‘The Family’ – Liam James Interview on ABC’s New Thriller

Liam James in The Family
Liam James stars in ‘The Family’ (Photo by Bob D’Amico / ABC)

ABC has set a March 3, 2016 premiere date for the new dramatic series The Family starring Joan Allen, Liam James, Alison Pill, Margot Bingham, Zach Gilford, Floriana Lima, Madeleine Arthur, Rarmian Newton, Rupert Graves, and Andrew McCarthy. The Family comes from writer/executive producer Jenna Bans (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal), with Todd Lieberman, David Hoberman, and Laurie Zaks also executive producing.

The Plot: “A family is shaken to the core when a politician’s presumed dead son suddenly returns. After disappearing a decade earlier, Adam Warren’s homecoming to Red Pines, Maine, is initially met with astonishment and joy, but suspicions soon begin to emerge. Is he really who he says he is? The boy’s shocking reappearance forces the entire family to re-examine who they are and unearths long-buried secrets, betrayals and heartache.”

The series will keep audiences guessing not only as to Adam’s whereabouts during the time he was held captivate, but also whether this young man who has returned to the Warren family is in fact the boy who went missing years ago. ABC presented a Q&A with the cast of the series during the 2016 Television Critics Association’s winter event in Los Angeles, and following the panel we sat down with a small group of reporters and Liam James to find out how he’s approaching this intriguing character.

Liam James Interview:

Have you made a decision whether you’re really Adam or not?

Liam James: “I don’t think it’s really up to me. The thing about the show is that I’m working with some of the greatest actors in the world and some of the greatest writers, so I just kind of do what they tell me and if there’s something that I can add to it, I’m just thankful.”

Were you told the truth about him before filming started?

Liam James: “I don’t know what the truth really is. I kind of come from the POV of the audience, really. The best thing about playing someone who’s stunted, whose emotional development is not there I think is it’s fine to always have a little bit of that in the real world as well, so I can kind of carry that over.”

You’ve played so many damaged kids or troubled kids, what is the key to approaching those roles?

Liam James: “You know, I think it’s just you go into the room and audition for all sorts of things and what they like is whatever comes out. I’m trying my best to not be pigeonholed in any sort way. I just try and do my best in any type of emotion. The great thing about the show is my character starts off so one-dimensional and like someone who you just kind of move around, but he turns out to be the most dynamic. I get to have this amazing character development that no one else does.”

Do you come out of a character like this pretty easy, or do you take him home with you?

Liam James: “I think I’m able to come out. I think I’m learning a lot about acting from doing this television show. On stage, Joan Allen, she’s up there and she’s talking and just having a normal conversation where she’s the most bubbly, bright person and then two seconds later she’s weeping to the point of like you don’t even understand. And I just kind of watch her and I learn so much.”

Did a lot of doors open up for you after The Way, Way Back?

Liam James: “Yeah, I think they did. I think just talking with people because in Vancouver you don’t get a whole lot of that exposure. But, yeah, it increases your exposure. I think that everything that I’ve done has just been fun. I love every project I’ve done.”