Nearly two years after he was fired from the show, Kate Siegel reflects on Frank Langella's infamous recasting. The Oscar nominee was originally cast for Mike Flanagan's final Netflix project as Roderick Usher, the patriarch of the titular family whose past deal with the mysterious Verna helped them rise to wealth, though is now coming back to claim them all. Langella was fired a few months into production following a misconduct investigation, with Bruce Greenwood taking over the role.
During a recent interview with , Siegel was asked about the Langella recasting situation for . After acknowledging that "
The most s—t went down. Most people who are correctly praising Bruce need to remember that every single scene that Bruce shot that wasn’t sitting down across from Carl Lumbly was an emergency reshoot. We redid almost all of it. It’s amazing what he did. It was heartbreaking. It was overwhelming and heartbreaking and disappointing, and people were hurt. I was tangentially — I wasn’t involved in any of the actual HR stuff, but hearing about it, knowing that cast members felt sad and uncomfortable and taken advantage of by other member of the cast, it was just devastating.Because Mike has spent so much time building an amazing set life and experience and family, and to know that one person can come in and just f—k that s—t up made me furious. I think when Bruce came, there was palpable relief from everybody, because we had a scene partner, we had somebody who we respected and respected us, and a family member back. I think it just, for me, solidified that feeling of you don’t need to be tortured to be an artist. You can be a good person and show up and do your job, even if you’re playing somebody extreme, even if you are in extreme situations, you are capable — anybody’s capable — of being sane, pleasant and professional on set.
Though the show included a number of newcomers to the world of Flanagan filmmaking, including Mark Hamill and Paola Nuñez, Greenwood was one of multiple frequent collaborators of the creator/director to appear in , some of whom included Carla Gugino, Siegel and Rahul Kohli. Prior to the Netflix horror title, Greenwood had starred in both of Flanagan's Stephen King adaptations, and . The star even made a , appearing as one of the many hidden ghosts throughout the show behind Gugino.
More than just a welcome reunion for the creatives, however, Greenwood ultimately proved to be the perfect fit for
Greenwood's performance as the titular dead husband in is the ultimate proof of such. Despite being the catalyst for Gugino's brutal story in the movie, even taunting her in spiritual form after his death, the combination of the SAG nominee's screen presence and Flanagan's writing made the character all the more captivating to watch alongside Jessie. This trend continued in , with Greenwood and Flanagan showing just enough of throughout the show to make him a meaningful character to watch, even in spite of his crueler behaviors.