“No one has ever asked me to do something like this,” said Tony winner Kelli O’Hara of her new digital/TV series The Accidental Wolf. “This is the best opportunity I’ve ever gotten.”
Knowing her illustrious career, the robust roles, her recent return to opera, that is no small statement. During her conversation with Tony-nominated actor and Accidental Wolf director Arian Moayed at AOL Build, O’Hara explains: “I’m playing things that a woman my age and of my time would do.” Not to mention it’s her first project in the noir/thriller genre.
Moayed, who wrote, directed, and produced the series, sets up the show: “One night Kelli, whose character is Katie Bonner, comes home from some fancy event. You can tell they have lots of wealth and riches, and she gets a phone call in the middle of the night as she’s putting down her child and the phone call is from somebody in Africa, and it’s a wrong number. But, in this phone call he’s begging for his life—he and his pregnant wife are being bombed and shot at and running for his life somewhere in Africa. So Kelli is stuck there thinking, ‘What’s happening?’ That’s the first five minutes of the show, and then we launch into this conspiracy theory. On top of all that, her family around her is wanting to put her into the box she’s supposed to be in.”
The first five chapters of the story have been released on TheAccidentalWolf.com, with the remaining four to be released on a date still to be announced.
The cast also includes theatre names such as Judith Ivey, Denis O’Hare, Reed Birney, John Ellison Conlee, Brandon J. Dirden, Jayne Houdyshell, Laurie Metcalf, Sarah Steele, Frank Wood, and more. “It’s all amazing theatre actors. We joke around about it, but there’s 36 Tony nominations in this cast and crew,” said Moayed, who relishes being able to showcase people who “really don’t get to shine in this way.” What’s more, it allowed him to do long takes and long scenes.
Moayed, who earned a Tony nomination for his performance in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and starred in the Tony-winning The Humans, collaborated with O’Hara on the development of Accidental Wolf while she played on Broadway in The King and I.
During the discussion, an audience member asked O’Hara about her return to that work in London. “You come to a point where you want to re-experience what gives you growth,” she said.
Watch the video above for the full discussion.