American Gothic’s Unique Take On The Whodunnit Mystery

June 22, 2016

Everyone’s family harbors secrets, but some secrets are more scandalous than others. CBS’ latest drama, American Gothic, introduces viewers to the Hawthorne family—and before viewers can even take a breath, the Hawthorne’s deepest, darkest secrets begin to unspool. The 13 episode miniseries is sure to transfix audiences with a penchant for the mysterious and the dangerous. We caught up with Antony Starr who plays estranged eldest son, Garrett Hawthorne, to chat about the show and how his character plays into all the drama. Don’t miss the premiere of American Gothic tonight at 10/9c on CBS (Ch. 390).

Your reappearance at the family home happens about halfway through episode one—what can you tell us about Garrett and his reasons for reuniting with his fractured family?

Garret left the family fourteen years ago because he believed he had to. But the time was right to come back. He has a mission he wants to accomplish, and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. He’s dark and strange, and makes life very difficult for the other family members.

The first episode really sets the stage for all the drama that will unfold throughout the season. It really seems like every character is hiding secrets that make up the overarching web of lies that is the Hawthorne family—are there distinct lines between good and evil within the family, and where does Garret fit in that framework?

The Hawthornes are no ordinary family. They have secrets, many of them being more sinister than most families. Garret believes he holds the key to curing the family of their sickness, their aversion to truth. He believes he is the savior of the family, and can help them. But not everyone wants the same things as him. Naturally there will be conflict. There will be blood.

This is your second venture into American television. How have your experiences working on American Gothic differed from working on Banshee?

It’s very different. Obviously the shows themselves are total opposites, that goes without saying really. The material is controlled in a different way. There are different imperatives that adjust the process of creating the show. It’s been fun to see how things work in a different environment. Both shows were lucky to have great people working on them, which is nice.

Garrett is incredibly mysterious and I think viewers will be suspicious of him from the get go. Do you think his isolationist lifestyle has made him an easy pariah for viewers to hone in on?

Garret feels like the natural choice for suspect number one. Anyone that keeps their cards close to their chest as he does will arouse suspicion. But nothing is ever simple, and this case is no exception. He’s a complicated man with a complicated mission.

Is there something more sinister lurking under the surface?

There is always more under the surface. Garret has a sinister feel to him, but beneath the surface is so much more. That’s what we explore throughout the season. There’s so much more than just being a suspicious character.

If you were a viewer, what would be the hook that would get you addicted to American Gothic? There are so many elements to draw viewers in—from the family drama, to the mystery itself!

I think anyone that has a family knows about how f–ked up they are, and this one is more f–ked up than most! The thriller element is one thing, but for me the most interesting parts of the show are in the family dynamics. That’s what people will relate to I think.


Don’t miss the premiere of American Gothic tonight at 10/9c on CBS (Ch. 390).

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