Underground Railroad Serves as Tool to Tell Story of Heroes

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LOS ANGELES -- A new series premieres Wednesday depicting the human struggle of a group of slaves setting out in search of freedom. It's being described as an action thriller, and the new series is getting a lot of buzz.

Marc Blucas, who plays politician John Hawkes, said, "This whole idea of an action and thriller with heroic characters that aren't victims, and it's about how did they do it."

The Underground Railroad is simply a tool to tell the stories of the people. "It's about superheroes. It's about people who go above and beyond to accomplish a common goal," said Aldis Hodge, who plays driven Noah.

“Underground” is set in 1857 Georgia, but it is shot in real slave quarters on LSU’s Rural Life Museum. Renwick Scott, who plays a teenager with a rebellious streak, said, "It's an honor being able to play a role that could have been very well on my family tree."

Misha Green and Joe Pokaski created “Underground.” Pokaski said, "It's always a good time to tell this story of bravery.”

Green added, “I think there's a lot of parallels from that time period to today that's really going to help discussion."

The cast said the show set in the 19th century is very relevant to what’s going on in the country today.“I feel like the more we can shine a light and broaden this umbrella of understanding and compassion in what's offensive and oppressive to people and the more people are shown that through different platforms the better it is," said Blucas.

Director Anthony Hemingway said, “It's important for us to move forward, we have to talk about things we have to deal with it, instead of continue to sweep things under the rug and feel it and this is what it was, so let's deal with it and find the change we need."

Scott said it’s an important time period for the younger generation to learn more about. He said, "It's so important that they don't lose sight and lose focus about where they are coming from, for black people, for white people, for Latinos, everybody. They need to know exactly what we went through and what adversities we overcame to get to where we are."

“Underground” premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. on Channel 13's sister station WGN America.