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Hugh Dancy on Playing a Cult Leader on The Path and Why He’s Hopeful Hannibal Will Return to TV

In Hulu’s drama The Path, Hugh Dancy plays Cal, the leader of a fringe religious movement (“it’s not a cult,” his character is quick to correct) and a recovering alcoholic who has entered into a sexual relationship with a young recruit (Emma Greenwell). Dancy’s first response to the character? “Cal seems like a pretty happy-go-lucky guy.” To be fair, in comparison to Dancy’s most famous recent role — a turn as the tortured Will Graham, who was somewhere between an adversary and protégée to Hannibal Lecter on Hannibal — that might be true. Plus, as Dancy admits, he has a tendency to underestimate the darkness in his characters as a whole. We caught up to talk about the latest developments in The Path, why Dancy wants to return to Hannibal, and the experience of looking back on scenes and thinking, “What the hell did I just do?”

I was trying to come up with the best way to describe your character Cal to a friend, and I ended up with your character on Hannibal, Will Graham, but at the end of the show. He has this very empathetic side, but it’s twisted by this darkness.
I understand the urge to find a through link, but I feel like the only thing that really connects them, which just about connects any interesting character, is that they’re in conflict as to who exactly they are. You can actually say the same thing of Aaron [Paul]’s character [Eddie], and, for that matter, Michelle [Monaghan]’s [Sarah]. Everything about the way Cal carries himself, the way he approaches other people, the stuff he’s carrying around — I didn’t have to slough off Will Graham, if you know what I mean.

You bring in a lot of that darkness, and also that attempt at connection.
For me, the darkness — and this is a truism — but not many people think of themselves as dark. And even though I knew what I was doing, when I watched the first episode, I did have to stop and recognize, “Oh yeah, there’s something pretty bleak about this guy.”

Because from my perspective, and this becomes more true as you move into the middle of the show, I was thinking about him as somebody who is shouldering this massive burden. For his own sake, and for the sake the movement and the sake of everybody else in it. He’s decided that, probably accurately, the only way the thing is going to continue is if he absorbs what he’s now learned about Steve [the leader of the Meyerist cult], i.e. the fact that he’s mortal, the fact that the rungs [part of a critical text in the movement] aren’t going to be completed by Steve. He can’t share that with anybody. It’s a very solitary and lonely position. For Cal, he himself is built on such shaky foundations, that the preservation of the movement is essential. That’s his lifeline. It probably saved his life.

It’s self-preservation for him.
And that’s both desperate, and it can be genuine. He sees it as something with a very positive message for himself and other people. At the same time, just because of who he is, it so happens that selfless decision dovetails very neatly with everything in him that’s also very ambitious and very alpha and very driven and domineering. Those two things are kind of both growing and moving forward hand-in-hand. That’s what makes it interesting to me.

On a more comedic note, I loved the little moments where you see Cal in his car listening to inspirational tapes, trying to figure out how to be leader.
I read the first two scripts when we first signed on and got a few more quickly afterwards, and that in a way sealed the deal for me, a.) because it’s funny, b.) because you realize this isn’t some guy who’s been running a cult all his life. He’s been a follower and an acolyte and a devotee. And to some extent he was marked and chosen, but he never thought he’d be in this position. He wouldn’t want to be, because who wants to think that your savior is actually just a guy? I like that about him, and that he’s really trying to quickly learn the lessons he needs to run a cult.

There’s so much detail in the structure of the Meyerist movement. Did you talk about the underpinnings of it? To me, there’s a bit of Scientology, a bit of New Age EST or Esalen qualities to the cult.
First of all, it’s easiest to talk about cults because at this point, we’ve packed so much into that word. But one thing that I’ve come away from this is thinking “my cult is your religion is your movement.” It’s very much in the eye of the beholder. I don’t think that’s just because I was trying to be fair to the character. I think that everything, from major religions down, at some point has been this unpalatable, unacceptable little offshoot of something. And then either it gains traction or acceptability or it doesn’t. Obviously some of them are more sinister, but they’ve got so much in common. In the ’50s, there was this big upshoot of cults, because the apocalypse was coming due to nuclear destruction. Now it makes sense to me that, because of what’s in the air, the apocalyptic thinking would be based around the environment.

