Rabbit Hole is a new spy thriller on Paramount+ about an expert in corporate espionage who is framed for murder. We recently had the chance to talk with the creators of the show (John Requa and Glenn Ficarra) as well as several cast members including Charles Dance, Meta Golding, Endid Graham, Rob Yang, and Walt Klink ahead of its premiere at SXSW.
Excerpts of our interviews are included below. Read them here or click on the videos for the full clips!
Transcripts have been edited for length and clarity.
The real-life inspirations for the show:
Series Co-Creator Glenn Ficarra: [Corporate espionage] was an interesting thing we had read about. There were some firms on Wall Street that were just… starting to use big data and other other data to sort of manipulate investors and stock positions. So that was just the tiniest little thing and then it just blew up into this bigger idea.
Series Co-Creator John Requa: It's the American story of, you know, business malfeasance. Just like people in the corporate world not caring about human privacy or dignity or all they care about is their stock price. That's at the core of this show, to a certain extent, and definitely in WeCrashed [the Apple TV+ series they also created].
It's an issue. And it seems to be this giant, glaring issue that nobody pays attention to. Because we want our Facebook, we want our Twitter, we want all these things. But they know we want them and so they're willing to sell our data, sell our information because living without them is unimaginable. And instead of seeing it as a trust that's been granted to them, they just they see it as a tool to manipulate us and make money.
On working with Kiefer Sutherland:
Glenn Ficarra: It's a thrill. He's such a pro. You know, he's a great actor. He's got great instincts. A really good collaborator but, you know, the man has spent a lot of time in front of a camera and it shows. Everybody on the crew is blown away.
He knows every lens, he knows where he is in the frame. It's something to behold, you appreciate that.
Rob Yang: [He's] awesome. Super cool. Very generous. [For knowledge of] that genre of the action stuff I look to him… so there was a lot of taking his lead.
Walt Klink: He does know exactly how to do this genre. He's got that down.
What drew Charles Dance to this project:
Charles Dance: The intrigue, the unanswered questions, which I think is eminently attractive. An ambiguity. And the compulsion that you get from reading the script to actually sit forward into it, not sort of slump back. It's demanding in the right way of an audience. I think you have to really concentrate on this because if you don't, you're gonna miss something.
But then you've got the rewind switch, you can go back to it… then carry on. It's just an incredibly intriguing story. And that was probably the most attractive thing for me as an actor.
How the actors unwind after intense scenes:
Charles Dance: Sleep? I don't know. I mean, I'm not one of those actors who takes work home with me at the end of the day. And within 15 minutes or so I'm back to civilian life, as it were. That's just the way I work. Different actors work in different ways. Some people like to actually sort of stay in it and I think that's where madness lies, personally.
Enid Graham: Well it was fun to be in Toronto. It's a really nice town full of incredibly nice people. So that made any dark aspect of the show quite light because you could go out to dinner with all these lovely, kind Canadians around you. And I really appreciated that.
Rob Yang: I had fun. I just liked hanging out with everybody. I'd come on set when I wasn't even working just to watch scenes… I saw the scene after some explosion thing. I don't know if I'm ruining anything. I just loved it… It was so much fun.
Walt Klink: For me, it's yoga. I like yoga.
Creating TV in the streaming era:
Glenn Ficarra: Well the great thing about television, where television has gone, and where streaming is, is that it gives you the chance to really explore stories… and television has always been better than the movies of late at being able to do character study and really do long-term stories.
For us personally, it's been really great just to be able to explore other genres without a pre-judgment. And it feels like every movie right now has to [have] world-changing stakes and superheroes. And the the focus of the movies have gotten smaller while streaming has gotten incredibly broad. You can think it up, someone's willing to make it pretty much.
Meta Golding: For me, it's the same because we're still just making a TV show. I guess the way it rolls out is different, but that's not my job. My job is to show up and and play the part and shoot the show.
But it is exciting, because I feel like more people can see the show- and I want people to see the show! It's a great thing that people can see it at anytime and on their phones, and over here and over there. But really, my work is still the same as it was five years ago or whatever.
Charles Dance: What I'm pleasantly surprised by is that it's a voracious beast. Now there is so much being made. And what I'm pleasantly surprised by is the standard of the work. The stuff that is now being written and being produced is of an incredibly high standard.
Enid Graham: I think it's great because there's so many shows now. And that means that there's so many different types of stories that can be told. I feel like when I first started being an actor it was just the networks and HBO or whatever it was. There were so many fewer opportunities for individual stories. It seemed like there was a homogeneity to the storytelling.
And now I feel like it's all splintered and fractured. And people like you can tell stories from all different walks of life, and every one is much more represented. And I think that's fantastic.
What They're Most Excited for Viewers to Discover with Rabbit Hole:
Rob Yang: Audiences are smart. So I would like them to take everything that they've seen… as an audience and try to guess what happens with this thing.
Meta Golding: I just hope people have a really fun time because it's a fun ride. And I hope people start to think about data and this world we're living in. But, really, I hope they're entertained and their mind is expanded as well.