“It was always going to be potentially quite distressing material,” says Tom Shankland, who directed all eight episodes of the Starz limited series “The Missing,” a gripping story of an English child who goes missing while vacationing with his parents in France. “I think everyone who got involved felt a certain amount of responsibility to do this story with as much integrity and a sense of respect as we could.” (Watch our complete video chat below.)
Shankland continues, “When I came into it, I felt very much that Jack and Harry Williams, the very brilliant writers of it, had constructed a wonderful mystery. So, I also wanted to make sure that I had a balance between … the characters concerned with these events while at the same time structuring the experience with the viewer as a very entertaining mystery.”
Regarding the show’s two Golden Globe nominations earlier this year, Shankland jokes, “I believe Jack and Harry went straight to the pub and stayed there for about three days.”
In all seriousness, he tells us, “It’s such a jolt for us little Brits over there to kind of get a call that someone had noticed us in the U.S. at that level. It was such a thrill and a very exciting day.”
Next up are the Emmy Awards and Shankland admits, “it would be totally thrilling” to be up against such limited series contenders as “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” “American Crime,” “Olive Kitteridge” and “Wolf Hall.” “It’s been another truly rich, great year for TV,” he adds.
Also in our chat, Shankland discusses his favorite directorial scenes from the first season, the tonal differences between the flashback and present-day sequences and how stars James Nesbitt and Frances O’Connor came to be involved in the project.
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