Nat Geo brought the harrowing new miniseries The Hot Zone to the fourth annual The Contenders Emmys, Deadline’s all-day event in front of a packed audience of Television Academy and key guild voters at the Paramount Studios theater. The panel discussion came ahead of the mini’s Memorial Day weekend premiere.
Joining me in discussing the six-part drama based on Richard Preston’s 1995 bestseller about the Ebola crisis was star Julianna Margulies, who plays Nancy Jaxx, a scientist in the center of the effort to stop the outbreak of the deadly disease, as well as Topher Grace, who plays scientist Peter Jahring.
Co-showrunner/co-writer Kelly Soulders also joined the conversation and talked about her and co-showrunner/co-writer Brian Peterson’s attempts to not only make this a gripping suspense piece about the fight against this catastrophe in Africa, but also exploring the personal lives of those on the front lines such as Jaxx and her husband.
Margulies talks about how she had read the book and found it now still quite a timely tale, as pertinent as ever in many ways, reciting a line that says, “We didn’t dodge a bullet, the bullet hit us.” Grace explains how difficult it is to play a role like this that has so much medical dialogue to memorize. He says he followed ER veteran Margulies’ lead in that respect and notes this is a monster story in some ways, a horror film.
Click on the video above to watch the our interview.
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