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Amazon HUNTERS Q&A w/ Al Pacino, Logan Lerman, Jerrika Hinton & Series Creator David Weil + Overview

Maj Canton - February 21, 2020






On Friday, February 21, 2020 Amazon Prime Video premieres HUNTERS. This ten-part series is a riveting and allegorical tale that transports viewers to 1977 New York and introduces an unlikely band of characters who seek vengeance on an emerging group of Nazis attempting to rise to power in the United States. The 'Hunters,' as they're known, led by Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino) have discovered that hundreds of high-ranking Nazi officials are living among us and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the U.S. The eclectic team of 'Hunters' sets out on a bloody quest to bring the Nazis to justice and thwart their new genocidal plans. New to the group is teen-ager Jonah Heidelbaum' (Logan Lerman) who gets immersed into this underground world after his grandmother is murdered and his investigations to avenge her lead him to Meyer Offerman whom he learns was an integral part of her past as a Holocaust survivor. Pacino’s performance is not to be missed, as is the series – it’s an intense and wild ride.



HUNTERS Cast/Characters
Josh Radnor as Faded B-movie star and master of disguise Lonny Flash
Kate Mulvany as former MI6 agent Sister Harriet
Tiffany Boone as kick-ass Roxy Jones
 Louis Ozawa Changchien as solider Joe Torrance
 Carol Kane & Saul Rubinek as cantankerous married tech experts
Jerrika Hinton as FBI agent Millie Malone
Greg Austin as nasty Nazi Tarvis Leich
Dylan Baker as nasty Nazi Biff Simpson
Lena Olin as head nasty Nazi the Colonel




Before screening the episodes, series creator David Weil sent this touching letter to TV journalists:


This story was inspired by the greatest superhero I've ever known. She was my grandmother, my Safta, Sara Weil.

To me, my grandmother was the ultimate badass of wartime Poland. She was a teenager when war broke out in Europe. And though she was later imprisoned in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, though she was starved and beaten, she fought and suffered and ultimately survived – the only one of her immediate family to do so.

When I was little, my grandmother, ever the hero, realized that her story was a weapon, a seed, and — with a sense of duty — she needed to tell it. And so, when I young, she started to her story. About the truths of the camps, the horrors of her experience, the human capacity for evil, but most importantly, as she would always stress, the ultimate goodness of humanity, the light of a righteous few, and the resilience of the human spirit. At the time, her stories felt like the stuff of comic books and superheroes. Grand battles between good and evil. And that became the lens through which I saw the world. A world of heroes and villains, colored by injustice and darkness, but a world where light and hope were possible.

As I got older I struggled with questions of legacy, birthright and responsibility. HUNTERS is my quest to answer those questions. It’s a love letter to my grandmother. It's an attempt to fulfill my birthright -- to put on the vigilante cape and to shed light on hidden crimes and secrets. To seek the justice she never received.

And though my specific inspiration for and journey to this story begins with my grandmother… the series itself — is a story that touches all of us. HUNTERS is a story that belongs to all of us-- a story about a band of others who fight for the right to exist. It's an exploration of the delicacy between savagery and civility, between good and evil. And it’s an attempt to try and understand when our pursuit justice goes too far. If we hunt monsters do we risk becoming the very monsters we’ve been hunting? Must we put our souls at stake? I needed to tell this story, about a team of heroes, all marginalized by the world, fighting for their place in it, fighting to save it, fighting for that little bit of light my grandmother used to tell me about. For this is a time when we need heroes more than ever. Heroes like my grandmother.



On Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour, Amazon presented HUNTERS press panel that included series stars Al Pacino, Logan Lerman, Jerrika Hinton and series creator/EP David Weil.


David Weil at Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour

Question: Was this created partially in response to the "A very fine people” remark about Charlottesville?

David Weil: My grandmother was a Holocaust survivor. She would tell me stories about her time during the war. Hearing those stories they felt like the stuff of comic books and superheroes. For me this was a love letter to my grandmother. It was a quest to don that vigilante cape in the face of rising anti-Semitism in the world, racism, and xenophobia. It was a desire to shed light on hidden crimes and hidden truths. And it was also wish fulfillment for a young Jewish kid growing up on Long Island who wanted to see superheroes who looked like him on screen, who engaged with the perpetration against the Jewish people in a way that felt unique and special, in a way that we reclaimed power. There were notable Nazi hunters, Simon Wiesenthal, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, Mossad agents who went down to South America. But this piece revolves around a covert operation in which hundreds, if not thousands, of Nazi war criminals were brought into the United States. And if you watch the series you'll see how that true conspiracy is unraveled.

Al Pacino at Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour

Question: HUNTERS is a ten-episode TV series but does it feel like a film to you?

Al Pacino: Oh, yeah. Yeah, it does. It’s just a different environment for one thing. Every week or every two to three weeks, you get a new director. These people are so good in this. It’s mainly Logan’s story but also Millie’s story and I only got to see that drawn out over the series when I watched it later. That’s the thing about doing a ten-hour film as a series. So it’s a different adjustment. But it’s surprisingly easy because it’s such a strong story.


Question: Given what we’re seeing in the real world with anti-Semitic attacks in New York, is there any message, any sort of resonance between that and the story that you’re telling in this show?

David Weil: This show is an allegorical tale in many ways and it’s to draw the parallels between the ‘30s and ‘40s in Europe, ‘70s in New York, and what’s going on today. We're facing an epidemic of anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, the likes of which we haven't seen in decades. And for this show about a group of vigilantes who try and reclaim the power, the question that the show poses is if you hunt monsters, do you risk becoming a monster yourself? And I think that's a very timely idea and question that we should all be asking ourselves. For this to never happen again, it’s important to identify that they were human beings and so that we don’t try and portray them as caricatures. That was really important in the writing and the portrayal of these roles so that we can begin to understand why did they do these horrible things? And in a sense, how can we prevent that from ever happening again?

