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TheWrap – StudioWrap Portraits + Interview

I have added five portraits of Hugh from a photo session with TheWrap. You can view the original article here. And the photos by clicking on the thumbnails to go to the album.

You can view a video from TheWrap as well as the interview below:

Hugh Dancy‘s character on Hulu’s “The Path” is so magnetic that even the actor who portrays him couldn’t resist falling under his spell.

On the Hulu original drama, Dancy plays Cal Roberts, the charismatic cult leader of the Meyerist movement. Fans of the series saw him as a villain, but that was a reception Dancy hadn’t predicted while shaping the character and filming the series.

“It turns out I was playing a much darker character than I realized,” the actor told TheWrap. “I was busy justifying him and kind of feeling, basically, sympathy for him. And it turns out I’m pretty much alone in that feeling.”

The series, from creator Jessica Goldberg and executive producer Jason Katims, also stars “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul and “True Detective” alum Michelle Monaghan as a couple who begin to question their faith and loyalty to Dancy’s reckless leader.

“We all kind of share the load, and we all get to work with each other,” Dancy said of his co-stars. “There’s a lot of dynamics across the show.”

To capture the atmosphere of a real cult, “The Path” films on a real religious compound just outside of New York. The scenic location goes a long way in setting the tone of the show, Dancy explained.

“It’s kind of idyllic,” he said. “It creates the environment of the show to a great degree, just by virtue of being by the Hudson River.”

June 7th, 2016
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Sidewalks Entertainment – Interview: Hugh Dancy (The Path)

Thank you to @SMD for the heads up on this video!

April 19th, 2016
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Hugh talks with bluefunkbroadcasting.com

click to play audio file

Hugh Dancy most recently starred in the NBC drama Hannibal, based on the life of psychiatrist-turned-serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He was most recently seen on the big screen in Hysteria and Martha Marcy May Marlene. His other movie credits include the lead role in Adam, about a young man with Asperger’s syndrome struggling to survive in New York City; Confessions of a Shopaholic, Our Idiot Brother, Ella Enchanted and Black Hawk Down. Dancy received an Emmy® Nomination for his work in the mini-series Elizabeth I opposite Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons. Dancy graduated with an English Literature degree from St. Peter’s College, Oxford.

In Hulu’s The Path, Dancy plays Cal Roberts, the leader of a mysterious cult-like movement in upstate New York. The drama follows a family at the center of the Meyerist Movement as they struggle with relationships, faith, and power. Each episode takes an in-depth look at the gravitational pull of belief and what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want. The series blends elements of mystery-thriller, romance, and mysticism. Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan star as the married couple at the middle of the movement. Kathleen Turner also stars, as the estranged mother of Dancy’s cult leader.
For more information on The Path, please visit: www.hulu.com/the-path | Source

April 19th, 2016
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Hugh talks with BayAreaHQ

www.bayareahq.com – Bay Area HQ’s Bobby B caught up with “Hannibal” actor Hugh Dancy who stars in this fascinating new TV show called “The Path,” exclusively available now on the Hulu streaming network. We ask Hugh about the characters’ search for intimacy and connection on the series, about that Episode 4 uncomfortable and dark sex scene, about whether his character is a virgin, about his character’s past, about whether he would do the “14-day” program in real life if his wife Claire Danes asked him to, about whether his real life dad’s philosophy teachings apply to his character, and if Cal would wear underwear with “The Eye” logo on it.

The Path follows a family at the center of a controversial cult movement as they struggle with relationships, faith, and power. Each episode takes an in-depth look at the gravitational pull of belief and what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want. The series blends elements of mystery-thriller, romance, and mysticism. The Path comes to Hulu from Universal Television and Jason Katims’ True Jack Productions. The show was created by Jessica Goldberg who will write and executive-produce the series, along with Katims and Michelle Lee of True Jack Productions.



April 14th, 2016
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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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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’ 1×03 Recap Chat: Co-Star Hugh Dancy

Cal Robertson comes more fully into view in “A Homecoming,” the first new episode of The Path following last week’s double-decker premiere. If you thought being in a cult warped Cal’s brain, here’s another fact for your diagnosis: His mother is a sad, charmless, drunk hermit played by Kathleen Turner. We sat down with actor Hugh Dancy, who plays Increasingly Complicated Cal, to talk about the episode.

