During our time at the #InfinityWarEvent press trip (hosted by Disney), we had the opportunity to interview Quantico Executive Producer & Showrunner Michael Seitzman and show newcomer, Marlee Matlin – Yes THAT Academy Award Winner Marlee Matlin! We talked about the show’s 3rd season that just kicked off and about Marlee’s entrance to that show!
My mom became a certified ASL interpreter when I was growing up and I babysat for a family with a deaf parent. So, I grew up learning some sign language and was SO excited to see that Marlee Matlin would be playing a deaf character on a fun, action-y TV show like Quantico. Marlee’s character on the show is Jocelyn Turner, an agent who became deaf following an accident. So, I LOVE to see that representation on the screen (that they didn’t shy away from a “disability” at all) and I’m thrilled that Michael Seitzman wanted Marlee on the show. And Marlee definitely agrees! 🙂
“Yyou know what, I have to give Michael credit because he’s one of the few people in Hollywood who understands how to use someone like myself, who understands not to dwell on the disability, not to dwell, I mean the “dis” in ability, but to look at the ability.”
We talked with Michael about how they approached writing Marlee’s character into the show. And, I’m REALLY so glad they not only didn’t shy away from her deafness, but that they REALLY worked with they really worked with her to portray things the right way.
“We had Marlee come in in the beginning and sit with all the writers. She spent a lot of time with us, teaching us about her. What was really wonderful about it for us in the writer’s room was to write a role for Marlee where we, at times, ignored the fact that she was deaf so that she’s just somebody who was in a car accident, with a relationship and a situation. And then, at other times, we utilized her deafness to help us tell the story and to create a problem in the story and a solution in the story.
Marlee added that, “I felt that the writers needed to see me in person and to get a feel for who I am – Just to be able to pick up the different situations that I might find myself in and the situations that I’ve been in in my life or what I envisioned could happen as a result of the character that I’m playing.”In what we’ve seen from the show so far, they have really done a great job with that and I really like the way they’ve presented her character in a way that feels natural. Marlee is a great addition to the show!
And, speaking of the show itself, this is the 3rd season of ABC’s Quantico. But in many ways, the show is really a reboot. SO, if you haven’t been an avid watched of the show in the past, that’s ok! Michael really did a great job making it a season that anyone can pick up and watch!
“You want to invite new audiences into the show as well as serve the loyal audience. So, we are giving the new audience and the loyal audience an unknown backstory that they can both share, as opposed to the new audience not being able to share the two years prior. Now, they can share the three years in between.”
So, it’s a really fun watch and the show is even better with Marlee as part of the cast! It will be great to see where they take her character. And, they hinted that an upcoming episode this season will be a REALLY incredible episode as Marlee where she will get to do something that she has NEVER gotten to do before – play a hearing person! She is an amazing actress and I cannot wait to see her performance in it… they’re already talking an Emmy Award nod for it. So, I’m excited to see what’s to come!
So be sure to tune in Thursdays at 10|9c on ABC or streaming or on the app.