London native actor Ben Chaplin (Thin Red Line, The Dig) and Scottish actress Amy Manson (Once Upon a Time) joined us in a group discussion to talk about their latest common project, HBO’s upcoming fantasy/sci-fi/period drama show The Nevers.
The story takes us in Victorian London after an extraordinary event gave powers and uncommon abilities to a large group of people (women for the most part), also known as the ”Touched”. They will have to face many dangers and enemies, in order to accomplish a greater mission.
Ben Chaplin had this to say about his character, Detective Frank Mundi:
“(Detective Mundi) is a London boy, born and bred, gone into the police force which at that time was an opportunity for mobility within the profession, for someone uneducated, so it was quite an usual profession in that aspect. You could go pretty much to the top, you know, that’s unlike the army where there’s an officer class, and you’ll never get above the non-commissioned officers, as a working-class kid going into the army. The police force was different then, it was a meritocracy. It was difficult to get to the top, but if you’re intelligent, have common sense and you were tough, then you had a chance, so in that aspect, I think he is good at his job and intelligent.”
With his deep voice and his big classic Victorian mustache, Frank Mundi is the perfect somber looking and complex Detective, that the audience will soon find extremely endearing, respectable and whose, even the shortest appearance, will feel essential to the show. ‘’He’s in this mad moment in history, which is part of the historical part and science fiction’’ he continued, saying bringing Detective Mundi to life ‘’was just demanding in terms of getting your head around (…) finds, part elements, were difficult at times to get heads of it’’ but ‘’fortunately, Frank doesn’t have to have his head around that much, most of the time…’’
The actor also declared ’the cast is so strong and nice actually, it’s a very lovely and supportive cast, it was really fun to work with them.’’
On the top left corner of our screen was the incredible Amy Manson, who portrays one of the main villains of the show, the broken, deranged and violent Maladie.
‘’I found it quite difficult actually’’ said the actress about becoming Maladie. ‘’I remember the first scene that we filmed, I think it was at the end of the first Amalia and Maladie fight sequence (…) I found that really hard, until Joss put me through the decisions and why (Maladie) chose to be that person and use that as her armor in a way.’’ She then added ‘’Things just started to make sense as to why she had to be that way. She could have taken many routes and that’s why I kinda take my hat off to her, she could have ended her life after what she went through, she could have become addicted to Laudanum and end her life that way. There’s so many avenues and paths but she chose to kind of fight for the masses. I hope it does eventually turn into something bigger for her.’’
Amy Manson declared that her main surprise when reading the script was all the different aspects and facets that shaped Maladie. ‘’Just the layers and how somebody can operate the way she does in, you know, a normal society, and get away with it, and not become this sort of one-dimensional character, (…) this is just who she is. There’s gotta be different layers because then it just gets boring, it’s just kind of one-note.’’ She continued, addressing the development of her character through her bond with Bonfire (Rochelle Neil), one of Maladie’s accomplices. ‘’Even exploring the relationship with Bonfire, that was something, you know, our first scene together you’d understand ‘Oh was there something going on between Maladie and Bonfire initially?’ But that was all worked out on the day with the director and myself and Rochelle, who was the gift to keep giving as Maladie for me, anyway, because anything goes, you know, there’s just no rules, and that’s the beauty of Maladie.’’
One thing is certain, people will soon love to hate Maladie, though it will be hard to do so without feeling compassion and heartbreak in front of the wonderful portrayal of this complicated and tormented character.
‘‘We really don’t know what’s coming next in the script but it’s gonna be bold,’’ concluded Amy Manson.
Season 1 Part 1 of The Nevers premieres on April 11 on HBO and will be streaming on HBO Max.