“It’s a show about intimacy to a degree. The people on the show are seeking connection and truth and openness, though they’re not always succeeding.”

You are from the U.K., but I’ve only seen you in shows like Hannibal and The Path where you use an American accent. How did you work out your American accent?

Doing it for a living, I’ve gotten increasingly comfortable with it. I grew up in England, and we were heavily exposed to American culture as you can imagine, so it wasn’t such a huge leap.

And you’re married to an American [Claire Danes].

Yes. I think I was playing an American when we met.

The Path has a much more naturalistic sensibility than Hannibal. Does The Path use a smaller crew?

It’s not necessarily a smaller crew, but the shows operate much differently with the lighting and camera setups. On The Path, we’re using three cameras almost all the time with fairly minimal lighting. On Hannibal, the lighting — or, in some cases, lack of lighting — was much more stylized.

The Path feels like a much more intimate, personal show.

It’s a show about intimacy to a degree. The people on the show are seeking connection and truth and openness, though they’re not always succeeding.

And it’s a show about a family in the way that Parenthood and Friday Night Lights — Jason Katims’ two previous shows — were oriented around families.

That was noticeably absent in Hannibal. [Laughs.]

You are in Peru at the beginning of this episode, so you know that Dr. Stephen Meyer [Keir Dullea] is in a coma, and you tell a few fibs about that. Do you see that as Cal papering over some doubts or being an opportunist?

Cal knew as the season started that Stephen was potentially on his deathbed, so he’s convening at the beginning of this episode there with some of the 10R elders. They have gathered to hear the doctor say that we’ve run out of hope, but that’s not news to them. Cal is not somebody who ever had ambitions of leading the group and he is still a believer, but his original beliefs had Steve leading this group forever. The movement has saved his life, and he needs to bridge to a second generation. To do that he has to keep a lot of secrets, and he sees that as a selfless thing. As the season goes on, that will increasingly dovetail with his own drive and ambition.

The movement is not based on thinking Dr. Meyer is divine, right?

Not exactly. Steve told us that he would provide the 13 rungs that would be The Ladder to progress up until we get to The Garden, and the whole movement is predicated on that. The idea that he’s going to die from mundane causes before he finishes that is a major fault line. It undercuts everything we’ve understood.

“You need a fierce and vulnerable actress to play [Brenda Roberts], and [Kathleen Turner] has both of those things in spades. There’s no vanity about it.”

What is so disturbing to Eddie [Aaron Paul] about seeing Dr. Meyer in that condition?

Sarah [Michelle Monaghan] is talking to Mary [Emma Greenwell] in the first episode and says that Steve is off in Peru completing the final rungs and that he “lives in the light.” That is the line that has been propagated — that he’s reached this level of purity where he’s bathed in light and completing the rungs for their spiritual salvation.

So Eddie feels like he’s been sold some BS about that?

I don’t think he knows what he feels. When you live inside a belief system like that, just seeing Steve like that is not enough for him. He doesn’t think everything he’s been told is bullshit. It takes a while to process that.

Kathleen Turner plays your mother in this episode. Is this the first time you’ve worked with her?

I had not worked with her, but I had shared a train ride with her once. [Laughs.]

So did you see her on set before she was dressed out as the drunk mom?

We shot all of those scenes over a couple of days, so we didn’t have a lot of rehearsal time. You need a fierce and vulnerable actress to play that kind of part, and she has both of those things in spades. There’s no vanity about it.

Does she want you to take that drink because she wants you to give her something — to do something you don’t want to do — or was it more about getting you to admit something about yourself?

She knows that I have the same weakness that she does, and she’s using that, but mostly she’s trying to pull me back into her life. It infuriates her that I’ve chosen this other parent and this other life over her, and she knows that I’m just a drunk like her.

She explains some of your backstory that you went into the movement fairly young and not of her doing.

