Stephen King has authored some of the biggest horror novels in the past 40-plus years, many of which have been adapted for the big screen and television. What makes “Lisey’s Story” unique, though, is that King also wrote the TV adaptation of his hit 2006 novel, which is based on his own near-death experience in 1999 after being hit by a van while he was out walking.
As such, Joan Allen believes King has his finger on the pulse of real-life horror as much he does his fictional tales of horror and the supernatural.
“I think that makes a huge difference in the story and how compelling the story is, because you really care about the people, and you care about this family, and you care what happens to them,” Allen told Looper. “And so that is something that is very relatable, and I think is very drawing in for the audience because you want to pull for them; you want them to come through and particularly through this loss and grief, and fragility of all these various characters. You want to see them get to the other side.”
Allen said she particularly enjoyed the challenges of playing Amanda in “Lisey’s Story,” who, apart from other issues, suffers from bouts of semi-catatonia. As a result, the role is the opposite of previous roles on her distinguished list of credits.
“I was really thrilled to get it because I looked at it and kind of reduced it in some ways down to, ‘I’ve played things historically, characters often or sometimes that are more reserved, who kind of take care of other people,'” Allen said. “And it was like, ‘She is so out there, and she cannot take care of herself, and she can’t take care of anybody else.’ [I was thinking], “Let’s go, let’s do it!” So, it was really kind of refreshing as an actor.”
Also starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dane DeHaan and Ron Cephas Jones, and executive produced by JJ Abrams, “Lisey’s Story” is streaming on AppleTV+.