Bloodline, the new series from Damages creators Glenn Kessler, Todd Kessler and Daniel Zelman, hits Netflix on Friday 20th March.
The show focuses on the Rayburn clan, a family who have lived and ran an inn in the Florida Keys for many decades, and secrets come to the surface, equilibrium is firmly disequilibrium-ised when the black-sheep brother (Ben Mendelsohn) steps back into everyone’s lives.
DIY sat down with matriarch of the Rayburns, actress Sissy Spacek to talk about modern TV, getting into the material, and what to expect.
Where did you come aboard with Bloodline?
Glenn Kessler pitched it to me, and I’d been a fan of their work in Damages and as it got together, they assembled a beautiful cast, I thought it was a great opportunity. I had really taken notice of this new phenomena of serialised film and I thought if I ever wanted to be part of a project I thought I’d be in really good hands with KZK. [Kessler, Zelman and Kessler, Bloodline’s creators]
Was Netflix anything you saw as an even better opportunity for it, with House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black?
At that time I hadn’t seen anything, I hadn’t seen any Netflix. And then I was working, and boy they worked us hard, I didn’t have time. You learn lines every night. But now I’m going to do some serious binge-watching.
I assume you get a free account for this.
Actually that was one of the gifts that they gave us all, “Here”.
A free month, or lifetime?
I don’t know, we’ll discuss that with them. It’s probably just a few months but I think it should be a lifetime.
You’ve done TV in the past, was this very different?
Very, very different. That was one of the things I loved about it, it’s very cinematic. It’s not talking heads, it’s big panoramic shots, big helicopter shots. Except for the fact that we never knew what was going to happen, we were scrambling to keep up.
This show could run for several seasons, was it difficult to commit to something like that?
It was a scary thing but I just went for it. I thought: “Why not?”, it was something that I hadn’t done. It really doesn’t make that much difference what genre it’s in, if you’re working with good artists, talented people, that’s what it’s about for me.
The ensemble cast…
Oh, they’re amazing.
And you don’t have to have the weight of an entire project.
None of us are carrying the whole show on us, and it’s a great ensemble. We’re all in it together, and we were pretty isolated in the Florida Keys so we got to know each-other really well.
Did you get an early start, a couple of weeks of prep to become a family?
Oh listen, I came when I was told to come. Everybody else filtered in, they dribbled in. I was there ready!
How do you prepare for your roles, is each one different?
Each one is completely different, and this one was different because I didn’t know… we worked with the creators as we went along to work on our backstories and of course Sam Shepherd, we had more backstory because we’re older, but in this kind of show you really figure out who your character is. I can’t wait to see the show and go: “Oh, that’s who the character is, I get it”. I’m looking forward, and I hope there’s a second season because there was a certain amount of anxiety the first year, where you really don’t know what’s going on, trying to get up to speed and not mess anybody up. Now I know what to expect, we all know each-other and we kin-of know the direction that our characters are going, so I think it’ll be a lot more fun and relaxing this year.
What do you hope audiences take away from this show?
I hope they’re thoroughly entertained, and I hope they’re surprised and I hope they’re shocked, and delighted. And entertained. Thoroughly entertained.
Bloodline comes to Netflix on Friday 20th March.