OCTOBER FACTION: Tamara Taylor Teases Netflix's Adaptation of the 'Mind-Boggling' Graphic Novel - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

OCTOBER FACTION: Tamara Taylor Teases Netflix’s Adaptation of the ‘Mind-Boggling’ Graphic Novel

January 22, 2020 by  

October Faction Interview Tamara Taylor

Credit: Netflix

After spending 11 seasons on BONES as forensic pathologist (and Forensic Division boss) Cam and a season on Netflix’s ALTERED CARBON as lawyer Oumou Prescott, Tamara Taylor is taking center stage in the new Netflix series OCTOBER FACTION. (The drama debuts Thursday, January 23.)

Inspired by the graphic novel of the same name (by Steve Niles and Damien Worm), the Netflix show follow Deloris (Taylor) and Fred (J.C. MacKenzie) who return to their hometown—with their teens Geoff  (Gabriel Darku) and Viv (Aurora Burghart)—following the death of Fred’s father. What Fred and Deloris are keeping quiet? They’re part of a secret organization that hunts monsters.

Here, Taylor shares why she was drawn to the show, how Fred and Deloris are handling their secrets (and returning home), and more…

What drew you to OCTOBER FACTION?
First of all, I’m a graphic novel fan. I took one look at the graphic novel and the art alone was mind-bogglingly amazing. And then you sprinkle in the story, the characters, and then what Damien Kindler [who adapted the graphic novel for television] did to it, it took the graphic novel to the next level. It was a no-brainer.

While this is a clearly a genre series, it’s also a family drama. What is the balance like between the two elements in the first season?
You know how [BONES creator] Hart Hanson had a specific voice and BONES had a specific tone—like we really walked this razor’s edge? Amazingly, I seem to have a knack of finding showrunners and writers that do that. Damian’s writing—and, of course, our entire writers’ room—was a perfect blend of the two. So it is family drama, first and foremost, sprinkled with monster sugar and goblin salt.

BONES, that married a few things: it was a blend of humor, it was a blend of relationships, with not-quite a medical drama, but a procedural—but not a straightforward procedural. With this show, I seem to have a knack for finding these badass writers that know how to blend a couple of genres and make them unique, funny and hopefully really entertaining.

Deloris is going through a number of changes when we meet her in the pilot. What is her mindset like amidst the upheaval?
Damian, J.C., and I talked a lot about the contrast of characters. J.C.’s character, he was born into Presidio. Deloris is ushered in because of him, and she’s a true believer when we start out; she believes in the system, she believes in what she’s fighting for. And he’s a little stuck. He’s a little suspect about Presidio, and what they’re about. So she starts out believing in what she’s doing and also believing that they should they should be prepping the kids for the truth of who they are and what they’re a part of. She’s straddling both worlds in terms of wanting to do the right thing by her family and believing that she’s doing the right thing by humankind.

In having to keep what they’re doing from the kids, it feels like they must have difficulty having any kind of real downtime—keeping that facade going while they’re at home has to be exhausting. How is Deloris handling the struggle of really never getting to genuinely unwind and relax?
It seems, in the pilot, she’s doing okay—until they have to go back to their hometown. It dredges up a lot for both Deloris and Fred. It becomes quite clear to her that there’s no time like the present to tell the kids as much as they can about who their parents are, who they are, and what the world is about. They have been doing a really good job of shielding the kids from all of it.

There are hints to her past and the show does utilize flashbacks, too. How much did you know about her origins when you signed on, how much did you learn while filming season 1, and how much is there still left to learn?
I got the first couple of scripts and got Deloris’ background up front. What she’s running away from really becomes clear in the first season. You find out that there was a deeper motivation in her joining Presidio and in marrying Fred; wanting to sort of bury her past as much as possible. She’s sort of an invention, I think.

Did you get to meet the young actress playing the younger Deloris so you could sync up mannerisms, etc?
They were nice enough that we were all able to chat. She got to look at some of the footage that we already shot to get my mannerisms down. She’s such a great actress and it’s so nice when a flashback doesn’t look completely ridiculous because the young characters don’t look anything like the grown-up. She did a great job.

October Faction

Credit: Netflix

Fred and Deloris are clearly good partners and seem to love each other. How much of it is real deep love versus a working relationship?
It’s a really unique combination, because [there’s a telling moment when] Deloris is talking to her old pal who is now the sheriff of the town. I really do think that Deloris absolutely loves Fred. I think for both of them, they were each other’s safe space. Fred was one of the first people to protect Deloris and make her feel safe; Deloris did the same for Fred. She believed in him and so they were just a soft, safe landing for each other. And I think that’s how the genuine love sort of blossomed, because I do think it’s there.

The ensemble dynamic is so important, and the Allen family does genuinely feel like believable family unit. How much of that was pure chemistry luck and how much did you work off-set to establish that rhythm?
I would say the combination of the two. The casting of everyone was so perfect; I couldn’t have asked for better. I didn’t have a hand in who was cast, but we had a couple of family meals, and we had some rehearsal. And certainly table reads. And it was just so clear on first meeting of J.C., Aurora, and Gabe the chemistry was there, effortless.

It seems like if the secret does come out about what Fred and Deloris have been up to, that could drastically shift things with the family fairly fast. Was there anything in particular you did to make sure that transition would be seamless, especially given how hectic television scheduled can be once you’re in the thick of a season?
I think, amazingly, it was sort of all in the writing. We just all really powwowed with Damian. We talked a lot about the shifting of dynamics and what begins to happen is the children start to parent the parents; the roles reverse a little bit. Which I think is completely natural in life. As much as parents are trying to guide and be decent role models, it quickly breaks down and children take the moral high ground.

You also get to fight and work with a number of weapons. What was the training process like for this show compared to others you’ve been on?
I had never thrown a punch in my life. [Laughs.] I landed in Toronto, and I sat down with Damian and said, “Okay, dude, I’m going need a little bit of help, because I’ve never thrown a punch. So we’re going need a little help in this in this realm.” So J.C. and I, we got some fight training, we got some weapons training. And you know me, as we saw on BONES, with the technical stuff, I want to know what I’m doing. Because I want the technical stuff not to be distracting. It should seem effortless. It should seem like I’ve done this for 25 years. So I think based on the limited time that we did have to train, I think that they did a brilliant job of editing around what we didn’t know how to pull off. So hopefully if there’s a second season, we get through we get to delve deeper and that fight training gets more intense and we get to see more.

[To prep for a sequence with guns, I asked,] can I have a couple of hours to play with them? I need to know how they work. I need [familiarity] because I need to do this fast. The director was really cool, gave me the bag of guns, and a couple of hours very quietly to practice while they were shooting other stuff.

Every genre show is different with how much they depend on practical effects versus CGI. What were you working with here?
On BONES, the Yagher brothers did such a brilliant job of having all the grotesque stuff right there for you to play with. And in this one, there was a lot left to the imagination when we were shooting it [because of CGI]. When we come across the [a monster couple], we just had to imagine it all happening because it actually wasn’t really happening [in real life]. So that was my first foray into that kind of acting. And hopefully it was believable! I think the actors did such a great job of transforming without transforming; it gave J.C. and I something to react to.

Before fans watch the first season, what has you, personally, most excited about the episodes?
What excites me the most about the first season is really the backstory. Without saying too much, the first season tees up how how the October Faction is formed. So we get the backstory, and then, hopefully, season 2, we get to be the October Faction —which you don’t even really understand what that is yet!

OCTOBER FACTION, Series Debut, Thursday, January 23, Netflix


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