ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with Matthew Fox & Joanne Froggatt about their star roles in Peacock’s limited series Last Light. The two discussed the different types of acting and Fox’s return to TV.
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“In the series, Petro-chemist 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 grind to a halt, supplies would cease to be delivered, law enforcement would be overwhelmed,” reads the synopsis. “While on a business trip to the Middle East, Andy realizes that his worst fears are coming true and his family is separated at this crucial moment. His teenage daughter, Laura, is alone at home in London while his wife, Elena, and young son, Sam, are in Paris. Amid this chaos, each family member will sacrifice everything to find one another, despite the distance and the dangers that separate them.”
Spencer Legacy: Matthew, this is your first show since Lost, which has fans really excited. What about Last Light drew you back into this?
Matthew Fox: On a storytelling level, I just thought that this beautiful family at the core of it and them being separated across continents in the midst of this crisis was … I’m drawn to that kind of thing. I think we all are. I think we all relate to that, and I think we’re always invested in that, especially if we really care about the family. Hopefully we’ve set it up in a way where you care about these characters immediately from the top. The macro sort of … this oil crisis and sort of what it’s doing to Europe and spreading quickly and the chaos that’s ensuing and the vulnerability and the risk … that’s always fascinating to me. Obviously, it’s very timely with what we have going on in the world with climate change and with war, with oil being weaponized. I feel like all those elements added to me being drawn to it on a personal note, to be really honest with you.
I was excited about having an executive producer position and, for the first time in my career, I’d have an opportunity to be more involved in more aspects of the storytelling than just the character I’m defending and portraying. I was going to get an opportunity to do that with my managerial partner, Bill Choi. We had become very, very good friends and have similar tastes and we wanted to finally have an opportunity to collaborate creatively on something. So it ticked all those boxes for me. I was also, secretly, really excited to find out what it would feel like to get back in front of a camera and to act again, I hadn’t done that and hadn’t been on a set in seven years, and, that was really rewarding. So the whole thing was an amazing experience.
Joanne, you have done radio, voice work, and live acting. What’s the difference in process between all these mediums?
Joanne Froggatt: That’s a good question. So yeah, I did theater to TV, film, voice recordings, audiobooks … I try and do it all! The process of building a character is always the same. You’re trying to weave in as much nuance and depth and detail as you possibly can, so that doesn’t shift. It’s just depending on the outlet, you know? It’s a different sort of discipline. So obviously theater is differentthan working on camera, because when you’re working on 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 just too far away from you.
So you have to be aware of using your physicality a little bit more to put across those emotions. I grew up working on a set on a TV set and film set. So for me, it’s my first love, really. I know for lots of actors, it’s theater, and I love doing theater, but I think because I started in TV first, I love that nuance of [how] an eye flicker can tell you so much about what person’s feeling, or that you can be so insular and inside a person’s head. That always excites me. The nice thing about voicework is you don’t have to learn the lines, which is great. And it’s great fun because you get to play characters you could never play physically. Like I get to play men and children and old people, so it’s really fun.