Exclusive: Breaking Bad’s Michelle Maclaren On Working With Noomi Rapace in Constellation


Apple TV’s new psychological sci-fi thriller is making waves with its outstanding ensemble cast headlined by Noomi Rapace of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and James D’Arcy, recognized for his role in “Oppenheimer”. “Constellation” pairs the acting prowess of its stars with the creative brilliance of Hollywood’s top talent.

Helming the project is Michelle MacLaren, whose directorial feats include the critically acclaimed series “Breaking Bad”. The show is penned by Peter Harness, known for his work on “Wallander” and “The War of the Worlds”. In an exclusive dialogue with Zee News English, Peter Harness and Michelle MacLaren delved into the intricate casting process and the challenges faced in bringing this cosmic narrative to the screen.

Peter Harness expressed his long-standing fascination with space, the enigmatic aura it holds, and the untold stories that space travel might conceal. He posed an enthralling concept, questioning whether the change occurs within the astronaut after a journey through the cosmos or within the Earth they return to. This intriguing premise, influenced by real-life phenomena such as the Overview Effect experienced by returning astronauts, laid the foundation for “Constellation”.

MacLaren faced her own set of tests, primarily in depicting zero gravity on screen. The authenticity of the characters and their interrelationships was paramount, guided by Harness’s evocative script. Research was extensive, including consultations with veteran astronaut Scott Kelly to capture the essence of life aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and its impact on those who serve there. The goal was to portray a story rooted in realism while incorporating elements of the fantastical, a task that commenced with visually imaginative writing.

The thrill of creating a science fiction film lay in the challenges for the duo. Harness detailed the technical difficulties of accurately recreating the ISS and capturing vast, breathtaking landscapes from the Arctic Circle to the sands of Morocco. For MacLaren, the project offered an exhilarating chance to venture beyond her comfort zone, experimenting with zero gravity and indulging in the creative liberation afforded by the genre. The remote, otherworldly beauty of shooting locations imparted an unparalleled excitement to the creative journey.

Casting Noomi Rapace as “Jo” seemed like destiny, with both Harness and MacLaren feeling that the strong yet vulnerable role was tailor-made for the Swedish actress. Rapace herself was immediately captivated by the character, feeling a deep connection and sense of identity with the role.

Harness and MacLaren touched upon the unique challenges and freedoms of creating original content for a platform like Apple TV, with the expansive story stretching across diverse countries and settings. The collaboration, while demanding due to its nonlinear nature and geographic spread, proved immensely rewarding as the creators finely tuned their interwoven narratives, overcoming the limitations of conventional storytelling.

“Constellation” is an ambitious blend of human drama and science fiction, examining the psychological effects of space travel against a backdrop of cosmic intrigue. This star-studded series promises to be an exhilarating voyage for its viewers. The anticipation builds as “Constellation” gears up for its premiere on February 16, exclusively on Apple TV.

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