Sarah Ramos Talks ‘Midnight, Texas’, Her Character Creek, and More!
Midnight, Texas, NBC’s newest series, premieres on July 24 at 10/9c! And since the premiere is so close, the embargo has been lifted from my set visit earlier this year! I was able to sit down with Sarah Ramos, who plays Creek Lovell on the new series, to talk about her character, what drew her to the series, and what she can tease for the first season!
Not familiar with Midnight, Texas? Take a look at the trailer below.
How did you get involved with the show — what drew you to it and what were your thoughts on the character?
Sarah Ramos: What drew me to “Midnight, Texas” was the amazing team behind it, which was Monica Owusu-Breen, who’s the showrunner and writer of the pilot, and she’s just really cool and talented as you’ve all seen. She has a really unique voice and is willing to fight for things to stay unique on network television, which is really cool. The director of the pilot was Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the pilot of “Mr. Robot” and the original “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” He had this really magnetic energy that was really exciting from the second I met him at the audition.
Then the character is Creek Lovell. She is like an independent, young woman living in a small town. And I love small town — shows that are set in small towns like “Friday Night Lights” and “Gilmore Girls,” where you just know everybody, and everybody is in your business and is rooting for you. “You,” being like the character. And Creek kind of gets to be like this sweet Rory Gilmore-esque character who gets to be a writer and has bigger aspirations than being in this town but she’s kept there because of her family and her little brother. But at the same time, she’s really independent and works two jobs and is a badass.
Is she as sweet as we’re led to believe in the pilot?
Sarah Ramos: She’s pretty sweet. She’s like a nice person.
Is there a secret?
Sarah Ramos: No, there’s definitely secrets, but — well, her world is about to get a lot bigger. I’m trying to think of how to describe it without giving anything away. She’s about to learn a lot that she didn’t know about her childhood and why she’s in Midnight, Texas in the first place. She’s going to have to decide whether to say there or to leave.
What can you say about the nature of her relationship with her father and brother?
Sarah Ramos: Creek’s father is kind of a classic, small-town deadbeat guy. That’s how he comes off at least. He is an alcoholic and a controlling father who wants to know where she is at all times and doesn’t want her to have a relationship with Manfred, the psychic who comes to town. She is only staying in Midnight, Texas because she’s taking care of her little brother Connor who’s 17 and she wants to leave when he’s 18 and he can take care of himself, but she doesn’t want to leave him alone with their very controlling father. So there’s kind of a push and pull dynamic where she really cares about her little brother but she wants to leave town and go to college and be a writer and do all these things that you can’t do in this really, really small town. She loves her father but she needs to push back against him and there’s some good rebellious stuff happening, but not in a teenage rebellion way. In a — things get more complicated when you’re an adult, in your adult relationship with your parents.
Is she protecting her brother from anything?
Sarah Ramos: Yeah, there are definitely tones of Creek protecting her brother. She’s probably shielding him from having to go through what she had to go through.
As the season continues, is it more questions or is it more answers?
Sarah Ramos: I think a lot of stuff gets answered, but of course not everything. I think just enough to be satisfying. There are definitely some surprises.
Are there challenges or kickass moments with playing this character?
Sarah Ramos: Yeah, there are. I got to — I think I can say I got to slay a vampire. That happens in I think Episode 3. I get to fight monsters. Before this I was on another NBC show, which was a family drama called “Parenthood,” and it was definitely way less action-heavy than I would say “Midnight, Texas” was. The most action we had was family dance parties or like dinner table scenes or breakfast scenes where we’re all getting ready to go to work and school. So I say that Haddie Braverman, my character on that show probably wouldn’t survive in Midnight, Texas. Creek gets to do a lot of action stuff… and some dancing actually now that I think about it.
Did you learn fight choreography? And how was that?
Sarah Ramos: I didn’t really do any fight choreography, but I’ve had to drive a lot on this show, and drive old cars that their brakes don’t work that well and are kind of scary. A VW Bug, that was fun. We do a lot of action in cars I guess. Manfred has his RV, and yo have to be able to kill monsters on the move.
What can you say about your character’s relationship with Manfred?
