Season One is the first season of the NBC American drama television series, Midnight, Texas. It was picked up for a 10 episode order and aired July 24th, 2017.

Official SynopsisEdit

Based on the best-selling book series by Charlaine Harris (author of the novels that inspired "True Blood"), "Midnight, Texas" stars François Arnaud as Manfred, a charming, powerful psychic who can communicate with spirits and finds safety in Midnight surrounding himself with both human and supernatural allies. Midnight is also home to Bobo, proprietor of Midnight's local pawn shop; Fiji, a witch who owns the local wiccan shop; Olivia, a mysterious assassin with a weapon for every occasion; Joe, an angel who knows all of Midnight's secrets having been around for millennia; Lemuel a wise vampire with a long history in Midnight; Creek, an aspiring writer with big dreams; and Rev. Emilio Sheehan, who can't resist the pull of a full moon.[1]



Recurring CastEdit

Guest StarringEdit



Image Title Airdate Writer / Director Episode #
Pilot 101-21-Manfred Pilot July 24, 2017 Monica Owusu-Breen / Niels Arden Oplev 1
Manfred Bernardo, a powerful psychic on the run, decides to hide out in the small, sleepy town of Midnight, Texas. But when he's haunted by the ghost of a recently murdered Midnighter, Manfred discovers this sleepy community is a mysterious safe haven for outsiders with secrets - both supernatural and human - including Lemuel, an energy-leeching vampire; Olivia, a beautiful assassin; Fiji, a witch with a cranky cat; Creek, a spunky writer with big dreams; Bobo, a pawnshop owner with a hidden past; the Rev, who has an obsession for animals; and Joe, an angelic tattoo artist. In addition to the colorful residents, Manfred learns the town itself sits on a veil between the living and dead. He pledges to join the Midnighters in the fight to protect their home from suspicious cops and other outside forces.
Bad Moon Rising 102-26-Olivia-Fiji-Manfred-Rev. Sheehan Bad Moon Rising July 31, 2017 Monica Owusu-Breen / David Solomon 2
Manfred tries to help one of his new neighbors, Bobo, clear his name by talking to the murdered victim with the help of Joe. As Manfred helps his neighbors and grows closer to Creek, they help him - specifically, Fiji, the resident witch who performs an exorcism to rid Manfred's home of the spirits, demonic and otherwise that haunt it. Meanwhile, the Rev tries to stay out of trouble while Lem and Olivia set out to stop a deadly predator before it kills again.
Lemuel, Unchained 103-14-Lemuel Lemuel, Unchained August 7, 2017 Turi Meyer & Al Septien / David Solomon 3
A deadly nest of vampires arrives in Midnight and it turns out they're old friends of Lem's eager to reunite. Manfred suspects there's more to their arrival and joins forces with Olivia to uncover the real story while Creek prepares for the worst. Elsewhere, Fiji and Bobo hatch a plan of their own in case the vampires are up to no good. Meanwhile, Joe confides his suspicions about the veil to hell opening in Midnight to the Rev.
Sexy Beast 104-23-Gina Sexy Beast August 14, 2017 Liz Sagal / Steve Shill 4
Manfred's ability to see the dead leads him to uncover an ancient supernatural who seduces and feeds on men. To protect their town's supernatural anonymity, Manfred, with the help of Fiji, Lem, Joe and Creek, venture out of the safety of Midnight to a roadside bar to stop the supernatural killer. Meanwhile, Bobo must confront the dangerous bikers who threaten to expose his past. While carrying out a hit, Olivia discovers an unlikely link to her father.
Unearthed 105-03-Hightower Unearthed August 21, 2017 Brynn Malone / Milan Cheylov 5
Manfred's growing relationship with Creek is threatened when his con-artist past finally catches up with him and the mysterious Hightower finds him. Olivia agrees to help Manfred, but when she and Creek learn the surprising truth about what Manfred is running from, they realize Manfred is not the man Creek thought he was. Meanwhile, Bobo's budding romance with Fiji takes a surprising turn that puts her in danger.
Blinded by the Light 106-06-Olivia-Rev-Sheehan-Fiji-Joe-Bobo-Creek-Manfred Blinded by the Light August 28, 2017 Mark H. Kruger / Nick Gomez 6
When a local girl goes missing, the Midnighters try to find her before law enforcement descends into town. Manfred and Creek discover Aubrey's murder was not an isolated incident -- someone or something is killing young women in Midnight. In the race to find the missing girl, Bobo resolves to get justice for Aubrey. Lem and Olivia join the hunt, not knowing if the killer is human or supernatural. Complicating matters, Fiji is haunted by a demonic entity and seeks answers from the Rev while Joe struggles to maintain the secret that protects his family.
Angel Heart 107-22-Joe Angel Heart September 4, 2017 Larry Caldwell & Liz Sagal / Mairzee Almas 7
A bounty hunter from Joe's past arrives in Midnight to punish him for leaving the angelic fold. Manfred takes charge with a plan to lead Fiji, Olivia, Bobo and Lem in an effort to stop this dangerous, nearly immortal foe from killing Joe and Chuy, as well as destroying Midnight. Meanwhile, Creek struggles to recover from her family tragedy. Elsewhere, the Rev refuses to compromise the safety of his neighbors and it costs him dearly.
Last Temptation of Midnight 108-21-Rev-Sheehan-Fiji-Manfred-Olivia-Bobo Last Temptation of Midnight September 11, 2017 Monica Owusu-Breen / Kevin Tancharoen 8
A faceless supernatural makes a pilgrimage to Midnight to usher in the arrival of a demon from the veil to Hell - the same demon that has been plaguing Fiji. Meanwhile, the Midnighters struggle to fight the effects of the veil to Hell opening in their town, especially Lem and the Rev, whose hunger increases to dangerous levels. Olivia and Bobo make plans of their own to protect the town. Elsewhere, Creek struggles in the face of great loss as Manfred confronts his constant self-medicating.
Riders on the Storm 109-06-Wraith Riders On The Storm September 13, 2017 Al Septien & Turi Meyer / Greg Beeman 9
An apocalyptic sandstorm engulfs Midnight concealing wraith-like demonic spirits heralding the arrival of a demon from Hell. Fiji knows this demon wants her and Bobo vows to protect her, while wondering why the demon has targeted Fiji and no one else. Manfred, Joe and the Rev dig for answers from the past, but when the storm gets too dangerous, Manfred leads the Midnighters to an unlikely hiding spot outside of town. Olivia confronts Lem about their relationship, and Creek helps Manfred when he needs it most.
The Virgin Sacrifice 110-10-Wraiths The Virgin Sacrifice September 18, 2017 Monica Owusu-Breen / David Solomon 10
With Hell literally about to erupt onto Witch Light Road, and Fiji about to be claimed by the demon who has been tormenting her, Manfred leads the Midnighters to take back their home from the evil forces that occupy it. As Bobo turns his attention to saving Fiji, Olivia and Creek confront the wraiths. Manfred focuses on killing the demon and closing the veil with the help of Lem, Joe, and the Rev. Manfred takes a desperate gamble and risks his life by asking for help from an unlikely source.

Production NotesEdit

  • The production has employed over 450 local crew members and approximately 1,800 local background talent.[2]
  • Season one of the series is being filmed throughout several locations in New Mexico.
  • As of January 18th, 2017, they've begun to prep for the season finale episode.[3]
  • As of February 3rd, Midnight's season one filming has concluded. Monica posted this thank you one her Instagram: "What a long, strange trip it's been. Love everyone who made season one so freaking awesome. My eternal gratitude and respect and hope to see you for season 2."[4]


  • On January 20th, Chris Hale (Instagram) was awarded a VIP set visit to Midnight, Texas for his donation to the One Pulse Foundation.
  • Eden Douglas' kind words to the cast and crew: "Thank you Karen Kuehn Photography for giving me this perfect tribute photo to honor the beautiful actors and spirits I've had the pleasure of meeting and observing in the first stellar season of #MidnightTexas. Thank you for showing me kindness and generosity, @pmensahonline, focus, @francoisarnaud, beauty, @jasonleelewis, strength, @dylanthebruce, style, @ariellekebbel , grace, @parisafitzhenley, professionalism, @saraheramos, joy,@yuluminati, wonder, @johnpaul_howard, courage, @bernadosaracino and the power of the written word @monicaowusubreen, @alseptien1 and @turimeyer. To the Executive Producers, Directors, AD's and vast crew members too numerous to mention, but know that I know them, one and all, by name, THANKYOU for the masterclasses each and every day I was blessed to be on set. Here's to multiple seasons and wicked success !!! / @nbcmidnighttexas"
  • Monica Owusu-Breen (Writer/EP) and cast member, Arielle Kebbel (Olivia Charity), are doing a Q&A session along with a special screening of the pilot episode.[5][6]
  • Midnight, Texas was at San Diego Comic Con from Thursday, July 20th through Sunday, July 23rd.[7]
    • Want to win the Ultimate Midnight, Texas Comic Con Experience? Check out #MidnightTexasSDCCSweepstakes and for rules, visit MTCCSweeps.
    • Universal TV- and David Janollari Entertainment-produced drama will be showing up for a panel on Saturday, July 22nd from 4:00-5:15 p.m. in room 6BCF.[8][9]
      • Excutive producers Monica Owusu-Breen and David Janollari as well as the major cast will attend: François Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Jason Lewis, Peter Mensah, Sarah Ramos and Yul Vazquez.[9]
      • Best-selling author, Charlaine Harris, will hold a special book-signing of Midnight Crossroads, the book that inspired the television series. The book signing will be held on Friday, July 21 from 5:45-7:00 p.m. at the Gas & Go pop-up station adjacent to the Tin Fish Gaslamp restaurant.[9]
    • Comic-Con guests and fans will immerse themselves in the dark, thrilling world of "Midnight, Texas" via an unforgettable 4D experience, i.e. travel through the town's iconic locations including: the Pawn Shop, Fiji's house, Tattoo Parlor, Olivia's Armory, and a pet cemetery.[9]
  • Season One showrunner, Monica Owusu-Breen, has stated that the first season takes inspiration from the first and third books of the "Midnight, Texas" trilogy. "In terms of the story of Season [one] - our plot - this season is a combination of the first and third books in the trilogy, Midnight Crossroads and Nightshift. There are moments, relationships, and villains taken from those two books".[10]