That’s right. The backstory is that my father was — like her — an alcoholic, but he extricated himself from that and took me to join this nascent movement. After a certain point, he got out and I was old enough to stick around.

So Steve Meyer then becomes your father figure.

Yes, he was very much my father figure.

“The real thing [Cal is] committing to is loneliness.”

There’s more discussion in this episode than in the first two about the various rankings in the movement. Cal is a 10R. Who are the other 10Rs?

Steve has written 10 of the 13 rungs, so 10R — 10 rungs — is as high as you can progress. Cal is 10R, the two elders who are with Cal at the beginning are 10R, and Silas is 10R.

Do we have enough evidence at this point to know why you would be a 10R and be so much younger than the others?

Cal grew up in the movement and essentially became Steve’s adoptive son. Cal and Sarah and Eddie were young stars in the movement, but Cal dropped away everything in his life that wasn’t related to the movement.

What are Sarah and Eddie’s rank?

Sarah is an 8R. When we see Eddie at the beginning of the series — when he’s on hallucinogens, by the way — he’s in the process of obtaining 6R. We talk more as the season goes on about achieving the rungs. There’s a book for each rung, and there are tasks for each rung. The writers’ room has a clear idea about that underlying structure, but you don’t necessarily see a lot of that.

You’re coming from Hannibal, which had a deep mythology, to another show with a deep mythology. Have you thought much about that?

In the case of Hannibal, the mythology was more the richness of the source material — the Thomas Harris novels — where here the mythology is the underpinnings. I think you could say the same of any good piece of writing. If you’re in a good family drama you’re only going to see the surface, but the actors need to know much more detail about the intricacies and dynamics of the family. I think that’s a quality of good storytelling.

You seem to downplay Cal’s messianic ambitions a bit. Do you think there’s not much evidence of that ambition?

When we shot the scene toward the end of this episode when I come back from Peru and break the news to her in a not-completely-honest way that Steve is working on the final rungs and invite her to recognize that I’ll be a leader, my reading of that was that he was acting out of the shock of the experience of his mother and coming back to where he began and fully committing to that.

The commitment that he’s making is ambitious on paper — he’s committing to the idea of being a leader, and that ambition will grow — but the real thing he’s committing to is loneliness. He’s signing off on never being able to share the truth of what is happening with Steve and everything that means to him, including the fact that he must have some greater doubts about the whole belief system.

Is that the source of the mixed signals he sends Mary?

I think the source of that is that he’s really drawn to her.

Is the implication that he should be alone?

He knows that the nature of his attraction to Mary is not a very elevated one. [Laughs.] Since his teens, Cal has basically been celibate. He’s got big self-control issues, and he has probably been very self-denying. He has also put Sarah on a pedestal and made her a symbol of purity and effortless virtue within the movement. He’s fighting the other side of his nature with Mary. – Source

April 6th, 2016
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Hugh Dancy on the Potential for More Hannibal and How Season 3 Ended

The Hannibal star discusses the change in tone planned if the show ever returns.
Hugh Dancy will soon be seen in Hulu’s The Path, teaming him with Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) and executive producers Jason Katims and Jessica Goldberg (Friday Night Lights). I recently sat down with Dancy to discuss that series at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour and while I’ll have plenty more on that series before it debuts on March 30th, our conversation also turned to Dancy’s last series, Hannibal.

Hannibal executive producer Bryan Fuller has spoken about his hope for the show, which NBC cancelled last year, to continue in some form down the line and noted he has a specific plan for where the story would go next, after that notable Season 3 finale. I asked Dancy what he felt the chances were of that happening, along with what it was like filming the final scenes of the show and his thoughts on what motivated Will Graham to do what he did…

Warning: Spoilers for the Hannibal: Season 3 finale follow.


Hugh Dancy on the Potential for More Hannibal and How Season 3 Ended

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The Hannibal star discusses the change in tone planned if the show ever returns.

Hugh Dancy will soon be seen in Hulu’s The Path, teaming him with Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) and executive producers Jason Katims and Jessica Goldberg (Friday Night Lights). I recently sat down with Dancy to discuss that series at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour and while I’ll have plenty more on that series before it debuts on March 30th, our conversation also turned to Dancy’s last series, Hannibal.

