Visiting ‘Wayward Pines’ with Matt Dillon and Carla Gugino

Matt Dillon and Carla Gugino Wayward Pines Interview
Matt Dillon (Photo by Richard Chavez/ShowbizJunkies)

Fox’s Wayward Pines doesn’t premiere until 2015 but the buzz is building as the network brought executive producer M. Night Shyamalan along with cast members Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Tim Griffin, and Charlie Tahan to the 2014 San Diego Comic Con to discuss the thriller. The series, which is based on the book Pines by Blake Crouch, will air as a 10 pair event series. Dillon plays a Secret Service Agent who travels to Wayward Pines in search of two missing agents. Gugino co-stars as one of the missing agents who is trapped in the twisted small town and can’t seem to escape. Together to talk about the series, Dillon and Gugino discussed the appeal and what audiences can expect when they tune in in 2015.

Carla Gugino and Matt Dillon Wayward Pines Interview

Had you read the books or have you now?

Carla Gugino: “I read the first book. I was told not to read the books initially.”

Matt Dillon: “And I took their advice.”

Carla Gugino: “Yeah, I didn’t and then I did read the first one, but what’s interesting, I think because Blake Crouch was so involved, the novelist was so involved with Chad Hodge and the entire process, it felt like it was adjusting to the story that you need to tell when you’re seeing things which is different than a story you need to tell when you’re actually reading something. For example, my character has been there a lot longer than Matt’s character and there’s a lot of information that she doesn’t have, that we had to make some adjustments based on because you can believe that if you’re reading it, but if you’re seeing someone every day, you can’t believe that they might not know something. So there were those kind of interesting things. It’s certainly very allegiant to the book but what’s nice is that he wanted to have the departure, make it in a different medium.”

Matt Dillon: “Well, I didn’t read the book beforehand. I read it after we shot the first episode. I read most of the first book. I spoke to the author [and], yeah, there’s a lot of things in a book that work in a book, but there are questions that need to be answered. There’s structural things that you need to have in place and character development.”

Carla Gugino: “And things move faster on camera because you as an audience are with us.”

Matt Dillon: “There were certain questions my character, frankly, wasn’t asking. Because he’s an investigator, he’s a law enforcement person and these outrageous things are being presented to him, and what I did was start asking questions as the character would ask questions. Giving voice to those questions helps because he would ask those. There are questions he would ask, so sometimes that happened and good things came as a result of it. You know what I’m saying? Things that he might’ve overlooked because of the style of the writing. As we went forward, there were things that he’d say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t he ask something like that? Why wouldn’t he want to know that?’ That started to bring things up and forced the other characters to answer questions, to find out.”

Carla Gugino and Matt Dillon Wayward Pines interview
Carla Gugino (Photo by Richard Chavez/ShowbizJunkies)

Carla Gugino: “Yeah, for sure.”

It sounds like a very collaborative process.

Matt Dillon: “Yeah, it really was.”

Carla Gugino: “It was. It was an incredibly collaborative process. I think what’s interesting, what I love anyway about making television or film, is that when you see those credits at the end, you couldn’t have made it without every single one of those people.”

Matt Dillon: “That’s true.”

Carla Gugino: “And in this particular case, it really – in terms of the writers, the directors and the actors – it was a true group effort.”

Matt Dillon: “I think it was a little unique in television maybe…well not unique but certainly uncommon…is that it was very director-driven. So it was nice to be able to have [that] and Night said that to me, ‘This is a director-driven thing,’ so any questions we have, typically that goes to a writer, producer and everything runs through that. That was there absolutely. There’s a lot of writing that needed to be done. The directors actually got much more involved. The directors really got involved.”

Carla Gugino: “And that was encouraged.”

Matt Dillon: “That was good. That was good for us. Me, coming out of film, that’s what I’m used to.”

What should viewers of Wayward Pines expect?

Matt Dillon: “Well, I think expect a good yarn. There’s going to be a lot of reveals. There’s going to be a lot of reveals as you go along. You’re not going to maybe understand everything right away, but that’s okay. Still, I would like them to watch something that’s really very atmospheric, very textural, interesting characters. And be prepared for some surprises.”

Carla Gugino: “Yeah, definitely. What’s interesting is all the characters have a different level of information and the audience, the same. So basically we’re all kind of going together into this world that is not what it seems. It’s a good idea and it’s well structured and you get to live with these people as these mysteries are unfolding. And it’s also, by the way, beautiful to look at. It’s very beautifully shot and where we shot this town, obviously which is Wayward Pines, is these huge looming magnificent mountains that are like characters. You can tell something is not quite right here.”

-By Rebecca Murray

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