The Slap had people talking way before it aired Thursday night, and NBC’s new miniseries will probably continue to do so over the coming weeks. Focusing on the story of a man who smacks someone else’s child across the face at a party, it’s not just a controversial grab for viewers. The series takes a look at the consequences of that man’s decision and the long-term effects it has on everyone involved. For actor Zachary Quinto, the role was a no-brainer.
“There was no hesitation because I feel like good storytelling should be controversial and provocative. I’m an actor so I want to play characters that are dynamic as possible. This is certainly an example of that,” Quinto told E! News.
The actual act of violence was filmed in a way to protect the young actors, as Quinto explained at a news conference last month, saying everything was handled carefully to keep everyone informed about what was happening.
“Obviously, we had to do the scene repetitively, but we isolated the moment of the slap. There was really clear communication with the kids, and then all of the explosive anger and emotion that exists around that actual incident was all done without the kids there, of course. So I think it was really well-handled, really well-executed, and, oddly, for all of us, because we spent so much time shooting that sequence, kind of enjoyable.. . . Even though it was in the context of this horrific act, we all had as good a time as we could,” he said.
The series boasts a cast full of big names, including silver screen stars Uma Thurman and Brian Cox; Thurman landed the role after Mary Louise Parker was forced to back out due to illness. Melissa George, Peter Sarsgaard, and Thandie Newton round out the cast, and each episode is told from the point of view of a different character in order to fully explore the story. Although the events leading up to the slap have been met with mixed reactions, the Washington Post says the show is “absorbing” and relevant to the way we make judgments about relationships and family. Over the next several episodes, viewers will see the aftermath of what happened, which is likely to keep the web buzzing.
“We start to explore the impact of his decision—or lack of decision—has on him and his family and his life. Beyond that, all the episodes are told through the point of view of another character,” Quinto said.
The Slap airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
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