Olivia Williams Q&A: ‘Manhattan’
For “Manhattan” star Olivia Williams, this WGN period drama about the building of the first atomic bomb "is the greatest sci-fi story ever told, and yet it’s true." As she proclaims during our recent webcam chat, "there isn’t a documentary or a movie that could encompass the size of this story.” Williams plays Liza Winter, a botanist who moves to Los Alamos when her husband Frank (John Benjamin Hickey) is assigned to this top-secret project.
She observes, “I am naturally quite like Liza." As she explains, “I was taught to question authority and the letter of the law from a very young age." How so? "I’m prepared to do almost anything, but I have to be given an extremely good reason, and that’s the exact opposite of the military experience.”
Shooting on location in New Mexico has proven an eye-opener for the English actress. “People in Santa Fe are either crystal dream capped hippies or atomic scientists and some of are weirdly sort of both.” And it has meant filming in, "inconceivable conditions of dust storms, snow, triple rainbow, rain.” However, all of those pale next to one threat from nature. "I’ve never been on a show that has had to stop for lighting danger and that happens three to four times a day on some days. It’s crazy.”