Published: Saturday, 25 February 2023 12:41 | Written by Jamie Ruby
Yesterday, all eight episodes of The Consultant, the darkly comedic thriller based on the novel by Bentley Little, premiered on Prime Video. When their boss at the app-based gaming company CompWare is suddenly gone, Regis Patoff (Christopher Waltz) shows up having been hired to be the new consultant. Suddenly the employees are experiencing demands and challenges that makes them question everything and fear for their lives.
Brittany O’Grady, who stars as Elaine, thought the project was “a dream” and was excited about the prospect right away. “I wanted to do something that kind of reflected maybe the world that people in my life experienced, like my family, my husband,” she told SciFi Vision. “Everybody works in a job that they kind of deal with the emotions under the surface, but this is kind of like a topsy turvy version of it. I was…just really excited to work with such an incredible cast, knowing who [was] going to be a part of it. I mean, to be able to work with these incredible young actors…it just makes my job easy. Then, being able to work with a veteran like Christoph Waltz was awesome. Our creators were incredible, just everything.”
Star Nat Wolff, who plays O’Grady’s coworker, Craig, was interested right away by the tone. “I think, for me, I was reading the first script, the pilot, and it was like this eerie, beautiful landscape, and I was thinking, ‘Wow, that’s really mysterious, and I'm really intrigued, but I don't really know what the tone is,’ ” explained Wolff. “Then the twist ending happened at the end of the pilot, and I screamed in my car, but I was like, ‘I have to be part of this project immediately,’ and I just I chased it like a rabid dog.”
Aimee Carrero, who plays Wolff’s girlfriend, Patti, was also intrigued by the tone. “It was just so unusual… [and] quite creepy,” she told the site. “I just love to be a part of things that don't make a whole lot of sense to me, that I'm like, ‘How are they going to do this?’ [It’s] exciting when I don't know where anything is going. It feels like a real challenge, and I just I love that. I love that about this script.” For more from the three, watch the full interview and read the transcript below. The entire series is now available to stream on Prime Video
SCIFI VISION: What was it for each of you about the character or the script that made you think that you just had to do it?
BRITTANY O’GRADY:When I first read the pilot, I got really excited when I got the call from my agent. I wanted to do something that kind of reflected maybe the world that people in my life experienced, like my family, my husband. Everybody works in a job that they kind of deal with the emotions under the surface, but this is kind of like a topsy turvy version of it. I was really excited to play an adult and just really excited to work with such an incredible cast, knowing who [was] going to be a part of it. I mean, to be able to work with these incredible young actors…it just makes my job easy. Then, being able to work with a veteran like Christoph Waltz was awesome. Our creators were incredible, just everything; it was a dream.
NAT WOLFF:I think for me, I was reading the first script, the pilot, and it was like this eerie, beautiful landscape, and I was thinking, “Wow, that’s really mysterious, and I'm really intrigued, but I don't really know what the tone is.” And then the twist ending happened at the end of the pilot, and I screamed in my car, but I was like, “I have to be part of this project immediately,” and I just I chased it like a rabid dog.
AIMEE CARRERO:It was just so unusual, the tone was unusual, and…quite creepy. And I just love to be a part of things that don't make a whole lot of sense to me, that I'm like, “How are they going to do this?” [It’s] exciting when I don't know where anything is going. It feels like a real challenge, and I just I love that. I love that about this script.
SCIFI VISION:I was going to say Internet Movie Database just says “comedy,” and I started watching and was like, “This is not just a comedy, clearly.” [laughs]
AIMEE CARRERO:It’s hard to pin down; it’s hard to describe.
SCIFI VISION:Yeah, definitely. So, what parts of the characters did you have the most difficulty connecting with?
BRITTANY O’GRADY: Elaine was a bit elusive, to me. I think that I'm a very emotional person. I'm very expressive, and I think Elaine is in that form, but I feel like tapping into this go go go solutions based a little bit more - I would say that she's empowered, but it's almost like flipped upside down. Like, I feel like I'm a pretty empowered person in ways that come off very soft, and I feel like she's kind of flipped inside out. So, I think just keeping the intention and keeping the drive of Elaine was like exercise. It was a great challenge. I loved it, and I was really excited, another reason why I wanted to do this.
NAT WOLFF:I just would never know what it was like to smoke marijuana. It was a huge research period. You know, just trying different strands and really trying to figure out what it’s like to smoke weed. Pot, as the kids call it, or smoking dope, as my mom says. [laughs] No, I mean, I weirdly really related to the character in that even in the time of crisis, that there's a gallows humor. I think the hardest part of my role was that I was just subjected to so much trauma. It was like, how can I go even further down into a hole of despair than I already was on the episode previous, but the great thing about Tony [Basgallop]'s writing is that it's really buoyant. It gives you a lot; it lifts you up…It's so destabilizing, and it's also so funny, and it's also kind of heartbreaking. So, it had it does a lot of the work for you.
