In ABC’s Resurrection, a thought-provoking drama series that premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday, Frances Fisher portrays a woman who receives a miraculous gift. Her son, who died 32 years ago, is suddenly back among the living — and he’s still 8 years old. Many people in Arcadia, Mo., seek an explanation, but Lucille Langston (Fisher’s character) simply accepts it and savors the reunion.
Fisher, who co-starred in such Oscar-winning films as Unforgiven and Titanic, undergoes a glorious transformation in that first episode. Lucille goes from sullen to joyful in the blink of an eye — and it’s as if the images onscreen morph from black-and-white to Technicolor. It’s that powerful a moment. We chatted with Fisher last week about the show.
1What was it about the premise that most intrigued you?
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We have all lost people in our lives and wished we could have one more chance with them. But what would happen if someone comes back to life and [is] there in flesh and blood? How would I react? What would I say to them? Would everything be the same for us or would our relationship be different somehow? These are big questions that I really wanted to investigate.
2What do you hope viewers get out of the show?
I know what my reaction was when I read the script. I became emotionally invested in the characters. I think if people watch, it can touch deeply in the heart and reach places that may be still grieving, places that are in need of healing. So I don’t see this show as just entertainment. It goes deeper than that.
3Will there be any answers as to how this is happening?
Not right away. It gets even gnarlier as the episodes go on. It’s based on Jason Mott’s novel, The Returned. The book starts out with this as a worldwide phenomena already. Our show starts with just the one family and slowly builds it out. More people start coming back. And the more people who come back, the more complex it becomes.
4You once played Laura Innes’ mother on ER, even though she’s just five years younger than you. Now, at 61, you’ve got an 8-year-old TV son. Isn’t it funny how things even out?
Well, age is all about perspective. I love how they describe the parents in the script. It says the boy comes home to ‘elderly parents.’ Kurtwood Smith and I would laugh and say, ‘We’re elderly? Well, yeah, I guess.’ But it really depends on who’s looking at you.
5How did you decide to become an actress?
I was working as a secretary in Orange, Texas. That’s where I went to junior high and high school. And somebody dared me to audition for a community theater production at the Orange Players. The first play that I did was a Tennessee Williams play called Summer and Smoke. When the whistle blew at 4 o’clock, I would dash down to the theater and spend the evening doing that beautiful play and hearing the words of Tennessee Williams. It opened my mind to other worlds. I thought, ‘This feels right to me.’
— David Martindale, Special to the Star-Telegram