The Knick Cast Talks Season 2 and Working With Soderbergh
The SoHo Apple Store in New York was packed with fans gathered to see the Apple Talk on Steven Soderbergh’s Cinemax original series, The Knick.
Speaking with New York magazine’s Matt Zoller Seitz, who moderated the panel, cast members Clive Owen, André Holland, and Eve Hewson teased that season 2 will be even darker than the first season. This is no small feat, considering season 1 saw the complete emotional deterioration of Doctor Thackery (played by Clive Owen) as he became increasingly addicted to cocaine, and also featured everything from illicit basement surgeries to opium den briberies. But according to Holland, Soderbergh’s own view is that “season 2 makes season 1 look like a romantic comedy.”
One thing remains a constant in the series: Soderbergh’s highly detailed approach to filming. As Owen described, “He always has a perspective. You never just shoot a scene just to cover it.” According to the cast, this intense level of creative concentration is paired with a high-speed production pace; with many scenes shot in a single take. But Owen, Holland, and Hewson willingly put themselves in the hands of their director. Holland succinctly stated, “He finds the essential moment in the scene.” To which Owen added, “If you want control, then you go and direct. An actor offers up for a director. That’s the reality of the job.”
The cast members delved deeper into the creative vision behind The Knick. It’s a period piece, but Owen emphasized, “There’s no period version of feeling pain, loss, hurt, love.” And the emotional storyline plays out on a meticulously researched set. Holland noted how details viewers never see, like the hospital’s crown molding, are all accounted for and present.
Taking questions from the audience, the cast members continued to emphasize the high level of research that went into making the show. Hewson called it a “crash course” in the time period. The actors read such books as Low Life by Luc Sante and Genius on Edge by Gerald Imber, and also spent two weeks in “medical school,” learning about procedures from a medical historian.
When asked about his preparation for playing an addict, however, Owen revealed a much more streamline approach: “I used a lot of instinct and imagination.”
The Knick season 2 premiered on October 16, 2015.