8 Things To Know About Last Light, According to Stars Matthew Fox and Joanne Froggatt

Fox, Froggatt, their costar Amber Rose Revah, and director Dennie Gordon discuss traveling the world, portraying a new pandemic, and mixing action with family obligation.

by | September 8, 2022 | Comments


There’s a global pandemic and an environmental crisis sending cities into chaos. No, this is not the 6 o’clock news. It’s the new Peacock drama Last Light, based on the book by Alex Scarrow.

Andy (Matthew Fox) and Elena Yeats (Joanne Froggatt) get separated one night when Andy is called in to work. Since Andy is a petrochemist, that overtime sees him embroiled in a pandemic and energy crisis where the world’s oil becomes useless. Elena is left alone to get their blind son, Sam (Taylor Fay), to safety while visiting Paris for a life-changing eye surgery. Meanwhile, Andy is stuck in the Middle East with Mika (Amber Rose Revah) who is working for British intelligence.

Fox, Froggatt, Revah, and director Dennie Gordon spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about their new show. Here are eight things we learned from the cast and director of Last Light.


Matthew Fox in Last Light

(Photo by MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)

Fox retired in 2014 after wrapping production on Bone Tomahawk and said the film allowed him to complete his bucket list by starring in a Western. He admitted, however, that he started considering a comeback by 2018.

“For the first three or four years of that, I really did think that I was completely done,” Fox said. “Then I started thinking maybe not. I kind of want to try executive producing, and I would like to be more involved in other aspects of the story rather than just the role that I’m portraying. I’d love the opportunity to be involved in post and music, just giving input and thoughts and trying to have some bigger effect on the story. That was a part of it for sure.”


LAST LIGHT stars Matthew Fox

(Photo by MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)

Fox was an executive producer on Last Light, and Gordon confirmed the depth of his behind-the-scenes involvement, especially during post-production.

“All through post-production, I was sending him cuts,” Gordon said. “We would talk really until the episodes were done. We were still collaborating and still talking. That was just great to have him. He was always available to me, and it was just great to have his perspective because you can get a little blindsided, especially when you’re cutting and you’re in the room for so many hours. He was always a fresh set of eyes.”


Joanne Froggatt in LAST LIGHT

(Photo by MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)

Last Light puts Elena and Sam through an adventure, too, and Froggatt noted this is not her first action-heroine role, even if you know her best as Downton Abbey’s Anna Bates.

“I did a series of Robin Hood before Downton, and I was one of Robin Hood’s gang,” Froggatt said. “I was the girl in the gang. It wasn’t historically correct. That was pretty action-packed. That was a lot of fight scenes. I was the fighty girl in the gang, which was quite fun. That definitely drew me to the project.”

Last Light has Froggatt bashing in windows and climbing ladders.

“I love doing action stuff at work,” Froggatt said. “I thrive on it. It’s just so much fun to do and makes for a really exciting watch as well. I loved it. I would’ve done more if they’d let me.”

Meanwhile, Fox admits he could have prepared better for the physical demands of his role.

“I did have several moments throughout the shooting of this where I thought that I should’ve spent more time in preparation, getting more flexible and maybe spending some more time working out and becoming more prepared for what I was going to be asked to do,” Fox said. “On the page when you look at action material, oftentimes it just undersells how hard it’s going to be to actually do it.”


Amber Rose Revah and Matthew Fox in Last Light

(Photo by MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)

One of those intense fight scenes comes in episode 3. Revah said she and Fox were also fighting Covid when they were supposed to film that fight.

“We’d obviously been kind of practicing choreography continuously as we were filming,” Revah said. “In whichever breaks, I would go to the training studio and with the team we would practice it. Because we created it together, it was nice. It wasn’t just this is what will happen. There was a lot of discussion over it too. Then the day before we were going to film it, Matthew and I both got Covid. It meant that it was supposed to be maybe four or five days left of our Prague stint of our filming. It ended up that I was then in isolation for another two weeks.”

By the time they were well enough to film the fight and could reschedule it, it was a month later and Prague had fallen into winter, so they were also fighting the bitter cold.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Prague but — whoo-hoo — very cold,” Revah said. “Doing a lot of kicking, punching and slamming in winter is always fun, but it was brilliant. It was great and I think it looks how we wanted it too.”


