'Blood and Treasure' creators Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia encourage viewers to go out into the world more and engage with different cultures
'Blood and Treasure' creators Matt Federman and Stephen Scaia talk about casting, treasure hunting as a genre and more in this MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) exclusive interview
'Blood and Treasure', an all-new show on CBS starring Sofia Pernas and Matt Barr in the lead roles of Lexi Vaziri and Danny McNamara respectively is created by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, two writers who have always wanted to do a show in the treasure hunting genre. The creators who have been working together for a long time said they were obsessed with the area enough to try and make four other treasure hunting shows, which did not make it into series. In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Federman and Scaia spoke of how they started off with the show and what has gone into making it into a series.
Speaking about the beginning of 'Blood and Treasure' Federman said, "Steve (Stephen Scaia) and I have been writing partners for a very long time and we have been interested in the treasure hunting genre for all of that time. So we have tried to make four other treasure hunter shows but that didn't make it into series. It's been an area that we have been just obsessed with, for a long time and then finally, this time around we figured out the right story and the right circumstances came together so we finally got to do it."
Federman and Scaia began working on the show in the summer of 2016 and it took three years before the show aired. Speaking about the casting for the show, especially for the lead roles of Lexi and Danny, Scaia said that he and Federman spoke a lot about it and they thought that it would be the hardest to cast the right Lexi. "She had to be a sexy bad***, she had to be smart, and just enough of vulnerability that she was acceptable. She had to be someone who you want to just spend a lot of time with every week. So Danny was pretty easy because he is your pretty typical American hero. Funny story, however, is that we found Sofia (Pernas) much quicker than we found Matt Barr. Sofia walked in and just blew us away."
"To me, if we do nothing else for people with the show besides entertain them and show them that the world, it's really big, interesting place that can be a lot of fun to see and specifically for Americans. I wish you get out there a little bit more and take a look at that world because there's a lot of great things about it. And for me, it was really eye-opening to step outside my comfort zone, and experience that," Scaia said of the show.
Federman, on the other hand, said, "I don't have any specific take away. As [for] the show, [what] we want to do is have this show that was both fun and also kind of about something. Having it be about these two characters where they have very different life experiences and are from very different cultures, but there's also something about them. It's not just a question of opposites attracting, but there is actually something about them that's compelling to each other and, and it's always compelling them together."
He added, "Then having them come together and learn about each other, and to start to see the world a little bit differently. I think that was kind of what was exciting about the show. What makes every episode interesting is that it's not just the one dynamic they have, there are always places where one character knows about American pop culture and the other character doesn't know anything about it. One scene particularly encapsulates what the show is about and that is when Danny is super excited to be on this adventure as he is someone who grew up with Indiana Jones, and at one point he says a line that shows how excited he is about being there, but Lexi has no idea what it is about. He stops but Lexi tells him to go ahead and says she will just act like its funny."
Federman also added from the writers' room perspective, "We love the idea of a couple just sitting on the couch together watching the show and in one moment or another Danny or Lexi is gonna represent you. ... The idea that there are couples around the world that can be watching the show, elbow each other, one of them is getting the joke and the other isn't but then the other person can say, 'I've no idea what you're talking about.'" That dynamic, viewers will have with the show, is his take away, Federman concluded.
'Blood and Treasure' airs every Tuesday on CBS at 10 p.m. ET.
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