WATCH: Counterpart actors Nazanin Boniadi and Harry Lloyd on working with parallel dimensions

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Dec 8, 2017, 10:25 PM EST

When Nazanin Boniadi and Harry Lloyd were pitched Starz’s upcoming series Counterpart by show creator Justin Marks, the two found themselves attracted to the project starring J.K. Simmons because of the concept, and the fact that it wasn’t something they'd ever seen before.

(Fun fact: Lloyd has starred on Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, so he’s seen some pretty weird stuff before.)

In the SYFY WIRE interview below, the duo talk about the complications of filming a show about parallel universes, revealing how the series is visually stuck somewhere in the 1990s, with IBMs and the whole smoking of cigarettes and all that. (Not a period we miss IRL, no siree.)


What was unusual for the actors was that they got all 10 scripts before they started shooting, and knew what was going to happen beforehand. But the challenge for them was that the series was shot out of order. That was somewhat confusing, according to Boniadi, who was excited about playing Clare on the thriller/sci-fi series.

“I love her complexity, I love that what you see isn’t what you get, and you know, there’s a strength -- that very quiet strength and resilience about her that I absolutely love,” the former Homeland actress says. One of the biggest challenges about the show for Boniadi was how deeply philosophical the whole show is, that “it’s very allegorical, and it really makes you think.”

Lloyd also explains what helped him play the character of Peter Quayle: “The thing which helped me with playing him as it went on is I kind of realized actually that the key to Quayle is that he doesn’t want to be in this TV show, he really just wants to keep his job and for it all to go away. And I found the whole espionage and the duality of people’s lives really interesting. He doesn’t care for any of that, he just wants to hold tight. So actually that’s the resistance for every scene, just try and kill the drama, kill the drama. Stop it, and actually that was the kind of handle I felt.”

Catch Counterpart Jan. 21, 2018, on Starz.

Additional material by Nathalie Caron.