EXCLUSIVE | 'Paradise Lost' star Barbara Hershey on working with Nick Nolte and her maternal bond with Josh Hartnett

Hollywood icon Barbara Hershey spoke exclusively to MEA WorldWide about her experience working on the new gothic mystery drama 'Paradise Lost' and what drew her to the project


                            EXCLUSIVE | 'Paradise Lost' star Barbara Hershey on working with Nick Nolte and her maternal bond with Josh Hartnett
Barbara Hershey (Getty Images)
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Spectrum TV's newest series 'Paradise Lost' is a hidden gem with an absolutely killer cast.  Starring Barbara Hershey, Nick Nolte, Josh Hartnett and Bridget Regan, 'Paradise Lost' is a gothic mystery drama that follows the lives of the Forsythe family as they deal with the repercussions of decades of secrets.  MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) spoke exclusively with Hershey, who is certainly no stranger to a good mystery.  Additionally, Hershey also is often drawn to roles that have a maternal factor to them, and 'Paradise Lost' checked off both of those boxes.

"Well, I like a good mystery. I think that was one of the main things that drew me to the project.  Also, parental love and protection is the motivating force with Byrd. I don't think she is a bad person, but I do think that she's at war with herself.  While she's very protective of her family, and that's a motivating force inside her, she's also equally ashamed and deals with shame."

Speaking of the maternal aspect of Hershey's character, Byrd Forsythe, she also divulged that one of the reasons she took the project was because she wanted to work with Hartnett who plays Yates Forsythe.  After working with him on the show and playing his mother, she actually developed a maternal bond with him, which was evident on screen. 

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Josh Hartnett attends the 21st British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate on December 02, 2018 in London, England. (Getty Images)

"I really wanted to work with Josh.  I had never worked with him before but liked him a lot as an actor.  Josh is a beautiful man, a wonderful actor and a very soulful person and has a lot of depth as an actor.  We got on really, really well and he evoked in me a maternal response to him, I feel for him as an actor and as a person."

Another reason Hershey was drawn to the project was to finally get to work with another Hollywood legend, Nick Nolte. He plays Judge Forsythe in the series. While the two actually were in the same film 'Breakfast of Champions' in 1999, they never had a scene together.  This was Hershey's chance to finally share the screen with Nolte and he lived up to every expectation and more.

"Nick I had actually worked on the same movie, but we didn't have any scenes together.  So this was a chance to actually get to work with Nick, which was amazing.  He was so giving and such a pro. He is such a dedicated actor and always enthusiastic.  I mean he could not have been more generous and beautiful to work with, which really pleased me a lot.  It makes sense because of the kind of actor he is and the quality of his previous performances."

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Nick Nolte attends the LA Premiere of Lionsgate's "Angel Has Fallen" at Regency Village Theatre on August 20, 2019 in Westwood, California. (Getty Images)

One of the underlying and unanswered questions within 'Paradise Lost' is if there is a supernatural element to the secrets of this town, especially with the character of Janus (Autry Haydon-Wilson), Hershey's on-screen daughter.  There is a lot left up to interpretation, however, Hershey believes that one of the most interesting parts about this question is that it's all about how one's mind processes things that happen in our lives, but also how outside influences affect us.

"You can always interpret that stuff in different ways. Is it things that really happened or is it that Janus's influence was so deep and powerful that she made people feel like that stuff was happening?  You could say that about many supernatural things that happen in the world, our minds are mysterious.  Is it something on the outside or is something that is manifested from the inside that convinces people?  And that's a fascinating question to me because I think both theories are phenomenally interesting," she explained. 

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Hershey's performance definitely left us wanting more and while there is no news yet on a season two, she does have a very exciting project coming up that she shared with us.


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"I have something coming up that I finished fortunately before this pandemic happened.  It's a psychological horror film produced by Blumhouse for Amazon, but we do not have a title yet.  I have a starring role and its a very interesting movie.  I was fascinated while I was doing it and had a great time doing it.  I have high hopes for it because I thought it was very interesting.  I like psychological horror, I don't like gore but I like the kind of horror that has to do with the mind."

All 10 episodes of 'Paradise Lost' are now available on Spectrum TV. 

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Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.