Life imitated art for “Paradise Lost” star Bridget Regan when she filmed the new Spectrum drama. “My character uproots her life from Palo Alto, Calif, and moves out to Mississippi, and so there was this symbiotic thing of me and my character going through the same thing — taking it all in and noticing all …
Life imitated art for “Paradise Lost” star Bridget Regan when she filmed the new Spectrum drama.
“My character uproots her life from Palo Alto, Calif, and moves out to Mississippi, and so there was this symbiotic thing of me and my character going through the same thing — taking it all in and noticing all the differences and similarities,” says Regan, 38 (“The Last Ship”), referring to how she temporarily relocated from her LA home to film the show just outside of Baton Rouge.
Premiering Monday, “Paradise Lost” is a modern-day Southern gothic tale following Yates Forsythe (Josh Hartnett), a prodigal son returning to his hometown of Bishop, Miss. Along the way, his wife Frances (Regan) learns that her husband might not be the man she thought he was.
“Throughout the course of the series, Josh’s character has a lot of secrets that my character begins to uncover,” says Regan, who’s also known for “Jane the Virgin” and “Agent Carter.”
“The deterioration of that trust and the revelations — it’s really your worst nightmare that you find out the person you love and are closest to isn’t the person you thought you knew. That’s just terrifying.”
The show can be described as “Succession” meets “True Detective,” with some “Twin Peaks” thrown in, she says. It’s a family saga, a moody, moss-draped mystery, and is filled with quirky side characters. In fact, Regan assumed it was based on a novel, thanks to its epic quality as it chronicles the Forsythe family saga.
“I read the first two scripts, and about a dozen or so pages in and I put them down and said,’Okay, what is this based on?’ and I went to Google to try to find out — because it was so rich, so full, and all these characters were fully realized and there was such a rich past,” she says. “But it wasn’t. It was just written by a novelist [Rhodes Fishburne].”
Frances is a psychiatrist who establishes a practice when her family moves to Bishop, and her work soon becomes tangled up with her husband’s secrets.
“She really has just one real patient, and he is played by Silas Mitchell, his character’s name is Boyd and he has PTSD and is dealing with a lot of really dark stuff,” she says. “Throughout her treatment of him, she realizes there’s a connection between secrets from her in-laws and her husband and Boyd.”
Her intimidating old-money in-laws are played by Nick Nolte and Barbara Hershey.
“Barbara is playing this Southern matriarch and she’s got this beautiful feminine delicate energy, but she’s not playing a cliche, which I love so much,” she says. “Nick and Barbara’s characters are these really wealthy powerful old Southern money characters, and they bring such nuance and life to them. They’re just legends.
“The whole thing was incredible; I haven’t been on a show like this before where I felt so stimulated by the material, so excited by it, and so honored to be part of it,” Regan says. “I was the lead on a show where the whole time I was pinching myself that we were here and that I had the honor of playing this really fully realized realistic woman.”