"There are some people who would reject him right away": Billy Crudup on Jack Billings' complexities in Hello Tomorrow! (Exclusive)
Hello Tomorrow! is a retrofuturistic tale of hope and deceit. At its helm is legendary actor Billy Crudup, who embodies the complex character of Jack Billings.
Despite portraying a snake-oil salesman selling fantasies of a life on the moon, it's impossible not to root for him and his band of traveling salesmen.
I spoke to Crudup ahead of the Hello Tomorrow! premiere, where he brushed off all plaudits and gave the writers their due. As the foremost salesman of the galaxy, he also sold the show to the SK POP audience. Those who've been wowed by this charming man may want to check out the show on Apple TV+.
Billy Crudup hopes that the complexities of Hello Tomorrow! protagonist Jack Billings will keep the audience intrigued and invested
When SK POP lauded him for creating a character that is equally repulsive and endearing, Crudup let us know that writers Amit Bhalla and Lucas Jansen deserve their moment in the sun:
"100% reliant on the writers. Amit and Lucas understand something very unique about the craft of creating character through drama, which is...make sure you toe that line. Make sure you show enough of humanity at the right time or enough of the vulnerability to not push the audience, most of the audience, away."
The star of Apple TV+'s The Morning Show also said there were those in the audience that would connect with Jack Billings. Others would be reviled.
"And the question is what portion of the audience can we keep? Because there are some people who would want to reject him right away. There are some people who identify with him right away. And there's nothing you can tell them that will tell you that Jack's a bad guy."
The Hello Tomorrow! star then took me back in time to 1979, when he watched The Great Santini with his parents. He used their difference in reaction to paint a picture of how the audience may take to Billings:
"And my dad would be one of them. I remember seeing this movie called The Great Santini. The great Santini with Robert Duvall. Great movie. But the guy is like a nasty dad. He's an alcoholic and belligerent. I can remember coming out of that and my dad was like - 'that's a great man'. And my mom was like 'that's the worst person ever'."
He elaborated on the beautiful duality of the Hello Tomorrow! protagonist:
"And there's a wonderful dynamic there where you can create a drama that has possibilities for everyone. And hopefully, we've toed the line enough to keep the world exciting for people that Jack's complexities are thrilling for everyone."
Yours truly had to interject and inform Mr. Crudup that while he heaped praise on the writers, they, in turn, said he was responsible for how well the series turned out. He retaliated with a guffaw:
"They are lying okay. (Laughs) They're a bunch of liars."
Why should the audience watch Hello Tomorrow!? Mr. Crudup's sales pitch is as follows:
"You have a madcap, hopeful, beautiful, totally invented American fable. It is created with ingenuity, with craftsmanship and with a game professional effort to entertain and inspire a vast audience globally."
Catch a brand new episode of the hit Apple TV+ series every Friday. Lose yourself in a charming, hopeful, enchanting, brilliant world.