David Simon and HBO have had a creatively lucrative partnership. From The Wire to The Deuce, the pairing has been responsible for some of the best shows to appear in television in the past few decades. Simon’s newest entry to the HBO library is The Plot Against America. The show is an alternate history of the United States. Told through the eyes of a Jewish family, the show sees Charles Lindbergh run for President on a seemingly xenophobic platform that seems to be turning the country fascist. AIPT had the chance to speak with Anthony Boyle who plays one of the lead characters in the show.
AIPT: How would you describe The Plot Against America?
Anthony: I think it’s a very interesting allegory of how dangerous right-wing populism can be. All these warning signs that’s happening in today’s politics. It’s sort of mirrored in the impeachment (hearings).
AIPT: What attracted you to the script?
Anthony: Well, to work with David Simon. I obviously love The Wire and all of his other stuff with Ed Burns and Nina Noble. I take the words that they have created and they’re just singular as pieces of art. I think they’re the great storytellers of our time. I just thought that it was incredible. And then, I read the first two episodes and completely fell in love with the character of Alvin, and just really determine a way that I haven’t related to a role before. It was everything. It was the full package. It’s like the Holy Trinity.
AIPT: Alvin, your character is very complex. How would you describe him?
Anthony: When you read the book or when you watch the show, he’s almost like the most truthful out of everyone. He’s almost accustomed to living to his morals and holding everyone up to his standard. He goes on such a journey.
AIPT: The Plot Against America, is very topical. Was it sometimes hard to separate what was happening from the set from what was happening in real life?
Anthony: I started just to focus on what Alvin was going through day to day in his life. I always think it helps to separate what’s going on with the zeitgeist of an issue and stuff, with me being a visitor here in America. I just focus on the piece itself and what is Alvin feeling day to day and what’s going on, and try not to let the outside world bleed into what you’re doing. I think they can begin to complicate on one another, and I’m not sure that helps me. It might help other people but, I don’t think it helps me.
AIPT: Kind of getting away from the show a little bit, you’ve done extensive work in the theater, you’ve acted in movies and now you’d done television. I’m going to kind of put you on the spot. Which do you prefer?
Anthony: I think it’s just, it’s an actors dream because you’re, in a sense, added a director and the performer all at once, all happening. I’ve got to judge, but when I’m in theater, I think the only time in my life when everyone is sharing a shared experience, receiving a story line and some of them, there’s no phones. It’s really, really close to me. I can get through. So, I think I’d have to say theater.
AIPT: Do you think there have been more alternate history stories about the American Civil War, or World War II because, I’m pretty sure those are the top two.
Anthony: Weren’t the Nazis trying to develop zombies? Is that a thing? I don’t know. But, I think there needs to be something that people are accepting of. I think probably more World War II alternative histories.