In “The Terminal List”, available today on Amazon Prime Video, Chris Pratt embodies a soldier confronted with a terrible plot. Meeting with Taylor Kitsch, who plays his best friend, and screenwriter David DiGilio.
After Outer Range Where The summer when I became prettyAmazon Prime Video is launching a new event series today, The Terminal Listcarried by Chris Prattcurrently in theaters in Jurassic World: The World After, Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights), Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians), and Riley Keough (magic mike).
Produced by Antoine Fuqathe director ofEqualizer and of Training Daywho also shot the first episode, this thriller adapted from a novel by Jack Carr focuses on James Reece (Chris Pratt), a Navy SEAL whose entire regiment is killed during a mission of the utmost importance.
Back home in California, Reece has conflicting memories of what happened on that murderous mission. And he begins to wonder if he is responsible for the deaths of his men, if he is going mad, or if a conspiracy hides behind this tragedy.
Present a few days ago at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, where the first episodes were screened in preview, Taylor Kitsch and the screenwriter David DiGilio spoke to us about this new series cut out for lovers of action and muscular military stories.
AlloCiné: Taylor, can you tell us what seduced you in The Terminal List and in the character of Ben Edwards?
Taylor Kitsch : The fact that Antoine Fuqua was directing and that it was adapted from Jack Carr’s best-selling novels was a real guarantee of quality for me. And then the story immediately appealed to me. It’s a psychological thriller that I find quite unstoppable. And I also appreciated the originality of the series. I think we all need a bit of originality these days (laughs).
Beyond that, I obviously loved the character. Ben Edwards rose through the ranks of the Army with Chris Pratt’s character, James Reece, who quickly became his best friend. It is Ben who welcomes James on his return from this mission which turned into a nightmare. And together they will try to find out what really happened.
How was your collaboration with Chris Pratt?
Taylor Kitsch: Chris is awesome. He is a very funny person, with whom it is very easy to get along and work. Everything happened naturally between the two of us. And so much the better because, on screen, it is really this relationship and this pair that is the common thread of the plot.
Did you have to undergo special training to play Ben?
Taylor Kitsch: I was lucky enough to be able to prepare for the role with a military consultant, who helped me both psychologically and physically. And what’s quite funny is that it was he who had already trained me on the film Blood and tearswhich I shot in 2013 and which remains one of the most significant experiences of my career.
David, the series is adapted from the eponymous novel by Jack Carr. Did you stick to the book?
David DiGilio : We have remained very faithful to the plot A of the novel and to the character of James Reece. We also wanted to honor the authenticity found in the novel in terms of everything related to the military universe. So we worked with former members of the Navy SEALs and Special Forces so that everything that could be felt and read in the novel was reflected on screen with the greatest possible realism.
How involved was Antoine Fuqua in writing and producing the series?
David DiGilio: Antoine Fuqua directed the pilot, and he’s also an executive producer. Chris Pratt, who also has the producer cap, and Antoine were essential in the construction of the story, the development of the plots, and in particular the arches of season 1. And it’s the same for Jack Carr. We knew that if we were going to make any plot changes, the writer of the novels had to be excited about those changes.
Taylor Kitsch: I’ll say it again: Antoine is one of the main reasons that pushed me to sign and do the series. I had wanted to work with him for a long time. He knows how to put his actors in confidence and give them importance and a certain power. For me, the best directors are those who let you do your job and trust you. He gave me the freedom to take risks. I loved working with him and I hope we will have the opportunity to do that again.
Do you have the feeling that a series like The Terminal List cannot see the light of day elsewhere than on a streaming platform like Amazon Prime Video or Netflix?
David DiGilio: Certainly. You can’t imagine seeing a series like this on a traditional network. It’s a series that, in essence, was designed to see the light of day on a streaming platform like Amazon. The resources and production qualities needed to create what we call “cinevision”, that is to say a real hybrid between cinema and television, are immense.
And that’s what Prime Video does on most of its series. They bring in real stars to carry their original fiction, whether it’s Taylor and Chris Pratt on The Terminal List, or Josh Brolin on Outer Range. And to come up with something as eventful as The Terminal List or the series The Lord of the Ringsyou have to have the support and the punching power of a platform, that’s obvious.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
Taylor Kitsch: Right after The Terminal List, I shot the series Painkiller for Netflix, which deals with the opioid crisis. It’s made by Peter Berg and I think it’s the project I’m most proud of since the beginning of my career.
David DiGilio: For my part, I am 100% focused on The Terminal List. We are waiting to find out if we will be renewed for a season 2. But we have already started thinking about what to do next.