What if killing was legal for one night in America? The Purge has been a huge franchise for over the last few years. It started as a film and has now become a television series. Allison King plays Eileen who is one of the individuals that indulges in the Purge tonight.
ATM: What do you feel is now the conversation as this film’s franchise has maneuvered to a TV series at the peak of the movie’s success?
AK: The story is now told through a longer period of time. You get more of the character’s backstory. You get to understand why they want to purge so badly. You get to experience from the eyes of someone who has been with the purge since the beginning. It is told from the time span of ten years ago. You get to experience it from the eyes of a young person who has grown into it as an adult. It changes the chemistry of a person’s brain when living in a violent society.
There are studies about kids who grow up in violent neighborhoods. Police are taking fathers from their homes and locking them up in these neighborhoods. These kids grow up with anxiety, depression, cannot deal with stress and focus in school. These are the symptoms of growing up in a violent society. We will get to see how people who are of a coming up age era adapt to living in a purge society. It is interesting. Instead of having a movie, you get a novel told over a long time with more storylines and backstories. You are able to engage more with the characters.
ATM: If the characters from this series were to live in our society without purge night, then how would they feel or act? Would they be able to adapt or function without a purge night?
AK: I think the allowance of violence is violence within itself. The characters in the purge do live amongst us. They are just given a green card, meaning they think it is fine to do what they want. The beauty of this series is that it shows that these characters live with us.
ATM: How well do the characters portray revenge?
AK: It is important to see the destructiveness of anger and revenge. There is a real highlight on compassion and empathy. This is not on the surface but under the surface. It is about how small and stupid taking revenge can make a person look. This is a really nice series to point out on the ruthlessness in this era of Twitter. It is about the compassionate we have in a time there is instant communication across the globe.
ATM: Explain how the action and energy gets into the heads of the characters.
AK: It destroys people. This series shows that the free reign of the deeper and important parts of us destroys people. It does not only destroy the people that are being purged, but also the person who is doing the purging.
ATM: What is your take on the violence in this world today?
AK: I am a nonviolent person. This series points out the uselessness and fruitlessness of violence. It is similar to the saying, “When you hate someone you are really drinking poison and expecting it to kill.” This show is this quote plus a million times. Violence hurts people who are violent and those who are putting the violence on. We are in a very dark time and are becoming aware of it. Twitter has shined the light toward some of the injustice people live with every day. Police who shoot unarmed black men, children, and women. All Blacks. The children who are held in cages at the border. The President who has become so unstable that his aides are hiding papers from him to sign. This is a really dark time. We need to recognize that the answer is not violence, but it is about compassion.
ATM: How impactful would the world’s population be if for one night a year all crime was legal in America?
AK: It would be a disaster. Humans are animals and the show’s material supports this. We are animals. We are bags of meats and water. Humans have a conscience, which separates us from dogs and elephants. Elephants do have quite a big emotional life as do dogs. We have to live with our choices each day. These choices do not go away. You do not just make choices and get to walk away. It builds up in you like cancer and you live with it forever. It would be terrible. We have to decide to think that unchecked violence is not okay. There are a lot of examples where we turn a blind eye to unchecked violence. This makes me think more about police violence against unarmed black people. Our country was originally based on racism. Misogyny, sexism, and racism started from the beginning. We are becoming more aware of it as people are having phones in their hands.
White people are becoming more aware of this. We see this sort of violence is not fine. Anyone who sees a video of people being treated like this is not fine. We cannot walk away from this because it is in our hearts and minds. This sort of violence will not be supported or continued. We cannot live with this kind of violence in our conscience as humans. A purge night would be terrible.
ATM: I hope America never gets to this point.
AK: I agree.
ATM: It would be scary.
AK: I would leave.
ATM: I would just move to Canada.
AK: Me too.
A full night of terror can bring out the worse in people without them recognizing it. Revenge creates violence which lives in all of us. The Purge television series exhibits how this creation can be rapidly portrayed. This series started shooting in April and will soon wrap up.
The Purge premieres tonight on Syfy at 10 pm.