Eagle Egilsson, winner of an American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Award, shared with TV Drama what appealed to him about ZDF Enterprises and Tuvalu Entertainment’s One Bad Apple and the visual tone he plans to bring to it.
The supernatural drama One Bad Apple enters on Mercy Emerson, a spoiled teenager whose father is none other than Satan himself. Across ten episodes, the series follows what happens when the Devil’s daughter is enrolled in a respectable English boarding school and proceeds to take over the local town and surrounding countryside. Renowned Icelandic director and cinematographer Egilsson—whose long list of credits includes Gotham for FOX, Hawaii Five-0 and The Blacklist for CBS and The Wire for HBO—is on board to direct, with Tuvalu’s Paul “PJ” Johnson as showrunner and executive producer.
TV DRAMA: How did you hear about One Bad Apple, and what appealed to you about signing on for the project?
EGILSSON: One Bad Apple came to me through Pétur Sigurrðsson (Game of Thrones line producer), an Icelandic friend of mine I’ve known since our late teens. He had been working with PJ Johnson for a number of months and they discussed reaching out to me. The initial appeal for me was something we see in everyday life in Lydia’s story: a kind-hearted regular girl next door working so very hard and honestly to better her life only to find out that people she looks up to and counts on don’t live by the same standards, but are willing to give up honesty and integrity for a price. One Bad Apple naturally makes you look at the other side of the coin and see another perspective.
TV DRAMA: What’s your overall vision for the series?
EGILSSON: I see One Bad Apple speaking to all walks of life—compelling storytelling that will naturally make you question your own motives and intentions as well as others. I see it visually very rich in tone and scope like a big movie. My intention is to take the viewer on a journey where they will experience what the characters are going through with them.
TV DRAMA: You have quite a long list of credits—a lot of which has been working with U.S. networks. What sets this project apart from what you’ve done in the past?
EGILSSON: The fact that it’s based in the U.K. naturally brings a different attitude. It gives us more flexibility on the creative.
TV DRAMA: What are the major differences in directing a series for the U.S. broadcast networks versus an international project like this?
EGILSSON: U.S. broadcast networks have somewhat stricter guidelines when it comes to what can and cannot be shown. European TV [has] a bit more freedom on some levels.
TV DRAMA: What do you hope that viewers take away from seeing One Bad Apple?
EGILSSON: There’s more than one way to peel an apple. One Bad Apple will really explore all the different ways evil and good push each other to their limits.