TAKE TWO: Andrew Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller on Embracing their Strengths with the New ABC Procedural - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TAKE TWO: Andrew Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller on Embracing their Strengths with the New ABC Procedural

June 28, 2018 by  

Take Two interview

(Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Over eight seasons, CASTLE’s Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) bantered, solved crimes, and eventually started a life together. Now, Andrew Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller—two of the biggest forces behind CASTLE—are back with a new romantic-dramedy to help fill the void.

In TAKE TWO (airing Thursdays at 10/9c), ABC’s newest (light) procedural, actress Sam Swift’s (Rachel Bilson) shadowing of private investigator Eddie Valetik (Eddie Cibrian) quickly leads to something more: a genuine partnership, as Sam realizes she actually enjoys this new gig.

Eddie, for his part, isn’t immediately thrilled with Sam’s presence…but he does appreciate the new business she’s bringing in. And in Thursday’s episode, “The Smoking Gun,” Sam is once again able to prove her worth, including using her acting skills to get some much needed evidence.

But what comes next? Marlowe and Miller broke down why they were drawn to do TAKE TWO, how they’re handling a will they/won’t they relationship in 2018, and why CASTLE fans may want to keep their eyes peeled on an upcoming episode…

What inspired you to create TAKE TWO?
Terri Edda Miller: We were actually looking at a number of different projects. We have a lot of interests—we’re interested in science-fiction, we’re interested in other worlds, we’re interested in created interesting worlds to introduce the audience to. TAKE TWO was among one of our many projects that came up because of a conversation we had with Rola Bauer of [production company] Tandem, who we’re working with on this project. And Rola came to us with a really interesting proposition: Would you like to make a show with international partners, that has the DNA of CASTLE? CASTLE was so successful internationally. It was about putting together the show in a different way than we had put it together before. That really interested us. She was excited about finding a new CASTLE. So we had the idea, pitched it to them, and they loved it. They thought that audiences, all over the world, would love a show like this. Especially since shows like BONES, THE MENTALIST, CASTLE, and the other ones like it were going off the air.

Given your history with CASTLE—and the request to have that DNA in this show—what is the balance of having it be similar, while also allowing TAKE TWO to form its own identity?
Andrew Marlowe: I think it’s always a delicate balance. What we want to do is honor these new characters, and take a different kind of journey. One of the things, to add to the first question, is we love this kind of material. We love the sparkling charm and wit; we love the playful banter between characters. We view these shows as part of a lineage, going all the way back to movies like THE THIN MAN and Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn kinds of films. And MOONLIGHTING and all those other great shows.

We also, in today’s world, there’s a lot of darkness out there. Terri and I wanted to do a show that was poppy and fun. Where you could deal with a crime and an investigation, and you could have a lot of fun with the main characters. We had a really good time doing CASTLE, and in a lot of ways, with this project, we wanted to tap into our strengths.

But you’re right: it is a delicate balance. We don’t want to do another CASTLE straight-up. We want to do something fun, different, in a new city. New kinds of investigations—that’s one of the reasons we did the P.I. format. When you’re a private investigator, you can deal with missing persons, you can deal with missing objects, you can have all different kinds of fun. As [you’ll see] in episode 2 of TAKE TWO, we can employ elements that feel a little heist-y, that feel a little OCEAN’S ELEVEN, with Samantha dressing up in disguise, tapping her acting skills to play somebody else we might need in the investigation to get the information we need.
TEM: We feel it’s a different approach than CASTLE, to a world where you have two characters whose personalities clash, but are delightful to be with. To us, it’s a very different show. Of course it has our voice, but we wanted it to be really fun and just delightful for the audience.
AM: And light! It’s a show that you can drop into. As much as we love all the dark serialized stuff out there, Terri and I also love being entertained. And we love the shows where you can come in and have a good time for an hour. It’s not a serious commitment where you have to sit down and binge. We wanted to do something with a little froth and full of fun.

Of course, the right spark between your leads in a show like this is key. What was it about Eddie and Rachel that appealed to you?
TEM: It’s really what you said: they had the right spark. We feel we got lucky with Eddie and Rachel. They’re both really great actors with a lot of experience. The first time we saw them read together, they had that spark that we know you absolutely have to have for a show like this to work. That was it for us, just having them together.
AM: Having watched Rachel sort of grow up on camera, she is just so likable that you just fall in love. And Eddie brings this grounded charm. When we’re looking at the lineage of Los Angles private investigators and somebody who could play a cynicism with a kind of charm to it and a twinkle in the eye. He’s just knocked it out of the park for us.
TEM: What’s funny is we wanted this to be a really deeply Los Angeles-based show, and both of our leads are native of Los Angeles, which is so rare. They both grew up there. We wanted, with this show, to tap all the different parts of LA; the lower parts and the higher-end parts. We can go both places with these characters. That’s part of the fun for us.

