EXCLUSIVE | 'Absentia' actor and EP Stana Katic and showrunner Will Pascoe break down Season 3's new themes
In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, the duo spilled the beans on successfully including the displacement of Syrian refugees
'Absentia' Season 3 premiered on Amazon Prime Video on July 17. The third season sees Stana Katic, Matthew Le Nevez and Patrick Heusenger among others reprise their roles as Emily Byrne, Cal Isaac and Nick Durand in a gripping crime thriller that seemingly comes to an end as Emily managed to get justice for herself, her family and other victims this season, but the end also leaves the possibility for a fresh start for Special agent Byrne were the season to get renewed. In this exclusive interview with actor and executive producer Stana Katic and showrunner Will Pascoe, we hear what went into the making of this season, especially the themes – the refugee crisis, pharmaceutical company trial scams, organ trafficking – and portrayal of the same.
Speaking about how they successfully included displacement of Syrian refugees, devious pharmaceutical companies that attempt to profit off at-risk people, Pascoe said that it was a lot of hard work and a lot of late nights. He explained, "We're lucky we had a really great writing staff who really got excited about the stories we wanted to tell this season. And we wanted to talk about some of the issues going on in the world that could use some light shined on them."
He also added, "We just wanted to talk about some of the things happening in the world and dramatizing them and putting our characters into those situations and making them have tough choices presented to them so we can see what they do and how they come out the other side and how they come out changed and affected by those decisions and those experiences."
Pascoe also appreciated the great team that the show had had in Bulgaria and how they had helped bring a concept to screen successfully. Katic who also serves as the executive producer on the show also added to this and said, "It is a very international story that is being told by an international team – our group either was flying in or hails from all over the globe – and I'm talking about Costa Rica, South Africa, France, Israel, Poland, the US, Great Britain, all of the areas of Great Britain."
She said that this team brought not only their creative talent onboard but also their worldview, and how the team cared about what was being said and portrayed on the show. She explained, "When I would have our sound designer sound mixer from Israel talk to me about experiences there that were being echoed for him on the screen... It was just a really beautiful experience to tell that story alongside his global perspective."
One of the things the show touches on is organ trafficking and very early on in the season too. Speaking about if these were organic ideas that were developed in continuation with previous seasons or if they made a conscious attempt at shining a light on these specific issues, Pascoe said the issues were personal and important to him. He also added how one of the writers on the show – Katrina Cabrera Ortega – is a fifth-generation Mexican-American who was deeply affected by what was happening in the southern border as families were separated. Which led him to the thought of how to dramatize something like this and if it can be placed in the world of 'Absentia'. He also explained that Katic also inspired him to include these themes to the show.
Speaking about Katic he said, "Part of the whole inspiration of the season was like my first meeting with Stana (Katic). And I understood that she was kind of engaged with the world and engaged with political and social issues. She was just a lot more plugged in and engaged than I had any assumption."
He further added, "She's really well-read. She's a deep thinker. And I was like, okay so the actress is kind of Invested in these things. So why don't we just really kind of craft the season to be looking at some of these issues because I'm into it, the star of the show, who's also an EP is into it just became kind of inspiring. Like we can tell a great psychological character thriller, but also tap into the world that we live in right now in hopes of opening the audience's eyes to bigger things that they may not be aware of and to try and engage them and activate them to take a deeper look at the world that they live in."
All seasons of 'Absentia' can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.