“Hunters” director and executive producer Alfonso Gomez-Rejon was “incredibly moved” by the story of a young man (Logan Lerman) drawn into the world of Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino), who leads a team of vigilantes searching for fugitive Nazis in 1970s New York. “I guess I’ve always liked outsiders and underdogs. And certainly I loved his emotional journey.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Gomez-Rejon above.
The filmmaker has directed a wide variety of projects including the features “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and “The Current War,” plus his Emmy-nominated work on “American Horror Story.” But setting the tone for “Hunters” by helming its premiere episode “In the Belly of the Whale” was nevertheless challenging “because you’re juggling some pulp action or violence” with “incredibly strong, very emotional subplots,” all while reckoning with the events and aftermath of the Holocaust. “There’s the extraordinary world of the hunters, and you have the real world of ’70s New York, and how to juggle it all was I guess a bit of a challenge,” but it was a challenge he “sparked to.”
The key to bringing all of the show’s contrasting elements together “was that all the emotions had to feel real. That was the spine of it, the naturalistic performances so that everyone felt they were part of the same story.” Of course, one of those performances came from Pacino in the first regular series role of his career. Working with him was a “beautiful process” for Gomez-Rejon. “Watching how he absorbed the character by asking very specific questions that got to the subtext of a scene … and having the privilege of witnessing Pacino in the moment is something I’ll never forget.”
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