We caught up with some of stars of your favorite NBC stars to talk about their shows upcoming seasons at the NBC 2019/20 Upfronts red carpet.
We chatted with stars from Indebted, This is Us, Late Night With Lilly Singh, Manifest, New Amsterdam, and The InBetween about their upcoming new seasons.
Fran Drescher, Steven Weber (Indebted)
The Knockturnal: So, you have a new show, how exciting!
Fran Drescher: Yeah, thank you.
The Knockturnal: Talk a little bit about it, and what is your character? How does your character relate to you?
Fran Drescher: Well, we play husband and wife, and we’re kind of baby boomers that go bust and knock on our adult children’s door when we hit rock bottom and have to admit that we’re dead broke and need to sell the house and move in with them. That’s kind of the launching pad for the series. It’s a comedy about something that’s very real. Now, in this day and age either the parents or the kids are experiencing some kind of financial problems, and the kids and parents living together is a very common issue for one reason or another. So, this explores the parents’ need, and they move in with the kids. I think that also becomes a role reversal with who’s the parents and who’s the kids—’cause they tend to parent us, and we tend to still be unable to stay on a budget, ’cause we’re so happy and we enjoy life so much and we’re very generous people.
Steven Weber: And we vape!
Fran Drescher: *laughs*
Steven Weber: It’s vaping!
The Knockturnal: So like the cool parents?
Fran Drescher: We’re totally!
Steven Weber: I think that’s completely cool!
The Knockturnal: What about your character?
Steven Weber: He’s a laidback guy who’s worked hard but is madly in love with his wife and has been for the entire time. He’s happy with his life even though they’ve had some financial difficulties, but I think he’s an optimist, a very zen guy to use your descriptions. He’s in many ways the guy I aspire to be.
Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia (This is Us)
The Knockturnal: How has this show impacted you?
Mandy Moore: Wow, this is an incredibly defining time in my life, and it feels sort of equally matched with this particular job and playing this woman. I’ve been acutely aware from minute one of this show that I’m never gonna have a job like this again. This is such wish fulfillment to play this woman from her late teens to her eighties. Every chapter of her life as a girlfriend and a wife and a mother and a grandmother. It kind of coincides with where I am in my life as a woman and the experiences that have sort of shaped me. I don’t take it lightly. I’m very, very grateful.
The Knockturnal: So, three more seasons, how do you feel? When you first took the role did you think that it was going to be as popular as it is now?
Milo Ventimiglia: You know, you never have any idea how popular, how well received a show is ever going to be, but you do your best. I think what we all knew was we had beautiful writing, we had a talented cast, we had an amazing crew, and when you put that combination together, you guys see what we do.
The Knockturnal: And the show touches on every single issue almost imaginable, why do you think these are important to get out?
Milo Ventimiglia: I think we’re living in a time where we all need to find our similarities. I think we need to understand that we’re all going through the same human struggle, and the stories that we’re telling are basically just reflecting a lot of life that we need to see because it’s been caught under a lot of heavy worldly stuff. We’re all people. We’re all human. We all deserve love. We all deserve hope and happiness. I think it’s a good reminder that we need to look out for those around us, and, hopefully, those that we pick up can pick us up when we need it.
Lilly Singh (Late Night With Lily Singh)
The Knockturnal: How excited are you coming to late night television? Talk a little about that.
Lilly Singh: I am so excited. I think the most exciting thing for me is not only the fact that I have a new show but the amount of support I’ve received. I’ve never had a reaction like this to anything I’ve done, the mass—especially from women that are just like “we’ve got your back” it’s meant so much to me.
The Knockturnal: And being a woman of color, there’s not a lot of women of color in late-night television, how do you feel about that?
Lilly Singh: It’s a little bit of pressure, you know? I throw up sometimes! (laughs) But real talk, I’m just so grateful to be in this position, and I always think that what better legacy can you leave if not helping to pave the path for other women? There are so many women that have come before me that have helped pave this path for me, and I just want to contribute.