AIMEE CARRERO:Yeah, it really does. I think the hardest part for me was I was doing a play at the same time. I was doing Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and playing Honey who was like, the ultimate housewife.
NAT WOLFF:She was amazing as Honey.
AIMEE CARRERO:They both went to see it, and they were very lovely about it, but I think what was difficult was going from that just to being like an open -
NAT WOLFF: It was like a six hour play, and she was doing it every night.
AIMEE CARRERO:But truly three and a half hours, three intermissions, but it felt like going from like…recutting [a wound] every single night to then coming to this and having and playing someone who I think is pretty strong. I think Patti really knows who she is, or she thinks she does. Then, when faced with the reality of her relationship and who she wants to be and what she needs and who Craig really is, I think it's another kind of hurt, but it's not like, on the sleeve as much. It's more I think Patti's a little bit - she doesn't want to look so much, until she does.
SCIFI VISION:I did want to ask you all about your preparation - other than smoking pot maybe. [laughs] I mean, I don't know, maybe you have worked in an office [before]?
NAT WOLFF:Actually, I did enough smoking pot in high school that it actually freaked me out now, but I knew what it was like. [laughs]
SCIFI VISION:But, I mean, have you worked in an office before or anything like that, before you got into acting or anything?
NAT WOLFF:I shadowed my friend who's a coder. He was actually doing it in school at the time, just to kind of know what I was talking about. But I asked Tony, “What kind of coders are we?” and he said, “It's coders out of my imagination,” which is kind of actually genius. He wanted us to really be creative in our interpretations of [these] characters, because the show isn't really based in the real world. It tackles real themes, but it's heightened. It's in some kind of alternate universe.
SCIFI VISION: At lease we hope so. [laughs] You don’t want that kind of boss.
NAT WOLFF: I mean, one thing that happened to me when I was working on it was that my dreams were infiltrated by the show. I mean, every single night I dreamt of Patoff and Elaine. It was like there's something about the show that digs itself into your subconscious. So, I think, just kind of living through that was the best preparation.
SCIFI VISION:All right, what about you, Brittany?
BRITTANY O’GRADY:I think that it was consistently just trying to find the truth and the reason why she did what she did.
AIMEE CARRERO:Well, I think what sort of drew me, or the preparation, I guess, was more so a curiosity, in how like me as a person living in the world, like, how do people fall into very extreme ideologies? How do they fall into this behavior that maybe if you'd met him six months before, you'd be like, “Well, they could never fall prey to this QAnon shit,” whatever. Then, all of a sudden, here they are. I think it's sometimes even people who are very strong willed and strong minded, if you catch them right at the right time in their life or the wrong time in their life, you can do just about anything, especially if you're powerful enough or have enough influence or have enough persuasive energy. That was interesting to me. I wanted to know how someone as strong as Patti could go from having a path forged with concrete, to literally packing her bags and maybe having nowhere to go at the end. Like how does that happen to someone? So, that was interesting, to me.
SCIFI VISION: Is there anything that you guys learned about and maybe this is sort of connect that, but anything you guys learned about yourselves from working on this, that you realized after?
NAT WOLFF: I found it to be a really formative experience. I think, I mean, people in all different walks of life, but definitely in our business as actors, it's really hard to stay true to your moral compass and to not be a people pleaser. One of the things that I think Craig goes [through] on his journey is to be more is to mature and to be stronger, in his sense of self and his his sense of ethics. And I felt weirdly, like I came into my adulthood while making the show. Now I’m an adult with no childish qualities.
SCIFI VISION:[laughs]What about you guys? Is there anything you can think of that you've learned about yourself?
BRITTANY O’GRADY:Yeah, I think that I learned just a little bit about work ethic, I think, and keeping up and just, it was just very formative. It's kind of hard to put into words how I felt impacted and learned so much from this job, but I think you just learn something at every job, about every job, that you do and kind of are shaped by the character. It's almost like living in a different person.
AIMEE CARRERO:…I thought it was a very expanding sort of experience for me watching [and] getting to know Christoph and Nat and Brittany and learning something new from each and every one of them. I think, in particular with Brittany, there's a real sort of like stillness in her acting that is inspiring to me, and and I just really love that. With Nat, I think it was his commitment to the truth of the scene and putting the artistry first and not letting other things [distract him]. Like sometimes I’d come into work and be like, “I have to leave by five because I have to make it to the theater,” and just like taking a deep breath and knowing that the people around me are focused on the right thing, and that's hard. That's hard to do in this business, because there's so many other things going on. But they're both, and Christoph as well, very committed to the to the artistry of it, and that is very inspiring to me.