For two seasons, Noah Solloway was the resident punisher in “The Affair,” the Showtime drama about a novelist who leaves his moneyed wife for a waitress grieving the death of her son — and spins the experience into a best seller.

11

But my how the tables have turned.

“It’s a show that very much deals with people in extremity, and this season it seems to be poor old Noah, which is obviously quite interesting to play,” Dominic West said of his onscreen alter ego. (Season 3 begins Sunday, Nov. 20, at 10 p.m.)

The tangled web picks up three years after Noah chivalrously claimed responsibility for a hit-and-run to protect the women he loved. His stint in prison has left him traumatized, persecuted by a guard he knew in childhood. His father has just died. And someone is following him at the New Jersey college where he has been forced to trade in his formerly opulent life for tattered academia.

In a phone interview from London, where he lives when not shooting the series in New York, Mr. West, 47, talked about infidelity, redemption and the womanizer some viewers love to hate. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Were you surprised that Noah took the fall for Helen and Alison?

I thought it was quite a neat trick, actually. I was often dismayed by Noah’s behavior and the seeming irrationality of it. So I was quite glad that he had done something noble that was in some way his redemption. And I suppose that was my first thought: “Thank God, he’s turning out to be a hero after all.”

A couple of important new characters have been added, starting with the French actress Irène Jacob as Juliette. Is she a love interest?

Very much so. Noah has this romance with a beautiful Frenchwoman who represents something, I suppose, completely out of his universe. She’s a professor of medieval literature, and the idea of courtly love is, I think, very important to Sarah [Treem, the showrunner] as a contrast to what’s going on in America in terms of sexual politics on campus, consent and a post-internet idea as to what relationships and intimacy are about.

And what about Brendan Fraser, who plays Gunther, the menacing prison guard?

I think Sarah has been reading a lot of Jung, because another big theme is the idea of the doppelgänger and the shadow, and the notion that if we’re not in some kind of synthesis with our darker side then terrible things happen. So in some way Gunther is Noah’s doppelgänger. He was a childhood friend, and there is jealously and rivalry. His character now has the upper hand and puts him in solitary confinement, where Noah comes face to face with his demons. And it takes Noah into sort of delusional territory so that, as the season goes on, we’re not quite sure what’s real and what is invented.

Why do you think the series is so polarizing?

It’s deliberately provocative. It’s deliberately melodramatic. There’s never a moment where there aren’t six things going on in the protagonist’s mind that aren’t highly traumatized and mentally extreme. And a lot of the characters don’t behave in a way that is necessarily sympathetic, and that is entirely deliberate on Sarah’s part, because she’s interested in taking them on a journey where they have redemption, and they overcome their shortcomings. And I couldn’t really argue with that, even if I didn’t really like the behavior myself.

What are your own thoughts about infidelity?

It’s extraordinary what a hot topic it is and how everybody has a very strong view about it, so that’s a very good premise for a TV show. What I didn’t want to happen, and I don’t think it has happened, is that it would be a sort of morality tale where, “Don’t have an affair, kids, because you’ll end up killing people and going to jail with Brendan Fraser.” [Laughs]

With so much talk about sexual impropriety and infidelity during the election, I’m wondering if you find either a disqualifier for a leadership role.

Is it a disqualifier when a presidential candidate talks about groping women? Yes, it’s one of the more visceral, obvious disqualifiers for any presidential nominee. But the dreadful thing is that it’s not something the majority of people feel.

A lot of couples watch “The Affair” together. Do you watch it with your wife?

Certainly not! I can’t really watch myself for very long without cringing and rushing for the off button. And my wife has watched little bits and said, “Very well done and marvelous, and I don’t need to watch any more.”

Source: NYTimes.com

November 25th, 2016 personal life, The Affair admin 0 Comments
Search Archive