Q: TURN is your first period drama. What has your experience on the series been like?
A: It’s my first big job of any kind, so the whole experience has been wonderful. To be able to work with such fantastic actors and for a fantastic network — I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
Q: Mary describes herself as simply “a wife and a mother.” What do you think are the most unique traits of her character?
A: I think she may not come across as strong at first, but she does develop into a much stronger character, and I think that’s one of her unique traits. She’s a woman of the time and doesn’t seem to offer much of an opinion, but she has an amazing strength about her.
Q: Costume Designer Donna Zakowska mentioned Mary’s clothing as some of her favorite to work on. Do you have a favorite piece that you wore?
Q: You’ve been featured in a variety of soap operas in your home country of Australia. How does working on TURN compare? Did you need to change anything about your acting style for this particular series?
A: It’s very different — a much different style of television. The soap operas back home were very fast-paced and daily. The production values are different. The degree of production and the design and detail were a lot smaller. TURN is huge in all of its proportions — set building, costumes. They were very different experiences.
Q: You portrayed real-life serial killer John Bunting in your first film, Snowtown, and you’re now portraying another real-life person in Caleb Brewster. Do you find playing an actual person more challenging than playing a fictional character?
A: Not really. The great thing about playing a real person is that you get a set of circumstances that you can base your ideas and character upon — you don’t have to make it up yourself. With Caleb, history tells us that he was a guy with a lot of bravado, confidence and zest, a guy that wasn’t afraid to take on the British. We took that into building our version of the character. I find it very helpful when you can base a performance on a real person. I don’t know if I’m a funny guy or not, but Caleb definitely has a sense of humor compared to the other characters. He has a joy for life, and he’s an adrenaline junkie. He sees the world differently. It’s not a game to him, but he does enjoy a challenge and tries to make the best of every situation.
Q: What research did you do to learn more about the real Caleb Brewster?
A black petticoat on a peg line billows in the breeze. Pegged next to it are several carefully-arranged table napkins. To uninformed passerby, it simply looks like laundry hung out to dry, but to those in the inner circle of the Culper spy ring, it’s a secret signal about a nearby meeting place.
Anna Strong used her laundry to send coded messages about times and locations for Abraham Woodhull and Caleb Brewster to meet. A black petticoat on her peg line indicated that Brewster was in the area and available to ferry messages, and the arrangement of the handkerchiefs hung next to it indicated the specific cove where Brewster could be found. The roots of this signaling system go back as far as ancient Rome, where the military would use groups of flags to send and receive messages. Continue reading “TURN Spycraft Handbook – Petticoats and Peg Lines” »
I write this letter here in our home, uncertain of whether it will reach you. Yet I hold fast to the hope that it will somehow make it to the Jersey and into your hands. When you are able to read these words, I have the utmost faith that they will buoy you with the comfort that you have long been in my thoughts.
Ever since that terrible night and the fight at the tavern, I think about what could have been done to prevent your arrest. There is a part of me that cannot help but feel some guilt that your protection of me played a large part in your current circumstance; and it saddens me that I could not do more to help you.
Every week I go to see Major Hewlett in order to plead your case, hoping that he will see the error of his decision and grant your parole. Every week, under the prying eyes of those here in town who are unsympathetic to our plight, I stand before the Major and Judge Woodhull and ask for your release, even though the Major’s disdain for me is plain for all to see. There are many here who take a fair amount of pleasure in the notion that a branded traitor has been removed from their midst. Yet I am undaunted. I stand in the church on your behalf, because I know it is what you would do for me. Continue reading “A Letter From Anna Strong to Her Imprisoned Husband, Selah” »
What binds the characters of TURN together? Family? Friendship? Duty? The new TURN character map, released with the TURN: Origins Online Comic Book, explores the key players’ connections — from the Patriots to the Loyalists and everyone in between.
This week, TURN receives kudos from Canada.com and Moviepilot, while Jamie Bell tells IGN that Abraham, his character, is “highly paranoid.” Plus, Heather Lind discusses Anna’s strength with Zap2it. Read on for more:
• Canada.com calls TURN “compelling precisely because it’s out of the ordinary.”
