‘THR Presents’ Q&A with the cast and creators of ‘Night Sky’

The Prime Video series from the start night sky, about a couple whose home contains a mysterious portal to space, might seem like a thriller. But it’s meant to be a tribute to creator Holden Miller’s grandparents’ relationship.

“I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who were in their 80s at that point and had been married for over 60 years,” Miller said of the moment he began writing the screenplay in his spare time. “Observing their relationship brought up a lot of questions I had about subjects like mortality, enduring love, and the universe — and how we deal with those as we get into that stage of life.”

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Miller began formulating his ideas, and his reasoning eventually grew into a pilot. He then went on a creative blind date with fellow producer Daniel C. Connolly night sky was born. They cast Hollywood veterans Sissy Spacek and JK Simmons – who had never met before the show – to portray the central couple, inspired by Miller’s grandparents. “[This story] is told through the lens of a young man with great love and appreciation and admiration for his grandparents and for the enduringness of their relationship,” Simmons said. “I think this perspective is so much more valuable than if it was written by a man my age.

The four creatives gathered virtually for a special THR presents Panel supported by Vision Media to discuss how they made the slow-burning supernatural series which, over the course of its eight episodes, reveals the truth behind the couple’s alien home gangs. “What struck me about the pilot episode was the patience it expects and demands from an audience,” Simmons said. “I love a story that gives you credit for having an attention span.” For her part, Spacek noted that she was more drawn to the relationship elements of the show than the genre: “I was in a long-term relationship, so I thought , I’m going to anchor myself in it and I’m just going to be carried away by the sci-fi aspect.”

A scheduling conflict and subsequent rewrite prompted Simmons to take on the project at the last minute, reducing potential rehearsal time for the two leads to almost nothing. But Spacek describes an almost bizarre ease between the costars. “We were both really over the moon about our working relationship,” she said.

Much of the show is based around the relationship between the two characters: the ways they have become estranged from their community due to the great mystery of their home, and how they interact on a daily basis. But it’s also a show about outer space, which means there was a lot of green screen work. “I started out as a theater actor, where you look at the audience and imagine seeing something, and it’s a similar toolkit,” Simmons said. “We look at a grip stand with a tennis ball on it, or a green screen with a bunch of Xs.”

Watch the full panel interview above for more behind-the-scenes footage of filming and if we can expect a second season of night sky.

This edition of THR presents is provided to you by Prime Video.

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