’12 Monkeys’ Season 3: Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull Interview

12 Monkeys Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull

Amanda Schull as Cassandra Railly and Aaron Stanford as James Cole in ’12 Monkeys’ season 3 (Photo by Dusan Martincek / Syfy)

Syfy’s set to make 12 Monkeys fans who prefer to binge-watch shows happy with the release of season three. The third season of the critically acclaimed science fiction series will premiere on May 19, 2017, with all 10 new episodes airing over three nights. Beginning on Friday, May 19th, Syfy will air all of 12 Monkeys season three from 8pm – 11pm over three consecutive nights. And in support of the series’ third season, 12 Monkeys stars Amanda Schull (‘Cassandra Railly’) and Aaron Stanford (‘James Cole’) participated in a conference call to discuss their characters and what fans can expect from season three.

The Season 3 Plot: “Season 3 will continue the journey of James Cole (Stanford), a man sent back in time to eradicate the source of a deadly plague, and his partner, brilliant virologist Dr. Cassandra Railly (Schull). While attempting to untangle an insidious conspiracy that’s been spun throughout centuries, the duo embark on a desperate search across time to find the man responsible for the apocalypse – a time traveler who calls himself the Witness. Killing the Witness will save the world, but the journey will come at tremendous personal stakes for the pair.”

Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull 12 Monkeys Interview:

What do you think about this season being released so that it can be binge-watched over one weekend?

Aaron Stanford: “I think it’s a good thing because that’s the way I like to watch TV. You know, I think this show definitely, definitely lends itself to binge watching. Every single episode ends with a huge cliffhanger and you can’t wait to find out what happens next. And there’s so much going on that if you’re able to marry, string some of these episodes together, honestly it’s much easier to follow what’s happening if you can consume multiple episodes in one sitting. So, I think it very much works for this show in particular. I just think it’s the future. It’s clear that’s how people want to watch, that’s what it’s all moving towards, and I think this is just a step in that direction.”

Amanda Schull: “Again, I just agree with Aaron, sadly. But beyond that, you don’t have to binge every single episode in that sitting. You can TiVo it, watch a couple, take a break, come back, watch a couple more before in the morning, and then watch a couple more at night. I too tend to watch a lot of my favorite programming more than one episode at a time. I think it’s a little bit antiquated that people sit through weekly episodes now.

It was exciting also for us because it had been a long time in the making. We had a very long hiatus between seasons two and three. And, it’s exciting for us to finally get it all out there – the result, the product of our hard work and anticipation – and to finally be able to share it with the people who care about it as much as we do.”

Can you talk about how Cassie and Cole deal with the choices they’ve made and how the characters have evolved?

Aaron Stanford: “It’s sort of easier to talk about in the individual circumstances. In the show you see this theme of circles and cycles coming up over and over and over again. One of the things that you continuously see are all the characters being put in this position where they have to make a choice between the greater good or the good of somebody that they hold dear, someone they love, a family member, a wife or a husband. In the case of Cole, he starts off the entire series essentially on a suicide mission, a mission of self-sacrifice. He doesn’t really value his life and he’s all too willing to sacrifice it to save humanity and to give himself a clean slate.”

Amanda Schull: “That sounds like a very appropriate and thoughtful response. (Laughing) I’m going to go with whatever he says.”

Do you have a favorite time period the characters have traveled to?

Amanda Schull: “I can say that my favorite time period for Aaron Stanford was the ‘80s and those jeans.”

Aaron Stanford: “My Marty McFly outfit was a pretty big hit on set, so the ‘80s was pretty fun.”

Amanda Schull: “We’ve gotten to go back to the ‘50s a couple of times and it’s really fun and elegant. I sort of channel a little bit of Breakfast at Tiffany’s-type thing which is always … well, I guess that was the ‘60s. But it’s always nice for Cassie to get to clean up from the apocalypse and the time facility.”

Aaron Stanford: “And also, just as a side note, I want to say that what is very strange about Amanda is that she seems to fit in any time period except our own. She’s an anachronism but if you dress her up in the ‘50s, it just somehow looks right. Victorian London looks right, the ‘80s looks right, but just right now she doesn’t belong. (Laughing) It’s very strange.”

How long have you known who the Witness is?

Amanda Schull: “I can’t speak for Aaron but I believe I knew who the Witness was going to be in mid-season two. Terry (Matalas) is really great and we have this luxury with our show because of the mythology of the show, the storylines aren’t accidents and there is an end game in mind. And maybe some of the connective tissue leading up to the final result needed to be hashed out, but Terry knew how he wanted to end every season, and he has known from the beginning how he wants to end the show. Because of that, Terry’s able to drop hints in storylines whether it’s individually or collectively to all of us about where our character needs to go which gives us a building idea of how to create the character and how to pace it.

I knew that Cassie was going to get pregnant the end of season two and I knew that it was going to be the product of two time travelers out of time and that’s why this child can basically exist and that’s why he’s so special. And so I had that luxury to know that I was going to lead up to that.”

Aaron Stanford: “She basically covered it. I found out around the same time she did. We don’t get that much advance notice. At the beginning of season one when we were shooting, none of us had any idea where this was going to go. I don’t know how much was already conceived in the minds of the writers but they sort of, you know, gave us pieces of information a bit at a time. It was around mid-season two where that idea was given to us of who the Witness was actually going to be and the stakes of it, so we did have a decent amount of time to drop that in and think about it.”

12 Monkeys Amanda Schull and Aaron Stanford Interview Continued on Page 2 – >

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