It’s not often that a TV series lands legendary Oscar winner Al Pacino as its star, and in the case of Amazon’s Hunters it repped The Godfather actor’s first TV series ever.
Hunters, set in the 1970s, follows a young Jewish man, played by Logan Lerman, who bands with a secret group of Nazi hunters to find the killer of his Holocaust-survivor grandmother. Pacino’s wealthy kingpin character Meyer Offerman leads the group.
“He read the script, and we had a series of meetings with him where we spoke about the character of Meyer Offerman and what [series creator] David [Weil] had in mind when he created the character,” co-showrunner Nikki Toscano said during the Amazon Prime video panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television virtual event. “The coolest part of working with Pacino was when we started discussing the character, there was this constant brainstorming going on at all times; a brainstorming that started in those first meetings and continued all the way through post-production. He’s incredibly committed to the craft in a way I never experienced before.”
“Working with Al, he really does — his intensity and eagerness and willingness to collaborate, he brings a ton of energy and ideas. If you thought you were bringing your ‘A’ game, step up and bring your ‘A+’ game…he’s all about serving the work,” said Jerrika Hinton, who plays FBI agent Millie Morris, who catches wind of the Hunters’ takedowns of Nazis and becomes an ally.
Playing Millie was “a multi-pronged approach for me,” says Hinton, “figuring out who she was as a child, especially as a queer child growing up in the Catholic church with two old fashioned parents, figuring out what that did to her.” Hinton spoke to a former agent, Jerri Williams, in prepping her role, saying it “was a gift. She was able to share some personal stories about some of things she encountered and endured that were helpful to me.”
Weil became inspired to make Hunters from his grandmother, who was also a Holocaust survivor. “She would tell us (my brothers and I) about her experiences during the war. They were stories of great good versus terrifying evil. But they were stories of hope and courage and survival,” he said. “Growing up, I could see those stories through the prism of superheroes and comic books. That’s how I understood who she was, this superhero in my mind.”
Check out the panel video above.
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