Cast Interview NotesEdit

  • The Cast discuss their Characters[11] (10/20/16)
    • Peter Mensah: I play Lemuel Bridger who is a vampire. I'm not sure how else to describe what he does.
    • Arielle Kebbel: I play Olivia Charity. She's an assassin and she's incredibly dangerous. She has a really dark past, like most people in Midnight. Throughout the series, we will learn her backstory, how she came to be a hitwoman and why it's important to her to protect the town of Midnight. There is also a really odd and sweet relationship between her and Lemuel and they feed off each other in more ways than one. As the series goes on, I think that's going to be a sweet relationship to explore.
    • Dylan Bruce: I play Bobo Winthrop who is the proprietor of the local pawnshop, which has been in Midnight for many years and sells a lot of very odd items full of history. Olivia lives upstairs and Lemuel lives beneath the store. Also, Bobo's best friend is Fiji.
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: I play Fiji Cavanaugh who is a witch. She runs a little shop in the town with articles relating to witchcraft and Wicca with crystals and other beautiful things. I like to think of Fiji as a unifier and a protector of her friends who have become her adopted family. A big challenge for her is coming to terms with how powerful she is as a witch. She can do some cool stuff now, but coming into her own power is going to be pretty explosive. Bobo and Fiji are best friends and I wish more. Well, Fiji wishes more but Parisa also thinks that would be cool. She's got some reasons for not pursuing Bobo though, which we will find out during the season.
    • Sarah Ramos: I play Creek Lovell who is just a girl in town that's about to find out a lot of her secrets that her overprotective dad and brother have kept from her. She and Manfred hit it off right from the start and have a mutual crush, but they keep getting interrupted and there's no time to connect because there's too much danger in the town that they have to fight.
    • Francois Arnaud: I play Manfred, the newcomer in Midnight. He is a psychic and a medium and a little bit of a crook. He's on the run from someone who wants to kill him and decides to hide in Midnight after his dead grandma's ghost advises him to.

  • Jason Lewis describes his character, Joe the Angel[12] (2/13/17)
    • Elle: You've said that you get offe/red a lot of pretty boy roles — what was it about Joe, who is literally an angel, that appealed to you?
    • Lewis: "Joe is not like a Hallmark angel — he's not some cherubic icon on the front of a greeting card. He's an immortal creature who has lived through a lot of different circumstances. I think one of the hardest fights in life is to move through your experiences and life's struggles and to hold on to a sense of hope and discovery. That struggle there, I found that pretty interesting."

  • Sarah Ramos describes her character, Creek[13] (Sarah about Creek in Midnight) (3/1/17)
    • Blondiau: What do you like about the character you play in Midnight, Texas?
    • Ramos: "Personally, it's really freeing and fun because I get to play for death situations in basically every episode. There's also a really fun romance part of it. Call it a guilty pleasure or not, but I'm a fan of Taylor Swift's music. I love getting wrapped up in how simple and insanely dramatic her love stories are, especially in her early country music. And the show has this small town, destined-to-be-together, heartbreak feel, and I definitely get to play that kind of romance. It's just fun. I feel like I'm in a Taylor Swift song; sometimes I'm like, "Guys aren't really like this in real life. This is fun to pretend!"

  • Yahoo TV has put together an exclusive who's who gallery of the top townsfolk who will likely have to band together to tackle the potential perils headed their way — human or otherwise.[14]
    • Manfred Bernardo: Manfred (Francois Arnaud) is new in town, and he certainly didn't come for the good schools. A real-deal psychic who has often used his powers to pull cons and fleece folks of their hard-earned coin, he's now on the run from a scary someone he owes a lot to. He still communicates with his deceased gypsy grandma in the aforementioned vintage RV. In fact, she's the one who told him to hideout in Midnight. He quickly becomes wrapped up in the city's drama, including trying to help solve a murder, and falls a local girl. "He can't even be called a reluctant hero really," Owusu-Breen explains. "He is a scam artist who has no clear purpose and cares mostly about himself. He is plagued by apparitions of the dead and is vulnerable to being taken over by them for which he self-medicates all the time because that makes him sick. His power is also a curse. He isn't seeing happy spirits. He is a confused, lonely man who realizes his new neighbors are, surprise, a lot like him."
    • Joe Strong: Unbeknownst to his neighbors, Joe (Jason Lewis, Sex and the City) has seen this whole "hell threatening to open up" sitch before. That's because he is angel, complete with retractable wings, who has been living among man for millennia. While he bides his time waiting for the arrival of the one who can lead an army to stop the apocalypse, which is of course foretold in a prophecy, he makes a living as a talented tattoo artist. Behind him in the photo is his masterpiece, which is basically his memory of the mayhem caused by the last hellgate opening. "That tableau is insane. We commissioned the painting and then worked with our creature designer to create some monsters to put in there that we might be seeing later in the season," Owusu-Breen says. "I wanted it to look like a hellscape, like a medieval portrait of of hell, and the artists delivered. No one would want that hanging in their house."
    • Bobo Winthrop: Bobo (Dylan Bruce, Orphan Black) is Manfred's landlord and also runs the main street pawnshop, which is a very problematic place for the psychic to find himself given all the old meaningful trinkets that wind up there. The henley-wearing hunk believes his fiancé Aubrey has left him in the aftermath of a big fight. When she turns up during a town picnic, shot and left for dead in a river and surrounded by signs of possible devil worship, he becomes the prime suspect. Especially after its revealed that she was already married to a member of the white supremacist Sons Of Lucifer gang and might have had ulterior motives for getting close to Bobo.
    • Olivia Charity: Nobody messes with Olivia (Arielle Kebbel, The Vampire Diaries). Sometimes this sarcastic badass assassin —and we mean that literally as in it's her occupation — fights in a bra and underwear just because she can. She also has a clandestine closet in her apartment with weapons to suit any occasion, including the monthly job she does for the reverend. She lives with a powerful vampire. But don't dare call her a fangbanger as their relationship is emotionally intense and symbiotically beneficial. "They are both powerful in their own way," Owusu-Breen explains. "She is definitely not a damsel in distress. We will learn more about how they became a couple and how she got into her line of work later in the season."
    • Lemuel Bridger: Lem, as his friends call him, has been in Midnight longer than most of his neighbors. In fact, he knew Manfred's grandma back in the day, when she was still breathing, and his respect for her keeps his girl from offing Manfred. He's powerful, wise, safeguards his friends at all costs, and takes swift and deadly action against enemies. He works the night shift (naturally) at the pawnshop, which is bad news when the biker gang rolls into town and they aren't there for antiques. He and Olivia are deeply connected and committed and he helps her with her anger management issues. "I love all the characters for different reasons and I love telling his backstory," Owusu-Breen says. "He's not exactly what we've all come to expect from a vampire. I loved how in these books the bad guy is not always who you assume it would be."
    • Rev. Emilio Sheehan: The reverend (Yul Vazquez, The Good Wife), who appears to take his clothing cues from Johnny Cash, is a quiet thinking man most often seen pouring over his Bible or taking meticulous care of the church's pet cemetery. It's as if he is performing some intense self-imposed penance, which likely has something to do with the fact that he disappears every time there's a full moon rising. Owusu-Breen teases, "The payoff is so much cooler than your run-of-the-mill werewolf. Shooting the episode where we find out what he is was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. I could have happily retired."
    • Creek Lovell: An aspiring writer who dreams of leaving town but stays for the sake of her little brother Connor and her overprotective father Shawn, Creek (Sarah Ramos, Parenthood) pulls double duty at the Midnight diner and her family's gas station. She meets Manfred at the restaurant on his first night in town and immediately takes a liking to him. Seemingly the most normal girl in town, she eventually finds out her single dad is harboring a deep dark family secret. "It starts as a very innocent teenage crush sort of relationship, even though they aren't teenagers, but they develop a deeper connection by sharing their flaws with each other and by discovering each other's dark side," Arnaud tells Yahoo TV. "They also come together when they find common enemies to fight. They are both self-deprecating and reluctant to fall in love, but in spite of themselves, they do."
    • Fiji Cavanaugh: Fiji (Parisa Fitz-Henley, Jessica Jones) is a witch, proprietor of The Inquiring Mind wiccan shop, and the town's unofficial welcome wagon. (She leaves cursed cookies for Manfred to confirm that he hasn't moved to Midnight for the wrong reasons. If they're eaten by someone who's harboring malicious secrets, he or she will get horribly ill.) Her magic mojo immediately comes in handy when Manfred realizes his house is overrun by angry ghosts and possibly an even darker, more dangerous force. She's also seriously infatuated with the spoken-for Bobo. She's a very vocal advocate of his innocence when the cops suspect he might be responsible for his bloated bae. Like any good enchantress, she has a feline friend, a sarcastic smacktalker named Mr. Snuggly. Like Olivia, she too has a secret stash in a pantry she probably doesn't want her friends to know about.
    • Chuy Strong: Not much is known about Chuy (Bernardo Saracino, Sicario). He is Joe's husband and has been for centuries, according to Owusu-Breen, which I guess means you can assume he's immortal. Chuy lives in fear of the other Midnighters finding out what Joe is and admonishes his partner whenever Joe lets his guard down or takes his wings for a spin. We are guessing he is behind the claws side of the Strong Angel Tattoo and Nails business.

