Korean director Bong Joon-ho became Hollywood’s darling as his movie “Parasite” swept the Oscars this year. Now, one of his earlier works is hitting the small screen as a TV show.
The dystopian drama “Snowpiercer,” which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on TNT, is based on Joon-ho’s 2013 movie of the same name, starring Chris Evans.
“It was pretty great [to watch Joon-ho’s star rise during awards season],” says “The Americans” actress Alison Wright, 43, who co-stars in the “Snowpiercer” series. “Everyone was very excited about it. ‘Parasite’ was a big hit.”
The “Snowpiercer” show, which also co-stars Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs, is set in a near future where Earth is mostly frozen. The surviving members of humanity live on a giant train consisting of 1,001 cars that are highly segregated according to class — the wealthy and elite are at the front of the train while the poor are in the back, which is referred to as the “tail.”
In order to achieve the look of the long train, the show, which was filmed in Vancouver, often connected the different set pieces.
“They built many of those cars,” says Wright. “A lot of them were in separate segments, but there were parts that were joined up multiple cars at a time so that we could run the length sometimes. So there were parts of the set that were really, really long — like five or six train cars at a time. It’s a very exciting story with so many different slices of humanity that are now all stuck in this moving piece of metal. The idea of them all having to survive together in such close quarters being from so many different walks of life was super interesting.”
The movie (on Netflix) follows Curtis (Chris Evans) as he leads a bloody revolution from the back of the train to the front. The show has a longer story — so although tail-dweller Andre Layton (Diggs) has revolutionary aspirations, he must first help the train’s hospitality team solve a murder.
Wright’s character, Ruth, co-runs hospitality with Melanie (Connelly). They work for the mysterious Mr. Wilford, whose company owns the train.
“Melanie is the cool, calm and collected perfect face of hospitality,” says Wright. “And then Ruth is like the shadow side of hospitality. She’s very easily flustered, highly strung and insecure, and is a great believer in Mr. Wilford. She’s a zealot of his and absolutely convinced that he’s our savior and wants to do his bidding completely. She thinks he’s the bee’s knees.”
For Wright, who’s a British-born New Yorker (living in Harlem), working with Connelly was a childhood dream come true.
“ ‘Labyrinth’ is one of my favorite films ever, so it was always the David Bowie soundtrack going on in my head whenever I’d see her. And I would just try to play it cool.”
Even if the frozen futuristic wasteland of “Snowpiercer” is new, the show’s themes of class warfare and the politics of survival will feel familiar to viewers of “Parasite.”
“It’s a great opportunity within the story to look at how we treat each other and how we treat people that we decide should be in a certain box,” says Wright. “When you dehumanize people like that and put them in a certain category, you stop seeing them as people and they’re just numbers … like the people in the tail, or in the different classes throughout the train … it can be a dangerous thing.”
Although Joon-ho is an executive producer on the show, he was a distant presence.
“He was very hands-off, unfortunately,” says Wright, who calls herself a “big fan” of the filmmaker. “[We had] no interaction whatsoever. I never met him. Hopefully one day!”
Credit: Source link