Published: Monday, 30 January 2023 15:20 | Written by Jamie Ruby
The new thrilling series The Watchful Eye premieres tonight on Freeform. The series follows Elena Santos (Mariel Molino) as she skillfully puts herself in position to be hired as a live-in nanny for a rich widower (Warren Christie) living at The Greybourne, a landmark apartment complex in Manhattan. Elena has ulterior motives for wanting the position, but it turns out, she’s not the only one with secrets, and those hidden within the walls of the mysterious building could be deadly.
The building is an important part of the series, a character in itself. “The first thing I was drawn to was the building.” showrunner Emily Fox told SciFi Vision during a recent press day, “The idea of writing about a world that's set inside of what appears to be a castle but that turns out to be a bit of a prison in a way, or a maze of lies, and this gorgeous sort of like confection of archways and marble and everything, but underneath it is this scary basement, just felt like a great allegory for the American dream, where it's like, ‘Oh, it looks really beautiful, but underneath is all this toil and pain and secrets and mysteries and and things like that.’ I love world building, and I love building a puzzle and a mystery and leaving trails of pebbles…and I've never really done anything like this before. So, I was excited by the challenge of that.”
Star Christie connected with his character right away. “When you read something, you click with a character,” he told the site. “You’re like, ‘Okay, I'd like to think I could bring something to this.’ You like the story, but at the end of the day, to be able to take a step back as a viewer, and be like, ‘Oh, man, there's just there're so many avenues to go with this thing. There's so many places to go’…There was so much potential here and so many twists and turns. I think everybody's going to tune in and see it through eyes that are mistrusting…You're going to watch someone, but you're always going to have a little feeling of like, ‘I don't know about them.’ I think that'll be exciting, especially with the twists and turns we have that come along; [it] makes for great storytelling, and I think that's what we just all kind of hoped for.”
Star Amy Acker, who plays Christie’s sister-in-law, Tory Ayres, really got into those twists and turns. “I just the I had so many questions, and I wanted to be able to be part of finding out the answers before anyone else without having to see it on TV,” said the actress. “Just the whole world that was created in the pilot, and these characters and this building, it was like I wanted to live there in real life. There're just so many juicy things, and so many different ways that it could go. So, it was exciting to kind of be on the ground floor and get to watch the Greybourne be built and all the stuff that came along with that.”
During the interview, Christie talked about some of the difficulties in connecting with his character, while Acker talked a bit about the fantastic costumes her character gets to wear and more. Watch the full interview below, and be sure to tune into the series, which premieres with a double episode tonight on Freeform, available to stream on Hulu starting tomorrow.