Jerrika Hinton as Millie Malone

Question: What drew you to your characters?

Jerrika Hinton: What drew me to Millie, I understood so much about her right off the bat. Her sense of right and wrong, her wanting the world to make sense, wanting her effect on the world to be meaningful and also just her searching for how to unite these disparate pieces of herself. These are all elements that were very clear in David’s pilot and seduced me. I think that in many ways she’s ahead of her time and waiting for the world to catch up and also waiting for the world to show her reflections of herself.

Al Pacino: There's a kind of an originality in this show and it’s somewhat eccentric. All of a sudden you'll see it from certain angles. It isn’t just that dead dry thing. There are a lot of elements in it that catch you off guard, can't believe it really. And that's part of the interest. It holds your interest because you never know when a joke is going to come. And sometimes there's a joke. And that was what really appealed to me when I read it that there was this element of things are not what they seem kind of thing.

Logan Lerman (left) and Al Pacino (right) in HUNTERS.

Question: Logan, what’s it like working with Al Pacino?

Logan Lerman: Al’s one of my favorite actors and going to meet him for the first time I realized that he’s an extremely humble, generous, kind, loving individual who works really hard, and we have similar work ethic, and we really loved getting together and going through the material and fully realizing this world and our characters as a team. We talked about Al’s collaboration with Sidney Lumet and I love “Dog Day” so much. I love that film so much. And I think “Panic at Needle Park” was a film that came to mind when originally exploring material before even knowing that I was working with you.

Al Pacino: We liked the atmosphere that we were in. Everyone was creating this ease in which we went into things and talked about the scenes because you don’t have the luxury of rehearsal, as in Lumet films. We would find time on the weekend or something to get together. David wrote so beautifully these scenes and we would talk about them a lot. David and I talked a lot about the past of my character. Creating the past of the character that wasn't a real character. It’s a little easier to do it when with Jimmy Hoffa, you have that information and here I called on David to help me with it and he did. If somebody had an issue or a problem with something or didn’t understand something or just wanted to go over it, we would all do it together. Dave and Nikki were always there, always there on set with the writers and they would help us and we’d work together. These people are so good in this. It was a wonderful experience. And I can’t say that about all the things I’ve done.


If you want to know nothing about the episodes at all, skip this section. Provided by Amazon Prime, this episode guide includes general episode descriptions and specific plot details.

"In the Belly of the Whale": Jonah Heidelbaum is an ordinary comic-book-loving, pot-dealing, teenage Brooklynite, until his grandmother - a Holocaust survivor - is murdered one night by an unknown assailant. At her shiva, he meets a mysterious millionaire named Meyer Offerman, who seems to know more about the murder than he lets on. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Millie Morris is tasked with investigating the mysterious death of an elderly NASA scientist down in Florida

"The Mourner's Kaddish": Jonah seeks to prove his worth to The Hunters, who are skeptical of Meyer’s decision to welcome a teenager into their ranks. They narrow in on a Nazi war criminal whose love of music inspired a horrific act during the Holocaust. Back in Florida, the inconsistencies of Gretel Fischer’s death give Millie a new lead. Meanwhile, Nazis continue sowing the seeds of their ominous plan.

"While Visions of Safta Danced in his Head": Using clues they discovered at Holstedder’s, The Hunters piece together the existence of an impending Nazi attack just weeks away. Grappling with his decision to distance himself from The Hunt, Jonah is haunted by visions of his late grandmother from her days in the concentration camps. Travis narrows in on Millie as she follows the trail of bodies left behind in The Hunters’ wake.

"The Pious Thieves": When The Hunters discover a Swiss banker with purported Nazi ties, they execute a plan to rob his heavily protected bank and uncover a damning secret. Biff flexes his political influence to attract the attention of The Colonel. Meanwhile, Millie tracks down a reporter named Danny Rohr who may hold new answers to her questions about Nazis in America.

"At Night, All Birds are Black": Meyer shares stories with Jonah about his torture at the hands of The Wolf. New leads cause The Hunters to split up on their search for Nazi blood. Half of the group pays a visit to a rumored Nazi propagandist and political spin doctor, while the others head south to Huntsville, Alabama, where a raucous Fourth of July celebration is in full swing. Meanwhile, Millie’s obsession with her investigation strains her relationship with Maria.

"(Ruth 1:16)": Hark! A wedding song rang out to unite The Hunters in a time of discord. “The Hunt is not only about death,” Meyer cried unto Jonah, “It is about life!” But their mirth was tempered by an untimely strike and suspicions of a Judas among them. Seeking the origins of Evil, Millie offered up a sacrifice.

"Shalom Motherf***er": But lo! The date foretold by evil prophecy came upon them. The Hunters were tormented by wicked ghosts of times past as the day waned and Darkness prepared to strike. Millie forsaketh the means of justice to hasten the path toward judgment.

"The Jewish Question": And there was a thick darkness in all the land. As The Hunters wallowed in the valley of the shadow of death, they turned to the stars to point them on their path. Still, darkness trespassed upon the heart of Jonah, which did tempt him toward sin; and the shepherd Meyer petitioned Millie to join their flock.

"The Great Ole Nazi Cookout of '77": As a terrible plague loomed over the land and did portend to devour its people, The Hunters waged a great battle to prevent it. Upon the threshold of righteousness, Millie endured a loathsome betrayal and sought to deliver Jonah from vengeance and corruption.

"Eilu v' Eilu": Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.