ABC's Deception: Ilfenesh Hadera Talks Magic, #MeToo, and More

Credit: ABC

It's mid-season series premiere time, and ABC is hoping it has a new trick up its sleeve (spoiler: probably won't be the last magic pun) in action/drama-series-with-a-twist Deception. From the creative minds of writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (Chuck) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero, and Sarah Schechter, Deception takes one of those righteously cool concepts you sometimes find yourself debating friends over in a diner at 2 a.m.: start using magicians and escape artists as "special consultants" to law enforcement to help them solve the more complex, head-scratching crimes. Think about that for a second — cool idea, right?

Bleeding Cool was invited on set to get a look behind the scenes of the show's production, and you'll find some pics from the areas that were safe to film (spoilers, people). We also had the opportunity to be part of a series of roundtable interviews with some of the cast and crew — all banking on being able to pull a rabbit out of their hat impressive enough to make a second season pickup appear out of thin air.

Credit: ABC

So over the next four days, we'll be posting our reports from the set — and on Sunday, March 4th, I'll post my thoughts on Deception ahead of the series premiere on Sunday night:

Wednesday: East Coast Magic Consultant Francis Menotti

Thursday: Writer/Executive Producer Chris Fedak

TODAY: Ilfenesh Hadera (Kay Daniels)

Saturday: Jack Cutmore-Scott (Cameron Black)

Sunday: Deception Season 1, Episode 1 'Pilot' Review

Deception also stars Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark; Amaury Nolasco as Mike Alvarez; Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon; Laila Robins as Special Agent Deakins; and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen.

When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion — the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world's most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career.

Ilfenesh Hadera is an actor whose star continues to rise, in large part due to both her talent and her diverse film and television project choices; ranging from Paramount's reboot of Baywatch (with Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra) to director/writer Spike Lee's series reboot of his indie film debut She's Gotta Have It for Netflix. On the film side, Hadera has starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Lee's Chiraq and the American remake of Oldboy with Josh Brolin. The actor's television credits also include Showtime's Billions, Netflix's Master of None with Aziz Ansari, and NBC's The Blacklist.

During the course of our table interview, Hadera touched upon a wide range of topics; including: the importance of balancing the police procedural aspects of the series with the magic/illusion; getting feedback from fans at comic book/pop culture conventions; what makes the series different from other series aside from the magic aspect; how the media landscape has changed when it comes to opportunities for actors; and how the #MeToo movement is impacting every corner of the pop culture landscape:

As part of Bleeding Cool's set visit, I was also given a walk through several of the sets and take pictures of what I first thought was a really cool-looking lounge/cafeteria, but turned out to be the set for Cameron's "fortress of solitude", or base of operations. Here's a look at some of the details you might miss while you're watching — and no, they're not renting it out. I already asked.


abc deception ilfenesh hadera interview

abc deception ilfenesh hadera interview

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deception abc francis menotti interview

ABC's Deception premieres Sunday, March 11th at 10 p.m. ET, immediately following the network's premiere of the revamped American Idol.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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