‘Miracle Workers’ – Buscemi plays God in TBS comedy
God has had enough.
With climate change, violence, death and destruction running rampant, Earth’s problems are multiplying and no one can stop it. And worse, the Almighty would just as soon let it go.
As played by Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Fargo”) in the irreverent TBS half-hour comedy “Miracle Workers,” premiering Tuesday, February 12, he’s the type of deity one doesn’t envision from scripture: scruffy, unkempt, somewhat lethargic and sick and tired of having the world’s problems dumped in his lap. As he guzzles beer in his CEO’s office at Heaven Inc., he concludes that trying to end world pain is futile and resolves to blow it up and start over.
That doesn’t sit well with his prayer answerer Craig (Daniel Radcliffe of the “Harry Potter” movies) and his new cohort Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan, “Blockers”), who argue that the world is worth saving and they make a bet: They successfully answer a prayer deemed “impossible” (the ones God usually fields) and Earth is spared. Fail and, well …
“God has just been kind of going through this crisis,” explains Buscemi, who like Radcliffe is an executive producer on the series. “He’s just kind of overwhelmed. He can’t keep up with all the problems that are happening on Earth. He’s lost interest and he’s become sort of depressed. … He’s burnt out and he just is constantly looking for a distraction. And then finally, inadvertently, Geraldine’s character talks to him in such a way that he thinks that what she’s saying is that Earth is not worth saving. And that sort of liberates him. He really likes this idea that … yeah, I’m God; I can destroy it and go onto my next project and get really excited about something else.”
As Craig, Radcliffe makes a major departure from his “Potter” persona, playing him as a timid, neurotic office drone who is overwhelmed by his job but still tries to do it the best he can.
“He thrives in this environment but taken out of that is sort of a complete fish out of water anywhere else,” the British actor explains. “And really Eliza gives Craig a lot of what he needs in terms of a bit of a slap and saying, ‘Get out there and be a bit bolder and a bit braver.’ And equally, he offers her something of a lesson in how sometimes cautiousness is the right response because Eliza is very front-footed and some of her very well-intentioned actions have very negative responses. And they learn from each other in a lovely way.”