On September 14, two weeks before FlashForward premiered on ABC, I visited the set at Disney Studios to speak with the cast.
In the series, Courtney B Vance plays Stanford Wedeck, the head of the Los Angeles division of the FBI, and Christine Woods portrays his colleague, Janis Hawk. Sitting together in ‘Wedeck’s’ office, I spoke with them about the unique concept of the show which has the entire human race blacking out for two minutes and seventeen seconds and seeing their future.
There’s so much buzz about this series, are you feeling any pressure as the premiere gets closer?
Courtney: We’re in a cocoon, we’re working hard to live up to all the buzz. But as soon as it’s released it’s really not ours anymore, it becomes the bloggers and the audience. I am actually enjoying the fact that it’s ours right now. It’s just us, and trying to make it [great], it’s like a little jewel, a little pearl.
Christine: I do feel a little pressure though, because everybody’s going, ‘I can’t wait to see it.’ I think it’s amazing, and I think from where the pilot is and what we’re shooting now, it’s stuff that I would have never imagined but, at the same time, you feel the pressure.
Courtney; I enjoy it just being us knowing how we think it’s amazing.
Christine: It’s like, ‘Let’s put on a show in the barn.’
After April 29, 2010, we’ll catch up with the date everyone has seen, then what? Do you know?
Christine: Honestly, I don’t know.
How much do they tell you about your character? Do they tell you about your past, does that come up in the future?
Courtney: We supposedly have a background booklet. (to Christine) Did you get a background booklet? They never gave me mine, some people got a background booklet. We were just saying to another journalist, I’m refreshed by the fact that I really don’t know a whole lot about [what’s going on]. I have an idea about my character and my wife, but the fact that we don’t know, every time we get a script it’s like, ‘Ohhhh.’
Christine: All the information you find out about your character for some reason ends up being some hidden secret that you kept from people.
Has anything happened that surprised you that made you have to rethink how to play your character?
Christine: Big time. But I can’t say it without giving anything away. When I got the job and when I started shooting it was, ‘Oh, by the way… information!’ And it completely changed every direction I had thought that I was going to go.
When you take a pilot like this, you’re only reading a great pilot, were you ever concerned about the rest of the scripts?
Courtney: No, I knew David [Goyer] and his work, and I also knew that they had plotted out the whole season, and he told me they had stories for five years. But they had plotted out this first season. Once I hear that, even though it’s not on the page for any of us right now, you know they know where they’re going.
Are you trying to guess what’s going to happen after the date everybody catches up with it?
Courtney: The way that it’s structured they can go anywhere, so I’m at peace with the fact of my not knowing anything.
Christine: I speculate on the grand scheme, what caused this, why did this happen? But I really mostly want to find out about Brice’s (Zachary Knighton) character or like I want to know what happens to this person.
Courtney: Yeah, what is Simon (Dominic Monaghan’s character) about? What is Lloyd (Jack Davenport) doing here? There’s a little clandestine meeting going on.
Christine: And I want to know how everybody knows each other.
Courtney: Yeah, is this General Hospital or what? Did everyone meet at the hospital? Why are we at the hospital all the time?
Were you surprised that Joseph Fiennes would take a TV series, and what’s he like to work with?
Courtney. No, I wasn’t surprised. He’s a gem.
Christine: He’s really soft-spoken and endearing and thoughtful. He’s interesting.
Courtney: He’s humble, and he’s about to be huge. And I think he’ll remain that way too. He was like, ‘Courtney, I’ve never done a series before, what do you do?’ I remember going to a Starbucks with him, and he was like, ‘Talk me through this, what’s going to happen next?’ I said, ‘You just hold on, brother.’
Christine: And he definitely sets the tone, he’s the lead actor and whatever they do everybody else does, and he’s just been so sweet and kind.
You’re being compared a lot to Lost, even though this hasn’t aired, does that bother you? Were you a fan of Lost?
Courtney: I wasn’t a big fan of Lost?
Christine: I watched the first couple of seasons and it’s a really great show, so I think it’s awesome to be compared to a show that people love, but I think that in terms of similarities, it’s just the storytelling style is the same, which people love so I would take that as a huge compliment.
Courtney: Which is the only way I can take it. It’s huge, and they say, ‘You guys are going to be huge too.’