Sarah Wayne Callies talks about a “constant conversation” her character has on Council of Dads.
Sarah Wayne Callies joined castmates J. August Richards, Clive Standen, Michael O’Neill and Michele Weaver at SCAD aTVfest in Atlanta. Showrunners Tony Phelan and Joan Rater also participated in the Council of Dads panel at the festival.
Attendees screened the pilot episode of Council of Dads which was shot on location in Savannah, GA. Students of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Designed) cheered as landmarks of Savannah appeared on the big screen at the SCADshow theater. Many SCAD students also worked on the series.
We had an opportunity to chat with Sarah Wayne Callies prior to the screening. Sarah plays Robin Perry who loses her husband Scott to an aggressive form of cancer. She is left with her children and a “council of dads”, friends that Scott handpicked to help father the kids upon his passing.
Will Robin try to fill the deficits left behind when Scott is gone? Or, will she rely on the “council” to do some of the things Scott would normally do?
I think initially the idea of relying on the ‘dads’ is a very difficult proposition. Partly because it means admitting that she needs help and I don’t think most of us as working moms are good at saying that we need help. We’re very good at giving it to one another, lavishly. I think we’re very good at saying ‘Anything you need, you call me.’ It’s very hard to go ‘I’m making the call.’
I think there is a constant (I discovered as we were shooting this season) there’s a constant conversation with Scott. And it’s a silent one, but it’s ‘Oh, I blew that one, babe, sorry.’ Or, ‘I think I might have done okay. You’d be so proud of Theo right now’. There’s a constant conversation with him.
I think there’s also a constant feeling of falling short. You know, like Scotty would have done this better. He would have made sure that this didn’t happen. He would have not let it fall through the cracks. And I think it’s that fear of her own inadequacy that does eventually become the branch to the dads, which is ‘You can’t fill his shoes because he was the best. But you can be something else to them that they need that I can’t be.’ Kids need ‘dad’.
When to watch
It was wonderful to get these insights from Sarah Wayne Callies on her character. Co-creator Tony Phelan has shared that the story is very much about moving forward. Sarah’s comments give us some idea of how that might work for Robin Perry.
Council of Dads premieres March 24th on NBC at 10/9c following the season finale of This Is Us. The series will then resume on April 30th at its regular time slot 8/7c.
The 8th annual SCAD aTVfest included more than 20 shows represented by cast members and crew. The festival provides students a unique opportunity to learn from actors, directors and producers in the television industry. Several SCAD alumni were also on hand to discuss their jobs as actors, costume designers, writers and much more.
Learn more about SCAD at the college’s website.