'Paradise Lost' actor John Marshall Jones describes show as a ‘cross-pollination of religion and supernatural’

'Paradise Lost' actor John Marshall Jones spoke exclusively with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) about the importance his character has to the trajectory and outcome of this unique and creepy story


                            'Paradise Lost' actor John Marshall Jones describes show as a ‘cross-pollination of religion and supernatural’
John Marshall Jones (Getty Images)
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This week Spectrum TV released their new gothic mystery drama 'Paradise Lost' and it did not disappoint. The show follows Yates and Francis Forsythe (played by Josh Hartnett and Bridget Regan) after they move their family to Yates' small southern hometown, which is, of course, filled with some very dark secrets. While there are several big mysteries plaguing this town, they all seem to be interconnected and more explosive than you could imagine. MEA WorldWide's (MEAWW) Sam Davidson spoke to actor John Marshall Jones who plays Ronnie Pearson, a character with a lot of backstory that is crucial to the corruption and mysteries of this town.  Interestingly enough, the character's backstory is actually something that he fleshed out more as he was shooting the series.

"My backstory was something that we created more as we went along, as we got more of an understanding of where the scripts were going. But the character and his backstory are so central to the premise of the piece itself, that there was a lot to work on right away from the beginning. There was a lot of information because everything kind of satellites off of this incident that my character was involved in," he said.

Jones' character Ronnie Pearson is a man that has been wrongly accused of a horrific crime and has been imprisoned because of it for fifteen years. Jones made a very interesting point in that, with this aspect of the series, art very much imitates life. While there are a lot of elements to the show that feel heightened or even supernatural in nature, this specific storyline is, unfortunately, the most realistic of them all.

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"Art often imitates life, and we have a justice system that has historically imprisoned African-American men with spurious evidence, especially in the South, so this happens again in this story. This gentleman is in prison with spurious evidence and has really been committed and vocal about his innocence right up until his niece, who was ten years old at the time of his imprisonment, emerges now at around 25 years old as an investigative reporter. She decides to go back and start digging up past dirt so she can prove that her uncle is innocent. Except, he knows what kind of criminality there is out there, and the people who she's going to expose by digging all this stuff up are not the kind of people you want to expose," he shared.

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In addition to the potentially supernatural aspect of the show, another big emphasis in the series is on religion. What is interesting, however, is that it seems like religion and the supernatural are often colliding in ways that make it difficult to differentiate one from the other. Jones shared a very interesting take on the question at hand, which brings a little more clarity to the story as a whole.

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"I think that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You can have a town that's steeped in old religion and yet there's another part of the town that is steeped in the supernatural. The co-existence of those two, in addition of everybody trying to keep all of that underneath the surface, is really part of the main conflict of this town. So I think those two things are happening simultaneously, and it's gonna take some time to unwind it," Jones said.

The first season of  'Paradise Lost' certainly ends on a cliffhanger, and while it gives us some answers, it also leaves us with even more questions. If we are lucky enough to get a second season, Ronnie Pearson will likely be right in the middle of the action, as he has the answers to many of the unanswered questions. While Jones said that there has been no official discussion of a second season or where his character would go, he definitely has some very valid ideas that hopefully come to fruition.

"It was not discussed on set, but season 2 would seem to be the unfolding of this cross-pollination of religion and the supernatural. My character is right in the middle of that and has some perspectives that only he'll be able to explain. There are also some truths that only he knows that he'll now be able to confront people with, which is something he hasn't been able to do since he was in prison for 15 years.  And that in itself could be a very interesting twist for the story."

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'Paradise Lost' is a compelling new series that will have you at the edge of your seat. Make sure to binge all ten episodes now on Spectrum TV.

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