In one episode, we see this big focus on climate change in the cult.
It’s like the worst possible iteration of the farm-to-table movement.

There’s this tension with Emma Greenwell’s character, Mary, where Cal has saved her, but he also preys on her to an extent. You can see a very dark aspect of the power hierarchy of a cult.
It’s interesting with this character of Mary. In some very basic way, she’s this perfect fit for Cal. There’s something inside each of them that they recognize, and she is more honest about it than he is. Maybe he’s got too much else on his plate. But he can’t keep himself away. I don’t think it’s that he’s decided, “Oh, great, here’s this vulnerable young woman I can take advantage of.” When he’s under pressure and the cracks start to show, that’s where his compulsion drives him.

I think that also comes out in his relationship with Sarah, in that she’s so devoutly invested in this movement, while he’s still an outsider.
My feeling about Cal, and some of it is my best guess and some of it is from talking to Jessica [Goldberg, the show’s creator], is that he’s been very much head down, working for the movement for years now. We know he’s a recovering alcoholic, and he’s had these lapses. He had a relationship as a young man with Sarah. But he put all that to one side. He’s probably been borderline celibate for the better part of a decade, or longer. He doesn’t really engage in extracurricular activities. He doesn’t hang out. He puts the more human part of himself on ice. What that means is his first love was really his only love, and we’ve all had our first love and it’s significant, but for him, Sarah is still on that pedestal. He’s got this very idealistic attraction to her, which as much as it’s real, also represents something for him. And he’s got this other thing going for Mary, which he can’t possibly allow to be real, but is in fact, very real, and keeps seeping over into his life.

It becomes his catharsis.
I mean, hey, we’ve all been there. [Laughs.] No, no. There were a lot of moments, actually, shooting this where I thought, “What the hell did I just do?” But it was interesting because it was only after doing them. On the page, and I hope on the screen as well, they all seemed to follow quite naturally. It was only in the act of actually doing them that you felt a little concerned.

One of the things that happens in The Path going forward is that it starts to reckon with the mythology of the cult, with the images of vision, and things that seem supernatural. Things that I thought would be proven false start to become part of a magical-realist aspect of the show.
I like that a lot, and you can take it however you want to take it. You can take it as happening within the subjective experience of the characters, or go one step further. I remember talking to Jessica about a scene at the beginning of episode five. I asked her, “Hey, what’s up here? [Eddie’s] having a vision.” I was being very literal about it. The response was, “Well, maybe 7R [the program Eddie has started] works.” I thought that was a much more enlightened way to think about telling the story.

This project was brought together by Jason Katims, of Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, and Jessica Goldberg, also of Parenthood. Had you watched their stuff before? What brought you to the script?
I knew of Jason, and actually Jason worked on My So-Called Life, which my wife [Claire Danes] worked on when she was a kid. But really it was that Hannibal had just ended, kind of abruptly. Maybe the writing was on the wall, but I completely didn’t see it. I was just casting around to get a sense of what’s out there, more for me to [figure] out how I felt than to look for something. This was literally the first thing I read. And so I stopped looking because it became more and more intriguing.

Because you couldn’t put it down?
You try to find faults in something. You think, “What’s the problem with this? What’s the risk?” The risk seemed to me that you take this thing at too superficial a level so that you just play the Svengali-like nature of the cult leader and you amp up the sinister nature of it. It seemed to me that, rather than doing that, Jessica and Jason were really invested in the belief of all the characters, or the desire of their belief, at least. That’s very interesting to me. I find that very universal.

Speaking of Hannibal, I know that lots of people, myself included, would love to see more of it. Do you have any hope for the future?
I do. I’ve spoken to Bryan [Fuller, creator of Hannibal] about it. I know that everybody involved would like it to have some sort of a future. I’ve actually spoken to Bryan in more detail about what that would look like. It’s complicated, it’s about getting everybody back together, and it’s also about the rights to the novels [Fuller has discussed the difficulty of acquiring the rights to The Silence of the Lambs]. Ten years ago, it probably would have been a pipe dream, but for me, I would very much hope so.

There are so many different places, like Hulu, that are producing things now.
And maybe it doesn’t have to look exactly like it did before. It doesn’t have to be in the same place. It doesn’t have to be 13 episodes, or whatever. And given where we left off, and given what Bryan had described to me, if there’s a few years in between, I think that makes perfect.

