tions with the cre­ators and writ­ers of the show and you have to know that things will be re­vealed to you as the sea­son pro­gresses. Cre­atively, you have to let the char­ac­ters speak to you. I know the tra­jec­tory but only the first cou­ple of shows have been writ­ten.

You can tell that this is a weird town im­me­di­ately, so did shoot­ing in a lit­tle

town in Canada help that? It’s great that we did. It was the right at­mos­phere. The town doesn’t have any weird­ness of Way­ward Pines, but it has an at­mos­phere be­ing sur­rounded by the moun­tains and this “feel­ing”. I’ve never lived in a small town. Way­ward Pines is a town where noth­ing is quite real, which is in­ter­est­ing – there’s the ques­tion of what is real and what is truth­ful. The word that kept com­ing up was “verisimil­i­tude”, which is the ap­pear­ance of truth. The town is not de­signed by God’s hand.

Most towns aren’t. Yes, but there is some­thing about Way­ward Pines. The process of how it came to be was not nec­es­sar­ily an or­ganic one.

What about the weather? There was a lot of mist and rain and some­times the direc­tor would say, “I think this scene needs rain,” and he’d bring in rain tow­ers and we were look­ing at each other go­ing, “Why do we need rain tow­ers? It’s rain­ing enough.” We had plenty of the real stuff!

You look great for a 51-year-old. How do

you main­tain your good looks? I hope my fa­ther doesn’t take this the wrong way, but I got my mother’s genes be­cause she looks great and has aged well. My fa­ther, on the other hand, isn’t vain so it doesn’t mat­ter [Laughs]. But right now I hurt my back so I’m not go­ing to sit and com­plain about it, but my back feels like it’s about 96 years old. But over­all I try to stay in shape, although that’s not on the ta­ble right now. I try to keep youth­ful men­tally. I don’t try to do any­thing but stay young at heart. It’s good to have play­ful­ness.

Matt with his co-star Juliette Lewis, who plays the mys­te­ri­ous Bev­erly.

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