THE DETOUR: Natalie Zea Previews a Potential Breaking Point in Season 4 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE DETOUR: Natalie Zea Previews a Potential Breaking Point in Season 4

June 18, 2019 by  

Detour season 4

Credit: TBS

When THE DETOUR season 4 kicks off, the Parker family is going through arguably their biggest obstacle yet: Delilah (Ashley Gerasimovich), frustrated with her parents, has run away.

Naturally, that doesn’t go over well with Nate (Jason Jones) or Robin (Natalie Zea), who take drastic steps to try and track down their daughter. “The fundamental core of this show is based on these four individual units being a team and a unit,” Zea says. “So when they get splintered, no one handles it well.”

It’s a big season for Zea, who once again steps behind the camera to direct an episode and reunites with her real-life husband (and former PASSIONS co-star) Travis Schuldt when he joins the series for a mini-guest arc. She breaks down what’s in store this year…

How is the family handling Delilah’s absence?
Natalie Zea:
They are not handling it well. Jason’s character, Nate, there’s a big thesis throughout the entire series where he references how this family bends, but doesn’t break. I think that, maybe, this is the breaking point for them. They end up surviving it—it’s not irreparable—but the fundamental core of this show is based on these four individual units being a team and a unit. So when they get splintered, no one handles it well.

One of the fun guest stars this season is Travis. What made now the right time to have him on the show?
NZ: [Joking.] It was the only way I knew how to get him to location!

Our daughter is old enough now where he was like, “OK, you’re on your own, I’m staying.” So I called Jason, and was like, “Can you do me a solid? I need to see my kid and my husband.” And it worked out so well, because it was two episodes, and that covered a few weeks. And I love working with him; we met working together. That territory for us is very familiar and lovely. And just very comfortable.

It’s also great to have an ally. As close as I am with Jason and our executive producer Brennan Shroff, because we move [production] around every year, nobody comes with us. and a couple of the people who have traveled with us in years past are no longer with [the show]. You’re very much alone. So to have him there was great.

After directing before, what lessons did you learn about how to effectively handle the complicated dynamic of doing that with something you’re acting in?
NZ: Because of the nature of the show and the fact it is a completely different set of circumstances, we don’t have anyone on the crew that we had in the past, outside of our stunt guys and the hair team…everyone else was new. Even our DP was new—he had done season 1, but I hadn’t worked with him as a director in the past. So it was just like I was starting over. I’d love to do it on another show so I could get a different perspective.

Was there anything about the second go-round of directing that surprised you in a pleasant way?
NZ: Being a woman and being an actress, I think we all feel this added pressure and really feeling the need to prove ourselves on a level…there’s a very special place where we actor-directors fall on a set. There’s a lot of homework that has to be done. And a lot of that homework gets thrown in the garbage can and is useless. But in doing that homework, I was able to feel that regardless of what was going to go on that day, whatever surprises would be thrown at me or curve ball [popped up], I did my homework. It sucked, it was labor-intensive, and it might not serve its purpose, but it felt really good to know I had all my bases covered. There was a real sense of achievement in terms of knowing I at least know what I’m doing on paper. [Laughs.] That’s a lot. It’s a lot. Especially when you’re in the moment and everything is one fire. You can say, “I did a shot list. I did a really good shot list.” You have to learn to adapt.

Looking at the series overall, I imagine when you read the pilot, it very much could have felt like a one-and-done series. Or certainly a more limited series than it has turned out to be. Given how much it’s evolved over the years, what do you actually want to know about what’s ahead?
NZ: I have a lot of talks, generally, at the end of shooting various seasons and then shooting the season throughout. Our scripts are pretty much done being written by the time we reach the halfway mark of the season [in terms of production]. I think it’s a little unconventional, but the fact that we block shoot the entire season…there have been seasons we’ll shoot episode 1 in the morning and then shoot scenes from episode 11 in the afternoon. Because we have all of this knowledge, there’s no guessing game of “Where is it going to go?” We know where it’s going to go, because we do a lot of talking about where it’s going to go next season.

There’s lots of pitching. We don’t stay in one place as we’re shooting it; we do new locations every year. So everyone has their pitch for the location. They can figure out the story if we go somewhere we really want to go.

We don’t know a lot [about the future]. Generally, Jason and I will sit down or have a phone call over the summer about what’s shaking up in the writers’ room, because he’s usually in the room by that point.

Jason’s mantra is paradise isn’t funny, because everyone wants to go to Hawaii. I want to go to Los Angeles, because I live here. And he’s like, “LA isn’t funny!” I was like, “I will give you ten films set in LA off the top of my head that are funnier than anything you’ve ever seen!”

THE DETOUR, Season Premiere, Tuesday, June 18, 10:30/9:30c, TBS

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