After they’ve returned from swimming across the ocean and jumping off that cliff.
After they’ve done a very, very big swim.

After Will Graham, followed by Cal, do you imagine yourself playing a happy-go-lucky character as a change of pace?
You know, it’s always bit of a surprise to me. I think, “Cal seems like a pretty happy kind of guy.” A change of pace is always nice, but for me the differences far outweigh the similarities. We’re trying to do something very heightened, but set in the real world. These people could move in next door to you. In Hannibal, it was much more of a dream state, and there was a challenge every day of trying to enter into that. I’m really enjoying playing someone who is totally off his rocker, but who is existing here and now and with other humans. source

April 12th, 2016
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Charisma By Tad Friend – NewYorker.com

Illustration by Tom Bachtell Article by Tad Friend For the April 18, 2016 Issue.

As he shed his tweed jacket, Hugh Dancy looked around Sushi Azabu, a basement nook in Tribeca, and said, “It feels like a railway car—if you can imagine Humphrey Bogart eating sushi, it’d be here.” He laughed. “I actually can’t imagine him eating sushi, though. Maybe he’d use some for a black eye: ‘If there’s no steak available, give me the halibut.’ ”

Dancy, the lithe and elfin forty-year-old English actor, is particularly keen on uni, the sea urchin’s gonads. Dabbing chopsticks into a pink curl of them, Dancy said, “My three-year-old son”—from his marriage to Claire Danes—“has a fascination with germs, because, he says, ‘they’re disgusting and beautiful.’ I suppose the same is true of me and uni.” He held up a morsel of the unctuous goo. “They look like the tongues of dehydrated infants. So eating them is a faith-based decision.”

In “The Path,” a drama that débuted on Hulu last month, Dancy plays Cal Roberts, the leader of a cult called the Meyerist Movement. Its devotees are vegetarians who drive blue Priuses, use ayahuasca, and plan to live on as pure light after the coming apocalypse. “Cal is someone you side with against your better judgment,” Dancy explained. “An alcoholic who’s probably been essentially celibate for a decade, someone with serious control issues, an awful black hole of a person. He is not ‘Netflix and chill’—or, I should say, ‘Hulu and chill.’ ” Seething, lustful, and lonely, Cal lies and schemes to foster the movement, because, since he was five, it’s fostered him.

Meyerists reprogram themselves using electrical devices and advance through increasingly secretive levels of initiation. They shun apostates, even their own children. Cal’s global ambitions for Meyerism, which he took over from its founder, Steven Meyer, make it further reminiscent of Scientology, which David Miscavige transformed after he inherited it from L. Ron Hubbard. Dancy resists the comparison, saying, “One person’s cult is another person’s religion.” He observed that “every religion that expanded from a niche movement grew because its founder was followed by a leader who was pragmatic and understood how to spread the word. In Christianity, it was St. Paul; in Mormonism, it was Brigham Young.”

After the actor had polished off an assembly line of mackerel, tuna, and shad, praising their various mouthfeels, the waiter suggested a few exotic specialties, including conger eel. “Conger eel!” Dancy cried. “My granddad once caught a conger eel in a lobster pot, and we ate it. It was disgusting.”

“You have to boil it, because the blood is actually poisonous.”

“That would explain it.” When the eel appeared, the actor admired its presentation: “We just had great wagon-wheel chunks of it, which we gave to the cat.” He nimbly whisked wasabi into his soy sauce. “Who lived.”

Dancy had recently returned from the show’s première, in Los Angeles, where he was treated rather like a cult leader. “People seemed to expect me to be commanding, but I distrust certainty, and I don’t particularly want anyone to follow me,” he said. “It was challenging that the very first line I had to speak on camera was”—his voice thrummed with assurance—“ ‘Ma’am, we’re going to take care of your baby.’ ” When he read the pilot script and saw that Cal was “written as quote-unquote charismatic, that made the flags go up,” he went on. “Because it’s one of the ways writers signal executives that the leading man will fit their definition of a star. With a woman, it’s ‘She’s this and this and that—and she’s really rockin’ that dress.’ With a man, it’s charisma. Or he has ‘a wry grin’—he can’t be too open, he can’t have a wide grin, but he’s seen it all—or there’s a squint involved, which evokes a heroic cynicism. The idea is actually to blunt reactions, to say, ‘Don’t worry, this guy will be fairly comatose—a blank canvas that people can project their ideas of cool onto.’ ”

