USA’s Falling Water is all about the connections between people in the dream world and IRL. Three unrelated characters slowly realize that they’re dreaming separate parts of the same dream. Their individual dreams lead them to realize something more… that their lives are at stake! We caught up with some of the cast and creators to dig deeper into the inspiration for the show. Read the interviews below, catch up on Falling Water now and be sure to watch brand new episodes Thursdays at 10/9c on USA Network!
Gale Ann Hurd and Blake Masters, Creators
I watched the first episode twice! There were definitely new clues and things I picked up the second time.
The show unabashedly treats the audience as intelligent. You’ve seen a million shows and movies, you don’t want to be spoon fed, you’re excited for the idea that you have to engage. We want you to have questions, we want you to watch closely, and then we really want you to go on Reddit and talk to your friends.
That’s actually a very refreshing approach. What was the inspiration for that?
When we started this process, we were looking at The Sopranos and The Wire and we said, “they’re doing early 70s cinema.” The next era is to take that and add a bit of magic. I think Game of Thrones has it, I think Westworld has it, and I think we have it. These are shows that if you look at their storytelling style they are really grounded in character, but the world is fantastical. In our universe, there’s no real or not real. Everything’s real, there’s just dreaming and waking. What our characters are discovering, and what the viewers will discover on that journey is the line between sleeping and waking. And that’s why it’s called Falling Water because it’s a permeable membrane.
Why do you think USA is the right network for the show?
I’ll be perfectly honest. I discovered Mr. Robot, and I was like “that’s what we want to be.” When you put all your chips on a show like Mr. Robot, and it works you get to do it again. We were blessed enough to be the second one. It’s also timing. Now there’s more of an appreciation for these type of shows. This is something you need to sit down and watch, there’s so much to try and figure out!
Zak Orth, Lizzie Brochere and Will Yun Lee from USA’s Falling Water.
Will Yun Lee as Taka
Who do you play?
I play a character named Taka, he’s a detective in the NYPD. He’s kind of a loner who they call “the Hunch.” During the course of the show he starts piecing together things that start connecting our three characters, Burton (David Ajala), Tess (Lizzie Brochere), and myself. He starts seeing things in his dreams and they lead him towards something that’s happening in the real world.
The show itself is pretty unique. Do you feel that it’s truly going into uncharted territory, in terms of the story?
Yeah, Blake [Co-creator] said [on making the show], “I’m just going to swing for the fences and see if it happens.” It’s a really smart show—it’s exciting and weird!
There’s so much going on, you have to pay attention to details. The first time you read the script, were you able to visualize what would actually go down on screen?
I knew Blake was very unique, but truthfully for me as an Asian-American actor, the first thing I looked at was not the entirety of the script. This is the first character I’ve played in 18 years that actually speaks like I speak. I’m so used to having to detonate something or kick someone in the head. The joke is I’ve done every Chinatown episode known, and when I read this, it was the first time I actually encountered a character I relate to.
Lizzie Brochere as Tess
Tell us a little about your character and what we can expect to see this first season.
Tess is a trendspotter, so she has very instinctive feelings about where the masses are drifting towards. At the same time, she has big trust issues. She has a very complex relationship with her mother. She sees her son, or what seems to be her son, in her dream, and has been seeing him for the last six years—she was in a mental institute because of that. She developed a very strong paranoia towards people in general, and she feels a lot more comfortable in dream worlds.
When you were prepping for this character what did you do?
There was a lot of exploration of lucid dreaming and what it meant, and actually trying to get into those dreams. And reading a lot about dreams and what they mean. Now I have this whole ritual before I go to sleep. It’s crazy!
Zak Orth as Bill Boerg
Tell us a little bit about the show and what we can expect from your character.
It’s really cool! It’s really visually arresting and it looks amazing. The dream sequences are just a pleasure to let yourself go in. It’s got really cool characters that are really well played, well thought-out, well written, interesting. It assumes a great deal of intelligence on behalf of its audience. It doesn’t go to great lengths to over-explain or bore you with the same information.
Is there going to be any type of back-end story that explains how do find out about the shared dream experience?
There’s definitely some explanation of that, but it is also wrapped up in the character’s own agenda. The information that my character chooses to reveal may or may not lead to the truth!