Interview with Martin Gero, creator of “Blindspot” on NBC by Suzanne 7/21/20
It was great to speak with Martin because I just love this show, and he’s a very nice guy who answered my questions well. This week is the series finale, which is too bad. We only had a few minutes to chat, but I got quite a few questions in, nonetheless. I interviewed him 5 years ago as well.
Here is the audio version of it and here’s the transcript. Enjoy!
Suzanne: Hi, how are you?
Martin: I’m doing great.
Suzanne: Good, good. Okay, they tell me I have fifteen minutes. So, I will get right on to the questions.
Martin: All right, let’s do it.
Suzanne: All right. So, do you think that fans will be happy with the last episode?
Martin: Yes, I mean, I hope they will be. You know, we’ve been working on this last episode for a little over a year now. And it was really important for us for it to be a, you know, a cathartic experience and a kind of celebration of the show as we close it all down.
Suzanne: And I don’t know if you can tell me this or not, but will there be any cliffhangers or unresolved issues?
Martin: Ah, great question. Um, no, I don’t think so. It feels pretty resolute.
Suzanne: Okay, good. Now congratulations, by the way, on a hundred episodes.
Martin: Thank you. It’s overwhelming, and it’s truly because of our fans. You know, if we did not have this incredible rabid fan base that demanded the final season, we wouldn’t be here. So, like we understand who our bosses are, and we know who we’re working for, and hopefully they’ve enjoyed the lessons.
Suzanne: Is that something that you ever envisioned when the show started, making a hundred episodes?
Martin: Sure, you envision it, you know, you hope.
Martin: You know, every time you start one of these things, you hope it will go forever, but I truly, I’m truly overwhelmed that we were able to get it to here. It was a very difficult show to make and, you know, went through a lot of evolutions and went through a lot of different time slots, and the fact that the fans always found it, is something that is like still completely overwhelming to this day.
Suzanne: So, what was difficult about it to make?
Martin: Well, it’s just a huge show. I mean, like it’s a grueling show, you know, a lot of people don’t realize what it takes. This is a year round gig for most people. It takes about ten months to shoot these shows, you know; we shot in sixteen different countries. You know, like, just the scope of it having to do, you know, these big action set pieces are just very complicated. So, it’s just a Sisyphean undertaking, you know, hundreds and hundreds of people working on on this, you know, round the clock, so it’s just a, you know, it’s a grind, but I have twenty-two episodes a year. It’s really hard.
Suzanne: So, what is the hardest part for you about having the show come to an end?
Martin: I think, you know, one of the great things about the show was the collection of extraordinary artists and people that we had put together, you know, on the daily about, you know, two hundred fifty, two hundred people were working on the show, and we had incredibly high retention for all five years. So, we really just got to know everybody. It was a small community and truly one of the best crews I’ve ever worked with. And so, you know, it’s kind of heartbreaking that this like very curated and eclectic group of like, incredible people are now all gonna scatter into the wind to go to other projects, but I’ll miss seeing my friends every day.
Suzanne: Okay, and the characters changed a little bit here and there. Which character surprised you the most as far as one that you didn’t plan on becoming a major character that would last for a while?
Martin: Well, I definitely think Rich Dotcom was like you know, never meant to be a series regular and never meant to be the – and returned to be the heart of the show in the final season. You know? I think, you know, that was just we thought like, what a fun bad guy for one episode, and then I think Ennis Esmer did such an incredible job with him, and David McWhirter, who directed that episode. It really brought so much fun and life to the character, that we were like, oh, man, you know, we should do this again. And then you know, you’re like, well, maybe we’ll do this a couple times a year. And then you have the insane bottom (?), like, wait, isn’t this one of the best parts of the show? Should this guy be a lead? And trying to figure out how to make that transition to, you know, deranged killer to everybody’s best friend. So, that was an unexpected and really fun arc to try to organically pull off.
Suzanne: Right, from what I’ve seen, I think he and Patterson are everybody’s favorite characters, for sure.
Martin: I think, yeah, I mean, they’re definitely my favorite characters. I don’t think there’s any – they’re just so much fun.
Martin: Look, although a lot of people think, you know, I have the – I match, you know, my physical attractiveness to of course, Kurt Weller, and Jaime Alexander. You know, I’m most like Rich Dotcom and Patterson. Those are the ones that are closest to me [unintelligible].
Suzanne: So, what else do you have coming up now?
Martin: Well, a couple of things. One, Christina Kim, who was an executive producer on the show, has created a new take, a reboot on “Kung Fu,” now executive producing with the Berlanti team. And so, that’ll be on The CW next year. We’re really, really excited…
Suzanne: Oh, great.
Martin: …about that. Ramping up to try to figure out how to shoot now. And then Brendan Gall and I, who was also an executive producer on the show, have a new half hour comedy coming to NBC in the fall that’s a socially distance comedy. It’s about a group of friends that are trying to stay connected and process everything that’s going on during the pandemic.
Suzanne: Oh, is that called “Connecting?” I think I saw about that.
Martin: That’s right, yeah.
Suzanne: Okay, good. You’ll make my brother very happy. He loved “Kung Fu” so much. He’ll be happy to hear that it’s coming back.
Martin: Oh, great. Yeah, it’s really, really cool. You know, the pilot, or part of the pilot, was directed by Hannelle Cooper, who – Culpepper. Sorry, Hanelle Culpepper, who did the pilot for “Picard.” And it’s like, it’s just a really cool reinvention of the series that it like, feels very exciting and prescient and great.
Suzanne: Oh, great.
Christina: And Suzanne, we just have like about two, three minutes left so you know.
Suzanne: Okay, I actually posted on all the “Blindspot” Facebook groups to see if anybody had questions, but I’m not gonna have time for many of them, it sounds like, but a lot of people wanted to know if there was any possibility that there would be another season whether on this network or another one or a spin-off.
Martin: There’s definitely no possibility for another season; this was our intended plan. When we pitched them season five, we asked for it to be the final season. So, you know, it’s not like the show got canceled or anything. It’s like we asked for the show to shut down, and that may confuse some people, but for us, you know, this is always the story that I wanted to have a beginning middle and an end. And this felt like the right amount of episodes for the creative team. So, you know, everything good must come to an end, and so this will be the last season of “Blindspot.” And then as far as the spin off, you know, who knows? I certainly would be open to some ideas. You know, there are some dangling some like soft pitches for spin-offs in the finale. And you know, never say never.
Suzanne: Okay, well thank you very much. I really appreciate you taking the time here.
Martin: Absolutely. I super appreciate talking to you.
Suzanne: All right, thank you.
Christina: Thanks, Suzanne
Martin: Bye bye.
Suzanne: Bye bye.
Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com/
“BLINDSPOT” “IUNNE ENNUI” ORIGINAL TV-14
07/23/2020 (09:00PM – 10:00PM) (Thursday) : Blindspot’s 100th and final episode. Turn off your mind relax and float down stream…it is not dying…it is not dying.
Executive Producer, “Blindspot”
Creator Martin Gero serves as an executive producer on the NBC drama “Blindspot.”
Gero created the critically acclaimed series “The L.A. Complex,” for which he also directed a majority of episodes. Previously, Gero helped run all three seasons of the HBO series “Bored to Death,” which starred Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis.
Gero started out working on “Stargate Atlantis,” eventually running the show as well as directing several episodes. On the movie side, he wrote and directed the cult classic “YPF” and is currently working on the “Bored to Death” feature film.
Gero resides in Los Angeles.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda