Counterpart S2 : "In this season, we’re talking about the wall and the divisions that are going to impact more and more of our company"

Currently broadcast on OCS, season 2 of “Counterpart” keep crossing espionage and science-fiction, Cold War and parallel world. Meeting with his creator and two of its actresses. Starz AlloCiné : in The end, that is which has motivated and still motivates the writing of this series ? Justin Marks (creator) : At the outset, it was to write a kind of homage to the film noirs of espionage, alluding to the Cold War. But as I love science fiction, I wanted to add another dimension, and it thus gave birth to Counterpart. It is the idea that if there was still a wall in Berlin, there would be the other side of a parallel universe to ours with alter egos to our identities. I find it fascinating, and with creative opportunities without limits. What challenges have you had to overcome with this new season ? Justin Marks (creator) : When we shot the first season, we already had ten scenarios of episodes of ready, but for this season we have had to put the turbo and write down all the season in four months ! It is, therefore, a constant stress to get to write as many scripts in so little time. Fortunately, we have a team of writers concretes. To the extent that these writers had worked for the most part on the first season. They were therefore familiar with all the characters and we had an in-depth discussion of the themes of this season as well as guidelines. That said, it is a real headache to turn this series between two continents, Europe and the United States, and with two totally different where players must juggle between different interpretations depending on who they play. Tell us about the new character played by Betty Gabriel. Will it have an alter ego ? Justin Marks (the creator) : She plays the role of the Naya Temple, which is a character crucial this season. The first season was this universe of spies after the cold war and the confrontations of the KGB, the CIA and MI6. Naya is an FBI agent whose specialty is the hunting of spies. This is a perfect role for Betty because you never know what hides behind her look ultra sharp and unsettling. And it will take you by surprise with each episode. I can’t say anything about his alter ego because it will be a surprise… Starz Betty Gabriel Tell us about your characters and their alter-ego in the other world… Betty Gabriel : It does not meet my alter ego in this season but I hope she will appear in season 3 ! As for my character Naya Temple, it is a former agent of the FBI and is hired by the agency Interchange to track down the spies who have infiltrated the premises. I like to play Naya because it is a strong woman, mystèrieuse and great charisma. To go totally in the skin of Naya, I’ve had to spend time with members of the grand islamic council in the United States because of his muslim faith is an integral part of his personality. Somewhere, this allows him to have more objectivity vis-à-vis what is true or false. This is someone who wants to live in the true, and cannot ever lie. Nazanin Boniadi : As for me, we go a little more in the skin of my character, Clare Qayle, and we will soon discover a alter ego that is very dark, very bad ass. It is not easy to play two “versions” of the same character with personalities quite opposite. To get into the skin of my character, it was very nice to turn to Berlin : this has helped me to better understand the history
policy at the heart of this series, and the psychology of this environment. It is interesting to feel even today the differences between what was West Berlin and East Berlin. It is a kind of metaphor for our series, where the duality of identity is the heart of the debate. It is a world of conflict, as is my character who feels torn between his family and the world of his work. He will have to make choices that are not obvious. You will see the tension between Clare and her husband Peter peaks :
they can still be trusted or is it that everything is finished for them ? Was it different this time to turn to Berlin ?

Justin Marks (the creator) : What is different is that we turned two-thirds of the series in Berlin while we had shot a third-party for the first season. Therefore, at the logistic level, this represents a more complex situation. I love Berlin : it is a city extremely effective. I find it totally bewildering, especially to the american public. You really get the feeling of being in another era, precisely the time of the Cold War, because of the architecture mainly. It is a city that has been cut in two and it is perfect for our series because it is about two worlds also cut off
one of the other. Starz Nazanin Boniadi

Betty Gabriel : I have to admit that filming in Europe, in Berlin, but also to be able to have the chance to walk in other countries during the weekend, as in France, for example, it allows to have a greater understanding of the theme of the series. It also allows us, for us Americans, better understand the weight of a rich and turbulent history which has built what is today Europe. So it really is a unique experience and fascinating. Do you see parallels between this series and what is happening now in the United States ? Justin Marks (creator) : Yes, absolutely. Also, when you write a series like ours, in which the heart is the policy, it is impossible not to pay attention to what is happening around you. The first episode of season 2 speaks clearly of the status of “refugee”. It is inevitably a parallel with what is happening in this moment with all of the waves of refugees who arrive in Europe, but also with what is happening in the United States with the migration flows from Latin America and the crisis in which we are with this famous wall in the heart of all the debates. You will see that in this season, we’re talking about the wall and the divisions that are going to impact more and more of our society. Yes, it is our intention to address these critical issues and thus hope to re-launch the debate and to initiate discussion among the audience. Nazanin Boniadi : Absolutely ! The series discusses, in part, the problem of the transparency, the honesty of the government. And we can see how we are in a crisis of transparency at this time
in the United States with the current government. Moreover, to play a character that is going to radicalize to do things harmful speaks to the great day of the real problems that we increasingly face. I hope that with everything that is happening in this moment, among the various terrorist attacks in such or such a place of prayer, that there is no amalgam of fact but that on the contrary, you can learn how to make the
difference between a terrorist and a person of faith, of good faith. And for me, Clare is definitely a bad person but trying to understand why she is doing what she does. We do
not seek to excuse the terrorists with this series, but we seek to understand and thus, perhaps, prevent the next attack on our soil or elsewhere… one of The lessons of the series and my character, is that we may as well teach people to hate each other than love each other. I hope that we will choose more and more the second solution… Betty Gabriel : It is true that at this time in the United States, as in the series, it’s hard to have a sense of union, a gathering between us. The people is divided and nothing seems to bring it closer. We are almost at war with one another, here… It’s really horrible and scary. And of course, it is the result of a lot of things but he will have to face ourselves and find solutions, as our characters… So, yes, the parallels are obvious between the series and the world today. I hope that this series will open the eyes and heart to the greatest number… Counterpart Season 2 is to follow on OCS Counterpart – season 2 trailer VO

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