Shots Fired, the 10-hour event series that bows tonight on Fox, first premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and could not feel more of the moment. From creators Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood and featuring a stellar ensemble including Sanaa Lathan, Stephan James and Tristan Mack Wilds, the series follows a media storm that unfolds in a small North Carolina town after the murder of a white teenager by an African-American cop.
When they sat down in at Deadline’s Sundance Studio presented by Applegate, Lathan shared her excitement in reuniting with Love & Basketball writer-director Prince-Bythewood, and satisfaction in the series’ timely exploration. “It was almost chilling, shooting this, because the synchronicity of the themes with what’s going on literally—all the police murders, racism, and how it’s being brought from the unconsciousness to the consciousness—is just amazing,” Lathan said.
After stepping into the role of a police officer caught up in controversy, Wilds related a bit differently to the complex issues of race and criminal justice that the series sought to explore. “I grew up on the other side of the police officer-citizen relationship, so in my eyes growing up, you see a cop, you automatically think something wrong is going on,” he recounted. “After speaking with the police, and understanding how they were trained, everything that they go through, themselves, on a daily basis…I would never condone anything that they do, but I will say that I have a newfound respect for them, for what they have to go through every single day.”
Check out more of our conversation above.