Sarah Ramos: In Midnight, Texas, Manfred comes to town, and he and Creek meet immediately and kind of immediately hit it off in a very Taylor Swiftian, Charlaine Harris-y way. The “sparks fly” instantly. I love Taylor Swift. I could quote so many lyrics and apply it to their romance because it is a very like fairy-tale connection that they have. Which, also, coming from a Charlaine Harris world, is going to be grounded in some kind of weirdness. The fact that there’s no one in town who’s Creek’s age, so when Manfred comes and he’s not hideous, of course she’s going to be completely interested in him. So they have a lot of fun from the get-go, but you never really have time to get together. They’re always getting interrupted or horrible secrets are being let loose that they have to deal with. That’s where I’ll leave it. But you never know.
How do you think Creek changes over the course of the first season?
Sarah Ramos: This is actually something that I talked to Monica Breen about before we started shooting. We discussed that Creek’s journey over this season was really going to be about going from being a daughter and a sister and a girlfriend to being really learning how to be an individual and an adult outside of those relationships, so it’s kind of a feminist journey.
What does Creek think of the other Midnighters?
Sarah Ramos: Yeah, it is an interesting bunch. Creek is kind of in a unique position in town because she came here when she was so young and yet she also doesn’t have powers and so she grew up surrounded by these supernatural beings who she knows are different and knows are weird but also sees them as her family and knows that they will protect her and that that’s really a — I mean, what is more comforting than having like a vampire who would like kill for you?
Does she see them as extended family?
Sarah Ramos: Definitely. Yeah, especially — the town is so small that they all are family of sorts.
Does her family get along with the others?
Sarah Ramos: No. Her father’s more of a recluse I would say. I mean, he doesn’t have enemies in town but he kind of keeps to himself.
Do you connect with this genre?
Sarah Ramos: This is pretty alien from what I’ve personally been interested in in my life. My family — like my mom, dad and brother are all obsessed with supernatural and fantasy. I grew up with them reading these thick paperback books all the time that they would blow through. And I was like, “Mm, I think I’m going to read a Mary-Kate and Ashley book instead. Or like ‘Gossip Girl.’” So I never really gravitated toward it, but now that I am doing it, it’s so fun, and I can totally see the appeal.
Would you like to be one of the supernatural characters?
Sarah Ramos: Yeah, I think that would be cool to be a supernatural person. It depends what power you get. Well, maybe I would want to be a witch, you know. That’d be cool. I wouldn’t want to be like, wear contacts in my eyes or something like Lem does. But they’re all pretty cool. Jason has wings. I do get to relax a little bit more than everybody else does.
Is it helpful to have filmed all of these episodes together before it comes out and there’s been a chance for the fans to really dive in or critics to dive in and really comment on everything? Has that kind of isolation helped you guys?
Sarah Ramos: I think that it’s probably a blessing and a curse because we get to do all of this stuff untainted by public opinion but also being here, shooting something that nobody has seen, kind of makes you feel crazy. Or at least me. I’m just really curious to see it and see if what the fans think, you know? Are they all going to be like really mean or are they going to be really excited? But ultimately yeah, we’ll never get to have this first season where we don’t know what we’re exactly making and we’re feeling it out again, so that feels really special.
The vision is the vision, and it’s uncorrupted, and that’s pretty cool.
Sarah Ramos: That’s true.
Did you learn anything from playing this character?
Sarah Ramos: I did. I feel l can’t — I feel like I’m going to give a spoiler away. There were just like scenes that were a lot darker than anything I’ve ever shot before. I’ve done really emotional scenes before, like, oh you break up with your first boyfriend or you have a horrible fight with your parents or something. But I haven’t done scenes where there’s like demonic spirits roiling around and where you have a lot of action to do in the scene and it gets like so intense. I think I learned about how to handle myself in situations like that and how to protect myself from getting carried away with this insane world that you’re acting in and trying to make seem real. I don’t know if that seems really actor-y.
Have you read the novels at all?
Sarah Ramos: I listened to the first one on audiobook, and I didn’t really like the reader’s performance of my character. She was very timid, but that was kind of helpful because I was like, “Oh, this is so different from me. Whatever. I don’t have to worry about this.” But she was like, “Oh hi. I’m nervous. You’re cute.” And that’s really not how my character is at all in the show. And then in the book, my character leaves at the end of the first book, so I was like, “Whatever. I don’t need to read this.”
Is it nice to have the romantic storyline in the middle of all the madness?
Sarah Ramos: Yes, oh my gosh it’s so fun. Francois, who plays Manfred, during the pilot he was joking that everyone was on a supernatural show and I was like on “Dawson’s Creek,” which I was really into. It was really fun. But we get — it’s not separate from all the madness.
Midnight, Texas premieres on July 24th on NBC at 10/9c! Will you be watching? Let us know your thoughts below!