One of the highlights of the ATX TV Fest s12 in Austin, Texas, was MGM+’s From panel with director Jack Bender and star Harold Perrineau. The horror series, currently in its sophomore season, is just hitting its stride. The character-driven series is full of mysteries to be solved, terrifying monsters, and seemingly inescapable boundaries. Ahead of the panel, I got a chance to sit down with Harold Perrineau and Jack Bender to talk all things Boyd, the dynamics of Fromville, and what Boyd needs to get home.
I admit to being a massive fan of Perrineau and Bender together and separately. Their collective work has shaped my entertainment interests. They have a track record that speaks for itself. The pair was generous with their time and genuinely engaging. When I asked what drew them both to From, they praised the creator and writer John Griffin and story writer Jeff Pinkner. The script was a huge draw, and Perrineau said, “Jack Bender knows how to tell a story.” Bender said the script, “Spoke to him.” He further explained that “even though he isn’t a huge horror guy,” he knew he had to do it. He continued that it was ” A little bit of magic.”
Those of us who have been fans from the start of From know Perrineau was the perfect choice to play Boyd. The retired military man and reluctant peacekeeper is the glue that holds the town together. The quiet gravitas Perrineau brings to the role feels honest. He is the person you want, protecting your six and making the rules. Jack Bender says, “He’s our center,” and agrees the show works because of him. They both point to Boyd’s military career as the thing that set him up to be a leader under these circumstances. Perrineau said Boyd “has been here before.” Bender reminds us that he was supposed to sail off in his boat before getting trapped in Fromville. That underlying sadness permeates Perrineau’s portrayal of Boyd and is a big reason the series is successful.
We had already learned about some of Boyd’s experiences in war and having to kill his wife when she started shooting everyone in town, but the wellspring of emotions that lie behind Boyd’s eyes made me ask if there were more secrets to be revealed. Bender said there are ” a lot of things to come out.” He explained the writers were already working on Season 3 when they went on strike. Although MGM+ has not confirmed Season 3 as of this writing, Perrineau said there are “More secrets to come.” Bender expanded on that, saying, “More things [will be] revealed. Big and small”. We can only hope the writers get a resolution soon and MGM+ greenlights more seasons of From.
One of the most successful aspects of the show is the captivating characters and the relationships that those stuck in Fromville have formed. Boyd and fellow lawman Kenny(Ricky He) has a tender partnership that has been tested lately, with Boyd’s loyalty questioned because he protected Sara(Avery Konrad). When I asked Bender if Kenny and Boyd find trust again, he assured me, “Eventually, they will find their way to something that feels right for both of them. It isn’t an easy path.” Those emotional journeys are what make the horror elements work so well. The viewer wouldn’t be scared if we didn’t care about Boyd, Kenny, Donna, Jade, and the others.
When talking about filming in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bender said it is a wonderful place to shoot but very cold. When asked if we might see that change of season play out in From later on, he said, “In Fromtown, a lot of things can happen.” He pointed to the quickness that people heal, and Perrineau pointed to the moving trees. With the alarming change in the leaves, we may find out sooner rather than later what happens when things change in From. Although neither gave away any spoilers, Bender did say he knows how it all ends. There are plans for at least five or six seasons, but it is deliberately left open-ended to accommodate audience appetites. Bender emphasized that creator John Griffin had an elaborate, intricate vision he conveyed when they first met. The critical takeaway is there is plenty of story left to be told.
Lastly, I asked Perrineau and Bender what one thing they would want to be dropped into Fromville for Boyd that would help him solve the town’s mystery and escape. Perrineau responded he would want “some kind of map” He explained it would “at least [be] a starting point.” Maybe he should talk to Victor about that map? Watch From on MGM+ Sunday nights and find all our ATX TV Fest and From coverage here.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.