“This show is timely because it’s about people trying to figure out who they are in the face of pure evil and that’s exactly where we are right now,” said Carryl, who plays Dr. Louise Hastings.
Carryl said that assumptions, projections, suspicion, appropriation, objectification, slurs, violation and lack of representation are a few of the “million ways you can kill someone” and revealed that she has to do a lot every time she leaves the house to feel safe.
“I am not sure why given all that it still takes watching someone die in 8 minutes and 46 seconds to finally recognise it’s all damage and it’s all the same death,” she added. “Everybody feels bad and wants to know what to do. Great. Want to educate yourself? Great. Google it. Read a book. You want to do something revolutionary? Get off center stage. There are a whole bunch of people standing around the outside. You want to do better? Do better, treat other people the way you want to be treated. It’s not that hard. You do have to put skin in the game. You have to stop making it all about you.”
Similarly, Robert Wisdom, who plays Caretaker, said the killing of Floyd highlighted the systemic racism in the country. “For a long time, that’s been denied, but that system’s been put in place for a long time. even though it unleashed a huge amount of anger and for some despair and for some a ferocious anger that’s leading to taking the process down, the dismantling of racism is now the burden or baton of white people. Black folk have been burdened by the victimization for a long time.”
Wisdom, who has also starred in The Wire and Prison Break, told a story about being a child in school. “When I was young, I remember a teacher reporting to my mom that I was always angry because I looked sullen in class. For me, I was being serious and paying attention to her teaching. She complained that I wasn’t smiling enough. With that prompt, I began to smile and that smile became a mask, I smiled to make her comfortable and at different stages of my career, I was told I was intimidating or people were scared of me for no reason. So my smile became that mask. I was making myself small to make other people comfortable, to take away their fear. The irony is now we’re all wearing masks and during this time, the real veil has been taken away.”
The comments from Carryl, who also starred in Netflix’s Mindhunter, and Wisdom, were echoed by showrunner Paul Zbyszewski.
He said, “Our show is about good and evil and right and wrong and the trauma of our past, we’re supposed to be doing a show that us a horror story. It’s not real horror. Real horror is 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Real horror is what happened to George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and Ahmaud Arbery and the violence that keeps happening to black people and people of color in general in this country. It’s important that we demand action and change and we not be complacent and silent. I’m by no means qualified to lecture but I am a writer, whose job it is is to have empathy and am a human being with a conscience.”
Helstrom, which launches on October 16, follows Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon), as the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer, in their complicated dynamic as they track down the worst of humanity — each with their own attitude and skills.