Marlowe and Miller, on set with director Holly Dale. (ABC/David Bukach)

The show is primarily filming in Vancouver. What kinds of tricks are you using to help keep the Los Angeles feel?
AM: We have shot a couple of days down in Los Angeles—not as many as we’d want to—but of course aspiration in filmmaking always intersects with reality. We felt our previous show was a very New York show, but we did shoot it in Los Angeles. So part of it is just the point of view we’re coming to it in the writing, and the kinds of stories we’re telling, plus the kinds of worlds the show goes into.
TEM: And Vancouver has played Los Angeles many, many times in television and film. We found some really great places that are reminiscent and reflect our Angeleno landscape. We feel like we’re finding a lot of it here.
AM: And now with global warming, it rained more in Los Angeles this year! [Laughs.]
TEM: It was super realistic—every time it was raining here [in Vancouver], it was raining in LA! [Laughs.]

TAKE TWO also has an eclectic supporting cast. What were you looking for when you rounded out the team?
TEM: We think they bring a lot of ages and experiences to the show. They have different points of view than Sam and Eddie. Berto (Xavier de Guzman), who is Eddie’s assistant, was arrested by Eddie when Eddie was a cop. After Eddie became a P.I., he took Berto under his wing, gave him a job, and helped him finish school. And so Eddie and Berto are like brothers to one another. But Berto has a point of view of having grown up in foster homes and not having any parents; having gotten caught up in the criminal world as a juvenile, but has real tech smarts. So it’s about his natural intelligence, his curiosity, his background, and his experience just brings a whole different flavor to Valetik Investigations.

In the second episode, we meet Monica (Alice Lee). She comes from a completely different world. She comes from a family where she had helicopter parents. She has a lot of high expectations of her in her life. She thinks differently and she reacts differently to people because she has different relationships with humans, because she’s a little bit removed from human emotion. She’s getting a psychology PhD, and she’s trying to learn how people feel. She has a completely different point of view. Berto and Monica are going to bring their different energies, and different education and proclivities to the office, to accentuate the investigations and the relationship between Sam and Eddie.
AM: When you’re casting a show, you’re always trying to build a family. It’s the kind of family you’re hoping people invite into their living rooms every week. We’re just so pleased with the people we have on the show. Aliyah O’Brien who plays Detective Christine Rollins is much more of the straight cop figure. She brings a really grounded, interesting energy to the show.
TEM: We also thought the idea of the actual female cop dealing with the woman who used to play a cop on TV was going to be a great dynamic. And the other characters we have, each of them brings something special that creates a wonderful ensemble of people. And just like Andrew, you want to visit every week and bring into your home.

Television has changed a lot in the past decade, and it feels like that has impacted the patience fans have for certain storylines being prolonged. How is that impacting the way you’re handling the will they/won’t they relationship between Sam and Eddie?
TEM: Our point of view on this is that people are more realistic about their physical relationships these days. I don’t want to give anything away, but I do think the trajectory of Eddie and Sam’s relationship is going to be a lot more reflective of the reality of real people’s relationships in today’s world.
AM: The question you bring up is something we spent a lot of time talking about. There is a fine line in engaging the audience and testing their patience. But we feel like in today’s society, there are plenty of complications you can introduce into any relationship that will give you really interesting storytelling. We hope the fans will stay with us and watch what we have in store.

CASTLE was really good about bring reel-life to real-life with things like the NIKKI HEAT books, and Sam already has an Instagram account. What other plans do you have to use real resources to expand the TAKE TWO world?
TEM: We’re building that right now. You’ve seen the Instagram; she’s going to have Twitter and Facebook. We’re going to see insight into Sam Swift’s world that is hopefully going to enhance the storytelling we have on the air. And Berto and Monica are going to have Twitter and Instagram as well. So you’re going to see the cases from their point of view. When we did CASTLE, we had the Ryan Report; it was really fun. In the same vein, I think we’re going to have some of our cases reported by Berto and Monica, behind the scenes, in the way they saw it. The other characters’ points of views are interesting, and that’s what we’re going to portray on social media—the life outside the show that reflects on the show. It creates a bigger world. Fans can interact with the characters.

Is there anything else that has you particularly excited about the rest of the first season?
TEM: We have great guest stars. I think at some point in the season, we might see somebody you recognize from CASTLE.

Will they be playing their CASTLE character or a new one?
TEM: I think that’s something you’ll have to wait and see!

TAKE TWO, Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC


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