Dancy ordered more nigiri. “But,” he continued, “it was clear that Cal actually thinks about what it means to be a charismatic leader—he listens to self-help tapes, he’s taking Charisma 101—and that, because he has internalized Meyerism, he speaks with natural conviction. Jessica Goldberg, the show’s creator, wrote me a letter making it plain that she wanted to do the good version of the show. For her, more important than all the television meshugaas that’s in there—the F.B.I. investigation, the power struggle, the love triangle—is the fascinating question of faith. So you can go with that, rather than feeling you have to lather on a layer of personal charisma you’ve had in reserve.”

The baby yellowtail arrived, and Dancy raised his chopsticks in delight: “Carrying on the theme of eating children! Source

April 11th, 2016
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April 10 – The Contenders Emmys

I have added 9 images of Hugh attending The Contenders Emmys to our photo archive. Huge thank you to my friend Mouza from anthony-mackie.com for sending these our way!

April 11th, 2016
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Hulu Series Origin Stories: ‘The Path’ & ‘Casual’ – The Contenders Emmys

Goldberg said her series about conflicted couple (Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan) who get swept up in a cult led by an ambitious leader (Hugh Dancy) “was not based on Scientology. They’re not the only movement, there are over 4,000 in the world.” Goldberg spawned the series after going through a divorce and suffering the loss of a parent. “I was interested in how people deal with these types of crisis,” said the creator.

“Those who are in a cult take their beliefs very seriously, no one cynically lures you in,” said Dancy. Paul mentioned that Goldberg literally created a bible for the show’s cult, down to “incredible details” which were laid out in pamphlets on the set. Paul quipped how it’s often under a pop guise that a cult will spring up; that anyone could take the show’s cult, the Meyerist Movement, seriously if they wanted. Paul came to the show soon after Breaking Bad. “There were two scripts on my desk, Michelle was attached to one of them. I breezed through the first two episodes on my cell phone.”

The three-time Emmy-winning actor added, “I grew up in a very religious household. By father was a southern Baptist minister. I was always fascinated by religious movements and how they provide answers.” – Source

April 11th, 2016
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The Contenders Emmys – Portraits

I have added two portraits of Hugh from The Contenders Emmys to our photo archive.

April 11th, 2016
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Hannibal’s Hugh Dancy heads down a new Path

After three intense seasons battling Mads Mikkelsen’s grand guignol gourmand on Hannibal, Hugh Dancy could have been forgiven for choosing something bright and breezy for his next project.

However, while the 40-year old Brit did pick something closer to the New York home he shares with fellow actor Claire Danes, the subject matter isn’t exactly “light”.

The Path is a 10-part tale focusing on the Meyerist Movement, a religious cult with a distinct set of principals and beliefs. Stoke-on-Trent born Dancy plays Cal, the group’s unofficial leader, but a man whose ambition is at odds with the existing leadership.

Dancy says that apart from the talent already signed up to the show (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, True Detective’s Michelle Monaghan) and the creative minds behind it (Parenthood’s Jessica Goldberg and Jason Katims), what attracted him to the project was its ambiguity.

“That’s what keeps an actor interested. What I loved about this was that while it’s about a cult and has some machiavellian characters, they took the character’s belief system totally seriously and looked at what is like to have your beliefs crumble.”

Helping Dancy get into a character was “an introduction to Meyerism” the showrunners had created and the physical setting – a compound in upstate New York.

“Before we started shooting, we spent a day up there just getting to know one another and while you were sitting there on the grass in the sun it became immediately apparent why somebody might want to be a part of something like this.”

However, he admits that after Hannibal, he wasn’t exactly looking at jumping into just anything.

“If I was going to do another TV show I had to be certain about it. Hannibal was sometimes a tough day at work, but I went home delighted. What I was doing felt real and fun and serious. While I think it was about the relationship between two guys (Dancy’s Will Graham and Mikkelsen’s Hannibal Lecter), it was also about death.

“Although The Path is also dark, it’s not really about death. That might be a fine distinction, but it made me think it was different water enough to throw myself into. Plus, it certainly didn’t hurt that the job was close to home and fitted around the family’s schedule.”

