I participated in this For The People Q&A as part of the Disney Studios/ABC-hosted A Wrinkle In Time Event.
I recently had the chance to screen the first episode of ABC’s new drama for the people and chat with Jasmin Savoy Brown (“Allison Adams”), Susannah Flood (“Kate Littlejohn”) Wesam Keesh (“Jay Simmons”) and Regé-Jean Page (Leonard Knox), plus Creator & Executive Producer Paul William Davies and Executive Producer Tom Verica about the show.
Paul pitched Shonda Rhimes with the idea of a show set in the US District Court’s Southern District of New York, known as the Mother Court. It’s considered the most prestigious trial court in the United States. “I thought a show set in that court, with the kinds of cases that come out of that court and the lawyers that work in that court could be really interesting.”
The cast got on board by researching their roles in a variety of ways. Wesam shadowed a public defender in the L.A. courthouse. Jasmin Skypes with a public defender in New York. Regé went to court in Compton to observe.
The show won’t be “ripped from the headlines”, but they do want the show to be relevant. “A lot of the stuff that we do in the first season are real topics in law today,” says Paul. Regé agrees. “I found it really cathartic to be working on something that feels that it speaks to the times that we’re actually living in.”
There can be challenges with such a large cast, but they genuinely enjoy working together. We’re just cracking up, cranking each other, having deep talks,” says Jasmin.
And don’t worry about making sure your favorite character is seen on screen. “We’ve got ten incredible actors and it is a true ensemble to give everybody an opportunity. And again it’s in every episode, everybody is there and they’re doing great stuff,” says Paul.
You can catch the premiere episode of For The People on March 13, 2018, at 10/9c. You can watch For The People anytime online and on the ABC app.
Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (a.k.a. “The Mother Court”), the new Shondaland series follows six talented young lawyers working on opposite sides of the law and handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country. These lawyers will be put to the test both personally and professionally as their lives intersect in and out of America’s most prestigious trial court.