Paul Leonard-Morgan Q&A: ‘Limitless’ composer
Asked during our recent webcam chat (watch above) about his Emmy nomination and “Limitless” composer Paul Leonard-Morgan readily admits, “It still hasn’t really sunk in.” Based on the 2011 film of the same name, this CBS series stars Jake McDorman as a man who gains the ability to use 100% of his brain’s capabilities through the use of a mysterious pill. While this is Leonard-Morgan’s first recognition from the TV academy, he has reaping two BAFTA TV bids in his native England (“Fallen” [Anthony Asquith Award for Best New British Composer, 2004] and “MI-5” ).
Leonard-Morgan scored the original movie and knew from the beginning that the show, “shouldn’t just be a rehash of the film.” He drew inspiration from the lead character, a 28-year-old struggling rocker. “That by itself was quite helpful as far as getting a direction on what the soundtrack was going to be,” he explains. “It should be full of energy, we’re going to have lots of twists-and-turns when he pops his pills and suddenly gets high on NZT, but at the same time, it was always going to be a very current score.”
Although a prolific composer in the UK (his recent TV credits include “The Crews” and “A History of Scotland”), this is Leonard-Morgan’s first foray into US network television. He sees little difference between the two. “From a composer’s point of view, that’s such a liberating, refreshing thing,” he says, because, “you can really go for it and try some different stuff.”
Leonard-Morgan especially enjoys creating music for a season-long storyline. “In the same way that, musically, you’d give every cue an arc, you’re starting to give every episode an arc,” he says. “There’s space, there’s passion, there’s energy, there’s all these different themes, and you’re trying to interconnect them as a composer.”