The Innocents is one of the more unusual Netflix original series. It’s a teen love story with shape shifters. Harry (Percelle Ascott) and June (Sorcha Groundsell) will be together at all costs, even when June discovers the power to become other people. Halvorson (Guy Pearce) is already knee deep in shape shifters before he even meets June.
Netflix had a panel with The Innocents cast for the Television Critics Association and We Live Entertainment was there. If you’re getting hooked on binging The Innocents and want to know more, here’s what Ascott, Groundsell and Pearce had to say about their characters.
Percelle Ascott: “It’s a case of can you ever love someone unconditionally and what are the lines that we kind of go through where we just can’t accept something anymore? A big thing I feel like with my character is sometimes you try to justify your character and ultimately, you make choices for the right or for the good of the intention and sometimes that isn’t always the case But I don’t think anyone is making a choice for, I don’t know, a bad agenda or to harm someone. I feel like we make choices under the pressures that we’re given.
“And in that, Harry goes on this journey of the complexities of love and I think that’s what makes the love of the show so grounded. We worked on how can we strip away elements that just doesn’t feel real? My relationships go up and down every single day. Sometimes we might not feel in love, but we have to ride past that and love that person. And I wish I had that fearlessness that Harry has and that courageous energy he has. So, yeah, I guess you’re gonna have to see more of the show and see the journey.”
Sorcha Groundsell: “I think it’s fair to say [shapeshifting] causes a little bit of trouble. I think the characteristics of the shapeshifting are the nature of it. It is difficult and stressful. It’s this medical condition that’s brought on by extreme emotional situations and it’s not controllable for her at all. So it’s very much something that is happening to her that her body is doing without her control, which is disturbing and frightening on the one hand but also, yes, to have a relationship when you don’t know when this traumatic thing might happen.
“But I think also that our characters at the beginning are so full of hope and excitement for what their new life is gonna be like together, sort of running off in the sunset together and then they’re very much derailed by this huge problem. And the complexity of it, too, but I don’t think it’s ever presented as happy teens runaway together or crazy sci-fi visual effects. It’s very much exploring the psychological consequences of this issue.”
Guy Pearce: “[Halvorson] a medical doctor who has had a history through the medical system in the U.K. and is probably somebody who sees himself as not necessarily an outsider, but somebody who really wants to sort of carve his own path as far as how he wants to develop his sort of medical path, I suppose. And so he’s ended up in this part of the world where he never really thought he would end up and has discovered through this partner that he has that she has this very rare and unusual condition, this sort of genetic malfunction which obviously means that she shifts. And so genuinely he wants to get to the bottom of this but at the same time I think his ego gets involved and there’s probably part of his ego at play that might dictate his desire to sort of make a name for himself because of this.
“So it’s genuine, but it is complex. And he places himself in a rather isolated part of the world so he doesn’t have to deal with the normal constraints of the medical community, I suppose. And I suppose he wants to sort of get to the bottom of this before too many other people jump on board. So he’s kind of mysterious in a way because he’s sort of his own little universe. And he’s finding these women who also have this condition and obviously, once he discovers that this young girl, Jun, who is the daughter of one of the other women that he has in this sort of compound for want of a better word, that she likely has this condition as well, he wants to bring her in. And genuinely he wants to be able to reunite her with her mother and vice versa. But at the same time, it’s all part of this enthusiasm that he has, I suppose, about you know perhaps this being some great discovery that he might be able to hang his hat on. So, yeah, I think he’s a good guy but he’s sort of gets a bit ahead of himself.”