The Alienist cast discusses how the show's themes of discrimination resonate today
The cast of TNT’s The Alienist doesn’t think 1896 is all that different from today, unfortunately. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the limited series’ stars, Dakota Fanning, Luke Evans, and Daniel Brühl, pointed out some of the parallels between their turn of the century-set drama and the current social climate.
“To have done these scenes that are set so long ago that are almost weirdly carbon-copied of an article that you can go read right now that took place in 2017,” says Fanning of her character Sara Howard, who is the first female employee of the NYPD and faces discrimination in the workplace.
“If [the show] had come out when [the book] was published in 1994, it wouldn’t be as current as it is now,” adds Brühl.
The Alienist is based on the best-selling novel by Caleb Carr and deals with the hunt for a serial killer based on the early use of psychological profiling by Brühl’s titular alienist Dr. Lazlo Kreizler. The series mixes historical fiction and real-life figures including a pre-presidential Theodore Roosevelt. “They were like anchors that kept us authentic,” Evans says of the show’s historical figures. Evans plays John Moore, an illustrator for The New York Times and associate of Theodore Roosevelt.
When asked if they’d return to the world of The Alienist, which is currently depicted in three books by Carr — with two more on the way — the stars of the show were enthusiastic. Says Fanning: “We’ve all said if there was another series to do, I think we’d all be super excited and open to it.”
The Alienist airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on TNT. Watch the full interview above.