  • SyFy Wire's Tara Bennett joins Charlaine Harris and series creators and executive producers Monica Owusu-Breen and David Janollari just days before the finale is filmed, back in January.[15] (7-11-17)
  • How does it feel sitting in the sets built around your imagination? Do you have a favorite?
    • Charlaine Harris: Oh, I have enjoyed all of the sets. But I love the [pawn] shop. It's not quite like the one in my head, but it's intriguing, mysterious and rich.
  • Have you had any say in the specifics of how your books have been adapted into Midnight, Texas?
    • Harris: I have no say in anything, and I've had to make my peace with that. But then I thought, "They don't tell me how to write the books, so it would be strange to tell them how to do what their profession is." I've always been told the writer was the least important person on the set, and that's true. [Laughs] But that means I can have fun without worrying about the outcome. I've calmed down a lot more. At first, I was hyperconscious of talking to people who do things I couldn't even imagine doing. I was really terrified, but once you to talk to all the people who do this creative stuff, you find out they worry about their mortgage and car insurance like anybody else. I got pretty Zen about it after that.
  • Does sitting in a set like this change how you think about the world you created in your head?
    • Harris: No, what's in my head is my product I created, and it stays the same. Every now and then I'll see a plot point and think, "I wish I thought of that." And I've gotten used to my work being populated more densely when it's on television, because books are a singular action throughout. TV has to fill with other incidentals. I've enjoyed a lot of it.
  • Do you have any strong thoughts about how they cast characters versus how you see them in your mind's eye?
    • Harris: Not anymore. I got disillusioned by that with True Blood. I always thought the King of the Fairies should have been played by David Bowie. He would have been so perfect. It was the only thing I wanted. But that didn't happen, and now he's gone. This may sound very un-enterprising and un-passionate, but I leave it to the experts. If the casting director thinks the actor can do the job, then they can do the job. I'm no arbiter.
  • Do the different interpretations other creatives have regarding your work surprise you?
    • Harris: Yes. Alan [Ball] is obviously a very political filmmaker. He made points I never thought about making, but I was totally in agreement with his philosophical and moral viewpoint. The spirit of this story is that unlikely people can bond together to create their own family and they're stronger as a unit, and that's my philosophical view of the books. I think that's going to come through in the [show].
  • How did you dream up the Midnight trilogy?
    • Harris: I don't write from dreams. [Laughs] When I came to the end of the Sookie series, I was casting around for what I wanted to write next. I didn't want to commit myself to a long series, because 13 years was a much longer commitment than I ever thought I would make. But I could write a trilogy. I was thinking of the summers I spent in Rock Springs, Texas, to help our grandmother during the rodeo. She owned a hotel, and it was always full in this tiny town, and most of the people in it were drunk. So my mother and her two sisters came to change the sheets and keep order. When I would stay, I would feel like the culture was so alien to me. The landscape was so different, and the people were a lot tougher than where I came from. I felt like a stranger in a strange land, and I used that location and that feeling.
  • Are they sticking to your books to build the series?
    • Harris:Yes, they are going to end up where I ended up, but very quickly. Whereas it took me three books, I think after this season, it will be completely their brainchild.
  • Anything you are most excited to see them bring to life?
    • Harris: I'm excited about seeing the last episode of [this season], because for me I pulled out all the stops. I kept thinking, how can I make this bigger, better, scarier? So I am very much looking forward to what they do with it.
  • How challenging is it to produce material that is going to surprise people that have already read the books, so not everything is laid out?
    • Monica Owusu-Breen: One of the great things about these books is that the characters are so rich that I actually felt there was so much more to tell with them. So it actually hasn't been challenging in that way. [Charlaine's] backstories are so detailed, and so specific, and the characters she created have such interesting relationships. It's interesting because it kind of added a little more plot to what was already there, as opposed to trying to change the characters themselves.
  • Do you ever get anxious about her reaction to how you've done things?
    • David Janollari: She hates us. [Laughs]
    • Owusu-Breen: It's funny. The first time I met her, I was a little nervous. She's like, "Oh, I went through it on True Blood. Now I understand this is your baby." She just gave me permission not to be [nervous]. I gratefully accepted that permission.
    • Janollari: And a lot of the core storylines we've kept in the pilot on through the series because we really like what she wrote. It got us excited about doing the show in the first place. We're in sync.
  • How did the books help you break the season?
    • Owusu-Breen: My honest opinion is if those characters aren't fun to watch, the concept will never sell a show for me. It might sell a movie, because it's an hour and a half, but a TV show needs characters I can sink my teeth into. I'm not great at the set piece without a character motivation. I remember taking film class in college and watching The French Connection. The teacher is like, "Why was that car chase good?" Everyone was like, "Because it's this and this." He's like, "No! Because he's obsessed! Because he's driven!" That's my mantra. Set pieces are only as good as the characters' motivations to be in them. Then again, I love a good explosion. I love a good fight sequences if you just earn it. So my characters have really good reasons to fight.
  • Can you talk about how serialized the show is versus mystery-of-the-week?
    • Owusu-Breen: Fringe did this thing called the Mythalone, which to me was my favorite thing in the world. Every episode has a beginning, middle and an end. But combined you tell a story. For me, it was really important to be able to come into an episode and be able to follow and have fun. But, at the same time, if you watch the whole season, it's better and it adds up to something. By the end, there's a story you've built throughout the season. I think we're trying to do both. The emotional stories where these characters are evolving. They are getting to know each other. They are falling in and out of love. There is a sort of serialized component to that to make those stories richer.
  • We get a taste of something below the floorboards in the pilot. Can you talk about how that threat manifests and what you are building toward over the season?
    • Janollari: What you start to learn is there is a big bad demon about to break through into Midnight. That's what is set up in the pilot when Manfred's bedroom opens up under the floor. Episode 2 furthers that. That's the big, long arc for the season. It's largely ripped from the books.

