FINDING CARTER: Anna Jacoby-Heron and Terri Minsky Talk Season 1 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FINDING CARTER: Anna Jacoby-Heron and Terri Minsky Talk Season 1

August 5, 2014 by  

FINDING CARTER’s first season has explored the journey of Carter Stevens’ reunion with her biological family, and the struggles everyone has dealt with in the aftermath.

I sat down with FINDING CARTER showrunner Terri Minsky and series star Anna Jacoby-Heron (Taylor) to talk about the show, and what’s to come…

Twins often have similar mannerisms, even if they don’t grow up together. Anna, have you and Kathryn Prescott (Carter) gotten together to work on the physicality of the twins?
Anna Jacoby-Heron: Not really. We have this weird kind of synchronicity about us. When we went in to do the chemistry read, we both sat down and crossed our legs at the same time and did something with our hands, and it was weird.
Terri Minsky: It was definitely weird.
AJH: So I think it kind of happens naturally.

Did you look for those moments to write to that, Terri?
TM: that would have been really smart. As you say that, I’m thinking, “No, but I should have.” They do have a natural — they do play twins. There have been a number of people who commented, “Why not just get Kat’s actual twin?” Because we’re not doing THE PARENT TRAP. We didn’t want to be like, “Who is going to go out with Gabe this week?” What we liked is that were similarities to them, but also an opposite quality — I don’t get to spend enough time with them, but the time I do spend with [Anna], I realize she’s so much cooler than anyone I know. [Laughs] And I’m writing her as this complete straight-laced [girl]. And she’s so convincing, I keep thinking to myself, “Oh, I hope Anna is happy I gave her this cute boyfriend.” And meanwhile [she] probably has this cute boyfriend. [to Anna] You don’t need me!

For me, writing for Taylor is like writing my fantasy of what my life would have been like, but what I think [Anna’s] life is actually like. But I don’t know. That’s the thing: I don’t get to spend enough time with her. I just think that the two of them together, they have a natural affinity that I feel lucky, but I have not in any way written to it.

What can you say about Taylor’s journey in season 1?
AJH: I think one of the things I love most about Taylor is her arc throughout the first season. She has so many changes — when you meet her, she’s the polar opposite at the end of the season. You see [the twins] start to intermix their personalities and their qualities.
TM: By episode 10, Taylor is a completely different person. A completely different person. And you just think, “Where was all of that? That must have been completely condensed down and buried.” I think of her as an exploding character. Everything that’s happening to her as a result of Carter coming back is larger than it would have been if she had lived her life without that consciousness that she was trying to fill a hole created [by the loss of her twin].

At what point will Carter start to process that the woman she thought was her mother lied to her for most of her life?
TM: Their birthday. I think of that as being the episode that Carter’s perception, [the twins’] relationship, just her identity of which family she’s a part of, is addressed.

How is Taylor handling her first shared birthday in years?
AJH: It’s kind of emotional. I don’t want to give too much away!
TM: You have to figure that her birthday was actually a day of mourning in the past.
AJH: It’s the first time — it’s a line she says: “I’ve always dreaded my birthday. It was always the worst day of the year.” And it’s the first time she’s celebrated her birthday since she was three.

What can you say about the family’s evolution throughout season 1, especially with the book about Carter’s return looming in the background?
TM: I feel like there are all kinds of competing stories: obviously there is Carter and her two mothers. One of them she won’t even acknowledge as a mother. And then there’s the boys — we have Gabe and we have Max, and we have two sisters who have completely different experiences with both of them. I also feel…I always want there to feel like a tug of war, as a writer, that should be happening. Everyone should have something that is pulling them in the opposite direction. And that’s sort of what I went for in every story: you would feel conflict, constantly.

When Taylor finds out about her mother’s affair and that her father is writing this book, how will she handle the newest bombshells in her life?
AJH: She handles it — it’s insane how much she takes on when she’s this young. I think she’s a really strong person, and she handles it the best way she knows how to. Sometimes it works out.
TM: I think the thing about Taylor is she doesn’t have that much experience, but she has a very instinctive way about responding, which for me, has been really interesting. It’s different than Carter’s, but it’s no less strong. There’s a strong moral center that has guided her all her life, which is totally being tested, and I just like the fact that what she does with it, how she avoids [things], and when it works and when it doesn’t.

During the TCA panel, there was the tease that Lori’s motivation/backstory for kidnapping Carter made people cry. How will those reveals play out this season?
TM: People are responding to the abduction story with, “Ooh, we like the kidnapper better than the mother.” If you really step back, step back and think for a moment, you go, “So, this is a person who took a twin. And forget that she disrupted the life of an entire family — which she did — she took one half of an entity.” And to never let the mother know, “Your daughter is safe, your daughter is alive, your daughter is happy.” As a woman to never give a mother that kind of relief, I think that’s very dark.

I think the answer to the question, “Why did she take that one? Why? Was that deliberate? Was it arbitrary? Could Taylor have lived Carter’s life?” It’s kind of that feeling that there are a lot of stories — and a lot of people — that abduction story is going to affect. But the story itself — when we know the story — is going to shed light on the entire family in a different way. You’re going to understand this family in an entirely different way because of the abduction.

Does Taylor ever indulge in the “what if” of her life — what if she had been the one taken instead of Carter, what if they had been taken together, etc?
AJH: I think when she’s back with her sister, she’s thinking about the person her sister is now, in front of her. How that is. She gets concerned later, but [in the present time] she’s more about, “I have to pay attention to the person in front of me.”
TM: She’s had to adjust her entire life, so I don’t think she indulges in hypotheticals. To me, Taylor is the girl that always had the ultimate essay to write on her college application — her whole identity was put into place at three, and no one else can write that essay. But it’s all sort of screwed up when the sister comes back. Everything she thought she knew about herself is basically useless.

Will we find out the motivations for the kidnapping before season 1 ends? Or is this going to be a long-term question?
TM: It’s not going to be by the end of season 1. It’s not going to be LOST, where suddenly there’s a polar bear. But I have this one story, and I don’t want to give it away all at once. So I couldn’t actually say, “It’s a four season arc”; I have no idea, actually. I know what the thing is you find out at the end of season 1, but I don’t know how much longer it’s a secret, or when you reveal it and you move on from there. The idea is, I think, ideally for a backstory, it gives you forward story. It’s not just something that happened that we need to find out — when we know, it moves the characters in a different direction.

FINDING CARTER airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on MTV.

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