Recording by Ryan DeMarco | Transcription by Bill Bodkin
Given the continued success of The Walking Dead, AMC has made a concerted effort in focusing on horror-based programming. This spring/summer the network rolled out the live action adaptation of Joe Hill’s acclaimed novel, NOS4A2. At San Diego Comic Con, we caught a panel featuring series star Zachary Quinto, and series producer Jami O’Brien. Here are some highlights from this conference, as the show is set to conclude its first season tonight.
Zachary Quinto on his character, Charlie Manx, and his relationship with his car, The Wraith:
Well for me, The Wraith gives such a performance, and we all know how temperamental she is (entire panel laughs). It was fun to work with that car, and it’s challenging in some ways. If we get the chance to tell more stories I think between Charlie and The Wraith is a great source of really interesting possibilities.
You know, Joe [Hill], in addition to writing the novel NOS4A2 also wrote a graphic novel called The Wraith, which is really all about Charlie’s relation to the car and there’s a lot of back story. You learn a lot more about Charlie in that book in particular. So the, the two pieces were really companions for me as I was getting ready to shoot. Charlie is an [integral] part of Charlie as Charlie is an integral part of the car. So I joke that the car is a character in its own right, but it really is, and I hope we get to tell more stories.
Zachary Quinto on his co-star Ashleigh Cummings:
What’s exciting about working with Ashleigh right now is that she’s at this moment in her career here in the United States right now. She’s emerging in such an incredible way and to watch her passion for what she does and to see somebody so young and fresh stepping into themselves in such a powerful way has been such a great part of this experience.
She has The Bullfinch coming October and she has a lot of really exciting and interesting things coming up. She’s so committed to her work and to her life as an actress and just the balance she has for someone so young that she is really impressive. She’s been remarkable to work with.
Zachary Quinto on his character, the villainous Charlie Manx, and what we he loved about it:
I really haven’t done an adaptation like this before. So I really love the process of working on a character from the perspective of the book and the graphic novel. Then seeing how that was filtered through Jami O’Brien’s point of view. The scripts were all really complex and interesting.
[But] I was a little resistant at first. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go down this road again to play another type of supernatural villain. I have done it a couple of times in the past and this will probably be the last time you didn’t do it for awhile.
Producer Jami O’Brien on if We’re See More of Christmasland:
My hope is that we get more seasons and if we do, we’ll probably get a lot more of Christmasland. [Editor’s Note: NOS4A2 was renewed for a second season].
Producer Jami O’Brien on what they were most excited to see come to life in the series:
Christmasland, The Bridge. The production design [team] did a phenomenal job designing and building The Bridge. We have a great VFX designer and supervisor named John Bruno who worked on Ghostbusters and Poltergeist who did a great job in bringing all of these worlds and elements to life. They breathed life and movie magic into this series.
Zachary Quinto on the “creepiness” of NOS4A2 and how the series address that with so many child actors in the series:
First, off I have to deal with a lot of children in this creepy setting. It was super important to me that the kids were well-tended to. I have to say that to the producers, and the production in general the well being of those kids was the number one priority. We made sure it was clear they had the opportunity to talk us, or come back by the make-up trailer see me getting into the make-up. So when they know it’s fake, it’s easier and less scary. For some of the gruesome scenes a child psychologist was brought in to set. I have to say I really respect the way this was handled, and it’s a testament to the integrity of our producers, and AMC, to make sure the environment was safe for all involved.