Q: What do you feel the strongest aspect of “Here and Now” is?
A: I think the show doesn’t stop at any particular place. It just keeps going. Alan (series creator and executive producer Alan Ball) has a lot to say, and I think he has a particular passion for learning. He loves to throw himself into new situations and new arenas, and new imaginative situations as well. This is just from working with him, and one of the great aspects of the show is how many different directions it can go in.
One of the truly great things about his writing – and that of the group of writers he attracts, and who choose to work with him – is that every time a character is on the screen, you feel they are the lead. You’re not watching supporting characters.
Q: Many scenes in “Here and Now” seem to pick up in the middle, as if they’ve already been unfolding off-screen for a while. Do you enjoy that approach?
A: I think that’s one of the sophisticated aspects of a show of this caliber. That’s much more interesting than coming into a scene at the beginning. You’re coming in midstream, in the middle of the race … and it’s not exactly the audience playing catch-up, but it adds to a certain excitement that’s in the scripts.
That’s to the credit of Alan once again, but also to the way the episodes are shot. Where the camera is also is fundamental to the audience feeling like a part of it, but at the same time, not being spoon-fed.
Q: With a still-active movie career, as proven lately by “The Big Sick,” what does it take for you to commit to a television series?
A: I’ve felt very lucky with a lot of the television projects I’ve done. With “Saving Grace,” I just didn’t want anybody else to play that character but me. And with this, I wanted to be in this company, working with a master storyteller and with HBO caretaking the whole extravaganza.