Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the residents 666 Park Avenue.
The Drake residential hotel brings them all together, but the more ABC’s new supernatural drama unfolds, the more we realize how much we don’t know about them. That goes as much for The Drake’s devious owners Gavin (Terry O’Quinn) and Olivia (Vanessa Williams) as it does for the innocent new building co-manager Jane (Rachael Taylor). All three actors discussed the way their characters will change over the course of the season while they were promoting 666 Park Avenue at New York Comic Con.
“I get to start Jane in a place where she’s very, very simple, and not simple in an obtuse way at all, she’s a very intelligent girl, but her life is going well. It’s an uncomplicated life in the beginning,” Taylor explained to Spinoff Online during a group interview at the convention. “By the time we get to Episode 2, the walls are kind of closing in, things are starting to get more complex, and we’re starting Episode 9 now, and in Episode 8 my character is — and I don’t want to give anything away — but she is literally unrecognizable, she is so changed.”
Williams also discussed how the dynamic between Olivia and Gavin would change, saying it might not be as simple as it appears on the surface. As both characters become more vulnerable and more human, we will learn more about their pasts.
“The fact that we start with a loving relationship and have some tragedy and also a threat that we get into coming down the road which his job is to protect me, I would love to explore that more,” she said. “Does he have a reason to protect me, and is there something he’s had to do, and that’s his job? And what was this force that I rely on him to protect me about? We don’t know. We just know that there’s something coming.”
O’Quinn added, “The more she gets involved in my operations, the happier I’ll be, because it just gives us more changes to work and fluctuations to the relationship.”
There are many supernatural elements at play in 666 Park Avenue, and Taylor said that it will be Jane who tries to discover The Drake’s many secrets. Although her romantic interest is fellow co-manager Henry (Dave Annable), she will also become involved with a detective played by Teddy Sears.
“He becomes the one person who doesn’t think she’s absolutely and utterly insane,” Taylor reveals. “He starts chipping away at the facts from the building and he goes, even from a logical perspective, there is something strange going on her. Jane forges a kinship with this man, which is certainly kind of interesting considering my primary relationship in the show is with Henry, so that’s kind of a complication.”
Taylor said the fifth episode is a great one for Jane, because it’s where her character really starts to change. It’s around that point that Jane’s sanity starts to be questioned, and Taylor explained she liked that the character arc pushed her as an actress.
“I think you’re going to see [Jane] fall apart, and then you’re going to see her pull herself together in a different way, and she’ll still be Jane. This is not someone who is likely to start doing bench presses like Sarah Connor,” Taylor said. “She’s a very delicate girl, but I’m always trying to find her inner strength.”
Williams also discussed one of her favorite scenes coming up, which appropriately takes place between Olivia and Gavin. Although she didn’t know which episode it would be in, we quickly realized it was a sequence to look out for.
“We’re talking about something pretty intimate and I’m shaving him with a straight razor and it’s played in a way where Olivia might have some power when she’s holding the blade, he certainly has power, there’s a little slip of the blade and you see the dance where she’s terrified but was it intentional? Was it not? And it’s brilliant,” Williams recalled. “Who trusts who? Just in the gasp, the looking at each other, the silence, and the weapon, all done in love and very close, intimate proximity, that was one my favorite, favorite intimate scenes.”
That seems to be one of the many ways that 666 Park Avenue will keep fans guessing. Taylor promised that, even if the plot seems somewhat predictable now, there is no way fans will be able to see where the series is headed.
“I’m really proud of the show, and I really think that we’re making something that’s intricate,” she said. “The plot is complex, and it pays off, so something that you learned tonight, in Episode 3, by the time you get to episode 6 you’re like oh my God, that’s the person from Episode 3. It’s like it does all actually interweave in a way that’s much more sophisticated than I think each episode alone might look.”
666 Park Avenue airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.