- Published: Saturday, 07 April 2018 18:54
- Written by Lupe Rodriguez Haas
Lost in Space stars Parker Posey and Ignacio Serrichio (The Young and the Restless, Bones) were fans of the original television series, so they’re honored to be part of the Netflix reboot which is taking risks by casting a Latino as Don West and a changing the gender for Dr. Smith.
Signing up for Netflix’s Lost in Space was a no-brainer for both Parker Posey and Argentinian-born actor Ignacio Serrichio as fans of the 1960s science fiction series. For the role of Dr. Smith originally played by Jonathan Harris, the producers changed the gender to a woman with Parker Posey taking on the role of the sometimes conniving character.
"It’s such an unusual offer, I was excited. I was honored," she said at the WonderCon press room. "It came from a real place of loving that show and loving that character. It wasn’t going to be camp. I took some things. Actually Kevin Burns [producer] gave me a scar for Doctor Smith first day he came to set. So it brought me back to the very beginning of loving television. Loving to watch the screen and it brought me back to that.”
The scar may not be the only thing borrowed from the original Dr. Smith. In the original series, the family became lost in space because he sabotaged the mission as a spy for a foreign government. Subsequently in many shows, he undermined the Robinson family's survival and viewers never knew what he was up to. CineMovie asked Posey whether her Dr. Smith would be borrowing those characteristics.
“I think so. It’s fun to play characters like that. She’s troubled." Her co-star Ignacio confirmed she would be causing trouble. “Oh, god! Oh my god! She’s deliciously bad.”
What's different about this version of the doctor, according to Ignacio is her vulnerability and Don West will fall for her crocodile tears and feel guilty for being an "asshole" to her.
“The difference with her is that she played up the vulnerability and the suffering, I feel like more, and it was more earnest.”
A Lost in Space producer reveals one of the later episodes will delve into Dr. Smith's past which will explain a lot about her state of mind and the pain that drove her to be untrustworthy.
Ignacio's approach to Don West will be different from the original character in the series, he says. First off, the Lost in Space producers were color blind in casting the role of the hunky pilot. When auditioning, Ignacio had doubts they would hire a Latino-looking actor for the role.
“I was in the mentality that like it’s Don West. They’re going to cast some typical white dude with a great body or whatever. But then I remembered, this is Netflix, they are not about that. They’re trying to include all of us. I’m Argentinian. I’m not a minority anymore.”
His connection to the show was so deep he worked at lowering his expectations. “If I just get a little bit invested, it’ll kill me when I don’t get it," he passionately explained.
Playing Don West is different than anything he has ever done. He explained that this version of Don West will be a much funnier character with an interesting side kick.
“Yeah, Will [Robinson] has the robot. Doctor Smith has the robot. I have the chicken. I wanted that. It just created a whole different dynamic for that character to have fun and be funny.”
The Argentinian actor is overly excited to have an animal friend on the Netflix show. He grew up around chickens and fondly recalls his own 16 fowls from his childhood. Unlike the original Lost in Space, this Don West feels lonely at times, and his pet chicken saves the day.
The chicken actor stole the show on the set of Lost in Space. On the day that called for big action stunts, the actors literally threw themselves into their work. Parker says stunts at her age is a "big deal," and afterwards her make-up artist kept boasting about how good the chicken was. Posey was feeling a little envious about that nons-speaking actor. "Never tell the actor the animal actor was better," she told the make-up artist.
Ignacio loves his chicken side kick so much, he's pushing to have an action figure of Don West with his trusty side kick.
Lost in Space begins streaming on Netflix Friday, April 13.