Paley Live 2017: Outsiders shares details on season two

The Paley Center in Beverly Hills welcomed WGN America’s hit series Outsiders this past Tuesday night to talk about their upcoming second season.

After the season premiere screening for a select group of fans, the cast and creative team sat down for a panel discussion hosted by KTLA’s Sam Rubin. The cast and crew consisted of creator and EP Peter Mattei, executive producers Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti, director Jon Amiel, actors Ryan Hurst, Kyle Gallner, Christina Jackson, and Francie Swift.

Rubin started the conversation congratulating them all on the success of the series. Mattei told the audience, “It is kinda like a crazy dream. ¬†There are so many people to thank. From WGN, Sony, Paul, Peter, and Jon and the whole cast and everyone else. It is kinda crazy and I’m also really grateful it’s gotten the reception. People are really digging it.”

Humbled, Mattei came up with the idea on a whim.

He tells the audience, “I had never really done anything at this scale before. I wrote the original script. It was just like – I don’t do drugs, but it was kinda like that. I had this idea and I just sort of wrote notes on it. I wrote the original draft in about three weeks. Mornings and weekends, just as fast as I could, and I just made it as absolutely weird as I could. I sent it to him [my agent] and said no one would ever make this. Not in a million years. I had so much fun writing it, I hope you enjoy reading it. He had the cajonies to say I think we can do something with this. It was all kinda like a shock for me.”

Giamatti told his story on how he became involved with the series, “I just thought I really loved it. It was weird. It’s dealing with serious stuff in a genre way, a weird genre. I don’t know what genre it is, but it was sort of doing that sort of wonderful genre thing. It was dealing with serious stuff and in an exciting and action packed way.”

Although Giamatti would like to do a cameo on the show, if his schedule permitted, he joked he wouldn’t be a mountain guy. He probably would had been one of the coal guys.

The conversation steered to the topic of #Sasil – the popular coupling of Hasil and Sally-Ann.

“We got together,” joked Gallner.

Jackson further explained their characters’ complicated love story.

“It’s one of those where we get the comparisons to Romero and Juliet, but you could not get more unlikely people together,” Jackson said. “I think that’s what the draw is for these two characters. You have this insanely swarthy mountain man and this nice, sweet unassuming girl-next-door and who better to love each other than these two people. It has been quite a ride.”

Rubin asked about Gallner’s choice of hairstyle, which was long and flowy. Gallner joked he wanted Hurst’s hairstyle and hated the hair extensions. So he kept growing his hair long, so he wouldn’t have to wear extensions.

Tolan teased Gallner, “You could have a new career as a thrift store Jesus.”

Rubin moved onto Swift’s character Haley and her new role in season two. Known as the villain, Swift explains, “She’s just somebody who’s just trying to do her job really well. She’s willing to go to any extent to do her job really well.”

As for this season, we will see another side to the character. “I kinda interact with people and their world. You get to see a whole other side of Haley than the first season. To me, what was so interesting about the script and the character, this person who is this persona all the time. You never see her takes her mask down. She always has her corporate smile on. In season two, you see her take her mask down,” said Swift.

Rubin asked the creators if they had any idea where the story was going. In the beginning, Mattei didn’t really have the series mapped, but now it’s an escalating conflict between the mountain world and the town world.

“There’s lots of different ways to take that, but we know that’s the big arc for several seasons,” says Mattei.

For more events like this, check out Paley Center events.

Outsiders season two returns on January 24th on WGN America.


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