Wednesday, April 19, 2023

“From” – Harold Perrineau Previews the Horrors of Season Two [Interview]

MGM+ celebrates “Halfway to Halloween” this weekend with the premiere of “From” Season 2 on April 23

The propulsive mystery box horror series hits the ground running this season, picking up immediately where season one ended to plunge the characters into new unsettling horrors (our review).

That’s terrible news for Boyd Stevens (Harold Perrineau), the sheriff of the isolated township that traps all who enter. Season one saw the pragmatic leader attempt to expedite finding a way out of the town with help from an unlikely source due to the early-onset symptoms of Parkinson’s. The season ended with Boyd getting lured into one monstrous spider web, attacked, then shoved into a tree that trapped him in a deep well with no apparent way out.

Ahead of the “From” season two premiere, Bloody Disgusting spoke with Perrineau about being at the forefront of the horror, how the supernatural obstacles parallel Boyd’s disease, and how that alters his role as a leader within the township.

“Boyd is at the forefront of it,” Perrineau grins. “I’d have to say, so is Harold Perrineau because I hate spiders, and I hate small spaces. So, the only worse thing is if they add snakes, it’s going to be a wrap. But look, while it’s not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever done, and comfort is not anything I’m necessarily looking for, I do think it makes it compelling that hopefully I’m suffering enough, that as an audience member, you’re suffering along with me. Do you know what I mean? We try to find ways to make it real for me.

“There’s an amount of acting, but an amount of, ‘How do we find ways to make this really suck?’ We’re out there in the woods, and there are animals or insects and things that I don’t like it. I’m a city boy; I don’t like them. But we goof around with them to take a look at it, to see what that feels like. When it’s really enclosed, we shoot that first so that I can experience it, so that when they open the door and shoot, I actually know what I’m doing. That’s how we try to prepare for that stuff and make it as real as possible without being crazy.”

From season 1

FROM season 1: Harold Perrineau and Avery Konrad

The beginning of “From” season two highlights then compounds the effects of Boyd’s spider bites, acting almost like a supernatural metaphor for his Parkinson’s. 

Perrineau explains his approach to this aspect of his character’s arc,I tried to look into the physical and mental aspects of what Parkinson’s might mean or the impending doom of having this debilitating disease. I tried to look at that in a way; do a lot of research about what people think, what they feel, and what doctors say. I put that juxtaposed to what happens when you’re doing all that, and then your mind starts to split. That’s what I think happens with Boyd. If this were the real world, he’d be suffering from mental illness right now. But instead of doing any research about that in particular, I just tried to let it happen after going from this thing that seems really, really real to doing this thing that seems absolutely not real, but I’m actually still stuck in it. Then what am I going to do now that my brain is not functioning together?

“How do you do that? I think that, again, it makes Boyd compelling to the audience, but also to the rest of the people in the town. Nobody knows what he’s doing anymore. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. Can you trust him? Can I trust myself? I think that makes it interesting for people in the world because those are questions that you ask all the time. ‘Can I trust this person and that person?’ The stakes in our world are dying. People die horrifically. And it could happen in the real world too. So, it gives us an outlet, an entertainment outlet for all those things that we might be feeling a bit of insecurity about in our lives anyway.”

Despite the heinous crimes she committed, Boyd’s decision to bring Sara (Avery Konrad) into the woods with him as a guide near the end of season one factor into Boyd’s headspace with his disease. The ramifications of this choice will play into season two, but it also reflects in his perception of her.

From Season 1

From season 1

When asked if the supernatural elements and time with Sara are altering and softening Boyd’s moral compass or if it’s a more desperate means of practical survival, Perrineau reflects on the complicated ethical dilemma for his character.

“I think it’s a bit of both. That’s a really interesting question that you asked because I think there is a softer touch in the one bit. He had made up his mind about Sara and knew exactly what to do with her, but then her humanity’s shown through, and it’s like, ‘Oh wait, this child, this kid has no idea. She has as much of an idea as I have about what’s going on. This isn’t malicious.’ So, taking that in and then actually taking in that she might be connected to all the madness happening. In a real practical way, he needs her. He needs to see if she can be some door, gateway, or something into what’s happening. He has to keep her around. But now, having to explain to everyone, he finds himself in an impossible situation. How do you explain to the son of the murdered man that I need to keep this person here? It’s a bit of all the things, some humanity, and also practical and in the moment and present and difficult to deal with. That’s the only way you can play Boyd, just to go after all those things as they are because they’re interesting questions to have to try to find answers to.”

The actor distills Boyd’s essence and how it shapes his arc this season, “He’s a man of service. It’s the thing that’s been motivating him all the time. He wants to be of service to his family. He wants to be of service to these people who he’s now grown to love. That’s what he does. So, his motivation quite often is that; it’s selfless and selfish all at the same time. He fancies himself as a soldier, as a hero, as a person who saved the day. It’s part of his belief system in itself, except it’s getting challenged because it is impossible to figure out what’s going on. He got thrown into a tree and was transported somewhere else. He can’t figure that out. You don’t have any reference for that.

“You can be motivated as you want. You have no reference for it. So it makes it really interesting.”

“From” Season 2 premieres on April 23, only on MGM+.

The post “From” – Harold Perrineau Previews the Horrors of Season Two [Interview] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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