The Knockturnal: What can you say to other women of color who are in your industry and who started on Youtube just like you did? What would you say to them just to encourage them?
Lilly Singh: I would honestly say there’s been so many times when there wasn’t a seat at the table, and I just dragged a chair to the table. That’s what you got to do sometimes. If there’s no space for you, make the space. Don’t be afraid to make the space for yourself.
The Knockturnal: Now what can we expect from your show?
Lilly Singh: Good vibes, comedy, positivity, a lot of sketch comedy and just disrupting the space a little bit.
The Knockturnal: I love it, thank you so much, Lilly. I appreciate it, thank you.
Janet Montgomery, Ryan Eggold, and Freema Agyema (New Amsterdam)
The Knockturnal: Can you talk a little bit about your character this season?
Janet Montgomery: I think for my character, I’ve had one of the biggest arcs going full circle [with] my storyline— You know, trying to do her job really well, and I think abusing her body because she’s overworked, completely shot to pieces from her job. I think a lot of people in America, whether you’re a doctor, or whether you have a drug addiction or not can really relate to that because we’re all now pushing ourselves so much harder, and the working week is getting longer. I think for me that’s what people are really resonating with, and people who’ve had addiction problems have messaged me on Instagram and Twitter and everything, and I feel like they were heard somewhere in our storyline, so that was nice.
Ryan Eggold: Absolutely.
The Knockturnal: I know the last time we spoke, your character developed cancer, you found out you had cancer, how’s it going now?
Ryan Eggold: It’s not going great at the moment for Max, but he is fighting. It’s a really interesting fight to get into because it affects so many people in this country around the world. We’re really trying to capture the essence of not just the medicine but what this sort of mental and emotional toll of that fight is, which is interesting stuff to play as an actor.
Freema Agyema: Yeah, same. I think that’s one of the things the writers are doing so well. It’s having these stories that people can connect with as the guy said, and similarly, I’ve had women contact me saying “Oh my God, I’ve been thinking about freezing my eggs and having a child from a donor and doing it on my own while I pursue my career, and I’m not seeing that represented on television anywhere.” It’s nice to feel like we’re connecting direct matters that are happening in society right now.
Josh Dallas, Melissa Roxburgh (Manifest)
The Knockturnal: So, Manifest, talk about this season, how’s it going? I know when you first started, it was a new show—people really didn’t know exactly what it was, tell us about it.
Josh Dallas: Now it’s great ’cause now we get to tell more of the story, which we’re so excited about, and now that we know these characters and we’ve been introduced to them, as we go into the second season we’re going to be able to dig deeper into these characters. We’re gonna see these characters now in the present form. We’re gonna see some flashbacks too. We’re also gonna be able to figure out what happened at the end of that first season with that crazy gunshot. We’re gonna see what happened with that. We’re gonna see what happened with the pregnancy, whose baby is it, and we’re gonna try to dig more and more into this mystery and find more answers about what happened to them. We have a ticking clock. We have a death date, five and a half years, what would you do, if you only had five years left to live.
Melissa Roxburgh: Yeah, we actually haven’t started filming the second season yet. We go to camera in a month or so, so we’re all kind of excited for those first scripts to come out because we’re just as eager to solve the mysteries as everyone else.
The Knockturnal: How is it on set? What kind of relationships do you guys have?
Melissa Roxburgh: (jokingly) None of us talk to each other.
Josh Dallas: This is the only time I actually talked to her, unless we have dialogue written for us.
The Knockturnal: You don’t even know her name.
Josh Dallas: It’s- it’s
Melissa Roxburgh: It’s fine, it’s okay, don’t worry about it.
The Knockturnal: And you all shoot in New York?
Melissa Roxburgh: Yeah, we shoot here. We were in Long Island last year. We have no idea where we’re gonna be this year, but it’s been good. New York is an awesome city.
