Beverly Hills, Calif. — With so many television shows on so many platforms, the only way to grab an audience’s attention, particularly for a streaming service like Amazon, is originality, said Hand of God star Ron Perlman.
For me the notion of just having a gig that reflects a bunch of stuff I’ve already visited upon doesn’t have nearly as much resonance as coming into something that is pure,” Perlman said Monday during the show’s TCA summer press tour panel at the Beverly Hilton. “The fact that Amazon was able to meet that head on and celebrate the originality of that, with their own set of uncompromising values and resources ... this is the most exciting period I’ve ever seen in television.”
In Hand of God, Perlman stars as Judge Pernell Harris, who, in his attempt to find the man who raped his daughter-in-law, starts relying on visions and messages he believes are being sent by God.
“When you take an assignment like this, 90% of it was trust,” Perlman said. “The man who wrote that pilot, that was pretty much all I needed to know.”
That man is Burn Notice veteran Ben Watkins, who said he was fascinated by the idea of two things being true at one. He enjoyed hearing people’s differing responses after watching the pilot, “some thinking it was a show talking about a supernatural event, others thinking it was an insane person.”
When the show went to series, Watkins met with the entire cast individually and brought them into the writers’ room. He said he wanted to get to know them and find out what their soft spots were, to possibly integrate that into their characters. “The goal was to write characters that could have their own show,” he said.
Costar Dana Delany credited Amazon, especially for its hand-off approach towards female characters.
“They just give you freedom,” Delany said. “For women, there’s always that thing on network television of the likability factor. That’s something that Amazon never mentioned.”
All 10 episodes of Hand of God premiere on Amazon Sept. 4.