‘From’ Stars Preview the Nightmarish Town & Creatures No One Can Escape
Welcome to the newest town everyone can’t wait to leave… if only they could.
Epix’s new drama, From, starring Harold Perrineau, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Eion Bailey, takes place in a nightmarish town that traps all those who enter. Perrineau’s Boyd is the sheriff, while Sandino Moreno and Bailey’s Tabitha and Jim Matthews are new people who drive into town with their kids and soon find out just what’s in store — including terrifying creatures that come out at night.
Perrineau, Sandino Moreno, and Bailey tease the terror to come.
The Matthews family comes to the town while Boyd is already there. So how do these new additions shake things up for Boyd and everyone else?
Harold Perrineau: It does shake things up for the rest of the town, but I think the very first thing that Boyd experiences is the dread that another group of people is gonna have to deal with this nightmare that we are dealing with. We now have to figure out who they are, what they’re gonna do, which is why we just let them roll around town instead of saying, “Hey, you’re in a town filled with monsters, come on in!” I think Boyd just decides we’ll get to that part. But I think the very first thing he feels is, “oh, man, and this guy is here with his family. What a nightmare.”
How does coming to this town change things for the family and Jim and Tabitha’s marriage?
Eion Bailey: We go into this town already at a crossroads in our marriage where we’re pretty close to parting ways, or we certainly recognize that that’s a real possibility, and a storyline will be illuminated later as to why the big disturbance in our family and our marriage. And then this town, the nightmare of this town actually provides — and this is the credit to the writing — the opportunity to heal our relationship, even though we’re in extreme duress, because the only way that we’ll ever get out of this situation is if we figure out a way to heal the wounds and come together as a team to fight our way out of this situation.
Catalina Sandino Moreno: This town as a nightmarish town, as it is, I think, doesn’t just save the marriage, but it saves the relationship between the family, the relationship between the mother and daughter and the boy. And it makes them throughout the season a stronger family. This is kind of like a saving point for them, not just for the marriage, but I think for everyone involved in that family. It was a good thing.
Bailey: Yeah, the whole family’s wounded. The dynamics of all the relationships all have the opportunity to heal.
What can you say about these terrifying creatures that come out after dark and how each of your characters handles them?
Bailey: For the newcomers, for Catalina and I, they are one little moment at a time revealed. And at first it’s just, in the crashed RV, why are you blocking the windows? What is that thing you’re hanging? Oh, it’s a talisman. What is that for? Why are you whispering about things that come in the night? Why can’t we be out at night? Then you hear whispers, don’t see them at first. And then there’s the box in town, this contraption that Harold’s character has built and created as a town guillotine, as it’s called, to punish. And we still, at that point, don’t know what these creatures look like. At least my character, Jim, doesn’t. So it’s a very slow reveal, which I really like that they’re not fully frontal all the time. It’s like maybe that scary kind of alien-like face is a figment of our imagination in the moment of attack and hard to know exactly what these creatures are. We certainly don’t know where they come from or why they want to seemingly torture humans. It’s a slow progression.
Speaking of that box, in the trailer at one point, we do see Boyd in it. Is there anything you can say about that?
Perrineau: No. [Laughs] I can’t say anything about it, other than the audience will see. But yeah, that box is a scary place. And just as Eion was talking, I was realizing those things that I didn’t even realize watching it. That’s a really interesting juxtaposition for the characters: one group of people who have no idea exactly what’s about to happen, and another group of people who know exactly what’s going to happen, and how those things just have no choice but to cause conflict. When you don’t know something, you still think of all the possibilities, but when you know it so sure, you try hard to have compassion, but at some point you’ll be like, “OK, then you’ll find out.” It’s such a great way for the conflict to be in the story just built right in.
Sandino Moreno: I think the only people that are gonna see the creatures are the ones that are gonna die. If you are out at night, these creatures don’t appear deadly or they’re gonna kill you. They’re just people walking towards you, which is sometimes even scarier. But I think the only people that would see these creatures attacking them when their faces are changed into these monsters are the people that are about to die. I don’t think a lot of us have seen their faces.
Perrineau: Some of us have.
We know this is a town they can’t leave, but what can you say about anyone’s efforts to do so? Is that something more so that the new people are trying to do and people like Boyd are just resigned to their fate?
Perrineau: I don’t think Boyd feels resigned to his fate. I think Boyd recognizes that there is a big problem and still has enough hope to know that he can find a way out or that a way out can be found. But while they’re looking for that way out, you have to figure out how to still go on. That’s the place where Boyd lives.
Bailey: In the writing, in the story, there are the people who live in the town and then the people who live up on the hill in the colony house. It’s kind of divided along a line of the people who live in the town have basically decided the goal is to get out of here. The goal is to change this nightmare into something else and escape. The people who live up in the house on the hill have accepted a kind of hedonistic lifestyle, a kind of c’est la vie, whatever will be, will be, let’s just live with it as it is. There’s a clear delineation between those two, those who accept and those who refuse.
Which member of the Matthews family is most likely to break the rules of the town?
Bailey: Catalina’s character, I would say.
Sandino Moreno: Why?
Bailey: Because she just fights. She’s a fighter and she will not accept it the way it is. The way I see my wife in the story, she looks at the situation and says, “This is not acceptable and I refuse to accept it, and I will do anything to alter the situation.” And Jim is accepting of the rules. He’s almost like, “Alright, these are the rules of the game. I’ll play within the rules. And I definitely wanna get out of here, but I’m gonna use the framework that’s been given.” Tabitha just is like, “I’ll just blow it up.”
Perrineau: That’s what it looks like to me, too.
Bailey: What do you think about that?
Sandino Moreno: I also think that Julie is stuck in this world, but she’s finding independence. She’s finding who she is. She is detaching from parents, which I think it’s pretty interesting that she’s going through all that in this world. She is definitely making her voice heard and she’s speaking loud and clear, which I think wouldn’t have happened if we were still in our house, dealing with our problems, going through a divorce. I think it’s beautiful to see, throughout the season, how she becomes this beautiful woman. She’s growing in front of our eyes.
Bailey: She’s growing really quickly.
Sandino Moreno: It’s actually the parents realizing, “Well, we’re not gonna talk to her as a baby. We’re gonna talk to her, not as a teenager even, just as a peer, as a grownup.” She’s made some decisions, very crazy decisions for us, but very, very conscientious decisions for her. I think it’s beautiful when you see something like this happened in a series or a TV show, that the character finds her voice and steps into her shoes.
From, Series Premiere, Sunday, February 20, 9/8c, Epix