'Raised by Wolves' Stars Travis Fimmel & Niamh Algar on Bringing Ridley Scott's Vision to Life (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Coco Van Oppens
Ask Travel Fimmel to describeRaised by Wolves in one word, and he'll say "Ridley." His co-star, Niamh Algar, would say "epic," but both agree it was Oscar winner Ridley Scott who drew them to the series.
The HBO Max drama is the first TV show that Scott -- known for sci-fi hits like 1979's Alien, 1982's Blade Runner and 2015's The Martian -- has directed in decades. He also serves as executive producer on the Aaron Guzikowski-created show, and was very much "running the ship," Fimmel tells ET at the Raised by Wolves press day.
"It was Ridley Scott's name on it, so anyone, crew, cast -- would have jumped at the idea of working with him," Algar says.
The show centers on two androids, Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), who are tasked with raising human children on a mysterious new planet after the Earth was destroyed by a great war. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences, the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task.
The details of Fimmel and Algar's characters, Marcus and Sue respectively, have been kept more under wraps, but the actors promise they're on just as much of a "unique journey."
"Our characters have been together for a long time in a world that's just full of war and destruction and we've relied on each other. And then my character convinces her to go on another journey and infiltrate a religious group that we absolutely despise and hate," Fimmel explains. Through that journey, the characters end up adopting a child. That, and other aspects, "takes its toll on our relationship," the Vikings alum shares.
"It was really intriguing to explore characters that seem to fight and butt heads throughout a series," Algar adds. "They have a very toxic relationship, and I think it was something that I've never seen portrayed on screen. I think it was just trying to find the truth with these two characters, the relatability. They're brand new parents, and just what questions that would arise within a relationship and how that would test two people."
If that description of the storyline still seems full of mystery, at least it doesn't sound too similar to Westworld -- which some fans have compared the series to based on its trailer. Yes, both shows have robots, but "thats' the only comparison you can really make," Fimmel declares. "I've never watched the other show properly. And we've got Ridley Scott," he cracks. "Boom."
"There were comparisons to Ex Machina too," Algar notes, insisting Raised by Wolves is "unlike anything I've seen before." "There's a lot of human components within the androids. They display a lot more human emotions than almost the humans do in this show. And their empathy and emotion that Amanda and Abu kind of articulate through these androids is quite extraordinary."
The cast filmed in South Africa, and while achieving the show's futuristic look presumably happened via green screen, Fimmel and Algar say most of it was filmed outside or on sets.
"We shot in South Africa which is so unique and has such a beautiful landscape, and then you add on top of that Ridley's vision, and we had a lot of real sets, and we were really blessed in that way. It's a lot better than talking to a tennis ball," Fimmel jokes. "We had real life sets, and the set designers and builders did an amazing job. So, we can't say that it was all imagination."
"A lot of the sets were very practical in the sense that we were all way up in the mountains when we were meant to be in the mountains. We were in the desert, walking through the desert. So, it's quite easy to act when you're put in those situations," Algar chimes in.
The Irish actress says seeing the show come to life "surpassed" all expectations. "I think that the world that the writers and directors have created is unlike anything that I've seen on TV before," she boasts.
"I'm just very proud of it," Fimmel says.
The first three episodes of Raised by Wolves debut Thursday on HBO Max.