Disclaimer: This FROM interview has been edited for clarity.
The MGM+ series FROM is downright terrifying. Residents of the town all found themselves trapped in a mysterious town with no explanation. Everyone must hide indoors at night with a mysterious talisman hung up with the doors and windows securely shut. Without all of those preventative measures, they are at risk of being violently killed by mysterious creatures with a propensity for sadism.
Harold Perrineau portrays Boyd Stevens, the town sheriff. Season one saw Boyd doing his best to keep the residents of the town safe and investigate whether there is a way for them to escape. He also had to navigate a complicated relationship with his son Ellis before the two reconciled near the season finale. In the season finale, Boyd travelled through a tree portal only to find himself trapped inside a chimney.
LadyJenevia: I have to say, Harold, you were the reason I leapt at my computer to do this junket because I’m an avid Baz Luhrmann fan so I’m so happy to get to speak with you today.
Perrineau: Thank you very much! That’s quite an honour so I’m glad you’re here.
LadyJenevia: When last we saw Boyd, he was trapped in a chimney of sorts. How did you approach filming in such a confined space? I was watching the season premiere and going, “Where is the camera in all of this, became he’s just crammed right in there!”
Perrineau: Yeah, it’s really tricky. Fortunately, I’m working with Jack Bender who knows me pretty well. What they let me do first is, they have to really enclose you in the thing. They shot me enclosed [with the camera] looking down so I could really get to experience, “Oh, I don’t know where I am! I have no room to even open my hands, this is scary and dark and weird,” and then they do the shots looking directly at me so they have to open a part of that thing up. I was able to take the experience of what it felt like to actually be enclosed and then we recreated when they were looking right at me. That was really helpful and that’s how I tried to do it. I tried to feel what it was really like, because I don’t like it all! I got to experience that before they opened up the door and shot inside.
LadyJenevia: How would you say Boyd’s relationship is with his son this season? We got this lovely reconciliation at the end of season one so do we get to see perhaps a bit of character growth? Maybe improved communication skills that were lacking before? How is that this season?
Perrineau: I’m sure everybody’s hoping that’s what we get to see but we are FROM so…
We get to see some more communications and then some more failures. That’s unfortunately part of the journey because they’re in death and desperation mode, and as perfect as you want to be, when you’re in that mode you make mistakes. All I can say is there are mistakes made but not for lack of wanting. Both characters want to make it work but they’re stuck. They don’t know where they are are, things happen, and it gets trickier.
LadyJenevia: There was a really funny moment in the screeners that I watched where Boyd starts laughing at the idea that anyone in this town could avoid putting extra stress on themselves. That to me begs the question, for you as an actor, how do you approach maintaining and conserving your energy? This show seems really demanding to the actors because the stakes are always ‘life and death’, 11 out of 10, demanding energy.
Perrineau: It really, really is and the unfortunate part for anyone who meets me outside of set is that I really am walking around with it, whatever it is that’s on set. Like the first season, I was sad as a mug. Everywhere I was going, I’m sad, a little upset, and people would meet me like, “Hey, you’re from the States!” I’m like, [sadly] “Yeah, I am…” [laughs]
You’ll see me walk around with it. Then this season, Boyd is really, really, really insecure because he’s not sure about anything anymore. That’s how I walked about Halifax all year. You just try to keep it with you so that it’s really present when the camera starts to roll. Then you find a few times to relax but the great thing is that we have a really big cast. We can all rely on each other and we can all relax in our weird behaviours outside of set. That’s how we can bring it back to set so that’s really lucky for us.
LadyJenevia: Well thank you so much for your time, Harold. This was a real fangirl moment for me and I had a great time so I will not be wishing a plague on your house today.
Perrineau: [Laughs loudly] Well I appreciate that! Thanks for all of it. This was a fun interview. I really do appreciate you jumping up to your computer and coming here today.
FROM season 2 will premiere on MGM+ on April 23.
Watch my interview with Harold Perrineau and other FROM cast members here: