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Amanda Peet & Alyssa Jirrels on Plot Twists & Season 2

Apr 27, 2023


We live in an era of reboots and remakes, both on the big and small screen. But let’s be clear: the new series Fatal Attraction is a reimagining. Executive produced by Alexandra Cunningham (Dirty John, Physical) and based on the story and characters from James Dearden, made famous by Michael Douglas and Glenn Close in the iconic 1987 psychological thriller of the same name, this Paramount+ original series modernizes the plot lines we loved in the film, taking a closer, sharper look at personality disorders, the longstanding effects of childhood, different forms of intimacy, and, well, murder.

In the 8-episode first season, Joshua Jackson plays Dan Gallagher, a prominent lawyer with the major crimes bureau who has an affair with Alexandra Forrest (Lizzy Caplan), a new hire working on behalf of victims in criminal cases. Dan tries to cut ties with Alex and move on from his mistake, though Alex refuses to be ignored and cast aside. Little by little, Alex becomes increasingly involved in Dan’s personal and professional life with fatal consequences.
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During this interview with Collider, Amanda Peet (who plays Beth, Dan’s wife) and Alyssa Jirrels (who plays the present-day version of Ellen, Beth and Dan’s daughter), the two actresses had fun discussing what they appreciate in a scene partner, whether or not the original film impacted their performance, and how the show’s unpredictable twists could impact a Season 2.

COLLIDER: I’m so excited to talk to you two, this is my first press junket day.

ALYSSA JIRRELS: Whoa!

AMANDA PEET: Woo-hoo!

JIRRELS: Mine too!

Image via Paramount+

Oh, awesome. So yeah, don’t bite me. I’d appreciate it.

PEET: We would never!

JIRRELS: We would never do such a thing.

I absolutely love the show. I had actually never seen the movie and I decided not to see it because I didn’t want to compare it.

JIRRELS: Wait, me too! I also didn’t see it because I didn’t want to compare it.

Amanda, have you seen it?

PEET: Yes! Because I’m old. [Laughs] I did not rewatch it, I just went with the memory of it from 1987.

Alyssa, do you know anything about the plot or did you just really go in cold?

JIRRELS: I went in fairly cold. I saw a little bit of it, and then I didn’t want to watch anything more, but I knew the term “bunny boiler” because who doesn’t?

Yeah, exactly. I saw the bunny, and I was like, “Oh, there’s something there,” and then I heard about it. You two have so many great scenes together, and I’m curious what you appreciate in the other person that makes a good scene partner? What did you each bring to the table?

JIRRELS: This is a great question. Well, okay, so these are my thoughts–

PEET: [Laughs]

There’s a hesitation there.

JIRRELS: I had seen Amanda in many, many things. [To Peet] I loved you for years, and I was always like, “That actor is just the most grounded person, like so moment-to-moment, there’s something that’s so captivating about her.” Amanda Peet is amazing. And then in a scene, wherever my brain was at, I look at you, and you just bring me back to the present. I feel like it’s very hard to be in your own world as an actor when acting opposite you because you do something–

PEET: Because I just railroad–

JIRRELS: No, no! It was interesting because whatever– This is what I was saying earlier; if I had a moment, I’ll do something, or I’ll feel a certain thing, like, I can see you seeing it.

PEET: [Laughs]

JIRRELS: [To Peet] You’re such a good listener. She’s the best listener and that teaches me a lot.

PEET: I just adore her, and also she’s brilliant, and yeah, hopefully, Season 2 [is] all around this one. [Points to Jirrels]

JIRRELS: Aww.

Image via Paramount+

I don’t want to give anything away, but there were a lot of twists and turns I was not expecting, and I’m curious, did you two know the ending right away?

PEET: No!

JIRRELS: No, I didn’t know it at all. No, I didn’t know it or expect it until about three weeks before shooting.

PEET: Me too.

Wow, that’s really cool, but I also imagine pretty difficult. But maybe you like not knowing?

PEET: I kind of like it. [To Jirrels] Do you like it?

JIRRELS: I mean, it was helpful, it geared everything in a different direction for me because it put an end to the puzzle. But yeah, I liked not knowing the rest of it, but my character, it felt helpful, but everything else I enjoyed not knowing.

Amanda, you have a lot of scenes where you cry–

JIRRELS: [Laughs]

First I just have to say, Amanda your interviews over the years…I just love watching interviews, so the fact that I’m talking to you is blowing my mind a little bit.

PEET: Thank you!

I also am a playwright and might own your play…

PEET: Oh, awesome.

So yeah, I think you’re awesome.

PEET: Aww, that’s so nice, thank you.

So, back to the crying.

PEET & JIRRELS: [Laughs]

Do you prepare differently when you know you’re going to cry, or do you just try not to think about it? How does that work?

PEET: Ugh. [Laughs] Maybe a little bit of both? It just depends on the day. Like, sometimes I’m like, “Stop trying to cry!” because I’m having a good acting day, and then other times I’m just, like, [Yelling] “Bring me the [tear] blower and sad song!” [Laughs]

JIRRELS: Yeah.

PEET: I don’t really say it like that but–

Image via Paramount+

I kind of wish you did.

PEET: “Bring me the blower and a sad song!” [Laughs]

JIRRELS: [Laughs] Oh my God.

PEET: So yeah, I don’t know. I still don’t know. I’m 51, and I still don’t know really how to do it. But I accept that, it’s part of it. And what works one day sometimes doesn’t work the next day.

Alyssa, what’s something you learned on the set that you feel like you’re going to bring to future projects?

PEET: She’s gonna bring me.

JIRRELS: I’m gonna bring Amanda Peet to all future projects. It’s in my contract.

PEET: Oh my God, fabulous!

JIRRELS: All of them, you’re gonna be there.

PEET: [Sings] I’m employed!

JIRRELS: You’re gonna be there. So many things, I mean, I think like—

PEET: Blower? “Bring me a sad song and a blower”?

JIRRELS: Blower. “Bring me a sad song and a blower” is tattooed on my leg.

PEET: [Laughs]

JIRRELS: I would say from the actors, the biggest thing for me, because all of them [to Peet] all of you guys have been, you guys are all pros–

PEET: Old.

JIRRELS: No, no, you guys are all pros. Pros [Laughs]. There’s a sense of just such trust and such levity, and an allowance and a relaxation, that I think when you are younger and newer and starting out, you have a sense of like, “I have to take it so seriously.” And I think you all have that, but it’s so ingrained, and then watching the results of just showing up and letting it happen was so reliable every time. And I was like, “Wow. That. I’m gonna take that with me. Trust, relaxation.”

Image via Paramount+

That’s wonderful, and I already have to wrap, unfortunately. I could talk to you guys forever.

JIRRELS: Thank you so much!

PEET: You did great!

JIRRELS: These were such great questions. These were awesome.

Thank you! You guys are so cool.

JIRRELS: You’re so cool.

PEET: Now go write your play!

Fatal Attraction premieres with its first three episodes on Sunday, April 30, exclusively on Paramount+, with subsequent episodes premiering weekly thereafter.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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