‘Manhattan’: John Benjamin Hickey and Olivia Williams on Season 2’s Heartbreaking Betrayals

     October 13, 2015


Last year, WGN America’s series Manhattan emerged as one of the year’s most innovative and compelling new dramas, and one of the best shows you probably didn’t watch. Set in Los Alamos, New Mexico during the nuclear arms race, Manhattan follows the group of brilliant minds behind the Manhattan Project, who were responsible for developing the atomic bomb. Isolated together on “the hill” under extreme lock and key, the scientists and their loved ones find their lives in disarray as they sacrifice their freedom, compromise their ethics, and risk their sanity in the race to design the ultimate weapon.

I recently visited the set of Manhattan in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I had a chance to speak with series stars John Benjamin Hickey and Olivia Williams, who play Frank and Liza Winter, the Los Alamos equivalent of a “power couple”, who anchor much of the series’ drama. We talked about what they were most excited about when they read the new scripts, their most memorable moment from filming Season 2, who they wish they had more scenes with, and if they’ve “borrowed” anything from the set. Watch the full interview below.

John Benjamin Hickey and Olivia Williams:

  • If they had to be stranded on a desert island with one character from the series, who would they pick?
  • What most excited them when they first read the scripts for Season 2?
  • Have they “borrowed” anything from the set?
  • Which actor in the ensemble would they like to have more scenes with?
  • What is their most memorable moment from filming Season 2?

Here’s the official Manhattan Season 2 synopsis.

Created by Sam Shaw (“Masters of Sex”) and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”), the all-new season of “Manhattan” will take viewers inside the world of Los Alamos, where locked away from everyone else, scientists and their families surrender their freedoms, compromise their marriages, and even sacrifice their sanity to end one bloody war and usher in another — the Cold War waiting just over the atomic horizon — all while foreign spies and a climate of paranoia threaten to destroy the project from within.