‘NOS4A2’: What Changes Were Made for TV? Executive Producer and Ashleigh Cummings Answer

The AMC show, NOS4A2 tells the story of Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto), a man who feeds off the souls of children, then takes them to a place called Christmasland where they turn into ghoulish creatures. A young woman named Victoria “Vic” McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) discovers she has powers that leads her to Manx.

Ashleigh Cummigs as Vic in NOS4A2
Ashleigh Cummigs as Vic in NOS4A2 | IGN/AMC

The executive producer, Jami O’Brien, book author, Joe Hill, and stars Zachary Quinto and Ashleigh Cummings had a press conference to talk about the TV adaption on March 11 at SXSW. This is what they had to say about the changes made.

Changes were made so characters could interact

O’Brien talked about the changes that happen naturally when adapting a book to television.

“I think one of the challenges with any television show is what you want is for your characters to be in scenes together,” the executive producer said. “So one of our first kinds of departures from the book was to get all these guys closer together so they could actually interact including Maggie [Leigh, who played by Jahkara Smith.]”

The producer later said, “You need the characters to talk to each other so you want to try and get them in scenes together, and I think that for me as long as you stay honest to the characters of the story there’s a little bit of leeway in terms of where you put them, or how old they are when we meet them, or when they first kind of run into one another. That I think we still manage to honor the book even though we’ve changed circumstances.”

Author, Joe Hill talked about being fully supportive of the changes. “When I read Jami’s script for the first episode I thought it was one of the best scripts I’ve ever read,” he said. The writer went on to talk about the benefits of using a TV format.

“One thing about an adaptation is that there’s more room for the characters to breathe because even in a 700-page novel you kind of only dip in,” said Hill.

Vic has also been changed to get more of an arc

Ashleigh Cummings talked about the conversations they had about her character.

“It was interesting coming into the show,” Cummings said. “I mean 18-year-old Vic in the book is quite different to 18-year-old Vic that we meet in the show because we kind of need to give her a character arc in order for her to get to that place because we don’t get to see 6-year-old Vic and so on moving through that journey.”

The actress continued with, “I remember people kind of, [director] Kari [Skogland] especially, wanting me to bring more of myself to the character instead of engaging so much with the tomboy Vic that we know and love in the book. So I guess I started off more with myself and progressively through the season felt that I actually, Ashleigh, was changed through Vic’s evolution.”

The actress then explained how she changed. “It was really empowering to recognize that I could have empathy and hold people accountable and that was only through Vic’s journey that I learned that,” said Cummings.

Book fans can now expect the character of Vic having different characteristics. There will also be more mingling between characters than in the books, which could lead to some interesting things.

Read more: Will AMC’s ‘The Terror’ Return for Season 2?

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