‘Turn’ cast at TV Academy: President Bush and the CIA are fans

President George H.W. Bush has a new favorite TV show.

The cast of AMC’s new hit “Turn” took the stage of the TV Academy Friday night in North Hollywood to discuss everything from the show’s unlikely fanbase — including a former POTUS — to the incredibly cold conditions filming on location in Virginia during last year’s snow storms.

Moderated by Stacey Wilson (The Hollywood Reporter), cast members in attendance included Jamie Bell, Heather Lind, Seth Numrich, Burn Gorman and JJ Feild. Listen to the entire audio podcast below.

As producers Barry Josephson and Craig Silverstein explain, their original pitch to AMC was, “It’s ‘The Departed’ set in the Revolutionary War.” Since “The Departed” won Best Picture at the Oscars, could that mean good luck for “Turn” at this year’s Emmys?

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Dealing with the true story of America’s first spy ring during the Revolutionary War attracted several unexpected fans, including the first President Bush and even the CIA. The producers set up a special screening of the show for Pres. Bush and Barbara Bush in Houston, TX, noting, “I don’t think they travel anymore.”

What was his feedback? “He really liked it. He wanted to see it. He requested to see it. I think from working at the CIA, he knew about the story. There’s a big Nathan Hale statue at the CIA,” explained Josephson. “We’ve had two former CIA chiefs love the show and endorse it. CIA endorsed!”

“We’ve also been West Point endorsed too,” added Silverstein. “A couple of the professors there have seen it.”

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Regarding working in sub-zero conditions, Numrich joked that the horses on set “have a better union than us,” because they got to go home when it got too cold, but the actors had to keep working.

“It was minus 16 when we did the love scene,” recalled Feild. “Literally it was in this polar vortex. I had nipples like bullets!”

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“The show is so ambitious,” marveled Bell. “The scale really is epic. There’s a war going on here. We have so many moving parts to organize every single day, from babies, to horses, to sheep, to redcoats, bluecoats… hairpieces, powdered wigs, special effects makeup,. So many buttons in that time! The process of just getting to the set is long and arduous.”

Can Bell break into the crowded Drama Lead Actor race at this year’s Emmys? Below: Vote now using our easy drag-and-drop menu, then sound off in the comments section.

Listen to the audio recording of the “Turn” chat at the Television Academy:


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