We got the scoop from series creator Sarah Treem and the cast on what’s to come in the third season of "The Affair" as the series jumps a few years ahead. -- Carita Rizzo
"The Affair" may have started as the unraveling of a marriage from two points of view, but as this story continues into its third year, the puzzle pieces that further complicate matters are not just about who said what, who wore what and who remembers details incorrectly. When it comes to murder, everyone remembers.
At the end of Season 2, Noah (Dominic West) took the fall for a crime that hardly anyone could walk away from with clean hands. . It was technically his ex-wife Helen (Maura Tierney) who was driving the car that hit the drunk and angry Scotty Lockhart (Colin Donnell), but unbeknownst to either of them, Alison (Ruth Wilson) was the person to pushed him into the road. We got the scoop from series creator Sarah Treem and the cast on what’s to come when we jump a few years ahead.
Dark days ahead
"I think that this season is a lot about the dark sides for all of the characters," Treem. "We wanted to double down again on this idea of perspective, which is really the engine of our show. In years past, we’ve done these scenes about 'I see myself one way. You see me a different way.' And that’s where the contrast lies. But this season, we asked ourselves, do we all know ourselves that well, or is it possible that we have a conscious self and that there is also a dark side that we are not particularly conscious of?"
Who’s the good guy in this equation?
For a long time, the jilted spouses, Helen and Cole Joshua Jackson), were seen as the moral compasses of the drama. But as time passes, everyone’s murky side emerges. "I think you’re going to find out a lot more about Cole and Helen as they find out some more about themselves," teases Treem.
Adds Tierney: "I think my character lost a lot of moral high ground when she left the scene of an accident after killing someone," she says. "I’m assuming that the trajectory for my character will be about how do you live with that kind of guilt and that big giant lie inside of you? How can you be honest with anybody?"
A nouveau point of view
This season Treem not only adds another spoke in the wheel of a possible reunion between Noah and Helen, she also adds a fifth point of view: French actress Irene Jacob joins the show as Noah’s new love interest Juliette Le Galle, a professor at the university where he works.
Murder aside, "The Affair" is still a show about love
To Treem, the theme of her series – and the reason for the multiple points of view – is that love and its absence is in the eye of the beholder. "I think, on our show, trust is a really big part of what either keeps a marriage together or makes it fall apart," says Treem. “We sort of think of love as an ephemeral thing that exists if you believe that it does and does not exist if you stop believing. And I think what we deal with often is this idea of what happens in a relationship when one person stops believing and the other person is trying to hold it up for the two of them."
Believe it or not, the show is pure joy behind the scenes
"The Affair" is an intense creative endeavor, but much to the relief of the actors the mood behind the scenes is the complete opposite of what their characters are experiencing. "There are definitely days of exhaustion. It is work. But I will say that this has been probably the most congenial cast that I’ve ever worked with," says Jackson. "Maybe it’s because it's so emotionally intense on the page that the set is actually quite light. It’s a pretty joyful place to go to work every day. Frankly, we kind of pick each other up. I feel a lot of times that you always have the energy to do [the work] when you feel like everybody's pulling in a same direction, and that’s definitely been the experience for me."
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