Mia Farrow & Margo Martindale Interview: The Watcher


There are many suspects in The Watcher, Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix show based on a chilling true story. In episode 1, two nosy neighbors with a keen interest in 657 Boulevard certainly make it seem like they have something to hide. Margo Martindale plays Maureen who, along with her husband, watches 657 Boulevard from a lawn chair just on the other side of the fence. She also picks the arugula that has jumped the fence lines and, when Dean (Bobby Cannavale) confronts her as the new owner of 657 Boulevard, she’s not too happy about it.


On the other side of 657 Boulevard, Mia Farrow’s Pearl and her son Jasper (Terry Kinney) also find ways to get under Dean and Nora Brannock’s (Naomi Watts) skin. Jasper is too comfortable at 657 Boulevard, with Dean, Nora, and their two children finding him in their home. This leads to an even more explosive confrontation between Pearl and Dean, setting the stage for a slew of suspects that will have the Brannock family more paranoid than ever.

Related: The Watcher Trailer Reveals The Creepy House In Ryan Murphy’s New Show

Screen Rant sat down with Farrow and Martindale to talk The Watcher, including why Farrow chose this project as her return to the screen, why Maureen cares about the house so much, and Pearl’s obsession with 657 Boulevard’s countertops.

Margo Martindale & Mia Farrow On Nosy Neighbors In The Watcher

Screen Rant: Mia, it’s so lovely to see you on the screen again. What was it about The Watcher and Pearl that made you want to do the show?

Mia Farrow: It’s two things. It’s Ryan Murphy. Need I say more? He said, “It’s going to be fascinating. You’ll be all in black.” And I’m like, waiting for the next thing. That next thing never happened. They wrote the scripts as we played, or we got them as we played. So I did not know, [during] episode one, what would ever happen in three, four, or five, six, [and] seven. We didn’t know. It was a certain high-wire act. It was the best cast. I couldn’t dream for a better cast. And not only is everybody the best actors that there are, but also everybody was so great. Such a great little community. It is a team, and you don’t want somebody in there who’s mean or really bad.

Margo Martindale: [laughs] You don’t want anyone mean.

Mia Farrow: You don’t want anybody mean. Everyone was so great. There were no baddies. We just had so much fun, both on the professional level to act with these people… Everybody comes up the bat and hits a homer. And then everybody’s so nice to hang out with in between. So it was a dream job really.

Margo Martindale: And a lot of us knew each other. So that helped.

Mia Farrow: [We] didn’t know each other

Margo Martindale: No, I didn’t know you but Bobby I’ve known very well and Terry.

Mia Farrow: I kind of knew Naomi a little bit.

Margo Martindale: Oh, you did?

Mia Farrow: Well, just a little.

Margo Martindale: Oh, I didn’t.

I loved watching the show. It was funny. It was scary. And Margo, I love that Mo just gets to hang out. She gets to harvest arugula; she’s sunbathing. She’s just looking through binoculars, but there’s certainly more to her than meets the eye. But why does she care about the house so much?

Margo Martindale: I care about the house so much, but it’s a very pretty house. And I love the neighborhood. And I’m very curious about these people that have come in there. I want to know more about them. A very Gladys Kravitz sort of person. Was that her name? Lived across the street, nosy neighbor? Anyway…

Mia Farrow: When somebody moves into your neighborhood, that in itself is like, “Who is that? Who are they?” But I don’t know. From my perspective as Pearl, that house is a treasure as each of the houses in that neighborhood. There’s a Preservation Society, and she’s the head of it. And you don’t want the house being changed, altered, messed up, [or] modernized in any way.

Margo Martindale: Pearl is really, really over the top obsessed with the detail of the houses and the kind of material they use for the countertops.

Mia Farrow: Every feature of the house, it’s really important to keep it the same.

About The Watcher

After the Brannock family moves into what was supposed to be their suburban dream home, it quickly becomes a living hell. Ominous letters from someone calling themself “The Watcher” are just the beginning as the neighborhood’s sinister secrets come spilling out. Inspired by the true story of the infamous “Watcher” house in New Jersey.

Check out our other interviews for The Watcher here:

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The Watcher is now streaming on Netflix.


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