Whether it be in his movies or TV series, filmmaker Mike Flanagan has made a name for himself for delivering audiences not only frightening narratives, but also ones that find ways to tackle some of life’s biggest questions. Flanagan continues this trend with his new Netflix series Midnight Mass, which stars Kate Siegel and Zach Gilford, a series that once again delivers an unsettling horror narrative while also exploring a number of existential themes. While Siegel noted just how fortunate she feels to get to discuss some of these themes in even a fictional setting, Gilford felt like his character’s morose demeanor meant he had the easiest job of all the cast. Midnight Mass hits Netflix on September 24th.
“What I loved about it was the writing was such a support in that system, because even though I may not have the same beliefs as Erin, on the page, it was very clear that her belief made sense to her,” Siegel detailed to ComicBook.com of the heavy subject matter. “I wasn’t asked to make logical leaps that I didn’t understand or tap into some emotionality that didn’t exist. And so there’s this sense that there are these huge, epic questions, like ‘what’s the meaning of life? What happens when we die? Where were we before we were born?’ that everybody grapples with and everybody has a truly individual point of view on that. It’s rare to ever get to be able to express that, and so I was just, mostly, Christmas-morning joyful to get a chance to tap into the consciousness.”
Midnight Mass tells the tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man (Zach Gilford) and the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater). When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community – but do these miracles come at a price?
The nature of the production meant Gilford was somewhat oblivious to the challenges his co-stars were tasked with embracing, only realizing the extent of those performances when he watched the series.
“I think I had the lightest lifting of everyone, I got to just walk through and be melancholy,” Gilford pointed out. “As long as I was genuinely believing what I was going through, I was blown away when I finally got to watch this show and the characters that people created. Everyone from Kristin (Lehman), who played my mom, to Samantha (Sloyan) who played Bev Keane, and Kate … I’m just like a guy who’s just struggling with, ‘I don’t know, this sucks.’ As long as I could go there, that was fine, I didn’t have to put, on top of that, create a person who’s feeling that. I was blown away by everyone when I got to watch it and I felt like I had the easiest job.”