“Station Eleven” could live on through “The Glass House” and graphic novel

“I remember damage.” This haunting quote from the novel Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel becomes a recurring theme in the TV series of the same name, adapted by Patrick Somerville for HBO Max. Station Eleven began development and even filming before the COVID-19 pandemic. But the ten-episode series — about the aftermath of a devastating flu wiping out most of the world and the survivors trying to rebuild and reinvent the world — apparently took on a whole new resonance when the real pandemic struck .

What does ‘I remember damage’ mean to the show’s stars? What’s it like promoting a show about life after a pandemic…during a pandemic? How did the cast and crew keep the show’s action straight during filming given the jumps between multiple timelines? And could there ever be a second season? Stars Mackenzie Davis and Himesh Patel joined Somerville on the Variety Awards Circuit Podcast to discuss all of these questions, explain what “Face Reveal Fridays” was on set, and more.

Also in this episode, the Variety Awards Circuit Roundtable dissects the Emmy actress categories. Listen below!

“Station Eleven” stars Davis as Kirsten, who witnessed the onset of the flu crisis as a child. In flashbacks to the beginning of the pandemic, the younger version of Kirsten (Matilda Lawler) is a child actress who clings to a graphic novel her older co-star gave her. This book forms the basis of how she views the post-apocalyptic world. The show flashes between different time frames to show others closely or loosely associated with Kirsten, including Jeevan, played by Patel. As a total stranger who took them in when the pandemic was rapidly spreading, he helps chart their future in this new world, and the question of how they were separated is a long arc from “Station Eleven” .

“I think something special about the show is that it’s being done by a group of people who would never have left after doing a show about a pandemic if we knew one was coming,” says Somerville. “We shot episodes 1 and 3 before we really heard about COVID. We tried to tell a story about healing. And then, by accident, we got into a gigantic pandemic. And so I think there’s a lot of giant feelings that our audience has sat on and buried and had no way of expressing. And it just so happened, we did a show that tried to do that vocabulary.

Patel says, “As wonderful as parts of it were, there were parts that I found really difficult. That’s my damage.”

Station Eleven returned to filming during the height of COVID-19 protocols that kept all crew members masked and at a distance. Davis came up with the idea of ​​”Face Reveal Fridays” on set to get a glimpse of her co-workers. “It drove me crazy that we never saw people’s faces,” she says. “At the Friday morning meeting we did ‘Face Reveal Fridays’ where we selected someone from the crew to stand up, take off their mask and turn around and everyone cheered. It was so beautiful and then we added ‘There’s Your Chin Thursdays’ because we couldn’t get enough of it.”

Would the stars and Somerville be interested in returning to the Station Eleven storyline? “What I would be interested in would be an anthology series,” says Davis. “Something Emily St. John Mandel, who wrote the book, said isn’t in everyone’s experience. That is the experience of this group of people in this part of the world. There’s a whole different group of people who have built an agricultural wonderland who aren’t itinerant bards and who don’t cobble together this meager existence and settlements. I think that interests me more than digging up these characters.”

Somerville adapts St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel, which is an anthology of sorts set in the world of Station Eleven: the character of Miranda is also in this book. “We thought what would happen if we kind of expanded her role,” he says. “And what’s interesting is that it’s set in the period between the burning down of Arthur’s pool house and their reappearance in 2020. And the cool thing about this story is that it can do the graphic novel in the background of the story of “The Glass Hotel.” It’s diagonal. But what’s also cool is that you know what happens to Miranda at the end of Station Eleven.”

Somerville adds that the artist who started work on the graphic novel Station Eleven could return and do more for The Glass House. “So when we do Glass Hotel, by the end of Glass Hotel we’ve done the whole graphic novel and then we just publish it as a book. We have 23 pages, but it takes our artist a whole week to create each page and we have 70 more to create. So we’re trying to get to the real graphic novel at the end.”

Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop shop for lively conversations about the best of film and television. Each week, Awards Circuit features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards and industry headlines; and a lot more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes are released every Thursday and Friday.

https://variety.com/2022/tv/awards/station-eleven-mackenzie-davis-himesh-patel-patrick-somerville-1235267040/ “Station Eleven” could live on through “The Glass House” and graphic novel

Charles Jones

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