And so is Cal an easy character to leave behind after a long day’s shoot then? “I certainly hope so.”

Dancy says he also enjoyed being drip-fed information about the plot and where his character was headed.

“You have to expect not to know to a certain degree, because it is television, but I had a general sense of where they wanted to go with things. We had all 10 episodes by the time we started shooting episode six and I had some really helpful conversations with Jessica in particular.

“And what I found occasionally when speaking with other actors was that they had been speaking to her and had information about where their character was going. Slowly but surely, by digging around, we all managed to get a picture of where we were going.”

When asked if Cal and The Path is something Dancy would like to return to, he doesn’t hesitate with his answer.

“Obviously everybody hopes we get to do more of this. Cal could end up being like the pope, or in prison, and I’m cool with either of those things.”

The Path is now screening on Lightbox – stuff.co.nz

April 10th, 2016
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Hugh shares his top 10 favorite books with NYTimes

posted on april 08, 2016 over at nytimes.com
by Hugh Dancy

For his bookshop and website One Grand Books, the editor Aaron Hicklin asked people to name the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island. The next in the series is the actor Hugh Dancy, who shares his list exclusively with T.

“The Pickwick Papers,” Charles Dickens

When I need to read something that I know will fill my imagination, lift my spirits and also be effortless, I go to Dickens, and this is the most preposterously, comically overflowing of them all.

“Women in Love,” D.H. Lawrence

Nobody has ever written like Lawrence (except bad imitators, and nothing’s more embarrassing than knockoff Lawrence. Sometimes he’s pretty embarrassing, too). This novel transports you.

“Sabbath’s Theater,” Philip Roth

The most anarchic, provocative, lewd and brilliant Roth novel. It feels like it’s on fire.

“Lucky Jim,” Kingsley Amis

I was recommended this when I was a teenager trying to figure out how to start reading “serious” books. Great recommendation, because on the surface it’s nothing of the sort, but it is brilliant.

“My Struggle,” Karl Ove Knausgaard

In part because reading the first two gave me the unsettling sensation of knowing what it’s like to be someone else better than I know what it’s like to be me, and in part because including it might force me to read the remaining four.

“Tristram Shandy,” Laurence Sterne

You could spend years on the first chapter alone, in fact people have. But in a good way. There’s so much going on and so much reinvention it’s bewildering.

“The Big Sleep,” Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler is one of life’s great pleasures, ideally in a bath with a drink to hand.

“The Left Hand of Darkness,” Ursula K. Le Guin

Forced to pick a single sci-fi novel, I’ll go with this because, in ways even beyond most sci-fi, it is so far ahead of its time. You’re left believing entirely in the worlds she’s imagined, including a better version of this one.

“The Best of Wodehouse: An Anthology,” P.G. Wodehouse

I know that on and off I’ll be reading this until I die.

“The Tremor of Forgery,” Patricia Highsmith

I could pick almost any of her novels — “Deep Water” would be another. This one is typically masterful in the way it measures out information and suggestion, laced with a growing sense of dread. And a great title.

April 8th, 2016
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‘The Path’: Hugh Dancy on Playing a Religious Leader and the Possibility of ‘Hannibal’ Returning

Warning: possible spoilers below.

The Hulu original series The Path follows a family at the center of a controversial religious movement, known as Meyerism, as they struggle with relationships, faith and power. As Eddie (Aaron Paul) questions whether all of the answers can be found within the religion that his wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) is so dedicated to, she finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into Cal’s (Hugh Dancy) world and his views on the way that they should be led.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Hugh Dancy talked about what he most enjoys about being a part of The Path, the appeal of this character, the rapid growth of Hulu as a quality streaming service, what kind of leader Cal is to him, and the way these types of movements work with their followers. He also talked about how he’d love to return to Hannibal, at some point, and why taking some time away from it might be a good thing.

Collider: What are you most enjoying about being a part of this show and playing this character?

HUGH DANCY: One of the things I liked about the show, as a whole, and I’m sure this is true for Aaron [Paul] and Michelle [Monaghan], is that you had to spend a lot of time with the lines to get below the first level. So often, particularly Cal is speaking from a place of doctrine, but it’s also something that he really, really truly believes, and then that’s covering up something else. You have to do justice to all of those things, rather than just spouting a line. That’s good fun for an actor. Cal is constantly trying to balance so many aspects of his own personality without realizing it.

