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SciFi Vision - Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Spotlight: Midnight, Texas Set Visit - Sarah Ramos on Playing a Small Town Girl Who Wants More

Sarah RamosMidnight, Texas is a town that serves as a sanctuary for the supernatural, where they can feel safe. However, the town is also home to some mortals as well, including Creek Lovell, played by Sarah Ramos, and her father and brother. All the inhabitants hold secrets, as does the town itself, sitting on a veil between life and Hell, and that veil is weakening.

Back in January, as part of a press day on the set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ramos talked to the media about her character and what's to come for her.

The actress talked to SciFi Vision about what it was that drew her to the role. "I was originally really excited about the project, because of the people behind it: David Janollari who did Six Feet Under, Monica Breen, who's an amazing writer and our showrunner, and Niels Arden Oplev who did Mr. Robot and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So, it seemed like a really interesting group of veterans who were doing this bizarre sci-fi show for NBC that was kind of like nothing I'd ever read before. The whole concept was really exciting.

Sarah Ramos"And then with Creek, I really liked that she was the small town girl who was really sweet, but also worked two jobs and was independent and was sassy. It felt like she wanted to break out of the archetype that she was in."

She also talked to the site about her favorite parts of the set. "I think all the sets are really, really cool...because it just puts you into a different world right away. I love Manfred's RV; Home Cookin' is great. Witch Light Road is really beautiful. It was built as a replica of Las Vegas, New Mexico, which is an actual place where we shot the pilot, and it's so cool. The church is so cool. All the sets are so great. [laughs] I have nothing else to say, except for that they're great."

Ramos also talked to the journalists about Creek's relationship with Manfred, her friendships with other Midnighters, working in Albuquerque, and more.

Please read the full transcript below.

Midnight, Texas
Sarah Ramos

January 31, 2017

Can you talk a little bit about your character being one of the humans in this town and where she fits in?

My character Creek has a unique place in Midnight, Texas, because she came to the town so young. She was kind of raised there, and she doesn't have supernatural powers, but she is very close to all these supernatural beings. She knows about their powers and just accepts them, because that's the group of people she was raised in. At the same time, she has a really small community, but she also knows that they would basically kill for her if necessary.

In the pilot, Creek takes to Manfred (François Arnaud) really quickly. She very much takes him under her wing and kind of shows him around town.

When you looked at it in the pilot, when you talked to Monica, is that because she's been around these kinds of people, that she can kind of see things without someone having to tell her, or is there more just kind of a connection she feels with him?

I think in the pilot she and Manfred just have an immediate connection; sparks really fly right away. She's like the only person her age in town, so when he comes to town, he's not hideous, [laughs] and she's like, "Oh my gosh, I'm really into this person."

But I think some of the fun with the dynamic with Manfred in the beginning, is you can't really tell how much of his power is real and how much of it is a con, and it's fun, because Creek doesn't really care either way.

Sarah RamosThe show has this sort of throughline with the development of this family, both internally among the actors and externally in terms of the town. Can you talk about how that's been for you and how you see your character as situated among that family?

When Creek starts out, she has her own family in town. She has her own family dynamic that she's already dealing with, which is a controlling alcoholic father (Bob Jesser) and her little brother (John-Paul Howard) who she's protecting from her dad, and who's kind of the reason she's in town.

Then Manfred comes to town, and she is immediately drawn to him, and things start to get a lot more fun with him around. He's an outsider in this town of outsiders; he's new to town. He sparks everyone's interest, and because he's connected to Creek, it brings her more into the middle of things, whereas she might have had a quieter life, I think. I guess Manfred coming to town really just brings everybody together in general, and they all end up learning about each other's secrets in needing to deal with them.

And as far as the family dynamic among you all? It seems like everyone gets along really well, and it's a good community that helps support each other as actors and in the development of your characters.

