Jared Harris Interview: ‘The Terror’
When Jared Harris read the first episode of AMC’s limited series “The Terror” he appreciated “the patience and the restraint in the storytelling. I’m sure they would’ve had a lot of pressure, since it was in the horror genre, to put a lot of different elements into that first episode.” Instead, creator David Kajganich and showrunner Soo Hugh were “content with establishing a mood, a feel and a world, and introducing you to the characters, and not feeling pressure to suddenly start delivering genre beats.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Harris above.
Based on the book by Dan Simmons, “The Terror” is a fictionalized account of Captain John Franklin‘s (Ciarán Hinds) lost expedition to the Arctic from 1845-1848. Harris co-stars as Francis Crozier, captain of the HMS Terror, which sailed alongside Franklin’s HMS Erebus. When both ships become stuck while exploring uncharted territory in the Northwest Passage the crew must survive harsh weather conditions while being stalked by an elusive menace. The series is produced by Ridley Scott and also features Tobias Menzies as Commander James Fitzjames.
As an Irishman in 1840s Britain, Crozier “has found that there’s a glass ceiling to his advancement” in the Navy even though he’s “an experienced arctic and antarctic explorer.” He’s also a bachelor, which is “significant in the sense that it’s part of his motivation for wanting to take this voyage, to prove himself to his object of affection.” And “he likes whiskey,” so he’s also “leaning on that crutch a little bit too heavily.”
In his research, Harris discovered letters Crozier wrote before embarking on his journey. “It’s a really interesting snapshot of what this man’s state of mind was,” the actor says. “It was quite sad in that he had basically understood that at this point of his life he had nothing except this life in the Royal Navy.” After being rejected by his fiancée “he was never going to know any kind of companionship or love beyond the comradeship that he had for his fellow explorers.”
Harris was previously nominated for Best Drama Supporting Actor at the Emmys for playing Lane Price on “Mad Men” (2012). He won a SAG Award as a member of the show’s ensemble cast in 2010 and was also nominated in 2011 and 2012 for the show and in 2008 with the cast of the film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” His role as King George VI on “The Crown” brought him a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a Critics’ Choice bid for Best Drama Guest Actor.