×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

J.K. Simmons Teases James Cromwell on ‘Counterpart,’ ‘Howards End’ Team Talks #MeToo at FYC Event

If “Counterpart” fans were excited about the news of James Cromwell joining the cast of Starz’s sci-fi espionage drama, it’s nothing compared to how series lead J.K. Simmons felt when he heard the news.

“I was so excited. As they were talking about casting, I was hoping it would be [Cromwell],” Simmons told Variety on the red carpet at the Starz FYC event on Wednesday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “I just finished shooting the first half of the season, basically all of my scenes with him. It was a great for a number of reasons because James is great, but also because he carried about 90 percent of the dialogue, so I was kind of just sitting there being a fan.”

Starz announced Cromwell’s addition to the “Counterpart” cast Wednesday before the panel that was moderated by Variety’s executive editor, television Debra Birnbaum. The Emmy Award-winning actor will play a recurring role as Yanek, the warden at underground facility Echo, throughout the second season. Simmons kept tight lips about specifics about the character, but revealed an overview based on his observations.

“It’s a great complex, very intellectual character,” he said. “He’s an imposing presence. For the work we were doing together, that fit perfectly together.”

Other cast members spoke to their excitement about the show’s upcoming second season, praising the work series creator, writer and executive producer Justin Marks put into developing the scripts. Marks said during the panel that part of the success of the shows and lessons he’s learned during the course of producing “Counterpart” came from finding trust in the cast.

“It’s really helpful to have everyone know the emotional pulse of these characters,” he said.

A premiere date for “Counterpart” season two has not been set yet.

Also at the Emmy event were “Howards End” stars Hayley Atwell and Philippa Coulthard and executive producer Colin Callender, who shared how revisiting the Oscar-winning story resonated in present times.

Callender admitted it to be coincidental that the show premiered in the midst of the #MeToo movement. He said he was attracted to the show after rereading the classic E.M. Forester novel and connecting with it on a more personal level.

“As a father of two daughters, I felt that the story of these two sisters, these smart, independent women trying to make their way in a man’s world was really relevant to today,” Callender said. “We started way before the #MeToo movement, and the whole question of women’s role in society was becoming more of the moment than when we first started it.”

Atwell said the timing of “Howards End’s” release was “particularly apt,” and the narrative of the show brings a balance to the conversation at large.

“This happens to be a female-led narrative where the central relationship is about two sisters, two women who are not pitted against each other, two women that are very different, but that their love for each other navigates this very rocky territory with the men in their lives,” Atwell said.

She added, “That has never been more at the front of the conversation in the arts as it is now.”

More TV

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: Rabbit in the

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of Feb. 11: 'Masked Singer' Easily Tops Competition

    Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was the highest-rated broadcast show of the week in both Live+Same Day and Live+3. For the week of Feb. 11, the unscripted singing competition series went from a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 to a 3.4, a rise of 42%. In total viewers, the show went from 7.8 million viewers to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content