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James Marsden on working in a pandemic-driven show amid Covid

Hollywood star James Marsden says shooting a project about a fictional pandemic amid the ongoing Covid outbreak was eerie.

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Hollywood star James Marsden says shooting a project about a fictional pandemic amid the ongoing Covid outbreak was eerie.

Marsden shot parts of his latest show “The Stand”, which is based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel of the same name, over the past months.

Asked how it feels to be part of a story that was written some 40 years back and yet bears resemblance to the current situation, Marsden said, “Surreal is the adjective I was looking for. It’s true.

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“He wrote the book in 1978, and it is like he had a crystal ball. He has always been curious about the choices that humans make, and what gets under their skin and the psychology of, good versus evil and what scares us. I don’t think he anticipated that we would be making the series right in the middle of what we are going through. It is unfortunate timing,” he added.

The star continued, “You know, we were in Vancouver, shooting for the show in September (in 2019), and we started hearing about Covid in December, and the January (2020). It wasn’t until the end of February that we started seeing masks popping up on set and hand sanitizers, and everything. It was an eerie feeling.”

In the series, Marsden plays the role of ordinary guy Stu Redman, who gets caught in the midst of an apocalyptic pandemic.

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“These are two completely different things, but it is impossible to ignore the parallels,” he said, comparing the show with the pandemic in real life.

Also starring Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgard and Amber Heard, “The Stand” offers a peek into Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in a struggle between good and evil.

“I never felt that the real core of the story is about a pandemic. The pandemic is the catalyst for the bigger story to be told… It has much more to do with the instincts of a man and what we do in the face of this sort of apocalyptic crisis, and what it reveals about ourselves,” said Marsden, who is known for roles in films like “The Notebook”, “X-Men”, “Superman Returns”, “Enchanted”, “27 Dresses” and “Death at a Funeral”.

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The show streams in India on Voot Select.  –ians/sug/vnc

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