Charlaine Harris
  • Fanbolt's Emma Loggins sits down with author, Charlaine Harris, and talks about new NBC series Midnight, Texas.[16] (7-13-17)
  • Do you remember, and this was probably a long time ago now, do remember some of the germ of this, this concept, what triggered the whole thing?
    • Charlaine: I do. When the Sookie books ended, I was kind of out of gas and I wanted to write short series and I thought, "What could I plummet on?" and I thought, oh, my mother grew up in Texas and every summer I would go with her to this small hotel my grandparents owned in Rocksprings, Texas, nowhere. It's on the Edward's Plateau, it is very desolate. If you think this is desolate, you should see that. Every summer they had a rodeo and July and the hotel was filled with people who were mostly drunk and it was the worst time of year and the best time of year for my grandparents. Their three daughters would come help them keep the place running during that very hectic time and of course, my mother would bring me and my brother with her and Texas was a real challenge for me, the terrain was so different. I grew up in the Mississippi Delta. The society was different and the people were much tougher, much tougher and they had different goals. I felt like an alien and I thought, "You know, that was an interesting feeling to be an alien in your own country," and it kinda grew from there. You know, at first, there wasn't gonna be anything supernatural in "Midnight" but I thought, "What the hell?" I just missed the supernatural elements and it seemed to me like the story would be so much richer if I used them and that it would make their bonding so sensible or so reasonable. So it just evolved. It just evolved and when it got to the cat, I had this big debate, big debate, I thought, "I think the cat can talk," and then I thought, "No, that's too cheesy, nobody will buy that," and I thought, "But I think this cat can talk," and finally the cat talked and I thought, "I just have to leave it in. This is too good, that's too good." Since then, people have told me that's your favorite thing about the books. Of course, there's probably people who just hate it who were nice enough not to tell me that.
  • Since you were so tired after the Sookie books, did you feel creatively reinvigorated now with this new concept?
    • Charlaine: I did because I was telling it from the third person. Before, first person point of view was my bailiwick. Third person, some of the points of view were male, I had never done that and I thought, "I'm just gonna do something completely different." A friend of mine said, "Charlaine, you always do what you're scared of." That's pretty much true, though I had never made myself sound that good in my head. I do try to do what I'm scared of and something that has to jolt me out of that track. I think there's nothing that's more alien to me than writing the same book over and over.
  • Will the show spark new books you think?
    • Charlaine: That's a complicated and a simple question. I might write another Midnight book but my publisher has not asked me for one, so there you go.
  • How involved with production have you been on this?
    • Charlaine: Zero and I expected that by now. This is my third go-round and I expect that, which makes it all fun for me. I don't have to worry about anything. I don't have to worry about casting, I don't have to worry about the script, I don't have to worry about directing or sites or anything. I can just go and say, "Wow, this is great."
  • So you don't feel precious about changes?
    • Charlaine: No, if I did, I would never had allowed my wonderful Hollywood agents to sell the books, that would be weird. Why do I want them to sell the books? I want people to come back and buy my books, that's my goal. What the show does, is its own goal, if that makes any sense. They're pursuing their own ends. I just want people to say, "By Charlaine Harris. Hey, I'll buy that book," and I'm going, "Yes, that's what I want."
  • I asked you this for "True Blood" and I'm wondering if you could answer for this series is, what is something that they've done that you wish you wrote or did or pictured 'cause I think for "True Blood" you said it was the baby vamp?
    • Charlaine: Yeah, I wish ... Jessica was such a great character. With this it's a little soon to say but I have to say, some of the scenes where Jason's wings sprout, that was not exactly how I had it in the books, but I thought it was very powerful, very beautiful and I enjoyed that so much.
  • Was the casting as you pictured? Some of them are totally different obviously but...
    • Charlaine: Yeah. No, I never picture. I just wait and see what's gonna happen and it always surprises me and yet it always works out. The people do a great job, that's why they got it and I just have to say the casting directors know what they're doing.
  • Since you were writing to the Sookie books while "True Blood" was still going on, were you affected, like how you pictured your characters, were you picturing the actors at that point or still going?
    • Charlaine: No, they were ingrained in me by then. They were my people and I knew how they looked and they were completely separate, which was lucky. I was well into the Sookie series before "True Blood" was on the air and that was really good for me because I could continue to take it in the way I had planned and finish it the way I had planned rather than try to ... I don't know, buckle on with the show plot lines or anything like that.
  • How closely do you watch the shows? Like when "True Blood" was on and now this. Do you watch it closely?
    • Charlaine: No, I watch it. Usually they send me a screener. Which has my name stamped across it so I can't possibly give it to anybody. I enjoy watching them. As far as objecting to them or being excited by them, sometimes I think, "Wouldn't have done that, but okay," because it's not my thing, it's completely separate to me. But I always enjoy it and I know people are gonna ask me about it, so I better watch it.
  • Who was the most difficult character to develop within your books, within these books?
    • Charlaine: Well, I've gotta say, I never took the Rev's point of view because he was a very mysterious character to me, even though I was writing him. Finally, I thought, "Okay, he sees the Bible very differently from the way we see the Bible. He sees the Bible as interpreted through the animal scenes." Wait till you see the art. It will knock your socks off. I thought he interprets the Bible from what happened to animals in the Bible and that's a very different point of view. He wasn't one of my voices and I was kinda glad 'cause that would have been very tough, but I had to keep him mysterious and tense because that's him.
  • So continuing off of that, which one of the characters gives you delight or is easier or you have fun with?
    • Charlaine: Well, Fiji was always fun. In the book, she does not know the full extent of her power until later on and I just loved watching her grow and she made brownies for everybody and she loved to bake. I just enjoyed the fact that she was trying to live a very normal life in a very abnormal situation and that she was also secretly powerful, "Yes!"
  • You said the Rev's take on the Bible was different. How did you come about it if it was so foreign to you?
    • Charlaine: I don't know. That's what being a writer means, is trying to see things differently from the way you as a person is seeing. You have to get inside their head, which is a mysterious and complex process, probably much like acting, try to get inside the character and say, "This is the way he is. Why is he this way? How did he come to be this way? What pushed him to be that way?" because I start off with people as they are and then I do the backstory to find out why they're like that.
  • On that note, when you're working on character development, where do you pull your inspiration from? How do you decide how a character is, what their backstory is gonna be or what kind of powers they're gonna have? Where do you draw that inspiration from?
    • Charlaine: I distrust the word inspiration because it sounds like you go, "Hocus Pocus." I think it's just a result of experience. Being a writer means making a thousand decisions every day. It's just, "Well, I have him turn left, he'll have a car wreck, if I have him turn right, he'll go to the bakery." You just have to make up your mind what's gonna happen to that character and what will be the most satisfying thing to happen to the character because you have to satisfy yourself with what you're writing. Sometimes you say, "I just want to kill someone," and that'll be the day you do it. I always kill someone when I can't think of anything else to do.
  • You created them, you can kill them too.
    • Charlaine: Yes, I can kill them. I have the power of life and death.
  • Is there a book that you wish you wrote?
    • Charlaine: "Jurassic Park," oh, I love that book. Dinosaurs, people, "argh", I just love that. "Jurassic Park" is the greatest book ever, though I have to admit after reading it the first time, I skip all the scientific stuff and go right to the "argh".
  • Why do you think your books connect the way they do because they obviously do, they connect with a lot of people, they connect these TV shows?
    • Charlaine: They do, yeah. Realistically, I have to say they do, even though I don't think of myself as a bragging person, but obviously, there's something in them that people connect to. I don't know. I don't know what it is. I would have done it much sooner because I had a pretty long career before I started writing Sookie. I would have done it 15 years before that if I'd known I could do it. I think just writing the right book at the right time with a character that a lot people identify with or a lot of people can feel sympathy with. You know, a blue collar woman, who doesn't have much education, she's trying to make her life better, she has a disability, and yet, she manages to create a very rich, rewarding, and terrifying life for herself. I just think she would be okay at the end of the books if she never had another man, she will survive. That was my point, she made a great life for herself and I just ... I guess a lot of people really, that resonated with them and of course the guys, they like the sexy guys.
  • If the genre is often times looked as a means of serving as a prism of who we are, what "Midnight Texas" saying about us, as people, as a society? In your opinion, what is the comment?
    • Charlaine: Comments are not always praise. I think people are very unkind in general to those who are different in significant ways. People who have learning disabilities, people who have epilepsy, people who are fat, people who are boney, people who are any different from the average run are picked on, derided, called names. That is the least pleasant part of human nature. I think that I created a space for all these people to come together and be a whole that's more powerful than the individual.
  • What is your writing process like? When you were writing this, did you sit down and write when you were inspired, when the characters came to you? You know, but when the characters came to you and go, "Oh, that's one part I have to ..."
    • Charlaine: Inspiration hits me at nine o'clock every morning. I have a job. That's my job, so I can't wait for lightening to strike me. I have to work. Sometimes that means I have to discard some things I've written, which is painful, but at the same time, that's just the way it is. My job as a writer is to think of things, imagine things and I work. That's the attitude I take towards it.
  • Why was it important to have Lem be a different type of vampire?
    • Charlaine: I was sick to death of the other kind of vampires. A lot of my problems with the Sookie books was Eric. I just made him too sexy, apparently and then people identified him with Alexander. I told Alexander, I said, "It's all your fault." He didn't see it that way but I thought, "I just can't go back to that," especially after the Twilight books became big. I thought, "If I ever have another vampire, it's gonna be a different kind of vampire. I just can't do that again."
  • So what separates Lem then from those vampires?
    • Charlaine: He has an alternate source of food. He can drain energy, which I think could be quite handy in a lot of situations and he can use that energy instantly. I think that is the big difference. Haven't you all known an energy-sucking vampire?
  • Do you think that opens him up to have different relationships with these people too?
    • Charlaine: Yes because he doesn't see them solely as food. He sees them as people who are on this trip with him, though he will live much longer than any of them, but this is what he's got to work with and he is part of a group, which is pretty rare for him.
  • Is there a character closest to you personally?
    • Charlaine: Probably Fiji. Fiji worries about how she looks all the time and she really tries to be a nice person. Those are probably attributes I have too and she likes to bake, okay, guilty. I guess Fiji really is, not Olivia, she is probably how sometimes I wish I could be, kick ass, that would be so much fun but I'm not like that, so I think that's a little bit of wish fulfillment.
  • So Mr. Snuggly [the talking cat] say things that you a lot of times would like to say but you're too polite to say them?
    • Charlaine: You know, cats would be that way, wouldn't they? Cats are never gonna say a sweet thing, they're gonna interpret life solely in terms of who's around to feed them and they're gonna be very upset when they get wet. That's just cats. For a long time, I couldn't believe he was gonna talk at all. I thought, "Oh, that's too cheesy, I can't do that, can't do that, can't do that," and then all of a sudden, I thought, "No, I've gotta do it. I gotta do it, he's gotta talk," and when he did it was just like, "Yes," I thought, "This is really gonna work," and I got really fond of the cat, though I don't use him as a ... he's not a prime player, but every now and then he talks to Fiji and says something that she needs to hear.
  • You talk about how nine o'clock the workday starts, you have a job to do. Where is your passion these days? Do you still have the passion, the excitement of getting behind the keyboard and typing, so it's never just a job per se, there's still moments of--
    • Charlaine: No, it's a calling, definitely a calling. I used to think that was ridiculous and silly and that people who said that were pretentious. Okay, so I'm pretentious. I feel like this what I was born to do and I'm incredibly, incredibly fortunate that I can make a good living at it and get recognition for it. I never imaged any of this would happen to me when I started this path. Who could have ever imagined any of this? When people say, "Are you surprised by your success?" Well, hell, yes, I'm surprised. I thought, "Well, if I could just make $70,000 a year, that would great," but "Pshaw," I went by that one. Just think, "It's all good now." I can do what I want to do and people are enjoying it and I get paid for it. That's great.
  • What is the impact on your life when you achieve that ... I'm not talking about the money, money is great, but I'm talking about the lack of anonymity, the online people who are reaching out to you constantly, what impact does that success have on you as a person?
    • Charlaine: You really have to learn to deal with it. Normally writers don't get recognized in public but sometimes I do and it always startles me. I went with my grandchildren to breakfast with Santa at Nordstrom's and when I'm getting up and walking out with my grandchildren, this woman said, "You're Charlaine Harris, aren't you?" and I thought, "Oh shit, unmasked, you got me." I said, "Did you like the books? If you liked the books I am Charlaine Harris." So it always surprises me when somebody knows who I am if it's just out in public somewhere. Interactions with readers, mostly great, they're just so sweet. I wish they would take the time to read the other questions and answers so they would know I've already answered it 10, 20 times, but people just want instant gratification, so I'm going, "Okay, I can do that."
  • What kind of advice would you give to other writers. I know, especially genre television, show writers get a lot of harassment online from fans, not liking what they're doing a certain character, who they're ending up with. What kind of advice would you offer to writers in that position?
    • Charlaine: You don't write by popular vote. A writer has to do what he or she thinks is right for the characters, you have to have your goal in mind. I think for a beginning writer, you have to learn to shut yourself in a room, by yourself and most people cannot do that. They think they can but they go, "Oh no, I've gotta go do that. I've gotta go do that." Shut the door, finish the book. Until you finish the book or the screenplay or the graphic novel, you cannot call yourself a writer. You gotta finish. I can't tell you how many people have said, "Oh, I had a great start for a book and I started writing it, but then I thought of something better, so I started a different one," and I'm going, "You're not a writer." You've gotta finish. You gotta carry that idea through. Anybody can think of a great initial idea. It's carrying it through to the end that proves what you've got in you.
  • Is there a certain type of supernatural character that you've not written that you want to write or are serious about writing?
    • Charlaine: There are quite a few. I've never written about a Naga, which is an Indian snake goddess. There are several I've never written ... Laura Hamilton got them all first. I thought, "No, Laura did that." I always feel that I can do my own take on it and that will make them fresh and different, I hope.
  • This series has the benefit of being produced in a bubble, in the sense of they've produced all the episodes, they've written all the episodes. Does that make it easier? Now they'll put it out there and people will either like it or not like it.
    • Charlaine: Like or not. Every now and then I get a letter from a reader or really an email, of course ... you can tell how old I am, letter, huh, by people saying, "Oh, did you know she was a werefox on one page and something else on the other," and I'm going, "I don't care." There's nothing I can do about it now. Am I gonna buy back all the books and mark it out and write it in? I never know what people like that expect. I think, "What was your goal in telling me this, right? You wanted me to feel a little bad or a little stupid?" I make mistakes and it got past the editor and the copy editor and my beta readers. It got past all of them, so you know, mistakes happen, what can I say? But they can hardly wait to tell me ... you know, the book comes out, the next, the next day.

