The CW’s new dramatic series Containment is set to debut on April 19, 2016 with Chris Wood, Christina Moses, Trevor St. John, Kristen Gutoskie, David Gyasi, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, George Young, and Claudia Black in starring roles. Created by The Vampire Diaries‘ Julie Plec, Containment‘s set in Atlanta and takes place immediately after a deadly epidemic breaks out that forces the authorities to quarantine the city. Teaming up to discuss the series during the 2016 WonderCon, Chris Wood and Christina Moses talked about their characters and explained why they were drawn to the project. Wood told us he likes to describe Containment by saying viewers will come for the horror and the situation and the landscape and they’ll stay for the relationshps. “It’s really a story of humanity. That’s the beauty of it,” said Wood.
Chris Wood and Christina Moses Interview:
How much has this changed the way you think about touching people?
Chris Wood: “For me, it’s more in public places where it’s very crowded or if I go to a doctor’s office or a hospital. I just don’t want to be around it. I was in a hospital a few weeks ago and when I walked in there, it was the first time I’d been in one in real life since doing the show and it just sort of freaked me out differently. Probably because that’s one of the sets on the show that my character lives in. I actually sleep in the hospital in Containment all the time, so I actually had a reaction, a physical reaction, when I walked in.”
Why does your character sleep in a hospital?
Chris Wood: “It’s where I get stuck. It’s just where I happen to be when it starts. You have to make headquarters. If your house isn’t within the radius, you have to find a place to stay and it seemed like the safest place, I guess.”
Christina Moses: “And a lot of people get stuck there, so once you’re in they won’t let you out. Wherever you kind of end up, unless you happen to live inside the quarantined area, you stay where they tell you.”
What do you think would be the hardest thing about being quarantined?
Christina Moses: “I would be trapped and not have freedom, and fearing for my life. Not having good food, access to good food…everything I take for granted just taken away.”
Would you be someone who panics or would you be able to rationally decide what to do next?
Chris Wood: “I think I’d be calm, sort of that eerie calm you get in chaos sometimes where all of a sudden your overdrive kicks in and it’s like, ‘We have to make decisions to stay alive.’ I feel like I would do that, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking. [Laughing] Maybe I’d just panic and then run into someone with the virus.”
Christina Moses: “I would think that I would panic, but I’ve obviously never been in anything that horrendous and life-threatening. But there’s times where I’ve been surprisingly calm, clear-headed, and can handle what needs to be handled in the moment. But, I wouldn’t be able to maintain that. Maybe I’d do both. I think that’s actually what’s great about our show is you don’t know that about yourself. You think you know that about yourself. You think you know who you are.”
Chris Wood: “You can’t even imagine how you would react because it’s all so instinctual. It’s instincts kicking in to protect yourself and the people with you. It changes based on what’s happening. It’s hard to know what you would do, and it’s terrifying.”
Christina Moses: “And you get to discover it with us.”
How do you develop your character when you have such a short time to introduce them before you get trapped and they change their personalities?
Chris Wood: “That’s something that I think’s the strength of the first episode alone in telling us who these people are, how they tick, what you can assume they’re going to be like once they’re trapped or once they’re trying to help from the outside. You can see who they are in the form of the person as they arrive in the situation and then it leaves us the room to watch these characters evolve. Through the reactions and the relationships they forge you see how they change. I think that’s the strength of the first episode. The writing and the structure of it, you really do actually meet the truth of each character and then you get to carry that forward to watch them change because it will change. It wouldn’t have been a truthful story if the characters didn’t change.”
Christina Moses: “No one would be interested. That’s what we watch TV and films for is to go on these journeys, to watch them discover things about themselves and also as the viewer to discover it before they do. I think that’s the best when you discover what they haven’t yet about themselves. That’s good writing and good acting, and good storytelling.”
Was there one thing about your character you latched onto, that no matter how they changed remains the same?
Christina Moses: “Yes, her strength and her ability to survive. Even though she wants to keep people [away], she can’t. Her heart won’t let her when it comes down to it. That’s something that becomes a lot stronger for her as the season goes on.”
Chris Wood: “His heroism. His ability to step up. This is someone who could have been a leader but chose to be a follower and is more comfortable in that position. I think that’s a beautiful story to tell is one of someone who takes the second position, who doesn’t want the spotlight, who would rather just sort of coast through and not have to deal with the highs and the lows that come with leading. He’d rather just coast and that’s how that person protects himself. That’s how Jake prevents the hurt is that he passes by maintaining this sort of boring equilibrium and he’s sort of closed off. For me that’s what resonated just reading the first episode when I wanted to go into the project. You can see through the cracks that he’s really there, and I think that’s the beauty of the whole show is that every character’s story is one of who they are through the cracks. They have to break through that and the containment situation actually forces it out of them. That’s sort of why we love disaster stories, I think, is extreme circumstances bring out the best and worst. It brings out the truth; it brings out who someone is. I think that’s why people will respond to the show is because that is true. The writing really explores that.”
Does the fact the show’s about a deadly disease make you nervous your character could get killed off?
Chris Wood: “Zero job security! It’s like, ‘Hmmm, let me pick a show where people have to die.’ People will die and that’s definitely a factor.”
Christina Moses: “But that’s the fun of it, too. But the thing is it’s the heart of the story – the humanity, the love stories, who we become and who we discover ourselves to be, the truth that’s revealed – that’s the juice. That’s what’s fun to play.”
Chris Wood: “And if we get to do that for one season or whether we get to do it for six, whether the show goes that long or whether we’re in the show ourselves, that’s the kind of storytelling that as actors I think we’re all hungry to do. It’s the kind of story that maybe doesn’t end the way you want it to, you know? Sometimes those are the best. Game of Thrones has sort of proven that. I’m a firm believer that as long as it’s got the meat and the heart, it doesn’t matter about the duration.”
Christina Moses: “It’s all about the story.”
The series is described as dark. Are there any lighter moments?
Chris Wood: “Oh yeah. It actually lives more in the light.”
Christina Moses: “There’s so many beautiful, touching moments. Oh yeah, it wouldn’t work otherwise. You have to have those redeeming qualities otherwise it just is too heavy.”
Chris Wood: “The writers had a big mantra written on their board which was for the season as a general theme and also for each episode. The three crucial ingredients were the ‘Three Hs’ which were horror, heart, and holy shit. So, every part of our show contains that.”