Pubdate: Mon, 03 Jul 2017
Source: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Copyright: 2017 The Daily Herald Company
Author: Jay Bobbin


Malcolm Mays, Damson Idris and Isaiah John star in FX's "Snowfall,"
set against the birth of the crack cocaine business in South Central
Los Angeles.

If a series called "Snowfall" is premiering in July, chances are good
it's about a different kind of "snow."

Indeed, that's the case with the FX drama that begins Wednesday, July
5. With moviemaker John Singleton ("Boyz N The Hood") among its
creators and executive producers, it deals with the drug trade in
mid-1980s Los Angeles -- specifically, the then-nascent crack cocaine
business -- as mirrored by several characters destined to cross paths:
ambitious street hustler Franklin Saint (Damson Idris);
criminal-connected wrestler Gustavo "El Oso" Zapata (Sergio
Peris-Mencheta); rogue CIA agent Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson); and
Lucia Villanueva (Emily Rios), a Mexican crime kingpin's daughter.

"We're not doing a documentary," stresses Dave Andron, also a
"Snowfall" creator and executive producer. "We're not basing this on a
true story, but, at the same time, we are operating in three very
distinct worlds in this show. We're in South Central, we're in the CIA
world, and we're in East Los Angeles as well.

"It was really important to us (with) each of those worlds to be
really thorough about all of it, obviously starting with South
Central, which is where most of our show takes place. This came from
John (Singleton), so we couldn't ask for a better resource than that
for the authenticity of that world."

Los Angeles native Singleton says the city, "for me, is full of
villages. It's like all these disparate villages all around the whole
city, and when you go from one world to another, you can't help but
open your eyes and see a difference. The way the people were
interacting was different; the way you were interacting with people
was different, and it forms a character. And I think that was kind of
a risk, in particular for this character that Damson plays."

Though his "Snowfall" alter ego is very American, actor Idris isn't.
"I'm from Peckham, London," he reports, adding that "a lot of the
issues which happened in South Central definitely happened in my
community ... maybe not in the '80s, but particularly now, so I could
relate to that side of it. I think the first time I watched 'Boyz N
The Hood,' I must have been about maybe 10 or 11, and I was fascinated
with (that) world.

"It was literally my first eye-opener to America," Idris notes. "I
always thought it was, like, Brad Pitt; I thought it was just
Hollywood. And then I saw this whole different side to it, which kind
of linked me to where I was from, and then I was instantly linked to

Singleton acknowledges "Snowfall" may seem like a period piece to some
viewers, but he reasons, "Then there are other people who are coming
in sight unseen, who weren't even born then, who will watch it with
totally new and clean eyes -- and it won't be a nostalgic thing for
them. It will be a reflection of their contemporary lives, and that's
what we really hope."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt