Daniel Dae Kim and Tony Goldwyn investigate a deadly threat in The Hot Zone: Anthrax trailer
The Hot Zone (TV series)
The Hot Zone: Anthrax, the second season of National Geographic's fact-based anthology series about deadly diseases, recreates the dogged investigation into who sent anthrax-laced letters to politicians and media outlets in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, killing five people and further terrorizing a shaken country. Lost and Hawaii Five-0 alum Daniel Dae Kim plays an FBI special agent named Matthew Ryker (a composite character) on the Canada-shot series, while Tony Goldwyn portrays Dr. Bruce Ivins, a real-life microbiologist who helped analyze the mailed material.
"The Toronto winter, combined with a strict lockdown, made it one of the most challenging on-location experiences I've ever had," Kim tells EW. "It certainly wasn't Hawaii!" Goldwyn adds that making a show about anthrax during the COVID-19 pandemic was "surreal," and "gave me some pretty crazy dreams."
Above, you can watch the exclusive trailer for The Hot Zone: Anthrax (which premieres Nov. 28). Below, Kim tells us more about making the show and what it means to secure his first TV lead role.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell us about your character in The Hot Zone?
DANIEL DAE KIM: He's the FBI agent in charge of finding those responsible for mailing letters laced with anthrax back in 2001. This all happened only a few months after 9/11. He's an amalgamation of many agents who worked the case. Though events in the series depict actual developments in the case, they streamlined the work of many agents into the work of Ryker and his team.
What kind of research did you do to prepare for the project?
I did a lot of reading on the actual investigation. There's certainly no shortage of information once you start looking. It actually got to the point where I had to consciously tell myself to stop because I didn't want to start having judgements about where our story was diverging from actual events. Plus, I wanted to be surprised by what Tony Goldwyn was going to bring to his performance without knowing too much about the person he was portraying. I'm so glad I did, because his work is fantastic.
I also spent time with a number of FBI agents, some of whom were Asian American. Their perspectives were really valuable because they gave me a strong idea of how their ethnicity affected the ways that Ryker might solve the case. I'm grateful to everyone who took the time to speak with me. It was so generous of them.
When the show was announced, you tweeted that this is your first lead role after 31 years of working in TV. What does that mean to you?
So much. Some might say it's about time, but my feeling is that no one in this business is entitled to anything. I know actors who are much more talented, and many who have worked longer than I have, who've never gotten their shot, so I consider myself very fortunate to be working, to have been able to build a career, and to get this chance to lead a show. It's the first time, but I sure hope it's not the last!