A MILLION LITTLE THINGS Post-Mortem: David Giuntoli on Directing Anna's Big Scene - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS Post-Mortem: David Giuntoli on Directing Anna’s Big Scene

May 4, 2022 by  

David Giuntoli

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS – “slipping” – Maggie and Gary go to great lengths to entertain an unexpected visitor; Regina fears Tyrell is moving too quickly with a new love interest, and Rome supports a student who is ready to reveal their truth on an all-new episode of “A Million Little Things,” airing WEDNESDAY, MAY 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Darko Sikman)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Wednesday, May 4 episode, “slipping.”]

As A MILLION LITTLE THINGS’ Anna (Erin Karpluk) sought out help to cope with her drinking on the Wednesday, May 4 episode, “slipping,” she found herself face-to-face with an unexpected support group meeting already taking place: Survivors of grooming, who had been preyed on by Anna’s now-dead husband Peter.

The moment was fraught, as everyone was stunned. Anna broke down, admitting she should have known what was going on—and she didn’t understand how she didn’t. The young women then welcomed her into their circle to talk.

The scene was extra poignant off-screen, because Karpluk was directed by David Giuntoli, her frequent on-screen AMLT partner.

Here, Giuntoli talks about working on the scene with Karpluk, the storyline he was determined to get right, and the end of the season…

Looking to the scene where Anna talks to the group, what conversations did you have with Erin about the tone of that moment?
First of all, Erin Karpluk is outstanding. She was not supposed to be here for this long. When someone’s written into like two episodes, and it turns into 20, they’re doing something right. And she’s fantastic.

I knew that she was going to deliver, first of all, and I didn’t want to get in the way of that; I try to let actors do their thing, at least a couple of times, before I say anything. But I did say one thing to her: I said you don’t know who’s going to be in this room. And [then] you know all of them when you get in there. None of them are strangers to you. There’s some people who you might have had very cool relationships with who are [now] sitting in this room and it is shocking who you’re about to see. So it’s it’s not a random group of survivors. She knew these people. These little girls, ultimately. And Erin told me that really was something to inform the scene for her.

As a whole, were there any particularly challenging moments to direct in this episode?
Technically, there’s some scenes I was worried about shooting. Shooting in hallways is not the easiest thing with a lot of action.

But I think story-wise, what I wanted to get right, that I am furthest from in my personal life, is the story between Rome and Madison to Maddox. I haven’t transitioned. I don’t know many kids intimately who have—or young people. And I knew this was an important story to tell. I didn’t want to get in the way of it. And I was sweating it a little bit. But the moment the actor, Ash [Spencer], opened his mouth and the moment Romany opened his mouth in the scene, just gratitude washed over me because they were so good. And they solved all of my perceived problems that I thought I might have in these scenes and they just brought it. I couldn’t be more grateful to them. So, basically, I stayed out of the stinking way, and they crushed.

There was a tease at the end of the episode of one of the survivors now stalking Eddie and Anna. You can never exactly trust that things are what they seem on AMLT, but what can you tease about where that goes?
Yeah, it might just be what you think it is, but if I say anything, I’ll lose my job.

How much does that particular storyline play into your arc for the rest of the season? Or is it something that’s more resolved in the next episode?
[Laughs.] No, there’s some overlap. I guess the character kind doesn’t need to exist for what happens to happen, but it certainly is a harbinger.

Series creator DJ Nash teased a big cliffhanger to close out the season. What are you able to share about the finale?
This is what I’ll say: What our writers do so well is you just think [a storyline is] going somewhere; you think as a viewer you’re so sophisticated, and you know where something’s going, and you’re dreading a thing. And [something hits you] out of left field—or maybe it’s a landmine that was placed 20 episodes ago. So that’s what you can look forward to. You’ve got to cover your blindspot.

Is there anything else you want to say about your directing experience?
I would just like to say how grateful I am to the writers, Geoffrey Nauffts and David Marshall Grant. And Terrence Coli and DJ Nash. It is a collaborative art form. And if you allow people to do what they are professionally doing—from all the departments of the crew—you can end up with something way, way better than you could have ever imagined. And that’s what happened with me and I am just in awe of my fellow actors and crew members up and down the line.



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