ABC’s gripping new drama American Crime explores the many facets of a single violent crime and the way that it affects and destroys everyone involved. As facts are revealed from various points of view, preconceptions on faith, family, gender, race and class are challenged. American Crime promises to be your week’s most emotionally raw and thought-provoking hour of television.
“It’s really amazing to see all the different splinters from the exact same moment,” says actor Benito Martinez (The Shield), who plays a hardworking and strict father whose son is one of the accused.
“What appealed to me is the writing,” says Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives). “It always starts with the script.” Huffman plays the mother of one of the crime’s victims, and as her character struggles with the death of her child, she reveals, “I had to wake up in that particular character in that particular place and stay there the whole time. It was a dark place to live.”
Timothy Hutton (Leverage) plays Huffman’s ex-husband, and found working with an ensemble cast an extraordinary opportunity “of coming together and looking at these scenes and investing ourselves in these kind of amazing portraits of these people caught in this situation.”
Even the suspects of the crime are given an opportunity to be sympathetic, complete and complex people. Heavily tattooed actor Richard Cabral has built a career playing “bad guy” characters but says his experience on American Crime “was the first time that I feel that this character had a three-dimensional feel.”
The series comes from creator and co-executive producer John Ridley (Oscar-winning writer of 12 Years a Slave), who says his goal was “building a space where we can be objective and watch these performers deliver emotions that are just amazingly powerful.” Ridley succeeds in his efforts, as each of the performances — from seasoned actors like Huffman and Penelope Ann Miller to rising stars like Elvis Nolasco and Johnny Ortiz — is simply gut-wrenching. These riveting performances from its incredible ensemble make American Crime must-watch television.
American Crime > ABC > Thursdays beginning March 5
Image © ABC/Bob D’Amico