The Knockturnal: Are there any sneak peeks that you can tell us of what’s going to happen? I know that you said that you’re involved in this mystery and everything, but what can you tell us?
Melissa Roxburgh: Elizabeth Marvel kind of came in as the major at the end of last season, so I think we’ll see her kind of diving in with us as well, but other than that just kind of what he said of figuring out what happens with this “death day” that we’ve been given and trying to either stop it or what you would do with that time left.
Josh Dallas: That’s exactly right.
The Knockturnal: Thank you so much. I appreciate you talking to The Knockturnal.
Paul Blackthrone, Justin Cornwell, Harriet Dyer (The InBetween)
The Knockturnal: How exciting is this, a new show coming to NBC? Talk a little bit about each one of your characters and what you portray.
Harriet Dyer: I play a lady called Cassie Bedford—I think they’ve settled on that for the last name. They went through about seven. I work at a bar, but I also see ghosts. My mother was a clairvoyant as well, and she didn’t handle it so well and she passed away when I was young, so I’ve got this tension with it like ‘I didn’t ask for this. Why have I been lumped with it?’ And, I occasionally see things that I think would be helpful to these guys in police work, so I pass on information, and that’s what keeps us working together throughout the season.
Justin Cornwell: My character is Damien Assante. He comes to Seattle, which is where our show is based, and under duress, I would say, but he partners up with Tom Hackett, which is [Paul’s] character, and he has a great reputation. But, through that, he starts to learn his methods of solving crimes, and it’s up to Damien to decide whether or not that’s something he’s gelling with or not, and through the process of the season, you’ll see.
Paul Blackthrone: It’s a crime drama. It has this supernatural twist to it, and what I like is that blend between the real-life crimes that clearly happen and then how that leads to this very unresolved world of the in-between, where some of perhaps the victims are residing, that Cassie’s character can see and trying to solve the crimes through our real-life methods, but then also being assisted by the supernatural methods, the element of that. It’s just this nice little blend of this, that and everything in between. And then also, it’s the familial aspect of it. Myself and my husband are adoptive parents of Cassie, so there’s that side too, that sort of character element, the family element, which is also always nice to explore because let’s face it: it’s a lot of conflict in families, so resolving that in this very complicated world of the risks she’s going through but the help that she gives us is obviously very useful. And then, of course, Mr. Cynical guy (Damien) at the beginning says “what’s all this?” it’s like all right, all right, I don’t expect you to believe it. [This] triumvirate of the three of us is a nice blend of all those aspects.
The Knockturnal: Absolutely. With it being supernatural, have you all ever experienced any supernatural events in your lifetime?
Harriet Dyer: I had none, and then I met a medium at an event like this, she just came up to me and that changed everything because she saw someone with me that she couldn’t have known about. That just changed my whole world view. When I went in to shoot the show, I had this newfound belief which made me feel, I don’t know, I was just lucky. I felt like it was a gift to meet that lady. How about you?
Justin Cornwell: I don’t know. My entire life feels like a supernatural event. I’m being guided by something. I’m not sure what, but it feels like there’s a hand on my shoulder. I can’t say that I have any experience with that directly, but something’s in the air, I’ll tell you that.
The Knockturnal: So you believe?
Justin Cornwell: Yes. (laughs)
Paul Blackthrone: So what makes the flowers bloom? Something. You can’t put your hand on it, can you? But something supernatural. Whatever the laws of the universe are that create this thing that we’re standing in, it’s happening. It’s irrefutable, so there’s clearly a force around us, which is a greater power. In terms of “have you ever seen ghosts?” Yeah, I had a dear friend that passed away way too young, and he was always popping up left, right and center, so yeah I’ll be like, ‘All right Scott. All right, Mate. Come on, I’m getting used to it, but it’s getting a little weird, please? Nice to see you mate.’ So, there’s a lot of that in this world.