Even the cast of The Calling was starstruck working with the all-star executive producer/directing team of David E. Kelley and Barry Levinson. Jeff Wilbusch, who plays protagonist NYPD Detective Avraham Avraham in the upcoming Peacock crime drama, recalled an "out-of-body experience" working alongside the Oscar-winning director in an interview with PopCulture.com ahead of The Calling's Nov. 10 premiere.
"I still can't process that I just finished filming – I was a lead of a show that David E. Kelley produced. This is so amazing and thrilling," Wilbusch told PopCulture, before turning to co-star Juliana Canfield (Detective Janine Harris) with a memory of filming their first scene with Levinson. "He started talking to us and I had this out-of-body experience that I couldn't believe I'm standing in New York, I'm filming a show with Juliana and Barry Levinson is just talking to us for 10 minutes," Wilbusch recalled. "And I was [like], 'Juliana, Barry Levinson is talking to us,' and he was laughing and he was so kind. ... It's such an honor."
Canfield said it was "really wonderful" working with the "legendary" Kelley and Levinson on the show, praising the duo as being "so generous with their gifts" in how they write and direct. "I just feel so lucky to have [gotten] to be a link in the chain of television and film history with [Levinson], because he brings this whole wealth of experience and history that now I feel like I had a little window into," she continued. "And that's just kind of irreplaceable."
Karen Robinson, who plays Captain Kathleen Davies, had a similarly enthusiastic response to working with the duo. "I remember when I received the first script and that's when it hit me ... when I saw their names on the front page and then my name across it, because it was a script that was meant for me," she gushed to PopCulture. "Oh my god. Yeah, that was when it really hit me."
"And then to walk into a room with Barry Levinson and to have him take everything you bring to this character and shape it into something that is your best, there's nothing like that," the Schitt's Creek alum continued. "There's nothing like being directed by an actor's director who's been doing it forever and who understands it and who respects what you bring and is able to make you better."
Michael Mosley, who plays Detective Earl Malzone, agreed that there's nothing better when Levinson would give him the seal of approval with a choice he made on set. "Your heart just feels like, 'Oh man, I did something right. I made Barry giggle. I made him chuckle.' That's great," he said. The Calling is available to stream on Peacock on Thursday, Nov. 10.