Amber Rose Revah in Last Light

(Photo by MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)

Last Light is essentially a modern-day thriller and there is a global pandemic in it, but it is not Covid-19. In that, at least, it is still escapism.

“We made the decision that the audiences, by the time Last Light came out, were going to be weary of seeing people in masks,” Gordon said. “There was nothing there we needed to revisit except that we know Covid showed us how fast things can fall apart. So we always thought we were just slightly in the future. We were all people who had survived that and knew what that was. That added to the tension. That added to the thriller aspect of it, knowing how bad things got. We didn’t need to have people in masks and we didn’t need to have people on stretchers in ambulances. Everybody was a survivor.”


Joanne Froggatt and Matthew Fox in Last Light

(Photo by MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)

The crisis is instigated by the end of oil. Once set in motion, all that matters to Andy and Elena is getting their family back together, including their teenage daughter, Laura (Alyth Ross), while rioting occurs across the world.

“The marriage between Andy and Elena has got some elements in it that are scratchy,” Fox said. “In the process of getting back together again, coming to the realization of what’s most important in their lives and that is their family. Andy, in particular, I think, has that stripped down to his core and the realization that he maybe has been putting his priorities in the wrong place for some time.”

Froggatt shares most of her scenes with young Fay, and Gordon said she also relied on Froggatt to be the boy’s stage mom.

“It was like ‘Jo, I don’t just need you to be Jo the brilliant actress, but I need you to be his onstage mother because he’s never done anything before,’” Gordon said. “He had no idea, so that she was always harnessing him and whispering in his ear, just keeping him safe when all these crazy things were happening all around.”


Joanne Froggatt and Taylor Fay in Last Light

(Photo by MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)

Fay is a sighted boy. The series’ backstory is that Sam went blind later in his young life, so Gordon wanted someone who could imagine what it might be like to lose sight.

“I’ll tell you why we went that direction,” Gordon said. “He is sighted, but we needed a child who was sighted who could act blind, because this child had seen in the past. The whole lights going out for him was somebody who did know how to see, who was losing his vision. That becomes thematically important so that’s why we cast that marvelous young boy, Taylor Fay. Kid’s a natural. He’s never done anything before.”

Froggatt and Fox also responded to playing the parents of a special-needs child.

“It always resonates with you when you’re playing a character that is experiencing love and trauma for someone they love,” Froggatt said. “To put yourself in a headspace where you are doing all you can to help your child, and then this terrible thing happens around you, it’s a sort of impossible position to be in. Really.”

Fox was as impressed with Fay as Gordon was. He and Froggatt also discussed how Sam’s blindness affected their marriage.

“It would mean different things to each one of them and how over time, Andy would start to sort of maybe put more on Elena than she wanted,” Fox said. “She wanted to share that responsibility more, and he was sort of using his work as a way to duck out of that responsibility.”


LAST LIGHT stars Matthew Fox

(Photo by MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)

Last Light takes place in London, Paris, and the Middle East. While they didn’t go to every exact location to film, they did travel the world finding locations.

“One of the first things I said to Matthew is, ‘I’m not building any sets. We’re only going to use real locations,” Gordon said. “He said, ‘This is music to my ears,’ because we wanted the authenticity, we wanted that reality and also audiences demand it now. You can’t be on a soundstage all day long unless you have a massive VFX budget, and you can be doing things that dazzle the eye.”

Gordon did take some of the cast and crew to Paris. Middle East scenes were filmed in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and the Al Ain Desert. And, of course, freezing Prague.

“We were out in the desert in an area called Al Ain, which is the filmmaker’s heaven like for Dune and Star Wars,” Gordon said.” It’s like these beautiful untouched dunes as far as the eye can see. We were very happy to get to that location, because I needed to see Matthew completely lost and alone in the desert there, so we were very happy to have that dune location. It was very exciting.”

Visiting locations from Prague to the United Arab Emirates helped Revah capture Mina’s international experience as an intelligence agent. She speaks several lines of arabic, as well as other languages throughout the show.

“Also speaking to the people there because seeing different perspectives, especially the themes from the show with oil and with climate change,” Revah said. “It is a very international show in terms of its cast, in terms of all of us and crew. So I think having different perspectives, being in different areas, seeing how different cultures handle different things did really help with that.”

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