We get to see the lives of these characters play out on the screen, but what about what we don't see? First Person Perspective lets us go behind the role, and find out more about the heroes of our story. Today, co-creator Taylor Williams clues us into what's really going on with Dylan.
Dylan's a weird one. And not in any pejorative, “sweetie get away from the strange man” kind of way. More like a “ok... I wouldn't have thought of it that way...” kind of weird.
I guess this is an obtuse way of getting to the fact that Dylan's anti-social, by choice. Over the course of the season, Dylan's only forced to interact with multiple people once, and it's for an informal reading of his mammoth new play. He's content being around people he knows well, rather than getting to know other people. And the way Dylan thinks and approaches the world is wildly jarring compared to the other characters around him, often driven by stubborn intellectualism rather than reading situations and responding intuitively.
I'd say that's the scariest part of playing Dylan is finding that misanthropic streak in myself. Don't get me wrong, I prefer silence over pretty much every social interaction, but there's an extra dash of disregard when it comes to Dylan. He's fiercely passionate about his views, he's a heavy drinker, and he's flippant to a fault. That all adds up to a weird cocktail of narcissism and obliviousness, spiked with a perturbing knowledge of quantum mechanics (it's a past time of his... please, whatever you do, do not ask him about it).
But that's also the exciting part. It's great to work with that part of myself, amplified to the nth degree. It feels very personal, but also very distant. An alternate reality version of myself, where some part of my brain decided, “You know what? Other people are the worst. Let's avoid them.”
When crafting a backstory in order to play Dylan, the biggest challenge was making sure it wasn't one note. Not just “I dislike people” over and over again. I wanted to make sure that Dylan made a choice in that regard, that he wasn't born a curmudgeon. And by having Dylan make the choice to focus his energies on relationships he already has rather than meeting new people, a world of physicality and voice opened up. He's a fully formed being, standing on his own instead of a character judged in relation to his social tics.