The actors are all different from their characters, so I think it's fun to see everybody play their characters, like to see Arielle [Kebbel] play the assassin and Jason [Lewis] play an angel. It's always really exciting and funny and a little awkward to see people suddenly be like, "Okay, now I'm putting on my angel wings." [laughs] So, I think that is fun and is something that bonds everybody together. We're all playing in this insane world that is so far off from reality and normal life, and nobody's seen it. We all want it to be great, and we're all doing our best to make it great. That really bonds people together, for sure.

What's it been like to film the entire series without people seeing it? That's different especially for network.

I think that it is really fun and also really scary at the same time, especially since we haven't really seen it ourselves either. We're just going off of the story that has been written and that we've acted, but you never know how it's going to get cut in an edit. You just have to follow your instincts and hope that you're all on the same page, because you could always end up seeing something and being like, "Oh, I didn't think about that at all." Maybe you'll be surprised in that way. I guess it really makes you live in the moment of making it, rather than focusing on the results.

Sarah RamosSCIFI VISION: What was it specifically about the character or the script that drew you?

I was originally really excited about the project, because of the people behind it: David Janollari who did Six Feet Under, Monica Breen, who's an amazing writer and our showrunner, and Niels Arden Oplev who did Mr. Robot and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So, it seemed like a really interesting group of veterans who were doing this bizarre sci-fi show for NBC that was kind of like nothing I'd ever read before. The whole concept was really exciting.

And then with Creek, I really liked that she was the small town girl who was really sweet, but also worked two jobs and was independent and was sassy. It felt like she wanted to break out of the archetype that she was in.

A lot of characters are getting flashbacks to flesh out their backstories. Does Creek get one as well?

I don't think Creek gets a flashback, but some secrets are revealed in real time.

Because she's got secrets like everybody else.

Oh, yeah. [laughs]

How much are we going to learn about her family life? And with her dad we keep seeing reference to what a bad relationship they have. Is that going to kind of explode?

I think so, yeah.

A lot of the characters have powers or have been around for a long time. Being a human character in a small town that has an oppressive relationship with her father, is there an arc for Creek in that she kind of comes into her own, even if it's not a supernatural power, that she starts to figure out who she is in this town outside of what she's kind of been labeled as?

Definitely. One of the things that was really exciting for me, was when I started talking to Monica about the first season, and she said that Creek's journey and her arc is really going to be about realizing who she is outside of being a daughter or a sister or a girlfriend, and just finding out who she is as an individual and an adult, which is something we all have to deal with, which is a very grounded and a personal journey inside of this very big fantastical world.

Sarah RamosIs that more difficult for her? She's in the bubble of a very small town and everyone there knows who she is; is it a harder struggle for her to kind of separate from how people perceive her in what she does in town, versus what she's going to start discovering about who she is?

I think that it's always harder to figure things out when people are watching you. Even if they're just checking in to see if you're okay, that's always going to put pressure on you, but the things that happen and the secrets that are revealed definitely make it impossible for Creek to not see herself in a new way.

How has it been living and being out here? Has it been something that's offered you some other perspective than being in L.A., or if you've done work in New York, and how would you describe the experience?

Being in Albuquerque has definitely given me a new perspective from being in L.A. or New York. First of all, the only people I know here are my colleagues, who I would see basically every day anyway, but then you see them after hours too. You're all working on a show that no one else has seen and people don't really know about, so [laughs] it could potentially lead to a level of insanity, but the great thing about Albuquerque and New Mexico in general, is that it's really beautiful. The state is beautiful, and the national parks are really beautiful. And if you just drive twenty minutes or an hour, you'll be taken to a place that's just unreal, like with mountains and trees. The sunsets and sunrises here are insane, and that's something that you see in the show, in the actual location. And you feel it, because it's supposed to be about this locale that's so remote and really special. That's a kind of break that I feel like if you were working where you live, you wouldn't usually take; you would just go to brunch or something.

SCIFI VISION: Talking about the location, do you have a favorite set?

