The Journal Gazette
Saturday, February 08, 2020 1:00 am

'Interrogation' makes viewers the detective

George Dickie | Zap2it

Fans of true crime will want to check out a series with a unique storytelling device that premiered this week on CBS All Access.

In “Interrogation,” which dropped its entire 10-episode first season Thursday on CBS All Access, Kyle Gallner (“Outsiders”) stars as Eric Fisher, a Southern California teen wrongly arrested for his mother's brutal murder. Though his father Henry (David Strathairn, “Good Night, and Good Luck.”) maintains his troubled son isn't capable of such horror, lead detective David Russell (Peter Sarsgaard, “The Looming Tower”) thinks he's guilty as sin, which he makes clear in his interrogations. But luckily, the boy eventually finds an ally in Internal Affairs officer Ian Lynch (Vincent D'Onofrio, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”).

The storyline is based on the real-life case of Bruce Lisker, a Sherman Oaks, California, man who wound up serving 26 years in prison for the 1983 murder of his mother.

In a novel approach, the series from co-creators John Mankiewicz (“Bosch”) and Anders Weidemann (“30 Degrees in February”) makes the viewer something of a cold case detective, with each episode's story told from the perspective of a different character and the interrogations being taken from actual police transcripts. Thus, the installments can be viewed in any order.

For Gallner, who plays the drug-addicted Eric, the series represented something of an exercise in imagination, as he had to play a character as he ages from 17 into his 40s.

“I did my own work of creating the physicality and coming up with things,” the 33-year-old actor says, “like differences of how he would act as a 17-year-old versus like a 30-year-old and then versus a 40-year-old, so I would do my own work there. And that was the stuff that I had to do at home, working on different walks and ... different mannerisms.

“Like when he's 17, there's one scene where I have a sweatshirt on and I'm chewing on the rope that hangs down from the sweatshirt, which is a little juvenile thing. Or he's a little more jittery or has a little more movement to him when he's younger versus as he gets older and winds up in prison, he starts walking differently, he starts holding himself differently.”

Luckily, Gallner reports, he had a model for the younger Eric.

“I based a lot of younger Eric off of my little brother and my kind of mannerisms and things I remembered from him growing up,” he says. “I'm curious for him to see it to see if he thinks I did a good impression of him.”

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