'Salem' Interview: Shane West and Creators on the Dark, Scary Witch Tale
'Salem' Interview: Shane West and Creators on the Dark, Scary Witch Tale
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
WGN America's first drama, Salem, shocked over 2.3 million people with its dark, scary, and sexy premiere. The frightening tale tells the story as if the witches of Salem were real instead of wrongly accused and killed.

At last weekend's Wondercon, Executive Producers Brannon Braga and Adam Smith along with star Shane West spoke with reporters about the dark and scary witch drama. Check out the video interviews and highlights.


Shane West interview

Highlights from interview:

  • "This is a really rad show."
  • It has the scares, glimpses of nudity, everything helps further the story. It's not to just shock you.
  • John stays in town because he has a passion for the town that his father created. "American pride, I guess the true American pride of the time, that keeps him there."
  • John Alden, Mary Sibley and Cotton Mather are the first born of those who created the town.
  • Mary Sibley is John's only love. He wants to find out what's going on with Mary and why she married George Sibley.
  • Mary's pregnancy with John's baby story will "always be a major side note."
  • Major issue now is that Mary's a witch and he doesn't know it.  
  • Mary's humanity will come out throughout the season because of John. 
  • John is the most heroic of the show, but he did some very wrong things to get out of war and out of being a prisoner of war.
  • All the characters are flawed. 
  • John will "beat the crap" out of Cotton Mather over killing his friend.
  • Cotton's not a bad guy, he's just more flawed than most. 
  • John and Cotton have the same goal to protect the town by finding the "real" witches . They work together like a  "cop comedy."
  • John and Cotton are such opposites but are forced to work together. They are the only ones with the power.

Executive Producers Adam Simon and Brannon Braga

Highlights from interview:

  • The shows not dark for dark's sake, but it takes place in a dark time.
  • "We want to put you in the mindset of being there. It was a fearful place to be and it was a dark place to be."
  • The network didn't put any limits on them. Shane West wondered whether the script would be shot as written.  The network has pushed them to go further dramatically.
  • They know they are doing well when the censor gets nervous on the phone. You can't show nipples, but it's on her thigh....
  • The show takes place in a world where everyone believes in witches. 
  • In genre shows, it's difficult to not draw from other genre shows. They escaped that by going back into history. 
  • They looked at what people actually thought was happening back in Salem.
  • "It's weirder than anything I've seen in any horror movie what these people imagined what was going on." A lot of what's on the show is from the actually transcripts. 
  • Cotton is not on a good path. He's going downhill. Things will happen that will literally drive him insane.
Salem airs at Sundays at 10 pm ET on WGN America.

(Image courtesy of WGN America / Video: Carla Day)

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