Sarah Ramos
  • Fanbolt's Emma Loggins sits down with actress, Sarah Ramos, and talks about her character in the new NBC series Midnight, Texas, and more.[17] (7-17-17)
  • How did you get involved with the show — what drew you to it and what were your thoughts on the character?
    • Sarah Ramos: What drew me to "Midnight, Texas" was the amazing team behind it, which was Monica Owusu-Breen, who's the showrunner and writer of the pilot, and she's just really cool and talented as you've all seen. She has a really unique voice and is willing to fight for things to stay unique on network television, which is really cool. The director of the pilot was Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the pilot of "Mr. Robot" and the original "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." He had this really magnetic energy that was really exciting from the second I met him at the audition.
    • Then the character is Creek Lovell. She is like an independent, young woman living in a small town. And I love small town — shows that are set in small towns like "Friday Night Lights" and "Gilmore Girls," where you just know everybody, and everybody is in your business and is rooting for you. "You," being like the character. And Creek kind of gets to be like this sweet Rory Gilmore-esque character who gets to be a writer and has bigger aspirations than being in this town but she's kept there because of her family and her little brother. But at the same time, she's really independent and works two jobs and is a badass.
  • Is she as sweet as we're led to believe in the pilot?
    • Sarah Ramos: She's pretty sweet. She's like a nice person.
  • Is there a secret?
    • Sarah Ramos: No, there's definitely secrets, but — well, her world is about to get a lot bigger. I'm trying to think of how to describe it without giving anything away. She's about to learn a lot that she didn't know about her childhood and why she's in Midnight, Texas in the first place. She's going to have to decide whether to say there or to leave.
  • What can you say about the nature of her relationship with her father and brother?
    • Sarah Ramos: Creek's father is kind of a classic, small-town deadbeat guy. That's how he comes off at least. He is an alcoholic and a controlling father who wants to know where she is at all times and doesn't want her to have a relationship with Manfred, the psychic who comes to town. She is only staying in Midnight, Texas because she's taking care of her little brother Connor who's 17 and she wants to leave when he's 18 and he can take care of himself, but she doesn't want to leave him alone with their very controlling father. So there's kind of a push and pull dynamic where she really cares about her little brother but she wants to leave town and go to college and be a writer and do all these things that you can't do in this really, really small town. She loves her father but she needs to push back against him and there's some good rebellious stuff happening, but not in a teenage rebellion way. In a — things get more complicated when you're an adult, in your adult relationship with your parents.
  • Is she protecting her brother from anything?
    • Sarah Ramos: Yeah, there are definitely tones of Creek protecting her brother. She's probably shielding him from having to go through what she had to go through.
  • As the season continues, is it more questions or is it more answers?
    • Sarah Ramos: I think a lot of stuff gets answered, but of course not everything. I think just enough to be satisfying. There are definitely some surprises.
  • Are there challenges or kickass moments with playing this character?
    • Sarah Ramos: Yeah, there are. I got to — I think I can say I got to slay a vampire. That happens in I think Episode 3. I get to fight monsters. Before this I was on another NBC show, which was a family drama called "Parenthood," and it was definitely way less action-heavy than I would say "Midnight, Texas" was. The most action we had was family dance parties or like dinner table scenes or breakfast scenes where we're all getting ready to go to work and school. So I say that Haddie Braverman, my character on that show probably wouldn't survive in Midnight, Texas. Creek gets to do a lot of action stuff... and some dancing actually now that I think about it.
  • Did you learn fight choreography? And how was that?
    • Sarah Ramos: I didn't really do any fight choreography, but I've had to drive a lot on this show, and drive old cars that their brakes don't work that well and are kind of scary. A VW Bug, that was fun. We do a lot of action in cars I guess. Manfred has his RV, and yo have to be able to kill monsters on the move.
  • What can you say about your character's relationship with Manfred?
    • Sarah Ramos: In Midnight, Texas, Manfred comes to town, and he and Creek meet immediately and kind of immediately hit it off in a very Taylor Swiftian, Charlaine Harris-y way. The "sparks fly" instantly. I love Taylor Swift. I could quote so many lyrics and apply it to their romance because it is a very like fairy-tale connection that they have. Which, also, coming from a Charlaine Harris world, is going to be grounded in some kind of weirdness. The fact that there's no one in town who's Creek's age, so when Manfred comes and he's not hideous, of course she's going to be completely interested in him. So they have a lot of fun from the get-go, but you never really have time to get together. They're always getting interrupted or horrible secrets are being let loose that they have to deal with. That's where I'll leave it. But you never know.
  • How do you think Creek changes over the course of the first season?
    • Sarah Ramos: This is actually something that I talked to Monica Breen about before we started shooting. We discussed that Creek's journey over this season was really going to be about going from being a daughter and a sister and a girlfriend to being really learning how to be an individual and an adult outside of those relationships, so it's kind of a feminist journey.
  • What does Creek think of the other Midnighters?
    • Sarah Ramos: Yeah, it is an interesting bunch. Creek is kind of in a unique position in town because she came here when she was so young and yet she also doesn't have powers and so she grew up surrounded by these supernatural beings who she knows are different and knows are weird but also sees them as her family and knows that they will protect her and that that's really a — I mean, what is more comforting than having like a vampire who would like kill for you?
  • Does she see them as extended family?
    • Sarah Ramos: Definitely. Yeah, especially — the town is so small that they all are family of sorts.
  • Does her family get along with the others?
    • Sarah Ramos: No. Her father's more of a recluse I would say. I mean, he doesn't have enemies in town but he kind of keeps to himself.
  • Do you connect with this genre?
    • Sarah Ramos: This is pretty alien from what I've personally been interested in in my life. My family — like my mom, dad and brother are all obsessed with supernatural and fantasy. I grew up with them reading these thick paperback books all the time that they would blow through. And I was like, "Mm, I think I'm going to read a Mary-Kate and Ashley book instead. Or like 'Gossip Girl.'" So I never really gravitated toward it, but now that I am doing it, it's so fun, and I can totally see the appeal.
  • Would you like to be one of the supernatural characters?
    • Sarah Ramos: Yeah, I think that would be cool to be a supernatural person. It depends what power you get. Well, maybe I would want to be a witch, you know. That'd be cool. I wouldn't want to be like, wear contacts in my eyes or something like Lem does. But they're all pretty cool. Jason has wings. I do get to relax a little bit more than everybody else does.
  • Is it helpful to have filmed all of these episodes together before it comes out and there's been a chance for the fans to really dive in or critics to dive in and really comment on everything? Has that kind of isolation helped you guys?
    • Sarah Ramos: I think that it's probably a blessing and a curse because we get to do all of this stuff untainted by public opinion but also being here, shooting something that nobody has seen, kind of makes you feel crazy. Or at least me. I'm just really curious to see it and see if what the fans think, you know? Are they all going to be like really mean or are they going to be really excited? But ultimately yeah, we'll never get to have this first season where we don't know what we're exactly making and we're feeling it out again, so that feels really special.
  • The vision is the vision, and it's uncorrupted, and that's pretty cool.
    • Sarah Ramos: That's true.
  • Did you learn anything from playing this character?
    • Sarah Ramos: I did. I feel l can't — I feel like I'm going to give a spoiler away. There were just like scenes that were a lot darker than anything I've ever shot before. I've done really emotional scenes before, like, oh you break up with your first boyfriend or you have a horrible fight with your parents or something. But I haven't done scenes where there's like demonic spirits roiling around and where you have a lot of action to do in the scene and it gets like so intense. I think I learned about how to handle myself in situations like that and how to protect myself from getting carried away with this insane world that you're acting in and trying to make seem real. I don't know if that seems really actor-y.
  • Have you read the novels at all?
    • Sarah Ramos: I listened to the first one on audiobook, and I didn't really like the reader's performance of my character. She was very timid, but that was kind of helpful because I was like, "Oh, this is so different from me. Whatever. I don't have to worry about this." But she was like, "Oh hi. I'm nervous. You're cute." And that's really not how my character is at all in the show. And then in the book, my character leaves at the end of the first book, so I was like, "Whatever. I don"t need to read this."
  • Is it nice to have the romantic storyline in the middle of all the madness?
    • Sarah Ramos: Yes, oh my gosh it's so fun. Francois, who plays Manfred, during the pilot he was joking that everyone was on a supernatural show and I was like on "Dawson's Creek," which I was really into. It was really fun. But we get — it's not separate from all the madness.

