Even Noah Solloway would agree that big awards wins after one season just might be better than sex.
“The Affair” co-creator/exec producer Sarah Treem admitted it was hard for her to believe the fast start of the moody character study about an extramarital affair between two people who meet by chance. “I’m just happy that people are watching our show,” she said.
“Affair” bowed in October to glowing reviews and superlatives for the performances by core stars Ruth Wilson, Dominic West (who was also nommed), Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson. The show presents the mostly illicit relationship between West’s Noah and Wilson’s Alison from his and her perspectives to underscore how interpretations of everything differ dramatically.
The Globe win for drama series — beating back higher-wattage competitors as this year’s only frosh drama nominee — and lead actress for Wilson comes just as the Treem and co-creator Hagai Levi are revving up the writers room to begin work on season two, which will lense in the spring.
Toward the end of the first-season run, “Affair” faced some carping from critics about aspects of its storytelling device and the murder plot woven into the story arc.
Treem made it clear backstage that her focus was squarely on examining the “tragedy” of the end of a marriage and the motivations of complicated characters who are neither heroes nor villains.
“How does a marriage work? That was the inspiration for the show,” Treem said, noting that she just got hitched in June. She hoped that the show’s granular focus on how betrayal impacts individuals and families might make people “a little more sensitive” and embrace the sentiment “there but for the grace of God go I.”
Wilson described her work on the show as “exhausting” as her character was battling bone-deep grief over the death of her 4-year-old son.
“I was really intent in serving the grief of this character,” Wilson said backstage. “I wanted to make sure it wasn’t flippant or a device.”
Wilson said the “Rashomon” style of telling the story was challenging but invigorating.
“I love the fact that I got to play different versions of this character. I got a respite from playing my version of her character by playing Noah’s version,” Wilson said.
Alison was a hard woman to live with but the end result — including her new kudos hardware — made it satisfying, to say the least, Wilson said.
“It was quite relentless in the grief,” she said. “By the end it was quite exhausting but incredibly satisfying to explore a character in so many different facets.”