November 8th we will be introduced to a new amazing series, “See” set in a dystopian future where the human race has lost the sense of sight and society has had to find new ways to interact, build, hunt and to survive. All of that is challenged when a set of twins are born with sight.
Don’t get me started on the amazing cast that includes Jason Momoa and Alfie Woodard, as well as Bree Klauser who I had the pleasure of talking with about the series, her role, and more.
Klauser plays the role of Matal, a member of Momoa’s tribe and an integral member of his council. Besides being a talented actress, Klauser has overcome her lack of sight to follow her dreams of being an actress, which impresses the hell out of me. Her determination to represent her community in the best possible way is is beyond honorable.
Horror Fuel: “The trailer for Apple TV’s “See” is incredible. Will you tell us about it and your character?”
Bree Klauser: ” I play Matal. See is about a post-apocalyptic future, set 600 years where a virus has wiped out most of humanity and left everyone who has survived without sight. The world has broken into the tribes such as the Alkenny, led by Baba Voss, played by Jason Momoa, who we follow. He takes in this woman who is birthing a child into this world who the bad guys, the witchfinders, think will be born with sight. Sight has become so alien to this world that it has become heresy. These witchfinders that we meet, the baddies in the show, are chasing after Baba and his village because of the potential of these children who can see. The adventure ensues from there.
Matal is part of this tribe that is part of Baba Voss’ team of tactical advisors. She is a warrior, but she’s not a frontline grunt. She has a special ability, she’s called a prestige, I liken it to being an empath. She has the extrasensory ability to sense and feel emotions with the slightest change in the winds. You hear this a lot in her lines. When Jason’s Baba is in the field she will be one of the few of his council who he checks in with to survey the land regularly.”
Horror Fuel: “It sounds amazing.
I know that you are legally blind. What was it like on set and how does your vision impairment affect your role?
Bree Klauser: “It was amazing. Seeing and being part of a production that’s not only so big, but also being led by Francis Lawrence and the writing of Steven Knight, but being with these A-list actors like Jason Momoa and Alfie Woodard, and Sylvia Hoeks. What is really amazing is that I had the chance as one of the three reoccurring low-vision actors, me, Marilee Talkington, and Jessica Harper, who you may remember from 1970’s Suspiria and the new Suspiria.
Being one of the three reoccurring cast members who are low vision or blind, I felt like I had the opportunity to not only accurately represent my community, but to depict them in a way that’s never been seen before. So often in the media, blind people are seen as victims or helpless or stubborn, and always dependent. The characters are anything but. There are no, or very few sighted people who are not blind in this world of See to depend on. These people are survivalists and they thrive in this post-apocalyptic naturalistic landscape by their primal instincts in this extended tribal community that’s like an extended family if you think about it. I think that attributes to their survival in this world. Unlike many of the blind characters we see in the media, these characters are very three dimensional. Their disability is not the center of their story and their world. Even though the name is See, it’s really about relationships and their journey. This tribe goes on an adventure and they fight and they love and they seek power and they all have this well-roundedness that you don’t see in other stories about blind, let alone disabled, characters.
Not only do I feel like I was able to well represent my community and the sighted actors found our presence very helpful. They were always asking us questions about the blind experience and we would answer it to the best our ability because each person has a different blind experience, they are not the same. I’m considered visually impaired and legally blind because my visual acuity is just worse than 2200 which means that I can’t drive a car. But someone with the same visual acuity may have no center vision while I have center vision. I can’t see color but another visually impaired actor might be able to see some color. So, it’s an individualized experience. To have a few of us on set that have had different experiences was informative and helpful.”
Horror Fuel: “I understand how much vision affects life. I’m legally blind without my contacts and I have no center vision in my left eye. It’s amazing how our brains and bodies adapt. I’m glad that you, the cast and the series will represent the community properly.
If you will tell our readers a story from the set?”
Bree Klauser: “I remember there was one day when we were shooting a scene where we were running for our lives on a hillside, but again, we’re blind so we had to use precautions and we were using these sticks, and we were struggling to keep up the pace, and I’m not going to lie, if these people can’t see at all and they are exploring unexplored territory, they would still proceed with caution. The director took that into account and adjusted the scene on my input. It meant a lot to me that they would always listen. So often in Hollywood and the entertainment industry, people aren’t open-minded. With See, these people are really open-minded and generous and it was an open-minded set. Working on that set was just a dream. It was amazing to spend months in British Columbia in the wilderness with not just the series regulars, but the ensemble cast. We were all like a big family. There wasn’t like a division of stars and the co-stars or even the background. We had an episode one, two and three wrap party and everyone was there, not just the main cast, we had the crew, the background. Jason was there celebrating with all of us. It really was a shining moment to celebrate the work that we put in together and it’s a real testament to the bonding we had done on that set. A lot of people say that you have to go through hardships to bond. Filming this wasn’t easy, but we had fun. We spent a lot of time in the mud and the cold and the rain and rivers. It was really fun to watch the trailer and see some of the moments of us walking through a river and go, “I remember that day.” I don’t think that many people have experiences like that in film and television.
Essentially, I’m a supporting character. As one, usually you would only spend a few days on set, I was out there for months. My character may not be the largest in the story, my character along with all the other supporting characters were crucial to world-building. You see us there as part of the tribe, as part of that family, as part of that world-building. It was just an incredible experience, I can’t reiterate that enough.
One of my favorite days on set was one of the first scenes you see. We were preparing to go into battle. First, Baba checks in with us and all his advisors. We did a New Zealand style haka. That haka was incredible. I had never done anything like that before. We were blowing Aztec Death Whistles. You hear this screech, it really sounds like death. I was blowing this thing so hard my jaw was hurting by the end of the day. We were doing the haka and going through the motions and these unearthly sounds are coming out you and you really tap into that primal, connected like root chakra with all the bodies around you. It was a performance and a communal experience like I have never experienced before. I would say it was my favorite day on set.”
Horror Fuel: “A lot of people are already comparing See to Game of Thrones. What would you say to them?”
Bree Klause: “Game of Thrones has changed the game for series and television. We are lucky to have people who were involved with that by having Jason Momoa. I would say it is a different kind of story. It’s got your great, gory scenes and some racy types of scenes as well with romance, sex, and all that good stuff you get out of Game of Thrones, but I feel like this shows more of the best of humanity rather than the worst of humanity. Game of Thrones is endlessly entertaining because of that but often you’re kind of left with a kind of sour taste in your mouth, especially at the end of Game of Thrones. I feel like this show is really, behind all the fighting and trudging through the mud, and all the adventures, it is a show about relationships and trust, tribes, and family. And I feel like there is a little bit in the show for people who love Game of Thrones and for people who didn’t like Game of Thrones like my boyfriend is not a fan of Game of Thrones. When I used to watch it before bed he would say it got me too riled up. He saw the trailer with me, he felt like he could take all the action because there was this immersive quality about See. It is a world that has never been experienced before and it’s not based off of any property like Game of Thrones is based on books. This is straight from the mind of Knight, so there is nothing to compare it to. I think it also allows the viewer to interpret See with an individual experience. I hope people find it as enjoyable and exciting and touching as I have. We had such a great time making it.
If the series is anything like its trailer it is going to be absolutely amazing. Luckily, we don’t have to wait long to see it. “See” premieres on November 8th on Apple TV’s streaming service.