In the creep-fest series MR. MERCEDES, it is not only its central character’s psyche that is delved into. In the television series based on the Stephen King book of the same name, the MR. MERCEDES story peels back the facades of all the characters and reveals their inner-most lives and explores how they mirror or differ from a young man who allowed his life influences and inclinations to take him down the darkest path leading to murder and mayhem, all while under the guise of being normal. Yet those around him must have surely seen the signs? MR. MERCEDES spotlights those around a psycho-killer and how their own self-involvement shares him from too much scrutiny. In an exclusive interview, Breeda Wool talks about the elements that appealed to her about this role and the show that drew her into the fractured and evil-skewed world of MR. MERCEDES.
How did you first hear about MR. MERCEDES series?
BREEDA: I got a call that they wanted to cast me. Later on, I started to discover a lot of people were cast the same way. And, later on, I sort of discovered some things about David E. Kelley and about Jack Bender and their whole crew, they have a very specific artistic thing that they’re looking for, a very artistic aesthetic, they have a story that they are searching for, which I think is a testament to they had a vision they set out for, and they accomplished that, both artistically and time-wise. It makes sense to me that they’re looking for someone who gets how artistic they are.
What sparked your interest about the show?
BREEDA: I saw Jack Bender and David E. Kelley, and I knew that it was gonna have a certain standard that I was gonna be really excited about.The role of Lou was something that I felt like I had something to say about. Sometimes you get a character and I guess my sensation is give it me. There isn’t hesitation or confusion. You just say, “Yes, give this to me. I’ll take care of it.”
What grabbed your attention with the role of Lou and her life as it intersects with ?
BREEDA: There’s a lot of interesting things that I learned. I feel like whenever I do a project, there’s things where my understanding of the art and understanding of what the writer has made or the director has made, teaches me something. I feel like I learned a lot from this. I also learned a lot from the character of Lou — how in this story, Lou and Brady [Harry Treadaway] are very similar. They have the same job. They’re very marginalized. He’s sorta beat down on a regular. Like, when people tell you, “You’re not good enough, you’re this.” The way that they chose to handle it is very different. I was searching for why that might be. Why do two people get in similar circumstances and make wildly different decisions? Jack would reveal some things to me that would also reveal that maybe Lou had a little bit more supportive family. But Lou’s actions — she chose to be an outsider in the world which was a little bit more benevolent than Brady’s. They weren’t necessarily better the choices that Lou. I mean, she did not make the decision to be a gay woman. But she made a decision to put it out there in people’s faces. So when they confront her about it, she pushes back. That’s a place of strength, in my opinion, and it’s also a place of insecurity — that, maybe, she’s not entirely secure with everything that she does, so she needs to turn up the volume on it. I think she’s proud of who she is and she definitely wants people to understand and accept it. In this story of economically-depressed America, the climate of being a gay woman — especially a gender fluid woman like she is in this story — the show takes place in 2011 and I know that was only 6 years ago, but there’s been a lot that’s changed in 6 years in terms of people’s interaction with anything that’s not the hetero-normative. It’s a horror story about what I think what happens when we forget about our citizens. It’s about abuse. It’s about neglect. To put the spotlight on what might be kinda hidden in our society — that we really need to spotlight a bit more — people are either being abused or being marginalized or under-appreciated. There’s also a very interesting thing about politicians talking about jobs in America. Having a job is a note of dignity. Being able to support yourself and your family are things extremely important in our culture. But having a job where a corporation dehumanizes you, what is the fallout of that society? Where corporate electronics chains teach their employees that: they’re absolutely nothing. So you have to say: are we living in a world where somebody needs a job, but at the expense of being dehumanized. I think such corporations never view certain types of employees as human. They value them like a tool and they really treat you like you’re just that dog. So I think a lot of my story in MR. MERCEDES is that Brady and Lou are kind of together in that world — that world where they are lucky to have a job, but yet the job abuses them. The job treats them like dirt. Robert Stanton, who plays our boss, is such an incredibly brilliant actor and he’s the perfect coagulation of just that annoying-needy and also needy of love, like he needs friends and just sorta torments us, but also cares for us. It’s such a great role and he does an incredible job.
What would you take away from the story?
BREEDA: I think personally just in terms of watching people who are the best in the world at what they do. Watching Brendan Gleeson — seeing the way he works and seeing Harry Treadaway — seeing people who I really respect as artists and being in a climate where that art is fostered is something that I’ve been like, “Ah, this is how I want to work from now on.” In terms of what I’ve learned from this role: “There’s nothing that divides us and the boogeyman, besides the choices that we make.” The choices you make can really define so much of your life, who you get to be and really what you take away from all of it.
To see how divergent Lou and Brady’s choices really are depute the similar worlds they inhabit and which path leads to doom, be sure to tune in for the premiere of MR. MERCEDES on Wednesday, August 9th at 8:00 p.m. on Audience Network available to DirecTV subscribers.
SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER | Tiffany covers events such as San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon and press junkets, as well as covering events at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills. She has a great love for television and believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored. Tiffany is one of the newest members to the prestigious Television Critics Association and is happy to be able to share her passion for television shows with an even wider audience of fans and her fellow critics..