“I want to convey the story that we’re telling with the fight in terms of how that resonates with the characters and what they’re going through,” Balasco said. “The brutality of the fight, the style of the fight, the duration of the fight all really serve the story.
“A fight is an active, moving thing, so I write it and it gets the emotion and the point across and the basic shape of how it’s supposed to go dramatically, but then I give it to Joe and Joe starts working it out with his fighters and coming up with other ideas that fit within the narrative, but they may not be exactly the move or the punch here or there.”
The Joe he refers to is Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, aka the fight choreographer for the show.
“When we choreograph the fight, it’s like I’m a translator,” he said. “I translate the feelings and the ideas that Byron has into actual moves, but honestly, I’m just trying to translate a feeling. Fighting is universal. When we do our job right, you watch it and you’ll understand what just happened.”
For the finale fight we just saw, actors Matt Lauria and Jonathan Tucker didn’t have a lot of time to rehearse.
“We might have had an hour’s worth of practice together,” said Lauria. “On the day, we had to be hyper-engaged with one another and it made it a very rewarding shared experience for me. But it was cool how it mirrored the fact that we were more disconnected than ever and so were Jay and Ryan.”
“The show puts these characters through these remarkable and deeply uncomfortable crucibles,” said Tucker. “That’s where we get to find out who these people really are. I think that’s very similar in real life too — when it gets challenging, it gets revelatory.”
There were plenty of revelations about both Jay and Ryan in that fight.
We can’t wait to see what this brilliant team have in store for us next season!
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