Oh my gosh. I think all the sets are really, really cool. That's why I was talking about Olivia's set, because it just puts you into a different world right away. I love Manfred's RV; Home Cookin' is great. Witch Light Road is really beautiful. It was built as a replica of Las Vegas, New Mexico, which is an actual place where we shot the pilot, and it's so cool. The church is so cool. All the sets are so great. [laughs] I have nothing else to say, except that they're great.

Were you a big fan of the books, or have you read them since you've been in the show?

I hadn't read the books. I am now a huge fan of Charlaine Harris; I think she's an amazing like adult wunderkind lady who just writes whatever she feels like, and then everyone's like, "Yes, that's what we wanted to read!" I think that's really amazing, because they're all really unique kind of weird books that somehow caught on with the zeitgeist.

Sarah RamosI listened to the first book on audio book before we shot the pilot, and I didn't really like the way the woman who was reading it did my character. She was really timid and just flirty and doe eyed, and I was like, "Um, no," and that's not how we did it in the show. Also, my character leaves at the end of the first book, so that's all I read. I was like, "I don't want spoilers now," although Dylan [Bruce] who plays Bobo, definitely told us everything. During the pilot, he was like, "Don't you want to know who the killer is? It's this person."

So, when Charlaine was here, did you get a chance to meet her?

I did meet her. I was so excited during the pilot. I had altitude sickness, because we were in Las Vegas, but they were like, "Oh, just so you know, Charlaine's on set," and I was like "Oh, I'm coming." [laughs]

Someone else said they had altitude sickness.

Yeah, a couple of us got it once, because Las Vegas is higher than here. I just wasn't expecting it, but I raced over when Charlaine was there.

And I was so jealous, because last night we were working during your dinner, and then François and Yul [Vazquez] were sending these amazing selfies with Charlaine. I was like, "Arghhh!" My God, it's my dream to just write a couple romance novels and be set for life; that's amazing.

I think there was a little bit more work involved than just that.

Of course! That sounds totally dismissive, but what I mean, is that I think what's she's done is just so cool and so unique to her. When people are like, "What's Midnight, Texas?" I'm like, "How long do you have for me to explain this insane world?" She's a brand, which is just next level great. [laughs]

Outside of Manfred in the pilot, can you talk about Creek's other relationships with the characters?

Creek is very close with everyone in town; they all kind of look after her. She's really close with Madonna. She runs Home Cookin'. She's this awesome lady who's in the books too, and she's played by Kellee Stewart, and they have kind of a maternal relationship, because Creek's mom is not around, and she's her boss. Creek also in the books and a little bit in the show, she calls Lem (Peter Mensah), "Uncle Lem," and they're very close. He is very protective of her. You'll see their relationship kind of get tested in a small way a little bit later on. Those are her really close like familial relations, but everybody gets to do stuff together. I can't tell you anything else without giving stuff away.

You guys are at the end of your journey now; it's the end of the season...When you're in [later] scenes, are you getting a sense that this is winding down? You never know what's going to happen with pickups and things like that, but when you're doing a scene, is that a moment where you kind of look back and see where you guys have come and the ten hours that you've been making?

Sarah RamosI think I'm just trying to be in the scene and be ready for the crazy stuff that's about to still happen. You don't really get any time to rest even in the finale. Just when you think you get a break, they're like, "Oh no, but what about this thing that is gonna happen?" which is really exciting and fun to read in the scripts, and I would guess will be fun to watch, because there are always twists and turns.

Now that you're more or less coming to the conclusion of this, where does that leave you? Do you have things you're going to be doing when you get back to L.A.?

I do have things that I'm going to be doing. I also write and direct in a web series that I wrote - this is actually a weird story - I wrote it when I was twelve years old, and now I directed it just over the summer. It's going to come out soon on Super Deluxe, a comedy web site. It's romantic comedy. It's called City Girl. It's going to be on Super Deluxe on Valentine's Day, and it's five episodes of this really silly comedy web series, and I'm in it too, and it's really funny.

...And then they'll be a ton of other stuff.

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