Justin Theroux investigates ‘The Mosquito Coast’

Actor stars in Apple TV+ version of his uncle's bestseller

Justin Theroux of ‘The Mosquito Coast’ Friday on Apple TV+

Q: Those who knew “The Mosquito Coast” previously did so from the novel written by your uncle, Paul Theroux, and/or from the 1988 movie that starred Harrison Ford. How have you attempted to redefine the protagonist, Allie Fox, in playing him?

A: I read the first script (for the series) and adored it. I obviously knew the character, but I knew sort of the novel version of it. This is Allie seen through a slightly different prism. As with any great character, I think you’ll see an evolution to this.

Q: Since your uncle did write “The Mosquito Coast,” did you have conversations with him about starring in the series?

A: I absolutely called my Uncle Paul, because it would be foolish not to sort of dip my cup into the well of the source material and the man who wrote it. I also, sort of anecdotally, have an intimate knowledge of certain aspects of Allie Fox because it’s my suspicion — and it’s been corroborated — that it’s based loosely on certain members of our family, (partiicularly) my grandfather, who had a certain thriftiness to him. So, yeah, I had several long conversations with Paul once I got the script.

Q: Have you encountered Harrison Ford and compared notes on playing the lead role?

A: I had the good fortune of meeting him just by coincidence, actually, while we were shooting when we were in Mexico City … and we had a fabulous, sort of tequila-fueled dinner, but we didn’t really talk so much about the character. We just talked about his experience in making the film, which he says was one of the most joyous experiences he’s ever had, as far as (being on) location and things like that.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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