Practice rides have confirmed to be a combined bag for Himesh Patel.
In HBO Max’s Emmy-nominated restricted sequence “Station Eleven,” Patel’s character, Jeevan Chaudhary, is on an outbound Chicago prepare when his doctor sister calls to tell him of a deadly virus seizing the town. It’s a sobering dialog — one made all of the extra surreal by real-world occasions — that perpetually adjustments the course of Jeevan’s life. He heeds her warning to organize for the worst, changing into one of many few survivors left to forge mankind’s future.
In a coincidence, Patel was aboard a prepare on Emmy nominations morning, headed to go to his dad and mom in London, when his telephone lit up with messages. This time, excellent news was ready. He had been nominated for lead actor in a restricted sequence, the only thespian among the many ensemble to be acknowledged.
“I couldn’t precisely react the way in which I might have if I had been at residence as a result of I used to be on a prepare,” he remembers with a smile. “It’s nonetheless sinking in actually, however it sank in very slowly over the course of that hour and a half prepare journey.”
“Station Eleven,” created by Patrick Somerville and based mostly on the e book by Emily St. John Mandel, shocked many in incomes seven Emmy nominations, together with for writing, path and rating.
Patel spoke to Somerville quickly after the information and wound up reminiscing on simply how lengthy it took them to get to this celebratory second, having begun manufacturing in early 2020 earlier than COVID turned their fictional story right into a actuality and shut them down for practically a 12 months.
“By the point we get to September, and we’re on the Emmys, will probably be happening three years since I first flew to Los Angeles to audition for it,” Patel says. “Then for it to tackle this which means that we by no means thought it will, I’m nonetheless attempting to wrap my head across the coincidence of all of it.”
Patel received his first glimpse at that relevance in October 2020, watching a tough minimize of the pilot. As Jeevan’s sister wades by way of a traumatized hospital ER, the masks and the concern stoked by the fictional virus had grow to be a extra searing picture than he remembered.
“I watched that scene and I received actually emotional as a result of it was simply so putting,” he says. “It was the primary time I noticed what a loopy coincidence this all was.”
The sequence largely skips the chaotic aftermath of its personal pandemic, leaping twenty years into the long run to discover what mankind has completed with its second likelihood. Instructed by way of the voyages of a roving performing troupe, the present interrogates its personal philosophy that selecting artwork and connection over violence and division can and will likely be humanity’s saving grace.
Regardless of that soulful middle, everybody concerned with “Station Eleven” braced for the present to be written off when it premiered in December, simply as one other resurgent wave of COVID-19 compelled folks again into their houses. Thankfully, their nerves proved unfounded.
“We had been understanding if folks didn’t wish to come close to a present like this,” Patel says. “However we knew at its coronary heart what the present was and for folks to acknowledge that as properly actually means loads. In the end this story tells us that it doesn’t matter what, so long as we’re round, so long as there are a handful of us round, we are going to discover a strategy to survive. However survival isn’t simply staying alive. It’s about thriving, connecting, performing, enriching one another’s souls — and that every one of it’s potential.”