Lee Pace has done plenty of TV over the years. From his cult favorite series, “Pushing Daisies,” to the criminally underrated “Halt and Catch Fire,” the actor has never shied away from the silver screen. That said, even with his extensive experience, Pace has never worked on anything on TV as massive as his new Apple TV+ series, “Foundation.” And on this episode of The Playlist Podcast, Pace joins the show to talk about “Foundation” and the freedom TV allows for storytelling.
In “Foundation,” Lee Pace plays Brother Day, one of the three clones that act as the Emporers of the Galaxy. The story finds Brother Day as he is pitted against Hari Seldon, a man of science, who predicts that the Empire will fall and will lead to a 30,000 year-long Dark Ages. Of course, when you’re the Emporer, you don’t want to hear any of that nonsense, so you try the man for treason.
In our discussion, the actor says he loves sci-fi but what he really enjoys about “Foundation” and other stories like it is how they’re really “speculative fiction,” positing futures based on speculation while also examining very relevant human themes.
“I think it gives us the space to examine humans without the triggers that are around us in contemporary Earth-bound living,” Pace explained. “We’re not talking about COVID. We’re not talking about American politics. We’re not talking about all of these emotionally triggering things. What we are talking about are our values as human beings.”
He added, “One of the things I love about [David S. Goyer’s] writing is that it doesn’t offer conclusions. It just opens investigations…Moreso than any other project I’ve done, what I’d love to communicate is that I want the audience to come to [‘Foundation’] and interpret it with their own ideas and make their own conclusions about what these characters mean and what they feel like.”
Pace is also no stranger to playing the bad guy in a project. But for him, he considers these flawed characters to be the “fun” roles.
“These are the fun ones, I think. I’m lucky to get cast in them. These are delicious characters, complicated characters,” he said.
And thanks to the new era of TV, where streaming series can give storytellers the freedom to do just about anything they can imagine, Pace finds himself able to explore Brother Day in a way that a film probably wouldn’t allow.
“I really appreciate the freedom [a TV series] gives storytellers,” he said. “I think there’s something absolutely elegant about a two-hour story that follows a certain kind of structure, so I appreciate that. I’m a massive movie fan. I think now, the technology makes it possible for the creators to break all the rules. The story no longer needs to be two hours. It no longer needs to be divided into a certain number of parts. We can take all the time in the world that we need to investigate the big idea of ‘Foundation.’ Hopefully! If we’re lucky and we get another season and a season after that. [Laughs]”
“Foundation” is now available on Apple TV+. You can hear our full discussion below:
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