On 'Carnival Row,' see the subdivisions of our society

hi I'm Michael or Dona of Los Angeles Times here at our photo and video studio at San Diego comic-con 2019 we're here today with Amazon's new fantasy mystery romance adventure carnival row here's the cast and the EPS hi guys hi why don't you quickly introduce yourselves for the Cameron tell us very quickly who you play i'm Tamzin merchant and I play image and span Rose who's a human who's a human and I am David Jesse and I play aggress who is not a human and I'm all and Oh bloom and I play Rycroft Philo Phyllis straight and I'm a human detective fair enough first questions actually for you gentlemen let's start with the substance and get to form I know that this began with a screenplay that that you wrote traps yes that's right and then was later developed into the show so that must have taken years about when did the process begin it took about like 16 17 years that's all yeah no much really film school and it was actually a dream in his dormitory but it was actually it was this script that got my whole career started so yeah it was like on the blacklist and people loved it and but it didn't really nothing happened with it for forever until a legendary got it and was like hey if you ever thought about making this a TV show I was sort of an ironic question because I think if I had written it now I wouldn't have even written it as a feature I would have written it as a film to begin with mm-hmm just because the world is so big and TV has really changed quite a lot and and that intervening decade yeah Orlando's and they're just serving you had a dream with you in it in film school I'm glad you said that I asked about how long it took because of some of the themes of it I mean it has some clear themes of immigration and refugees and xenophobia which are perhaps even more relevant now than then previously so I wonder how perhaps last few years have have changed the way you've approached the story apart from the fact that this this era of long-form storytelling has exploded it's changed it it's changed not as much as you would hope and not as and not as much as you would think I would say when I wrote it probably the the issues of the time were a bit more on about like race and especially like living in the south as I did and that it's sort of if anything we tacked a little bit more towards immigration as we were developing it for television and and because that I think has become increasingly important as across the world you've seen mass migrations you know both in Europe and in the u.s. so it's it's that emphasizing that part of it definitely became more important as we were making it a show yeah I don't want to the world we live in today is a rich narrative for better or worse I don't want to shoehorn themes into your work for you but there's also that nifty feminist metaphor of a woman being forced into a corset taking it off and being able to fly oh absolutely I I mean I think the way we like to put it as this show is is about just about any different way that you can subdivide a population and and the groups within a population and how they interact and how everything interacts in and so yeah it's definitely the whole the whole feminist idea is very I think important to the narrative as well because and tracking those stories though I will say I get forced into a corset when that comes off I don't get to fly [Laughter] yeah we've only been able to see the first couple of episodes and you know you're I have a feeling that your character is gonna go somewhere else from where she's going in the first two but there are so many amazing actresses in our show there are there are so many wonderful women and it's actually been a huge pleasure to read every script every every single episode of the eight you know there's such a massive talent of the you know the female talent now show and it's such a pleasure to read so many complex female characters and I just think it's a huge gift and that's I think all of the women in the show are so grateful and just really relish playing those those multifaceted characters especially in period dramas you know I think they can be a bit more but I can wait back this is just so rounded and so rich and so full it's really fun it's great to have the fantasy component because it allows you the freedom to explore all kinds of relationships one of the things that I think lends itself so well to the to the show I'm really glad you two brought that sums up the period drama in the fantasy elements because it does seem to pull from a lot of different places detective genre romance Oh Nora and it's like Dickensian Victorian England punky yeah so I should just explain for the the viewers who haven't seen it that what they call a puck is sort of a sadder sort of hassle yeah but seem sort of more badass than then yeah I think it's the Tumnus but like in a leather jackets there you go I think teams now I think the great thing about the the fantasy component and the fawns the parks all of the Fae as we call them is they're real they feel real they're tangible there that you feel the humanity of the each of the races and you can identify with them without guilt shame or anything else you can be objective and stand outside and look at what is happening in the world today some of the things that bring great conflict and in a turmoil and actually go WOW because we're looking at a form or looking at a PHA or we're looking at a you know it's you can you can you can sort of have a an interesting like view behind the curtain as it were or into another world and and and feel you get a sense of perspective about it all which I think's one of the great great things about the show and isn't that weird that it almost induces more empathy correct yeah that's the how does that happen because you're separated from it because you're not feeling like you're you you don't you don't have to be that person so even if you relate to some of the things that these characters because they're a fantasy but that was that that was the great thing about the way the show was set it was it was you know your suit you know the way that you look it's you don't you don't second-guess it you're not going there's no there's no questioning you're just you're just in your straight in with the reality of what the characters are going through and the emotion and the journey of the adventure that love the excitement you know it's it's it's great to be able to use that fantasy component and and have that be our our way in our magnifying glass if you like I loved the movie like Blade Runner when I was writing this and one of my favorite things I call it the drop in it's like there's two different kinds of genre shows there's like there's one where you're Alice in Wonderland and the audience has a surrogate into a story that's always having stuff explained to them and then there's the other kind which is more like Blade Runner where it's like the ice has no surrogate and the audience has just dropped in and expected to catch up yeah and and and I love that because I feel like that makes you lean forward yes you know and rather than sort of you know feeling like your hand pulled it along you know and I really wanted this to feel like that I really you know to you to come in and people are using words and terminology that you haven't quite learned yet but you're having to learn through context clues I think that's the best way to get into a new world yeah as an actor as well it's really fun to have this like ready-made playground you come in and you you know you got across someone you've got you your hair done or your horns on or something and you're in this world that is complete and it's huge and rich and vast and and learning words like so there's this phrase that is I guess the the Burgas equivalent of Jesus it's by the martyr mm-hmm oh yes yes yeah and so learning to just like have that trip off the tongue was quite a fun challenge like by the martyr and just kind of say it like we all say oh my god right and that was really that was really fun something to just to step into and yet really really play with that was a good by the martyr by the way I could never quite ask you we're almost out of time so uh let me ask you our standard comic-con question and I mean you've probably experienced a lot of this what's the weirdest or craziest thing you've seen at comic-con now or ever I I was at this um pool party and they were just like mermaids in the pool are you sure you hadn't had something special yeah like but I I mean I remember at Disney experience when it was it was towards the end of that comic-con trip so I was kind of like yeah there's mermaid always I'm just so I'm always so impressed with the dedication the sheer joy and and and and love of the worlds that are created whatever show movie but the fans that just go out all out to kind of have that moment to themselves to experience so it's like it's it's just the commitment you know it's real it's people who are just uber fans and and appreciate the work in the worlds that have been created and they just show it there it's on their bodies in their makeup in there expecting their walk in there they're just it's it's it's an art form in itself it really is I call it the real happiest place on earth yeah this is my first comic-con yeah so for me the most amazing thing I've seen is potato B hotel from carnival row so you go into the experience and you you pick whether you're a creature or a human and you go in and then you get treated so I'm a human in the show so I picked creature and I like see what it's like on the other side of the fence and there's literally a fence right there it would be interesting if you get a chance to go and do both go through it as a human go through so the very last thing I mean I'm sure you've seen plenty of cosplaying Lego losses and in Wills if that's the really creepy because play as anyone anyone at come front who would you cosplay just to haunt him you're welcome that character in the neverending story the big dog the big I reckon I reckon mine would be to chela Oh stink without the mast or with a mask with the mask with the voice oh Black Panther yeah yeah I think so yeah it's just like a boyhood dream yeah no I would I would want to cosplay as guillermo del toro this wants to be follow right Crawford oh yeah sometimes I actually I slip and I call he looks great in a bar and of all the hot all right guys thank you so much thank you

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