Tony nominee Micah Stock (“It’s Only a Play”) has a moment before his breakout role in the long-awaited adaptation of Kindred.
The FX series (streaming exclusively on Hulu) premieres December 13 and is based on the 1979 novel by legendary Hugo-winning sci-fi author Octavia Butler. The story follows a modern day black writer, Dana ( Mallori Johnson), who inexplicably finds herself time-travelling from her home in LA to a pre-Civil War plantation in 1815 where her ancestors live. The plantation is managed by Thomas Weylin (Ryan Kwanten, “True Blood”); Also drawn into the centuries-long journey, her white love interest Kevin (Stock) ends up traveling back in time alongside Dana and struggling with what he sees there.
“I was drawn to Kevin because I like people and characters who operate in the gray area, where you don’t know if they’re going to succeed with the lot they’ve been given,” Stock, 33, said the post .
He noted that Butler, who died in 2006, always wanted her work to be adapted on screen. “Unfortunately, she hasn’t really seen that in her life. But I was familiar with Kindred in a broader cultural context before reading the book,” he said. “It had staying power and a voice for many decades for a reason. Many have been waiting for this for a long time. More than the pressure “Will it be right, will it be an exact fit?” I find [showrunner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins] took the heart and back of Octavia’s book and expanded it for another medium.”
The show made several changes to the source material – for example, the “present day” time in the novel is in the 1970s. The year is 2016 in the series, and Kevin’s role is also expanding. In the novel, he was Dana’s husband; On screen, he and Dana just meet and get to know each other, which gives their relationship more room to develop.
“Kevin is a very central part of the book, but given the nature of a television show, we can reach out and spend more time with everyone,” Stock said. “So in this version we see things that only Dana saw in the book. Now we have two perspectives… and I hit it off like gangsters with Mallori. She is very dear to me [and] She has become like a sister to me.”
Stock has appeared in other series, including Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora, but this is his biggest screen role to date. Coming from the theater world, he received the only Tony nomination in 2014 for It’s Only a Play, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.
“[‘Kindred’] was a bit of an off-off-Broadway play, but on a much larger scale,” he said. “So many of us met as we made our way through the downtown theater scene. The way you act and communicate as a theater actor is very specific and there is a kind of common language. All of us in the cast have at least some theater experience, which was really fun – and also gave us a certain diligence in dealing with difficult issues.
“The story is essentially an adventure story,” he said. “And I think the best adventures come from internal conflicts. One of the things about Kindred, and why it has had such a lasting impact, is that it really is the inner journey that’s being pushed out. I think people who sign up for the ride will be pleased to find that not only is it entertaining but, like any true adventure, you will encounter some of the inner workings of the human mind.”
https://nypost.com/2022/12/12/micah-stock-on-kindred-star-mallori-johnson-like-a-sister-to-me/ “like a sister to me”