What if you had all the money in the world and all you wished for was one question to be answered? Cancer-stricken billionaire Ivan Turing has a short time left on Earth and needs to know if death truly is the end, so he sets out to hire his own researchers. That’s the premise behind TNT’s new thought-provoking drama Proof, starring Matthew Modine and Jennifer Beals.
“He, like Steve Jobs, began his business working out of his garage, tinkering, building things that the world has never seen or imagined before, and he’s parlayed that into an incredibly successful industry,” says Modine of his character Ivan Turing (who already has a Twitter account). “He’s human, and one of the problems of being human is dying. He’s taking the approach, a very analytical approach, because he doesn’t understand what death is, maybe never thought about it because he’s been so busy and been so healthy.”
Turing recruits an incredibly cynical but brilliant surgeon, Dr. Carolyn Tyler (Beals), to take the information he’s collected on near-death experiences and other phenomena to investigate further to come up with an answer. But Dr. Tyler comes with her own personal struggles, having recently lost her only son.
Turing is able to recruit Tyler, Modine says, “with the promise that if you’re able to solve the problem, if you are able to provide to a scientific certainty what happens when we die, I’ll give you all my money.”
Thus begins a deeply personal and emotional journey that will leave viewers questioning the possibilities of “What if?” like never before.
“I can’t tell you too much about what the journey is going to be over the season, other than the investigation into different types of near-death experiences and different things that people say that they experience when they die. Do people see something when they die or is it just an explosion of electrical activity in the brain? … They know that the brain stays alive for several minutes, sometimes hours after a person’s heart has stopped. The activity in the brain continues. You can be quite conscious of people talking to you after your heart has stopped. They’ve proven that. What is it that happens? Is it some place that you go to? … Or are we some divine creature that encompasses a soul and has some kind of afterlife? We don’t know.”
While only truly dying will give us that definite answer, Modine does share some of his personal thoughts on the subject.
“My personal feeling is that I am of this earth and that I don’t know when it began that people started putting themselves in coffins that don’t decompose and filling their bodies up with formaldehyde. All of the things that we do to the human body when it’s dead are obscene to me. It’s a violation. What we should do is be put back in the earth and become a part of the earth again. I think that’s the best chance I have of an afterlife, being part of the earth that I came from billions of years ago. We consume at an unsustainable rate, human beings. We take from this earth. We take, take, take, take, take. We mostly don’t give anything back. The least that we can give back at the end of our lives is our body.”
Until then, Proof will definitely fuel conversation and fascination on this forever unknown.
Proof premieres on TNT June 16 at 10pm ET/PT.