Parisa Fitz-Henley
  • Fanbolt's Emma Loggins sits down with actress, Parisa Fitz-Henley, and teases about the premiere of the new NBC series Midnight, Texas and more.[18] (7-18-17)
  • What drew you to the show? Can you talk about this character and what she is going through?
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: Totally! My intuition drew me to the show. Before I even read what it was about, I had a feeling. Like my agent called on a Friday evening. I had just completed the week. It was 6pm, and I was like, "Okay, this week is done. I'm looking forward to next week's auditions and stuff." And I got this call and I kind of just had a little feeling with the call, and then they sent the email and I had even more of a feeling.
    • Then I saw Monica Owusu-Breen's name on it, and I was like, "let me see what else she's done." And then I saw "Lost", "Fringe," two of my biggest obsessions. And I just suddenly felt really safe and like this is something special. And then I wrote a poem for her like a dork. I totally did. I don't know if she knows that. I think I might show it to her at some point.
    • And then I read the script. I was like, "Oh my God! Where is the rest of it? I want to read more. I love this! I got to get the book!" I swear I got the book online like off the Kindle, and I started reading and I was like...
    • Fiji, the character, she's me!! No, basically, what drew me to Fiji was her warmth, she's eager, and she means well. She's very sincere. In particular, when you see in the books how much she struggles to feel comfortable in the world, and that's something we also wanted to make sure was a part of her experience in the show. Because I feel like so many women experience this, where we know somewhere deep down inside that we're powerful. We know we have something to offer, but the world tells you you're the wrong shape, you're the wrong size, the wrong this and the wrong that – and Fiji is really conscious about her feelings about that. And that is something that I've also dealt with in my life. So those are the things that drew me to her and... and yeah I can relate to being in love with a guy that you don't want him to know about it.
  • How has your character's journey and evolution this season surprised you, especially since you have read the books?
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: I wouldn't say that Fiji's evolution has surprised me as much as I would say its given me an added amount of respect for Monica who has written the show. Because it's someone's growth over three books and what you can imagine from a book you're just reading versus what you can do in a show that's just ten episodes... It amazes me what she is able to write for Fiji that feels really real. Like, Fiji grows the way I think people grow. Sometimes it's two steps forward, two steps back. Sometimes, it's just two steps back. And we see that throughout. If anything, if there is any surprise, it would be that, to be a part of a show where they really honor something like that. I'm just very humbled by the woman Fiji is. So it's been and honor and fun to play her.
  • How does it feel to play a character that has the ability to fight back?
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: Because that is something that she struggles with. She's not entirely comfortable with her ability to fight back. It feels authentic. I don't know. It's like stepping into her and the challenge of "can I do this for myself?" It feels real. And what's great and feels very natural about the relationships on this show is that when she does not believe in herself, one of her friends is reflecting her back to herself and saying, "You know you can do this." Where she is also doing that for them.
  • In the pilot, you crush a car... Is that unusual for her to go to that length and be that angry or fearful for her friend?
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: Yes! It is unusual; because it's something she newly really made an effort to contain. Because she knows that if her emotions get the best of her anything can happen. So it's not a power that she is wielding comfortably.
  • What spell casting might we see Fiji do?
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: Something that is very important to Fiji is the idea that magic and science are maybe the same thing. And I think about it even like, you have a cup of herbal tea, which is just tea, but like 200 years ago the lady doing that in the woods, putting herbs and stuff together and maybe making someone feel better – she might also get put on the stake because it was like, "What did you do?!" You know? And now it's like, "Oh yeah." It's not even science anymore. It's just good hospitality, you know?
    • So I think Fiji, she sees that, but maybe there are things that she didn't do that aren't explained yet, but probably will be. So she's kind of dealing with witchcraft all day. People are coming to her with illnesses, coming to her with emotional concerns, and she puts things together.
  • You said, "you are Fiji and Fiji is you," are you into magic, tarot cards and psychics?
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: You know, I'm open to a lot of it and I have a lot of respect for the ways that different people choose to navigate through the world. Like I grew up in a religious community that was accepting of all faiths. So that opened me to, "Oh this person does this, this way and this person does this that way." And they are all valid, and they all add something to the beautiful mix of humanity, if we allow them to – If we make space for each other. I think Fiji sees the world in a similar way, which is why I was so attracted to her, because she looks at not just Wicca, but the entire world as a school in a sense. And brings these different things into how she lives her life. And I think I do that too. So like, you know, I'm big on crystals and I love my incense, and I think beauty is a big part of life and it really uplifts. So things that represent beauty – I want those in my life... flowers, crystals or whatever.
  • How close is Fijis style to yours?
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: I'm a lot lazier than Fiji. Like way lazier. I wear the same outfit to work every day, and I don't own it. Like sweatpants that costume designers give me and I'm just like, "I can just wear this like a uniform." But I think Fiji knows she has her store and she represents Wicca and she represents people who aren't outside the box, so when she's out showing herself she puts herself together very beautifully. But also in her private life, Fiji, because she also believes in beauty and believes that different objects affect you in different ways, she's inspiring me fashion wise.
  • You and the cast have a really camaraderie. Can you talk a bit about that?
    • Parisa Fitz-Henley: Aside from the tequila, because I don't drink, otherwise we've gone out to eat like every weekend. I stayed at Ariel's house when I was in LA, we'd go to work together, and we'd go get our nails done together. Bernardo Saracino and I did a short film together... I'm like in love with everybody. It's so wonderful. You know, I worked on a show called "Luke Cage" before this, and that cast also had a really beautiful camaraderie, so having this experience now twice has been so encouraging to me. You hear the stories, like, "Oh, acting... everybody is catty" and "It's a terrible business, and Hollywood... blah blah blah." But what I've been finding in particular in the last year or so, there are a lot of people who get a lot of joy from their work, and then it spread out and it feels like a wonderful gift to be on this series.