Hannibal executive producer Bryan Fuller has spoken about his hope for the show, which NBC cancelled last year, to continue in some form down the line and noted he has a specific plan for where the story would go next, after that notable Season 3 finale. I asked Dancy what he felt the chances were of that happening, along with what it was like filming the final scenes of the show and his thoughts on what motivated Will Graham to do what he did…

Warning: Spoilers for the Hannibal: Season 3 finale follow.

IGN: This is the first time I’ve talked to you since Hannibal ended. Obviously, there’s still a lot of passion for that show still out there. At some point, what’s your gut feeling – do you think we could actually get a continuation?

Dancy: I really hope so. I actually feel more comfortable saying that now than six months ago, when I felt like we were giving false hope to some degree, because it didn’t feel like it was suddenly going to be picked up. But given the world we’re in, I can’t see any reason why, in three years time — in fact, even, I think that would make sense, story-wise — that we could all drop back into it and everyone’s schedules are right. I know that Bryan and Mads [Mikkelsen] would be more than amenable, and myself too. So I hope so. I love the show and it was a completely unique tone and experience. Those are my dear friends so why not if we possibly can?

IGN: I thought the finale was a lovely hour of TV.

Dancy: [Laughs] That was not my memory of it!

IGN: [Laughs] Well, lovely within the world of Hannibal. And I’m sure it wasn’t the most fun thing to film.

Dancy: Well, it was fun but it was brutal. It was a really — just in terms of logistically — a very, very over-ambitious hour of TV. The car crash, Dolarhyde’s house on fire, then he crashes the convoy and we have that massive sequence at the end… And it wasn’t like we had any extra time or money to do it! Also there was a lot of plot that had to be raveled or unraveled in a very unique way that Bryan did, where it’s important but also totally exhilarating. My strongest memory, which was both exhausting and a really warm memory, was it being five in the morning, on the patio of that house, with Mads and Richard [Armitage], literally covered head to frickin toe in blood. More than I’ve ever had on that show before, which is really saying something! And being freezing cold and realizing that… Because in this scene, before Dolarhyde attacked us, Mads is opening a bottle of wine. We suddenly realized that wine was real, which it never is on a film set. They hadn’t thought to swap it out because we never drink it. So we pop that open. So at like five, six in the morning, as they were desperately trying to get the last shots, because the light was dying… And this was a few days before we wrapped. We didn’t know maybe forever, but we had a little toast and we nicked a bottle of wine, basically. That was a nice moment. But it was born of necessity, as well.

IGN: I love that final moment. There’s so much going on, including this very big connection between these men, but your character still decides to end it for both of them. I read it as, while he has this pull towards Hannibal, Will knows what Hannibal would do out in the world and maybe what he would do out in the world with him.

Dancy: I think that’s what it was. I think that he comes to the realization that — I had a conversation with Bryan a few weeks before and he was still putting it together. I remember thinking… You imagine a version of that scene where Will comes out of that slaughter and he’s covered in blood and he’s distraught. “Oh my God, no! What have I done?!” The way we talked about it that seemed more powerful and true is that he comes out of it and he’s just exhilarated and he’s finally broken through to that thing Hannibal has been wishing for him and he just says, “It’s beautiful.” He loves it. And that’s the most terrifying thing. Not only do I have to end him, I have to end me as well. I thought that was a very apt way to at least wrap up, for a while, that story between the two of them.

IGN: It’s hard for us on the outside to imagine how it would continue, given that ending, but obviously Bryan has a plan for what it would be. What you know about it, is it exciting for you, just the idea of maybe getting to play that down the line?

Dancy: As I say, from what Bryan explained to me and described to me, it would be perfectly reasonable for us all to come back a few years older. I thought it was a fantastic idea, what he had envisioned. It would be quite a change in tone; not for the worse. It would almost circle back to the beginnings of the show but in kind of a mirror image and it was still drawn from the books. I was actually stoked at the idea of what that would be to play, that season or that story, and then of course we had the rug completely pulled out from under our feet… but there you go

Source

January 13th, 2016
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