In November 2019, AlloCiné flew to New York, to follow in the footsteps of Lincoln Rhymes and the Bone Collector. Discovery of the sets, meeting with the actors… we’ll tell you everything.
The meeting point is a 30-minute drive from New York in New Jersey, in front of the Meadowlands Sports Complex. We are told that a part was totally privatized for the shooting of the Lincoln series: in pursuit of the Bone Collector (this is also where The Enemy Within was filmed).
Inside, we are taken to a dressing room to see the extent of the work done on the sets. The view from the top of the stands sets the tone. Two months were needed to assemble the different sets, at the rate of 12 hours a day.
It is in this sports stadium that the decorators have recreated the apartment of the hero played by Russell Hornsby or that of his teammate camped by Arielle Kebbel. A fake poster of a New York building outside gives us the impression of being in the heart of the Big Apple. Everything has been thought out down to the smallest detail to show the difference in character between the two main characters.
The most impressive decor is probably that of the police building, from the offices to the analysis lab to the interrogation rooms. It’s impossible not to smile as you walk around the room, especially when you’re a fan of detective series. And it is even very tempting to read “fake” notes placed on desks in order to find clues to the ongoing investigation (production was filming episode 6 that day).
Melissa Vargas, the costume designer of the series, then gives us a quick tour of the locker rooms, transformed for the occasion into a dressing room. Where the helmets and outfits of NFL players were stored in the past are now the outfits of the characters and those of the victims (atmosphere).
Unfortunately, we cannot attend the filming of a scene and see in action what the series calls the visions of Lincoln, a sort of counterpart to Sherlock’s mental palace… But the next day, we were able to meet Russell Hornsby and Arielle Kebbel in order to ‘discuss this adaptation of Jeffery Deaver’s book.
AlloCine: The series seems to be a mix between Mentalist for the serial killer side and Sherlock. Is this the case?
Russell Hornsby: Yes the series takes up some of these elements. In this case, we have two for the price of one. I would say we have Sherlock and Holmes together. My character is disabled and he has to rely on Amelia’s help to solve cases. It’s a procedural series. The Bone Collector is the common thread, but there will be investigations to be carried out in parallel. This character has an important presence in the series.
Precisely, the visions of your character are clearly reminiscent of Sherlock’s mental palace, in Moffat’s version.
Arielle Kebbel: I love Benedict Cumberbatch! And I understand why you say that. I think the people who are going to watch the show are going to be surprised by these “visions”. Obviously we have made progress in terms of special effects, since the release of the book and the film. What they did with it on the show is very cool. The fact that my character wears a camera on her to go to the crime scenes is also helpful.
I know you have read the books to help you prepare. Did you also meet police officers?
Arielle Kebbel: Yes ! Police officers and investigators, since my character is at the beginning only a simple novice agent. But it was even more important for me to talk about it with women who do this work. Sometimes I just had coffees with her, to listen to their stories.
Like the first time they saw someone die, how they broke the news, what they hide from their families to protect them, if they are close to their partners etc. The goal was to understand what they experience on a daily basis.
I was also able to visit police stations and follow inspectors during the day. I was there when they saw surveillance camera footage, saw someone being shot and managed to apprehend the killer.
The serial format allows to deepen the character of Lincoln. Will we regularly see flashbacks to learn more about his past?
Russell Hornsby: (Laughs) I think I can tell you yes. I would say these flashbacks help put things in context. How certain events from the past will affect these decisions today.
New York is one of the characters in the series. Lincoln seems to know everything about the city as evidenced by his famous visions. We also learn a lot of anecdotes from him.
Russell Hornsby: Yes it’s true, there are so many that I couldn’t give you one! What fascinates me is the history of New York, its architecture, its secrets… Each district has its own history.
The film Bone Collector is perhaps less known in France than in the United States so for those who do not know its history and who would like to discover it, what would you say to them?
Russell Hornsby: It’s an intelligent series, full of suspense and …
Arielle Kebbel: … And sexy! (laughs)
Lincoln: in pursuit of the Bone Collector, every Tuesday evening on TF1.
Interview in New York on November 1 and 2, 2019.