Jason Lewis
  • Fanbolt's Emma Loggins sits down with actor, Jason Lewis, who plays Joe Strong on the new series, to talk about his character, what drew him to the series, and what he can tease for the first season![19] (7-24-17)
  • Can you tell us a little bit about your character?
    • Jason Lewis: My character's an immortal. He's been around for a few thousand years, and that presented I think my first conundrum of trying to figure out the character. What is the character's point of view after such a long period of time? I sort of approached it by just taking one those history of the universe graph things where all this is blank, and then there's this series of events in the last few seconds. And just sort of started making marks and writing creative stories on it. The thing I came up with on my character is that he's been around for so long, regardless what was shown to him in his initial indoctrinations from whatever his period was. Hes seen so much in that hes moved past conventional ideas. He just sees the world with a little less cynicism and a little bigger picture than I would even. Trying to like strive for those higher ideals, but also recognize that there's still a creature that fails, and thinks, and can get stuck in those thoughts and ideas.
  • Has he evolved the way that you thought he would? I know you guys are filming the finale episode now. Were there any major surprises to you along the way?
    • Jason Lewis: No. That's an interesting question, I haven't thought about it. I'm mostly just keeping up. Yeah, you know what, I think I might have expected him, before I saw what the material was and read the books – that he might have a lighter tonality to him. Not to say that he's a downer person, were dealing with real events. He has a sensibility like probably in his day-to-day, he chooses to operate with a sense of lightness, but hes also seen real harshness. So I think we've gotten a little closer to that then I thought we would. Part of that's coming. Gotta dig in and be gritty.
  • Is he choosing to be the optimist?
    • Jason Lewis: No.
  • Because he's seen so much.
    • Jason Lewis: No. I think he's very pragmatic. I think he's a very realistic human being, or creature in the sense of how he looks at the world. I think the willingness... I do think he's a realist. I think he chooses to lens the positive, but he's not blind to the awful. To be an optimist and kind of ignore the other set of circumstances is not his character. He just is constantly surprised by the beauty and capability of humanity and knows the depravity.
  • But you know, you could go to the dark side. You could just get super depressed-
    • Jason Lewis: In my character history he did. He had those dark moments. He became disillusioned at one point in his history and pulled back out of that. That's a large part of where he is now. That's a conscious choice I made for the character. I think that often times we as people, we reach a point in our life where we do become disillusioned with whatever we've learned, we hit a malaise or morose period in our life. I know for me I had one. At some point I looked at myself and I was like, "Well, this perspective's not gonna get you anywhere, so lets try a more abundant happier one." That said, I had to balance my ideals and my realism, I'm still pragmatic. I know that bad exists in the world, but I push towards a more positive thing.
  • Is there an anchor for him that you would say throughout the season?
    • Jason Lewis: I think very much, and it's in the books, his partner Chuy is very much his anchor. I think Chuy's the touch stone that ... The way I've done my back history, and this could change as the writers write it, but the way I've done my back history is that Chuy became my touchstone for that. To bring me out of the despondent sense I had of things moving forward and the fact that it just repeats to these horrible cycles, and you'd think that man would figure it out in this one lifetime, but no, we just keep repeating the same mistake for thousands of years. So he's my touchstone.
  • Is your character running from something?
    • Jason Lewis: I think all of our characters are. Midnight's a place where we can go as outcasts and not feel such, not be judged by the normal conventions of society. So, I don't ... Yes. My character and I won't tell you what I'm hiding from specifically, as it has a specific reason for being off the radar. I think he also came to Midnight because it's a place of acceptance. It's where you may not have gotten the family or the peer group that you're hoping for, but you end up finding one. I think that's a great message, its something I love about our story, I think most of us in the world don't end up being born into these perfect idealistic environments, we gotta make the most out of what comes our way and then hopefully we find the peers that uplifts and supports us and doesn't rip holes into our egos.
  • What initially drew you to the role?
    • Jason Lewis: It was the writing. I got to read the pilot episode and seeing the things I just discussed. This was a story that had pathos and ethos and logos. It wasn't just a piece of fluff entertainment, that you're dealing with people circumstances and it was relatable. I think that's when story becomes ... I don't care if its a heavy drama or a light romantic comedy, when the audience can put themselves in there and say, "Hey, I can relate to that," that's where we gain our relief and our insight for self and that's what story is really for.
  • Was there a moment in filming the season, like the first moment that you felt like you really clicked with the character? You were like, I got him.
    • Jason Lewis: Good question. I'm trying to remember if it happened on the pilot. It happened really quick, and I don't know if I can mark that right now. I'd just be making something up. But great question. I doesn't always happen right away. This one it ... I don't know, I did a ton of writing and backstory and imagining on it, it just it was pretty available to me from the go. There were a couple of concerns that I was going in the wrong direction, but it didn't seem to be an issue. This was pretty easy.
  • How much did they suggest that you actually look at the book?
    • Jason Lewis: Not at all. No one suggested that. I just do it out of my own interest.
  • Does it help when you're building a character, even if they don't write to it, does it infuse your own perception of the character in a way?
    • Jason Lewis: I wanted to know where Charlaine was coming from and creating the world and the tone. Does it help? We're breaking new ground with this character for sure. There's a lot more that we're having to discuss about who the character is as compared to what's actually in the books. It didn't hurt. I don't really know, everybody works different. I want to be saturated with as much information as I could experience. Like I just said, I read a bunch of backstories, I write specific memories for my character. I might find out later that my history is totally wrong, but at least I have an anchor and something real to attach myself to.
  • Did you get that info from the pilot?
    • Jason Lewis: Oh, yeah. It's just how I do acting. I did a lot more after the pilot, cause I had more time. That's the thing about ... You're on the ground running going, "Have I got all my clothes on? Oh, I'm barefoot, damn." So I got as much as I could, the pilot happened pretty quick, I had a lot more time afterwards to dive in and create stories and imagine on it and really figure out what was the perspective of this character. One of the things that definitely didn't come to me until after the pilot was, these guys have been around for a long time, these little trivialities the human beings get stuck on ... These have gotta seem so inconsequential to me as a character.
  • Is he the oldest resident of Midnight?
    • Jason Lewis: Yes. Yes, I'm an old man. Lemuel [Peter Mensah's character] is not that old, and the Rev's not that old. I'm the oldest.
  • How is working with your writers and the executive producers? Genre shows a lot of times executive producers don't want to tell their actors anything, they want you to be in the moment, so obviously you've been able to build your own backstory, but was there a point post-pilot where Monica or anybody came and said, "Okay, here's where he's going"?
    • Jason Lewis: I cannot praise them enough. Talk about transparency, and Monica is just an incredible woman. She's a great Mom, she's an awesome woman, she also happens to be a damn good showrunner. She invited me to meet all the writers and talk with her. It wasn't something I pushed for, it was something she opened the door wide open for. So our accessibility to speak to them about the character is bar-none. It's pretty transparent and pretty wonderful. Now, do they tell us everything? No, of course not. They shouldn't.
  • Is it weird for you filming a whole season before getting fan interaction and feedback via social media?
    • Jason Lewis: The hope is greater than it was at the beginning. God, I hope this goes. That's related to the producers, this is one of the best working environments I've ever been in. The people are great, I so love my peerage here. My crew, my cast, my show runners, my producers, directors ... So I'm hoping for years of success. No, I would have never paid attention to that anyway in terms of getting what I had to do, because it's too confusing trying to satisfy everybody. I guess in that, the desire for it to stick around is more great now, and we won't find out till the fans find out.
  • Do you guys know anything? Have you asked any questions about, "Hey, so this is happening this week, in the final week of filming, where is this gonna go next season?" Are you guys asking any of those questions?
    • Jason Lewis: Oh, you know...
  • I know you can't talk about it, but as an actor on the show, are you trying to get answers.
    • Jason Lewis: Some ask more, some ask less. I read the last episode, I can see where they're kind of going if I used my creative imagination, and I also figured they got a lot more headaches ahead of them. Wow, you guys gotta write this thing, Ill leave you to it then.
  • How do you feel this series fit in with other genre shows that are currently on? How would you compare it or say it differs or how would you describe it to potential viewers?
    • Jason Lewis: Let's not compare it to other things, because I don't need to be creating in that way. Its definitely a genre show in the sense that it will satisfy, and I like genre shows I love supernatural things, I love the fantasy and magic of words you can carry. So there's definitely the satisfaction of those elements. We've got a witch, we got a were-tiger, we've got different vampires, and angels, and demons and things. Come on. Where I think often times a show fails is that it relies so heavily on the genre and sometimes forgets the story development and character development. They've done a really good job about making these characters consistent and matter, and that the bond and the drive for the characters to act the way they are is because of how they feel about the other characters and themselves. I think we got something good here. Watch it. Silly.

