Limetown Creators Breakdown Jessica Biel’s Lia Haddock As A “Classic Antihero”

Credit: Facebook Watch

Limetown, the Facebook Watch series based on the popular podcast of the same name, dropped its season finale on today (Wednesday, Nov 13). Series creators Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie talked with The Hollywood Reporter about Lia Haddock (Jessica Biel) and adapting their podcast for the screen.

The series, in both the podcast and the show, follows journalist Haddock as she tries to piece together the mystery of Limetown. The scientific research community’s 300 residents disappeared overnight after days barricaded inside the town, following a mysterious phone call.

Regarding Lia, who is obsessed with the town’s disappearance due to her Uncle Emil’s (Stanley Tucci) own connections to Limetown, Akers and Bronkie wanted to keep her mystery and darkness. The reveal of Lia’s connection to the story she’s chasing unfolds over the 10-episode first season.

Bronke said that they weren’t considered on Lia’s “likability”, but rather creating a character never seen before.

“If this were Walter White or this were Don Draper, the audience wouldn’t think twice about whether they’re still rooting for the character.”

In the series, Lia learns that Limetown was created to develop the tech for telepathy. When half of the residents of Limetown learned that they weren’t receiving the tech, they rioted. City manager Lenore Dougal (Janet Kidder) tells Lia that she was mole within Limetown charged with stealing the technology. She helped kill and dispose of residents without the tech. She also informed Lia that her uncle Emil had natural telepathy, which inspired the experiment. The series ends with Lia being kidnapped off to parts unknown.

On adapting the story from a podcast to television, Bronkie and Akers said that they needed to figure out what parts were non-negotiable in changing.

Akers said, “We felt like, when creating Lia’s story, we had the most room to be creative and bring a whole new story to this adaptation. We had basic things that we needed her to accomplish, but then everything else was sort of a blank slate. So it felt like we could have more freedom in what we’re trying to do and say. That to me is where sort of the major differences happen.”

As for going in a darker direction with Lia’s character, they said that they wanted to give her a clear dichotomy between on-air and off-air Lia.

Bronkie said, ” You know what’s funny about that? Lia, to me, is sort of a classic antihero, which doesn’t necessarily, in my mind, make her malicious. I don’t actually think having an ego isn’t necessarily malicious. I think that there are moments when it can get the best of you and it’s certainly happened to Lia. She ventures into territory that I would personally never go into, but there are also moments when she uses it as her centrifuge. That’s what keeps her going in a way that I admire. It’s all about that balance.”

As for what they hoped that the audience will take away from the story, Akers said that it came down to advancement for the sake of advancement and how it can be a double-edged sword.

“As a world, society and as a civilization, we keep progressing and we keep advancing and we keep making new and better things that undoubtedly has made our lives infinitely better and more interesting. But I think something that we aspire to is to have people always consider that there are the social aspects and the human aspects of their choices. These advances are not advancing just for advancement’s sake, but really taking into consideration whether this makes our lives better. Does it make the human experience better and easier or does it make it worse? Does it endanger us? I think that that conversation is always valuable to have and especially in our world that is rapidly changing all the time. Consider the human cost and the toll that it can take on real people when we do these things.”

Limetown has its full season available to view on Facebook Watch.

Bec Heim