• After watching the series premiere, Moviepilot thinks TURN is set to become AMC’s “next big success.”
• Connecticut Magazine is a TURN fan: “They always say the truth is more compelling than fiction. In the case of AMC’s Turn, a healthy dose of both is making for some great TV.”
A: At first, I didn’t even know that he was a real-life figure. When I got the part, I found out, much to my delight, that he was a real person. It’s always nice to do a little research leading up to the job, so that you’re actually working as opposed to making it up as you go along. I was able to read about the period and learn a lot of information that allowed me to create a character.
Q: What kind of research did you do into the life of the real Robert Rogers?
A: It was a slow process of putting pieces together. It’s interesting because a lot of books have only just come out, as this series has. I learned he was a farmer at first, and his skills in hunting lent well towards becoming a very efficient solider and a very efficient killer. He also spent a lot of time with the Native Americans, so he was able to discern and use their methods. Robert was also a writer, which would have made him not the most sociable of people — writers can often prefer their own company. So, he’s this guy that basically doesn’t fit into civilization at the time. He’d have preferred to sleep alone under the stars than under a roof. Perhaps he’d have preferred the company of like-minded, quiet people like the Native Americans.
Q: Have you seen portraits of Robert Rogers? Do you think you resemble him at all? Did you do anything to try and resemble him more? Continue reading “TURN Q&A – Angus MacFadyen (Robert Rogers)” »
“I’ve just completed my mission. The recruitment of a young, talented agent who is willing to apply said talents in service of the Crown, for the aim of ending this reckless war. Tell me — have you ever been to New Jersey?” — Major John Andre to Philomena in Episode 2, “Who By Fire”
To evaluate the loyalty of one of his spies (an as-yet-unseen mole in a New Jersey unit of the Continental Army), John Andre recruits an enchanting actress named Philomena to serve as a “honey trap.” With a keen eye for human weakness, Andre knows a honey trap is the best tool to use to test his operative.
Spies often use gadgets and other tricks of the espionage trade to collect information, but one of the simplest and most effective ways to garner intelligence is decidedly low-tech: Human intelligence, especially when coerced under compromising circumstances. The term for a spy who uses sexuality to extract information is “honey trap” (aka “honey pot”), and refers to a woman who dabbles in the trade. However, the art of enticement is not exclusively female — men, known in spy circles as “ravens,” sometimes also get in on the action.
“Take note that the famed Major Robert Rogers, celebrated for his exploits as the White Devil of the French and Indian War, and now the revered leader of the Queen’s Rangers, is once again soldiering for His Majesty King George III across these great colonies. Armed with an eclectic collection of trained fighters at his side, this son of Massachusetts and his cohorts are renowned for raising their mercenary ranks to dispatch their enemies far and wide. The Major’s past addled exploits of being too free with the creature are long forgotten as he forays into the fight to beat back General Washington and his tattered rebel Army.
“Many may be aware that inside the Major’s chest beats the heart of a lion, yet few among you may be apprised that he contemporaneously nurses the soul of a poet. Robert Rogers is not only esteemed for his abilities as a soldier, but has reached acclaim for his unrivaled work as an author. The ferocious and riveting battle accounts Major Rogers encountered were penned in his Journal of the French and Indian War, which went on to be published in 1765.
• The New York Times applauds TURN as “ambitious and beautifully filmed.”
• TV Guide learns from Jamie Bell that TURN, with its focus on the Culper spy ring, is “really shedding light on a story that almost nobody knows about, and it’s so crucial to the identity of America today.”
• Spin spotlights TURN‘s theme song and opening credits, commenting that “Mad Men isn’t the only AMC drama with cool opening credits by hip artists.” Zap2it calls TURN‘s theme song “snazzy.” Continue reading “NY Times Calls TURN “Beautifully Filmed”; Jamie Bell Talks Spies With TV Guide” »