François Arnaud
  • Fanbolt's Emma Loggins sits down with actor, François Arnaud, who plays Manfred Bernardo on the new series, to talk about his character, what drew him to the series, and what he can tease for the first season![20] (7-24-17)
  • So we know you're in the last week of filming for season one, coming into that and seeing the evolution of your character across the season – Has there been anything that's really surprised you, that you can talk about?
    • François Arnaud: The plot lines have been very surprising from the start weekly. But I think what's surprising actually is the level of comfort that I found in portraying a character, where I feel like the writers really ... I feel it clicks from the start with Neils, who directed the pilot.
    • The tone that we wanted for Manfred to employ, sort of cynical aspects of his personalities, the dark humor, and I feel like, as time went on, the writers really ... We just saw eye to eye and I would see in the writing, how maybe previous performances had influenced their writing style. That's just a lovely thing to happen.
  • Was it something before you even started filming the pilot, just from reading it? Or was there like a certain scene in which it just clicked and you're like I know him.
    • François Arnaud: It was all very quick, the casting process, because I was doing "Blindspot" at the time, and Martin Gero, creator of "Blindspot" flew into New York, where I live from LA. And after shooting day just took me aside, and he's like, "I'm so sorry man, we're gonna kill you off for the finale.” And I was like, "oh, okay." But he was like, "we always knew, but it was one of three options, and that's you know, we need to raise the stakes. It's like people in the age of "Game of Thrones", you know, people and characters we care about need to ..."
  • Need to go.
    • François Arnaud: Need to go. But he was very gracious about it and he said, "Listen, if you find something else, we're gonna work around it." And so the next day I got this ... and I think two days later I auditioned for it, and they'd been looking. I think the four other main cast members were cast, they just didn't have their lead. And they'd been announced in the press and all, and they flew me to LA to meet with the director, and do a screen test. So it took about three days to get cast in this, and then you know, and the "Blindspot" people had to deal with me being in New Mexico for a month so that wasn't easy. But they promised.
  • So they had to ...
    • François Arnaud: Yeah.
  • ...hold off killing you off.
    • François Arnaud: Oh no, they still killed me. It was a pretty brutal death, I got impaled and burned.
  • But yeah... way to go out.
    • François Arnaud: There were a lot of scenes for the audition, and we sort of explored different avenues, where it would be more or less comedic. But I think, ultimately, there's something that's very ... I'm allowed to be in this character as opposed to my character in "Blindspot", or my character in "The Borgias", or the films that I've made, where I've often played characters that were very much in control, and professionals, and very skilled, and I think Manfred is very sensitive, and emotional and I'm just very in control of his emotions.
    • And, that's something goofy, it allows me to be like a bit of a doofus, and like cool but sort of not so clean cut you know? Even what they're doing with my hair right now, which is letting it be what it wants to be is a first for me. Usually everyone is trying to tame the beast, like in every show or every movie, it's always the main conversation is like what are we gonna do with the hair? And so they usually give me a parting and it's tons of time and producers disagreeing over it and here they would just after the pilot in which there was a lot of conversations about my hair, after the pilot they were like "let it be where it wants to be, more crazy, more f****d up." So I think that's just a testament to like how they trust me with the character and how ... it just felt right so yeah.
  • I was gonna say the pilot, when you're talking to your grandmother, is that your grandmother?
    • François Arnaud: Yeah she is my grandmother. Yeah.
  • I thought, I think that might be the first time I've seen Francois smile on screen.
    • François Arnaud: Oh really?
  • Ever.
    • François Arnaud: No, no, no. I'll send you other work. No, I've done a lot of smiley roles recently actually. I have a very smiley role coming up, a lovely film that I did with Rebecca Hall and Dan Stevens in New York this year, Jason Sudeikis is also in it. It's called Permission, it's gonna come out soon. And I'm very smiley in that, I'm just really sunny, and glowy, and innocent, and naïve, an idiot, and stupid. But yeah, I did smile in that scene.
  • Well, Cesare didn't smile much though.
    • François Arnaud: Cesare didn't smile much, no, no. I mean he had to rule over Europe and kill people. I do kill people in this too, I mean, I kill people, people. No, I'm just ...
  • Or ghost people.
    • François Arnaud: ... ghost people.
  • How does a ghost taste?
    • François Arnaud: How does a ghost taste- ...
  • It seems like you get to swallow of ghosts.
    • François Arnaud: Yes right, it's ... yeah. I actually, I like how far they went with it, and in subsequent episodes it's even more brutal. It has a very rape-y vibe to it, it takes a toll on Manfred's body for days, and weeks. It's something that costs him and it's not just a trick. It's definitely a fun show and there's fun, but I really see it as a responsibility, especially as the lead character of this ensemble, to ground his experiences and tap into real fear and real self doubt. I just think it gives the appropriate weight to the experience.
  • Well that's really kind of why he's really interesting, because he doesn't let that kind of thing happen, he wants to control that.
    • François Arnaud: Exactly, but yeah, and I don't know what your take is, on why he decides to stay, but as opposed to run away. But he does run away a couple times in this series, he's like, "I'm done." But then, I think, ultimately, realizes that this sense of community that he finds in Midnight is a positive thing in his life, and that he's been fending for his own for a little too long. That kind of comes of feeling too long and that it brings him something, and obviously there's the love story with the brilliant Sarah Ramos, who is really incredibly smart, and a great ... I think she brings a really great spark to that character that could just seriously be Strawberry Shortcake sweet, you know. She has a real wit.
  • There were hints that Lem and your grandmother knew each other and ...
    • François Arnaud: Yeah. You see it. Actually, oh you're right, it's early 1900s it's not the 1800s. Yes, I'm sorry. Yes we see two younger incarnations of Xylda throughout the season. One is very young and one is when Manfred was a child. So, in the episode nine there's this ... I'm probably not allowed to say any of it, but what the hell. Episode nine, there's scenes that I sadly didn't get to play, because I couldn't play a five year old version of myself, as hard as I try. But they're really moving scenes, where you see a young Manfred tying to cope with the first beginnings of his power and the effect it has on other people.
  • Do you know if your powers are fully inherited from your parents?
    • François Arnaud: They were. So Manfred comes from a long line of self-identified Gypsies. They say Gypsies, so I guess it's not politically correct to say that anymore about other people, but they can call themselves Gypsies. So Roma or whatev- but Eastern European descendants, and it's I think traditionally in fiction, I guess, psychic powers are passed on to blood, but they often skip a generation, so he definitely got it from his grandmother. But to a different extent, I think her powers were very limited actually, and his powers go beyond anything that he imagined. And he didn't necessarily have access to them before, and faced with saving the world as one is, he has no choice but to find a way to ... I mean or it just comes to him more naturally, I guess now.
  • So does he know all his power when we first meet him?
    • François Arnaud: No, he doesn't, I mean he knows that he's a psychic, but I think that's part of the backstory of Xylda and Manfred, is that it didn't always work. I mean they would do readings for people and if it didn't happen, they would just pretended. They ran a lot of scams, they pissed off a lot of people, and those people are after Manfred. He owes a lot of money to a lot of different people living and dead. And that's what sort of drives him to Midnight. What was the questions?
    • But you know that's what happen in Midnight, because as the veil is fraying, the first effect that, that has is it sort of enhances everyone's inner demons, right? People have a hard time controlling and managing their abilities, and so that's what's also interesting, because the threats to Midnight and the main characters are often themselves, as opposed to just having a monster coming from the outside.
  • So did Manfred start the fraying?You had talked a little bit about how far they pushed it. Shows are always trying to find their tone in season one. Were you surprised with where the series went? Was there any point, you know, in terms of conversations, where you even were trying to navigate what the show is? Finding your voice with the character?
    • François Arnaud: I was always on board with keeping some of the humor, and the dialogue, and the characters, but I am very happy with the way we steered away after the pilot, from the more whimsical aspect of the show. It reminds of something that we did last year, but that isn't what we're doing, it's just like visually it's much darker. The director of photography, whose on board with us, Mike Spragg, has only done very gritty cable television, in England mostly, and is able to create really amazing atmospheres really quickly, very efficiently. But it's much darker, it has less of a Harry Potter sort of family vibe to it. The humor's still there, but I think it's scarier. And it's not a ... I hope that it's not afraid to allow itself to go to those places of where ... I mean it's never gory not really gory, but it's definitely more atmospheric and it isn't afraid of tension. I'm pleasantly surprised with that.

Arielle Kebbel
  • Fanbolt's Emma Loggins sits down with actress, Arielle Kebbel, who plays Olivia on the new series, to talk about her character, what drew her to the series, and what she can tease for the first season![21] (7-24-17)