Comic-Con: Terry O’Quinn, Vanessa Williams, Dave Annable and Rachael Taylor Talk 666 PARK AVENUE, ABC’S New Supernatural Thriller

     July 19, 2012


This Fall, actor Terry O’Quinn of Lost returns to ABC in the supernatural thriller 666 Park Avenue, playing an agent of the devil who helps people fulfill their lifelong dreams with sometimes deadly consequences.  Based on Gabriella Pierce’s novel by the same name, the show also stars ABC regulars Vanessa Williams, Dave Annable and Rachael Taylor.  Creator David Wilcox is no stranger to supernatural series, having worked on Fringe and Life on Mars.

On the show, O’Quinn and Williams play the ultimate New York power couple, Gavin and Olivia Doran, who reside and own the historic 666 Park Avenue building.  Taylor and Annable play a young, unmarried couple who are hired to serve as resident managers, but it becomes apparent, early on, that the Dorans have other intentions for them.  This year marked the first time any of the cast had been to Comic-Con, and they were all excited to talk about their new show.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

666-park-avenue-comic-con-keycard-imageQuestion: What drew you guys to this show?

RACHAEL TAYLOR:  I really responded to the character of Jane because she’s very pure of heart.  I really liked that.  She’s like me, in a lot of ways.  She’s curious but innocent.

DAVE ANNABLE:  It was the material, first.  I read the script and thought it was cool.  This is not a typical network script.

VANESSA WILLIAMS: For me, it was the script and Terry [O’Quinn].  When I heard that Terry was signed up, and I read the script, I knew that it was on the page and that ABC was going to support it, if the two of us signed on together.  I could definitely see the two of us playing husband and wife, as a power couple, and it’s very topical.  With the ensemble they chose, the cast is strong and young and solid.

How do you describe the show?

ANNABLE:  Well, the guy from Lost is in it.  That’s where I start.  The show has a message that transcends horror.  What would you do to live your dreams?  I think everybody in this building, whatever this building is, has done something, or signed something, to live their dream.  Who wouldn’t want to be adopted by Gavin and Olivia?  They are this beautiful, charming couple.  The world is at our feet, but at some point, you have to pay the piper.

Is temptation a big part of this series?

WILLIAMS:  I would say greed, temptation, seduction and power.  It all comes down to power, whether it’s supernatural power, monetary power or political power. Those are all things that are touched on.  There’s also marital power, and who wears the pants in the family.  I think all of those ideas and themes can be explored, and that’s why I think it works and it’s really contemporary.

666-park-avenue-wallpaperTerry, how evil did you portray your character?

TERRY O’QUINN:  I think that you only occasionally have to play evil because everything you’re doing is.  He’s only motivated by his own desire for power or wealth, or to satisfy whatever power is controlling him.

Do you see 666 Park Avenue as more of a tenant of the week story or a serial?

O’QUINN:  The writers and producers seem to think it can be both.  It reminded me a little bit of The Twilight Zone, in that it can be one encapsulated story a week, but there’s also going to be an arc and we’re going to have a history.  I just want it to be something the audience finds satisfying.

What is your thought process about who your character is?

O’QUINN:  It’s kind of like buying a new pair of shoes.  It takes awhile to break things in and get comfortable in the character, and to relax into the character.

terry-oquinn-666-park-avenueDo you think you can be a little comedic with this role?

O’QUINN:  I don’t know about comedic, but I would like to lighten it up to the extent that I can.  Sometimes when I watch the pilot, I feel like I was pretending to be a rich guy in New York, and I don’t want to do that.

Do you have any sense as to how much horror will be in the show?

TAYLOR:  My only impression is that we’re on an ABC show at 10 pm, so we don’t want to ever be inappropriate or shocking.  But, having spoken to David Wilcox, I feel like his investment is in building tension and being creepy, rather than being overtly scary.  I personally don’t mind the graphic, classic horror scare, but that’s not quite our show.  We have that supernatural element, and I’m definitely seeing that things will unfold in a creepy respect, rather than something that’s about shock and horror.  My impression is that this will be a series about Jane and Henry’s relationship, being both tempted and tested.  I think Jane is a reasonably simple young woman, and I don’t think she has an appetite for the ambitious, glamorous world of New York.  I don’t see that fitting into her character.  I think she’s a fairly grounded and morally solid individual, whereas Henry is a little more ambitious and perhaps more easily swayed by these Faustian bargains.

Dave, what was it about your character that you liked?

ANNABLE:  I thought Henry was different from Justin, the character I played on Brothers and Sisters.  Henry is more of a man.  Justin was the younger brother.  I was excited that I actually got to laugh and smile, in the pilot, and not have 80 storylines of drama on my shoulders, and crying every third scene.  It was exciting to play a lawyer and an ambitious guy.  I’m also originally from New York, so it’s good to come home and see the grandparents.

666-park-avenueDo you believe in the supernatural, and have you had any supernatural experiences?

ANNABLE:  I do believe there is something else out there.  I don’t think we’re alone, but I don’t know what it is.  I’ve had an experience with it.  My wife and I were in bed and, all of a sudden, the lights come on.  I thought it was just the breaker or something, but then I went over and the switch was all the way up.

At what point do you think the characters see what’s happening around them and decide to leave?

ANNABLE:  There’s got to be a line where we don’t look stupid for staying in this place.  There’s definitely a bridge we’re going to cross, in the season, where we do try to leave, and then there’s going to be a reason why we stay.  I think that’s pretty exciting.  There’s a lot of cool places and cool storylines they can go.  Being a supernatural show, there’s really no holds barred.

To catch up on all of our Comic-Con 2012 coverage, click here.