Did you tune in to the season 3 premiere of Quantico last Thursday? Having watched Quantico since season one I was excited to see they were back and loved that they start us off 3 years later. While I am not happy about Ryan and Shelby’s relationship and I am happy to see some of my favorite characters are back and part of this new team. I also love that they have brought Marlee Matlin on board as Jocelyn Turner.

Marlee Matlin and Leanette Fernandez

After watching the first episode of Quantico while in LA for the Avengers: Infinity War World Premiere, we were able to sit down and chat with Marlee Matlin and Executive Producer and Showrunner Michael Seitzman. Here is what they had to say…

Marlee Matlin and Michael Seitzman

On Shelby and Ryan’s relationship

“I mean we are as storytellers, I think people that watch television or watch a movie, they don’t realize that the primary job of the writer and the filmmaker is to frustrate the audience, not to give the audience what they want. To put it another way, the audience always wants their favorite couple to get together. And we sit in a room. The bulk of our time is spent trying to figure out ways to keep them apart. That’s the biggest job is how do you keep them apart?” – Michael Seitzman

“The idea wasn’t to make everybody angry. The idea was to create something that we desired and to shape that desire.” – Michael Seitzman

quanitco season 3 cast
Quantico Cast. Photo credit: ABC

How Marlee got involved in the show

“…I appeared in one episode of Code Black. And we had so much fun together. And Michael said I want to work with you again and give you a character on Code Black…that didn’t work out…I think about two months later he texts me and says I have a great idea for you. And I said, sure, what is it? Tell me what it is. And I want to write you into Quantico. And he told me what the character was and I said, oh, my gosh, I’m so interested…before I knew it I was on the set in New York City playing Jocelyn Turner for him.” – Marlee Matlin

On having a deaf character who’s taken something that looks like a disadvantage to some and has made it an advantage.

“I have to give Michael credit because he’s one of the few people in Hollywood who understands how to use someone like myself, who understands not to dwell on the disability, not to dwell, I mean the “dis” in ability, but to look at the ability. I could name other people, I mean people like Aaron Sorkin and David E. Kelley and Ilene Chaiken. These are people like Michael who understand where I can fit into a role without having to be a person who is deaf…And this one was extremely unusual because playing FBI agent and dealing with the people in situations, dealing in crises, being a sniper, being someone who uses my eyes as a means and surveillance, where a lot of people who aren’t deaf don’t use as someone who does have the ability with my eyes. So, that was great.” – Marlee Matlin

Marlee’s input on her character

we had Marlee come in in the beginning and sit with all the writers. And she spent a lot of time with us teaching us about her. And so everything that we do in the stories all come from that conversation and subsequent conversations. We needed a lot of help, and she gave us a lot of help. – Michael Seitzman

“I felt that the writers needed to see me in person and to get a feel for who I am…just to be able to pick up the different situations that I might find myself in and the situations that I’ve been in in my life or what I envisioned could happen as a result of the character that I’m playing. And the writers are all brilliant…It was really helpful that I was able to be there in the writing room.” – Marlee Matlin

Fun Fact: The storytelling technique for this season is getting the audience to participate in the problem solving.

“I feel like we try to do this season in episode after episode it was to find places to do that, to invite you into the storytelling and to say this is where you can help us too. And you can a part of it.” – Michael Seitzman

The use of sign language and subtitles within the show

Her character can read lips and “…that we started out by making it clear that they also learned ASL as a language when they worked for the CIA. And that gave us a certain license…The other thing that we did was how we handled subtitles and this also goes to where you look. Subtitles traditionally are called lower third. They’re in the lower third center of the frame. I didn’t want to do that because I don’t want to be reading. I want to be watching Marlee, so we started to put the subtitles up near her shoulder…we did them in blue most of the time…there was something about that color that made it less obtrusive…” – Michael Seitzman

Marlee Matlin and Michael Seitzman

Be sure to tune into episode 2 of Quantico tonight (10:00–11:00 p.m. EDT) on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.

“Fear and Flesh” – In tracking down the origin of a deadly strain of tuberculosis threatening Americans, Agent Ryan Booth must go undercover and infiltrate a white supremacist organization – an assignment that threatens the life of another member of the team.