MOSLEY Television has the potential to do some amazing things that are good for drama, good for actors, and good for an audience to be able to understand and identify with characters who have real arcs of change. We’re coming up on our final season of “Snowfall,” and we’re going to get to see how things are going to work out or fall apart. That’s what’s been fun.
JACKSON There’s a great satisfaction for me to have a character development that allows an audience to go back and say, “OK, that’s where he started. Oh, that’s why he’s this guy. Oh, that’s why he treats women this way.” We watched movies for a very long time before we realized something like “Roots” could come along and be a mini-series. All of a sudden, boom, there’s “Roots,” and you go, “[expletive], that’s the way to tell the story.”
The novel takes place in Los Angeles, but the series takes place in Atlanta. Why the move?
JACKSON Georgia has better tax breaks.
MOSLEY Yes, it wasn’t feasible to do it in L.A. First, we were going to go to Atlanta and try to make Atlanta look like L.A. But Atlanta doesn’t look like L.A.
JACKSON There’s not one palm tree in Atlanta.
Did setting the series in Atlanta add anything thematically?
JACKSON There are certain elements of Atlanta that are historically indigenous to telling a story like this. Anybody who’s lived in any place that’s full of Black people will recognize this. How many white people are in this story? There’s the doctor, and the nurse. A lot of people are going to look at this and go, “Where are the white people?” You didn’t encounter them unless you had to when I was growing up in the South. In Atlanta, they had Black insurance companies, they had Black newspapers. Everything you needed, you could get in the Black community. You didn’t have to go outside of it.