Dispatches From Elsewhere is so mysterious that star Sally Field can't even describe it
Sally Field has essentially done it all over her illustrious 55-year career: She’s won two Oscars and three Emmys, been nominated for a Tony, directed a feature film, and starred in everything from Lincoln to The Amazing Spider-Man. But the one thing she can’t do is describe her new mysterious AMC series Dispatches From Elsewhere.
“I couldn’t,” admits Field, 73. “I just couldn’t describe it. If you had to sit me down and I was going to like spill the beans and tell you every single turn of events, I don’t think I could. It’s very unique, and that’s what drew me to it in the first place.”
Well, we’ll give it a try: Created by How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel, the “spooky adventure” series follows four strangers who yearn for something more, until they are brought together by a “treasure hunt” and the game’s captivating frontman (Richard E. Grant). Joining Field and Segel in this unlikely group are André Benjamin and Eve Lindley.
“Even thought there is mystery upon mystery upon mystery, I always felt that it was about the relationship that these four people end up having,” says Field. “These characters would not only never know each other but would basically look at each other from across the street and not want to know each other. But, ultimately, they affect each other so greatly that they change each other, and, in some symbolic way, wouldn’t that be great if we could do that in this world and this country, and just sit down and talk to everybody and realize, ‘Wait a minute, we’re actually not that different from each other.'”
Field says she was so struck by the adventure and dynamic between the main protagonists that her character, Janice, barely factored into her decision to sign up for Dispatches. “It really wasn’t about the character,” she says. “The character in some ways was a generic character and it was my task to not make her not generic. And since I was the only 70-year-old woman around I had to be very insistent on, ‘Wait a minute, 70-year-old women, we don’t do that, we do do this.’ I had to bring that character alive and off the page and not as somebody we’ve seen a gazillion times.”
Dispatches marks the second eccentric show in a row for Field, who also starred on Netflix’s trippy Maniac. For that 2018 miniseries, she joined because of her affinity for star Emma Stone and director Cary Joji Fukunaga. It was different for Dispatches, considering she wasn’t too familiar with those involved, at least until she got some help from a younger generation.
“I didn’t really know Jason’s work very well, and I knew André’s work a little bit because my granddaughters went, ‘Just please, get on your Spotify right this minute,'” she says with a laugh of Benjamin, half of the legendary hip-hop group Outkast. “And I went, ‘Oh, of course, that’s Andre!’ I had to put those pieces together. But I liked slightly being out of my own comfort zone.”
Dispatches From Elsewhere premieres Sunday on AMC.
Dispatches From Elsewhere