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And the actor reveals the exciting part of directing his first episode of the series
[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Wednesday's episode of A Million Little Things. Read at your own risk!]
Things are getting ominous on A Million Little Things as we get closer and closer to the season finale. David Giuntoli, who plays Eddie on the ABC drama, stepped behind the camera for Wednesday's episode, "Slipping," which had big developments for several cast members.
First off, Rome (Romany Malco) encouraged his student Maddox to come out as transgender at school, and then immediately panicked about what reaction Maddox might get from his conservative classmates. Gen-Z being the more accepting generation, Maddox didn't actually have to worry about his peers, but the end of the episode revealed that he did not have the same such luck at home, where we expect Rome to get more involved as the storyline develops.
Elsewhere, Sophie (Lizzy Greene) started a support group for other survivors of Peter's (Andrew Leeds) sexual abuse. A surprising number of girls showed up, confirming that Sophie and Layla weren't the only girls who Peter targeted. Things turned even more tense when Anna (Erin Kapluk) arrived and apologized for failing to protect the girls from her husband. Everyone seemed to accept her apology except for one person, a girl named Tye (Liana Liberato), who we last saw stalking Anna and Eddie after following them home after the support group.
What does Tye intend for Anna and how is the Maddox story going to unfold? TV Guide caught up with Giuntoli to talk about directing his first episode of A Million Little Things and what we can expect in the final episodes of the season.
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What about this season made you ready to step behind the camera?
David Giuntoli: I have been aggressively asking every season. But with good reason, showrunners are not just going to give you an episode because an actor wants to do something for a second. You have to prove yourself, so I kept shadowing and my perseverance and pouting ultimately won the day.
What was the most challenging aspect of directing this episode?
Giuntoli: There were some pretty hot topics that we were dealing with. We try to shine a light on certain underrepresented stories, and I wanted to do them justice. I didn't want to get them wrong. I didn't want to get in the way of it. Two storylines that I really wanted to get right would be Sophie and her meeting with the group of survivors of Peter's abuse and also Rome and Maddox. The actor's name is Ash Spencer, he's incredible. It's a story about a young high school student deciding to transition from female to male, and I haven't dealt with that as a person and not much in my life. I wanted to get it right and when the actors started opening their mouths I was like, "Oh, good. I just need to get out of the way." They are phenomenal, so props to them.
I want to start with Sophie's support group because that seemed to kick off a new storyline that is going to have major repercussions for the rest of the season. What was it like setting that up?
Giuntoli: Just because I was directing doesn't mean they wanted to tell me exactly what was going to happen. I was a little bit in the dark as to what was going on with the character Tye, that's her name. I knew we were to be left with a feeling of this girl burning daggers into the back of Anna's head, and I think we accomplished that. I can't tell you much about what happens next, but big things. That's all I've got for you.
What were the essential elements of the Maddox story that you wanted to highlight as the director?
Giuntoli: It's an important piece of the narrative that's going to be in front of millions of eyes and it's an important story to tell. I didn't want to say much until I saw the first couple of takes. That's kind of a smart thing as a director because you just let the actors go home with the material, and god knows how long they're working on it, and know what they are doing. The second Rome and Ash open their mouths, it was like "Oh, this is wonderful. It's just wonderful and I don't have to do anything." I consider myself lucky and appreciative of these actors.
Okay, plot time. I was really rooting for Eddie and Anna in the beginning but now I feel unsure. Is this a couple we should be hoping works things out?
Giuntoli: I can't say much because I'll get reprimanded. I think Eddie has good intentions. They both have really good intentions. You should root for them, but you are a sophisticated television viewer and you know that things are built to be destroyed. Maybe that's what happens. Maybe, I will say.
Isn't it crazy that Eddie is the mature, adult one in this situation?
Giuntoli: People, it's called the hero's arc. He had the longest way to go. He was a certified dipsh-- in the first couple of episodes, in my view. Eddie needed to grow. As the guy who performs him, it is really, really pleasant and satisfying to see him get on the other side of a big hump. Clearly, he has learned from his mistakes and you are watching him in action, finally, be a grown-up with Katherine and their relationship with Anna. It's nice to see people being grown-ups every now and again.
What can you tease about the rest of the season?
Giuntoli: Oh God! There are things that are landmines and the thing about a landmine is that you don't see it. I'll just leave you with that.
A Million Little Things continues Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC, with episodes available to stream the next day on Hulu.