Exclusive: Creator & Showrunner Rebecca Cutter on the Final Season of Hightown

 alt=The series Hightown, which premiered yesterday on Starz, follows Monica Raymund as Jackie Quiñones, a fishery service agent, as she ventures into the dark and corrupt underbelly of Cape Cod as she tries to find a missing woman. Meanwhile, Ray Abruzzo (James Badge Dale) and Alan Saintille (Dohn Norwood) work to take down the drug syndicates in the Cape, which attracts the attention of gangster Shane Frawley (Garret Dillahunt).

Recently, creator and showrunner Rebecca Cutter spoke with SciFi Vision about the final season of the series and what’s in store for fans this season, as well as how satisfied she was with the ending, what she’s learned as a first time showrunner on the series, and more.

Watch the interview or read the full transcript below and be sure to tune in Fridays to Starz for all-new episodes.




SCIFI VISION:   To start off, for people who haven't seen it, can you just sort of tease what can they expect? What's in store this season for viewers?

REBECCA CUTTER:   This season? I think every character reaches their sort of final form, and in one way or another kind of gets what they deserve. So, I think there's going to be a lot of twists and turns getting there, but I think everybody will feel very satisfied with how everyone ends up.

That was my next question. I was going to ask, were you satisfied with the ending that you got to give? Do you feel like you had enough time to tell everybody’s complete stories?

Absolutely. I went into the writers room on season three knowing that it was probably the end. So, I really left it on the table. I definitely brought the characters to a place where I felt really good about leaving them there. So, I felt great about it. I mean, it's obviously a bittersweet ending, but I think the fans will be really excited and happy with how it goes.

Was there anything though that you did have to cut, just because of time? Because it sounds like you would have liked to have gotten more [episodes].

I could have had more episodes this season. There were things I had to cut to do seven episodes that I would have loved to have had more time, but I don't think I necessarily had a fourth season that I'm dying to tell. You know what I mean?

That makes sense. Can you talk a bit about some of the new cast members this season?

Yes, we have Garret Dillahunt and Michael Drayer as the sort of Southie gangster guys that are kind of trying to move in on the drug territory. Then, we have some very exciting new ladies. One, Sarah [Rosenthal] is a new trooper, who starts to work with Ray, and I'll let the audience's imagination run wild about what might happen between Ray and a new young trooper. Then, Rachel, played by [Jeanine] Serralles is…Frankie (Amaury Nolasco)'s penpal in prison, and I think the audience will be blown away by her and by what happens.

Going into the third season, what have you learned from doing it for so long, that you kind of brought into it that enabled you to do this final season?

It's so valuable, working with the actors, working with some of the directors, multiple times. You just know what everyone excels at, and you can write to that, and that makes it so much easier. There’re just things you want to see Jackie do that she hasn't done before. You want to see people in a new way. So, I think, coming into the writers room, you just have this wealth of knowledge of like, what would be meaningful, and you sort of have an idea of how they would say it or how they would act it, and then they always show up with more and better than what you were hoping for. So, that's what's amazing about having such a great cast.

Is there anything though, that you learned specifically about yourself from this experience, or a way that your life like really changed just over these years that kind of stands out to you?

I mean, I became a showrunner - this was my first show that I created. So, I walked in and a lot of the people on set had more experience than me, and yet they put their trust in me, and I learned how to be really good at what I do, and that was amazing. You don't you don't always know, and it doesn't necessarily - there's no guarantee it's going to go that way, but I felt like it did. So, I really learned how to make a show and run a show, and I'm so excited to get to. I'm so grateful for this experience and excited to use everything I've learned on Hightown, but it's of course my first baby. It'll be one of my favorites forever.

As showrunner, you have quite a lot going on at one time. What was the hardest thing for you to get used to doing as your first time as showrunner?

Well, the way we did it, all the scripts were written before we shot [it], so that actually takes a huge load off. But I would go back and forth between the East Coast and LA, so a lot of times when I would wake up in LA, they've already been shooting for two hours, and I have 57 texts, and it's like…feeling behind the eight ball. But luckily, I had fantastic producers on set, and here, and it never really felt overwhelming. It's like, truly it became a very well-oiled machine by the end.

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