We Are Who We Are is the best type of film experience, says the HBO limited series’ star Jack Dylan Grazer: voyeuristic. “[The] ignorance of any cameras anywhere or any equipment. It’s just spying on lives. You [can] capture it realistically. It’s that type of approach which allowed Oscar-nominated director Luca Guadagnino to document real human interactions and authentic expressions of love.
In that sense, Guadagnino said during the show’s panel at the virtual PaleyFest Fall TV Previews event, he hopes the audience can see themselves in the characters conducting their lives when the eight-part series premieres September 14 on HBO and HBO Max.
Thecoming-of-age story, from HBO and Sky Atlantic, centers on two American teenagers who, along with their military and civilian parents, are living on an American military base in Italy.
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Guadagnino said he used the duality of the two nations as a setting where many identities can come together to coexist. “I believe there is this idea of a fractured society and a society that is layered. Maybe because I’m Italian I’m overstepping here, [but] I find in America a very strong enveloping force that unites Americans in a stronger way than other places,” he said..
The panel released Friday included Guadagnino, Grazer and newcomer Jordan Kristine Seamón. The series also stars Chloë Sevigny, who could not attend due to her newborn child.
Seamón remarked that though her first acting job was filled with nerves, Guadagnino allowed her to break free from script and fill out the role of Caitlyn Poythress as she saw fit.
“I was very particular sometimes and I wanted to stick to the script and make Luca happy. But, slowly and surely, I got more comfortable and Luca was very open and allowed me to open myself up with trying to figure out who Caitlyn is. He was being very lenient and it made it feel more authentic. It doesn’t feel like a script and feels like you’re watching real lives happening,” said Seamón.
We Are Who We Are is executive produced by Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment and Mario Gianani for Wildside, with Small Forward, alongside Guadagnino, Elena Recchia, Nick Hall, Sean Conway and Francesco Melzi d’Eril. Paolo Giordano and Francesca Manieri co-wrote the series alongside Guadagnino.
Videos of all PaleyFest panels, including this one, are available here.