Posted March 28, 2016 over at wetpaint.com
by Samantha Lear
As an actor, how do you follow up roles on a cult favorite like Hannibal or a critical darling like True Detective?
Well, if you’re Hugh Dancy or Michelle Monaghan, you forgo returning to your movie roots and instead team up with fellow TV heavyweight Aaron Paul for The Path, one of Hulu’s first drama series executive produced by Friday Night Lights’ Jason Katims.
The show, which premieres March 30, has been kept pretty under wraps, but it’s about a cult-like Meyerist Movement in bucolic New York and the “deep issues involving relationships, faith and power” experienced by its leader and a family within it.
Luckily, Wetpaint was able to speak to the stars ahead of the premiere at SCAD’s aTVfest last month to find out more about how they got involved.
“I wanted something that, at least for me, would feel slightly different,” Hugh says of stepping into the shoes of Cal Roberts, the leader of the movement. “You want it to feel like it’s something fresh.”
But while he was ready to change things up after his last TV hit, Michelle struggled a little more to find something that could match how “perfect” True Detective’s first season was.
“It was kind of one of those things where everything was going to be compared to it,” she explains. “So it was a matter of finding something that intrigued me and compelled me — something that I felt challenged by.”
She admits she read many scripts before finding this unexpected project, thanks mostly to its aforementioned EP, whom she met on the set of her first TV role ever on Boston Public.
“I remember sitting with him in a director’s chair one day and thinking, ‘He’s the nicest guy I’ve ever met,’” she gushes of the Parenthood helmer. “I’ve never forgotten him. Then he sent me this and I was like, ‘OK, I”ll go down this road with you.’”
That road meant tapping into some heavy emotions, as Aaron’s character’s devoted wife, Sarah Jones, who the actress hints isn’t “as seemingly serene” as she appears in the first few.
“You see a real intensity she’s pushed to in the latter part of the season,” the 40-year-old teases. “I think what’s interesting is seeing somebody who thinks their life is perfect, and when that starts to implode, how it affects them. I want to explore the unraveling of someone.”
Meanwhile, Hugh has the task of creating an “isolated and damaged” person in charismatic Cal, who he reveals will go “to some fairly dark places because he’s trying to hold everything together for everyone else.”
He continues, “The things he is carrying on his shoulders are not anything he can share with anyone else within the movement. Nobody does very well for very long with a bunch of secrets.”
The Path premieres Wednesday, March 30 on Hulu.