Coming off of a show as excellent as Hannibal, were you hesitant about doing another TV show?

DANCY: Yeah, I was. The fact that this is so different was definitely a part of the appeal, although that only goes so far. If you’re just looking for an extreme alternative, that’s not going to work out so well. But yeah, I was hesitant and I probably scrutinized it more carefully, as a result, looking for the cracks and the flaws. And then, the more I dug into it and thought about it, and particularly after I had spoken to Jessica Goldberg, who is the showrunner, and (executive producer) Jason Katims, I realized that with anything interesting, there’s a really good version of it and there’s a bad version of it. Anything that exists in an area of ambiguity that’s going to be fun to do, there’s a bad version that doesn’t achieve the subtlety that you’re hoping for. In this case, if you just tried to go straight for the charisma or the manipulativeness with Cal, that would be quite boring. I felt like they were coming at the whole thing from the point of view of, what are these beliefs, and then taking those beliefs seriously. I thought, “These people clearly want to make the best version of this show.” After that, I signed on.

It’s interesting how the show really puts the focus on the characters, and the movement itself is almost secondary to them.

DANCY: Everything they do is within the context of this movement, and I think it’s right that, in a way, it becomes invisible. If you are somebody living in that way, and I think it’s true for all of us, we don’t even notice our core beliefs. We hardly even know that we hold them. The opinions that we’re trying out, we’re much more aware of, and we voice them and see what happens. But the things that, deep down, identify who we are, we’ve lost sight of. There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s just the case. For these people, that’s the entire bubble that they’re living inside. And because that’s a given, what they’re thinking about is, what am I going to have for lunch, or how’s the marriage going.

Within TV projects, there are so many different canvases to pain on, with broadcast, cable and streaming services. Were you familiar with streaming services, prior to doing this show? Is that something you use yourself?

DANCY: Yeah, sure. I’ve watched shows on Netflix and Amazon, for example. When this came around for me, last June, I was like, “Oh, okay, Hulu.” Just between then and now, the speed with which they’re positioning themselves, with such quality, has been very impressive to me. But when I signed on to this show, it wasn’t because of that. I didn’t realize that was happening. I was like, “I don’t know what the platform will be like, but I love the show,” so I had to go with my feelings, in that regard. Now, I’m delighted to realize that this is a big calling card for Hulu, so they’re very invested in it and love the show. That’s all really nice. But the truth is, in the making of it, the only thing that differed, for me, was that you have this very unquestioning support from the people that are paying the bills. That filters down to the actors because it primarily affects the writers and the scripts. The message they were getting from Hulu was, “Go where you want to go and explore what you want to explore,” and you sense that when you get the script. We had freedom.

Because Cal is a guy who has so many layers, and he’s holding so much back from so many people, how do you view him? What kind of a leader is he to you?

DANCY: He is trying to hold it together and he is coming from a place of a very dark background, but all of that stuff is stuff that he’s shared and continues to share with his community. He’s not just putting a happy face on it. I think that is really interesting. Honesty can be used as a weapon. If you insist on honesty, under specific circumstances, particularly if it’s 95% honesty, it can be very powerful. He’s fully invested in the idea of transparency, he’s just not quite there. He is also very active. He’s not someone who’s going to sit around and agonize over what he’s doing. He’s just going to do it, and he’s going to do it strongly with a strong play. That makes him a leader. He is invested in the idea of how to exercise influence over people. It’s not just that, by default, he’s charismatic. He’s learning and really thinking hard about how to do this. He wasn’t planning on being a leader. He was going to be a follower to Steve, who was going to live forever.

He gets stick in this situation he didn’t expect, but then he uses it to his advantage.

DANCY: I don’t know if that’s self-preservation, but that part of him that grows alongside his desire to save the movement is a much more ambitious, domineering thing. The two go hand-in-hand.

As you were getting the scripts and learning more about this fictional movement, did you find yourself identifying with what was being presented?

