ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with Matthew Fox and Joanne Froggatt about their starring roles in the Peacock limited series. last light. The two discussed different types of acting and Fox’s return to television.
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“In the series, petrochemist Andy Yeats knows how dependent the world is on oil; If something were to happen to the world’s oil supply, it would set off a chain reaction: transportation would stop, supplies would stop being delivered, law enforcement would be overwhelmed,” the synopsis reads. “During a business trip to the Middle East, Andy realizes his worst fears are coming true and his family is separated at this crucial time. His teenage daughter, Laura, is home alone in London, while his wife, Elena, and his young son, Sam, are in Paris. In the midst of this chaos, each member of the family will sacrifice everything to find each other, despite the distance and the dangers that separate them.”
Spencer Legacy: Matthew, this is your first show since Lost, which has the fans very excited. What is it about Last Light that drew you back to this?
Matthew Fox: On a narrative level, I just thought that this beautiful family at the center of this and them being separated between continents in the middle of this crisis was… I’m attracted to that kind of thing. I think we all are. I think we all relate to that, and I think we’re always involved in it, especially if we really care about family. Hopefully, we’ve set it up in a way where you care about these characters immediately from the top. The macro kind of… this oil crisis and what it’s doing to Europe and spreading rapidly and the resulting chaos and vulnerability and risk… that always fascinates me. Obviously, it is very timely with what is happening in the world with climate change and with war, with oil as a weapon. I feel like all of those added elements to me are drawn to me on a personal note, to be really honest with you.
I was excited to have an executive producer position, and for the first time in my career, I would have the opportunity to be more involved in more aspects of the storytelling than just the character that I’m defending and playing. I was going to get a chance to do that with my managing partner, Bill Choi. We had become very, very good friends and had similar tastes and we finally wanted the chance to collaborate creatively on something. So it checked all those boxes for me. I was also secretly very excited to find out what it would feel like to be back in front of a camera and acting again, I hadn’t done that and been on a set in seven years, and that was really gratifying. So it was all an amazing experience.
Joanne, you’ve done radio, voice work and live performance. What is the difference in the process between all these means?
Joanne Froggatt: Good question. So yes, I did theater for TV, film, voice recordings, audiobooks… I try to do everything! The process of building a character is always the same. You’re trying to weave in as much nuance, depth, and detail as possible, so that doesn’t change. Depends on the output, you know? It is a different kind of discipline. Obviously, theater is different than working in front of the camera, because when you’re working in front of the camera, the camera can see, depending on what the shot is, if it’s a close shot, they can see what you’re thinking through your eyes. In a theater, the audience can’t see that, because they’re literally too far away from you.
So you have to be aware of using your physique a little more to convey those emotions. I grew up working on a set on a TV set and on a movie set. So for me, it’s my first love, really. I know for a lot of actors it’s theater and I love doing theater, but I think because I started in television first, I love that nuance of [how] a blink of the eye can tell you a lot about a person’s feelings, or that you can be so isolated and inside a person’s head. That always excites me. The nice thing about voice work is that you don’t have to learn the lines, which is great. And it’s so much fun because you get to play characters that you could never physically play. I get to play men, boys, and old men, so it’s a lot of fun.