WHY IS WAR OF THE WORLDS STILL RELEVANT IN 2020?
I think that we're living in an age of existential threat, and when Wells wrote the original novel in 1898, he was writing within the genre of science fiction, but he was actually looking to the future. And what he saw hasn't really changed. In fact, it's become more acute.
The idea that aliens come down from another planet I don't think is really the point of the book, even though that is part of the thriller element of it. It's really a metaphor for what are the great existential threats that we face as human beings.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THOSE THREATS ARE?
Nuclear war, environmental destruction, the rise of out-of-control corporate power around the world, the way that capitalism has developed to produce a society that only a few people benefit from and most people don't. Rather than the threat to our existence being from outside, it's actually from within, and we are actually the aliens.
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON YOUR CHARACTER BILL WARD'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HELEN BROWN (ELIZABETH MCGOVERN)?
I think that deep down Bill really loves her and I think that deep down she really loves him, and whether they survive or not is to be seen.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH ELIZABETH McGOVERN?
There's something about the intimacy of a set that breeds an honesty or a willingness to go to somewhere that you wouldn't normally do. It's a bit like being trapped in a lift. When you don't know when you're going to get out, none of the buttons are working. And so, you start revealing yourself in ways that you wouldn't normally do.
I had a real connection with Elizabeth which I didn't expect to have. I don't mean just as an actress, but as a person. I came away not just with this sense that we supported each other in the work, which was very tough at times, but that she was somebody that I could actually be vulnerable with and open with.
HOW WAS WAR OF THE WORLDS DIFFERENT TO PREVIOUS SHOWS YOU'VE WORKED ON?
In Treatment was just two people all the time, so that was a very unique experience. Maniac I don't remember that much about to be honest, because it was a very frenetic production. But what's seductive about this business is that every job is completely different.
All I know is that some of the happiest times I've spent on movie sets have been on films that haven't been good. Ironically. There's no guarantee that because you're having a creatively satisfying experience that it's going to translate.
WHAT MESSAGE CAN VIEWERS TAKE FROM THIS SHOW?
That it's not about aliens, it's about us coming together in unity to deal with the true existential threats to our life here. That's the real power of doing something like this, so that a parent and a kid can talk about stuff like that, and we can put our fears on the table and really talk about them.
I think one of the problems is that we are overwhelmed with mountains of information and we can't even see through it. Bill is a scientist and he's looking for facts, so no theories, no editorials, no entertainment, no movies, no TV, and how can we deal with these facts and move forward collectively to effect some change. Because it's not going to come from Boris Johnson or Emmanuel Macron or Donald Trump or Elizabeth Warren or any of those people.
:: War of The Worlds will launch on FOX on Thursday March 5 with a double bill