DANCY: Like a lot of people, I have mixed feelings about that. I don’t think of myself as a joiner, although I think a lot of us have the capacity to fall head-long into the craziest beliefs, and none of us are immune to that. I’m not saying it will happen to all of us, but any of us have something inside of us that’s a place of vulnerability. If the right person at the right moment reaches out and touches you, you can go so far down the line before you even know where you are. I really believe that. We also don’t know what our capacity for doing awful things is, or turning a blind eye to terrible things. We’d like to think we’d be the hero, but most of us would not be the hero. But I do understand the desire to have a community, even if it’s just in your close friends. It doesn’t have to be a structure, but people who you can turn to, with all your flaws, and say, “I fucked up. Don’t judge me.”

It’s interesting to see a movement like this push that they’re like a family, but then if your family doesn’t agree with their beliefs, you’re supposed to cut your real family off.

DANCY: The more maligned versions of this kind of movement put a lot of effort into undoing family bonds very quickly, and they try to convince you that your family doesn’t have your best interests at heart. There isn’t a human alive that hasn’t, at some point, had mixed feelings about their parents. If you tap a person at the right point, you can exploit that. And I don’t think that’s particularly what’s going on with Meyerism. It’s a more general sense that the people outside are going to bring about the destruction of the entire world. If I really believed that my family were a part of bringing about the destruction of the entire world, I’d like to think I’d still stick with them, but you never know.

With as much as everyone involved loved being a part of Hannibal, if it was something you could find a way to revisit, at some point, would you?

DANCY: Oh, totally. Bryan [Fuller] has got plenty on his plate and everybody is busy, which is fantastic, but I think we’re in a place where we can say, “Okay, let’s see what happens in four years.” If we’re able to revisit it, maybe it would be different. I don’t know what shape it would take. I’ve said many times, and it’s completely true, that I would love that. If we were able to come back, maybe taking a few years away for it to reform itself might be the best thing that could happen for it. I certainly think it’s warranted, just by where we got to in the story. Sure, you could start a fourth season, or whatever it would be, with a big splash and see what happens when they hit the water, but I think it would be more interesting to find them a few years down the line.

The Path is available at Hulu on Wednesdays. Source.

April 8th, 2016
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Hugh Dancy Joins ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

“Hannibal” star Hugh Dancy is set to join Universal’s “Fifty Shades Darker,” sources confirmed to Variety.

Kim Basinger, Eric Johnson and Bella Heathcote have also recently joined the cast, with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan returning to reprise their roles of Anastasia Steele and Grey, respectively. James Foley is taking over directing reins from Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Dancy will play Dr. Flynn, Grey’s psychiatrist in the books.

Luke Grimes, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini are also returning to the cast, with Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti producing along with author E.L. James and Marcus Viscidi. Niall Leonard and James are penning the script.

Universal is planning to shoot “Fifty Shades Darker” and the final pic, “Fifty Shades Freed,” back-to-back, with “Darker” set to bow Feb. 10, 2017. “Darker” is currently in production.

Dancy currently stars on Hulu’s drama “The Path” with Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan. He previously starred on NBC’s “Hannibal” and he was nominated for an Emmy for his playing the Earl of Essex in HBO’s miniseries “Elizabeth I.”

He’s repped by UTA, United Agents, Parseghian Planco and Jackoway Tyerman. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Source

April 7th, 2016
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‘The Path’ Star Hugh Dancy on Cal’s Shocking Secret and “Deep-Seated Fear”

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the first three episodes of The Path.]

In the world of The Path, Hugh Dancy’s Cal has been a confident and charismatic leader within the religious movement at the center of the show. But the third episode of the series gave viewers a glimpse at what’s been going on beneath the surface, and what was revealed was pretty dark. Not only is Cal helping to conceal the deathbed illness of the founder of the movement, Steve Meyer, but he’s using that information to position himself as the next leader of the movement.

Viewers also learned a lot more about Cal’s background through a toxic visit with his alcoholic mother (played by Kathleen Turner) and learned how close to the edge he lives. The Hollywood Reporter talked to Dancy about what all this means for Cal, and whether we can trust his motivations.

This episode is quite a turning point for Cal. He’s been kind of mysterious up to this point. Given what happens with him, was it important to learn something sympathetic about him, that he’s coming from this background with alcoholic parents, at the same time that we learn he’s keeping this huge secret from the movement?

