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Interviews television Underground
09th Mar

MSTARS NEWS – WGN America is just a day away from airing the highly anticipated pilot of their upcoming show, Underground. In an exclusive interview with MStars News, co-creator/executive producer Joe Pokaski, cast members Marc Blucas, and Jessica De Gouw talk about what audiences should expect from the premiere.

As we previously mentioned, the period drama takes place in the antebellum South as a band of plantation slaves attempt to make a perilous escape. During this time period, the slaves at the plantation risk everything for a chance at freedom. They all want to head on over to the North and escape to the Underground Railroad. Underground will also examine the lives of slaveholders, slave hunters, and abolitionists.

Before the premiere on WGN America on March 9 at 10pm, the cast and crew of Underground discuss their roles on the show, filming on location, and how the music becomes part of the scene.

MStars News: Tell me what interested you about the project.
Marc Blucas: The script!

Jessica De Gouw: Yeah these suckers wrote a good script! [Laughs] I’ve read a mountain of pilots, first episodes, different things at times. And then I read this script. I didn’t want to read anything else. I begged to get in a room for two weeks before they were ready for us! It’s a genuinely phenomenal script!

Marc Blucas: It was such a good script. I saw it with one of my really good actor friends, Matthew Lillard, at the audition. I was in there saying, “How ridiculous these guys for not to hire him so that I would have a shot!” That’s how good the pilot is! [Laughs] I was at his wedding and sabotaging him! “He never comes out of his trailer! He never remembers his line!” All lies! [Laughs] But hey, it’s a dog-eat-dog town. When the material is there, you do what you gotta do! [Laughs]

MS: Tell me about the the roles you play.
JG: We play John and Elizabeth Hawks.

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television Underground
19th Feb

THE WRAP – WGN America’s new Underground Railroad drama “Underground” will screen at the White House as part of Black History Month, the network announced Friday. The pilot episode of the show will be be screened on Feb. 22 as part of the White House Office of Public Engagement’s Black History Month event, “These Hallowed Grounds,” highlighting landmarks and monuments around the country significant to the African American community, including stops on the Underground Railroad. Prior to the screening, there will be panel discussions with the “Underground” cast and creative team, including executive producer John Legend, creators and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, executive producer Akiva Goldsman and director and executive producer Anthony Hemingway.

Stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw and Amirah Vann will also be in attendance. The panel event will be live streamed beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET. “Underground” follows a group of men and women who use their ingenuity, power and perseverance to attempt the greatest escape in history and break free, despite the dire consequences that await them on the other side. The story follows a blacksmith who covertly organizes a small group of his fellow slaves and pieces together a daring plan of escape across hundreds of miles to freedom. The odds of success are razor-thin for those who make it off the plantation, while the risks, dangers and obstacles multiply each step of the way.

The show is the fourth original series from WGN America. The network launched the superatural drama “Salem” in 2014, followed by a series dramatizing the creation of the atomic bomb, “Manhattan,” which was recently cancelled after two seasons. The network also recently began airing “Outsiders,” about a family living off the grid on a mountain in Kentucky as they clash with an encroaching mining company. “Underground” will premiere on WGN America on March 9 at 10/9c.

television Underground Videos
23rd Jan

‘Underground’ premieres Wednesday, March 9 at 10 p.m. on WGN America.

television Underground Videos
14th Dec

Trailers for WGN America’s ‘Underground’, it will premiere on March 9.

television Underground
27th Nov

Interviews television Underground
13th Oct

MASHABLE – WGN America’s Underground wants to show you slavery as you’ve never seen it before.

The thrilling new historical drama about the Underground Railroad isn’t your typical period piece, the cast and creators said at New York Comic Con on Sunday.

“There are hard moments, but it’s not hard to watch because it’s such an adventure,” star Aldis Hodge told Mashable. “We get to laugh, we get to love, we get to play, we get to dance.”

Hodge plays Noah, a slave who’s tried to escape numerous times from his plantation. One day, he learns of the Underground Railroad — a new way to freedom.

“It’s the new hot thing happening ’round these parts,” Hodge joked.

Since the journey is too treacherous to make alone — hundreds of blistering miles through unforgivable terrain, being hunted by slave catchers night and day — Noah decides to recruit a group of slaves from his plantation. Rosalee, played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, is one of those people.

Rosalee is a house slave, brainwashed into thinking that that’s her only place in life, Smollett-Bell explains. It’s not until she meets Noah that she starts thinking seriously about freedom. For the actress, the show was a chance to play an amazingly “complex” character, and dig deeper into a fascinating part of American history.

Slaves trying to find their way to freedom “would use the moss hanging on a tree, or the stars, or printings in the ground,” Smollett-Bell said. “It’s fascinating that they had that kind of knowledge of the earth.”

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