In preparation for Sunday’s (April 20) debut of WGN America’s spooky new supernatural series, “Salem,” Zap2it surveyed the stars and producers of the show about their knowledge of the Salem witch trials and their favorite pop culture witches.
Co-creator and executive producer Adam Simon is up next. Read on to find out why Mary’s his favorite character to write, what kind of spell he’d cast and why you can’t decide whether you’re going to be a good witch or a bad witch.
“Salem” premieres Sunday, April 20 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on WGN America.
Zap2it: Which character do you like to write for the most and why?
Simon: Mary because there’s nothing better for a writer than a villain as the hero. She is truly both. And that’s thrilling. On the other hand:
Cotton cause he’s most like me; Alden cause he’s who I’d rather to be; Hale because he knows so much; Tituba cause she’s seen too much; Anne and Mercy because they’re both on the verge of becoming something they never thought possible; Isaac cause his soul’s so pure.
Oh hell. All of them!
Which character surprised you the most as you began writing the series?
Isaac. He refused to die! He originally died in the pilot. But we all fell in love with the character, and the wonderful actor who plays him. Nothing like an honest fool, a wise clown. No community has any hope of survival without one.
What three items would you take with you to a deserted island (or puritanical Salem)?
To Salem: My flintlock, my sword and my scrying stone. To Deserted Island: My wife, my kids and my iPad. (OK, that’s four!)
Could you have survived in the 1690s?
Could I? I did. I was a heretical Jewish alchemist. I found the philosopher’s stone and am still here all these years later.
Pick one: “The Witches of Eastwick,” “The Craft,” or “Practical Magic.”
None of the above. Those aren’t really witches. No disrespect. All fine works. But our witches are the first witches almost ever in fiction to be based on everything we know about what the witches really were, or are….
If you could cast any spell, what would it be?
To protect all my beloveds from all harm.
Would you be a good witch or a bad witch?
You have no choice. Any more than you can have the heads of a coin without the tail.
What’s the most surprising true fact you learned about the actual Salem witch trials?
That witches were real.
What is the most challenging thing about balancing both the genre and period elements of the show?
Tethering our fantasies of the invisible world to the realities of the visible one.