I didn’t think of it as a counterbalance, exactly. For me, actually, the fact of him keeping the secret, I’m as sympathetic towards that as I am towards the difficulties of his background, because I think that he’s chosen to do something that is incredibly difficult and lonely in order to preserve this thing that he believes in. And I guess what you understand by seeing him with his mum and learning a bit about his background is why it’s so important to him and why, in a sense, he couldn’t afford to have this belief system collapse because it’s probably the only thing that’s holding him together. So the two things inform each other a bit.

So part of why he feels compelled to go that far is that he needs this movement as much as the movement needs Steve to still be alive.

I think, yeah. He’s taking on that responsibility for lots of very complicated reasons, but one of them is just simple self-preservation. And you could also say, and I’m sure he would say, that he can speak personally to the power of message and the beauty of the message and its ability to save people, so why wouldn’t he want to preserve that message for other people? That’s part of it.

Is Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) his only real confidante?

Yes, except that even she is not really his confidante. I don’t think he has one. The only people that he’s really honest with, able to speak frankly with — I guess we only meet them in the fourth episode — but there are three other people in the movement who are on the same level as him. They’re the other three people on the upper rungs, on the tenth rung of the ladder, and those three people are people that were there, unlike Cal, when the thing was founded, and they’re the only other people who know that Steve is essentially on his deathbed. But they’re not necessarily so happy with the way that Cal is driving it.

He also brings Miranda Frank (Minka Kelly) to town and tells Sarah that he thinks it’s a way to help her marriage. Does he really believe that, or is there this underlying need to get between her and Eddie (Aaron Paul) in that action?

I remember asking myself exactly that question, and I think it’s all of the above. I think part of it is because he knows something’s up with Eddie. He knows Eddie’s hiding something from him and it’s something to do with what happened in Peru. But I think Cal hasn’t even begun to imagine that Eddie might be losing his faith. It’s odd that that would be like the last thing on his list, but there are enough secrets that Cal’s keeping to his own chest that he can’t have somebody else keeping them, too. I think he genuinely does want to believe that he’s paying extra special care because it’s Sarah and he wants to look out for her. But by this point in the story, his more animal instincts are tuning in that there’s a weakness in that marriage. I always think that Cal is always striving to act according to the best intentions.

Sometimes it seems a little bit like he wants to be good, but when he looks at Sarah, she’s someone who just is good, it’s not a quest for her the way it is for him.

Yes, I think that’s true. I think she’s not in any way dealing with the same. … First of all, she doesn’t have the same things on her plate as he does, and he’s spared her that, basically. Secondly, he’s coming from this very broken place. But I also suspect that if the show goes on, if we get to tell more of the story, my feeling is that there’s more to Sarah than meets the eye. I don’t think she’s so selfless or so unambitious or whatever. She’s certainly got steel running through her. So, we’ll see.

Do you think he underestimates that about her, that he sees her as someone who’s purely good?

In that respect, I think he’s put her on a pedestal, very much, but I also think — he’s not the only person — but he’s one of the people who says to her, “You should step up. You could play a bigger part.” Certainly, as we get later into the season, he’s thinking in those terms. So he’s actually encouraging her in that respect. But I think the way he looks at her is very much like the guy who loved her when they were both 16 or 17 or whatever, and then that ended, and he put it on ice, and he’s never really moved on. She’s occupied this symbolic role for him and he almost needs her to be that symbol and it’s not totally wrong, but it’s not the full story. 

There are two different moments in the episodes where people imply that fate is at play, where his mother says wanting to be someone else never works, while Sarah, when he tells her that he thinks he might be fated to take over, says, “It’s always been you.” Is part of why he’s so invested in Meyerism the sense that that’s the fated person that he wants to be, rather than what he’s afraid might be true, according to his mother?

Maybe, but if you think about it, those two predictions counter each other. Because his mum is saying, “You may think you can get away from this place, but you’re always going to end up back here. This is where you’re from.” And Sarah’s saying, “You were always destined to be leading the movement.” I think when he hears his mum say that, it triggers him to go back and announce himself to Sarah as the leader. Because he, basically, is thinking, ‘You know what? Screw that, I will choose my own fate,’ but part of that comes from a deep-seated fear that she might be right.

New episodes of The Path debut every Wednesday on Hulu.

Source

April 6th, 2016
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