Why Women Kill is television's newest whodunit mystery, blending star-making performances, humor and enough darkness to keep viewers on their toes. The new drama series from creator Marc Cherry stars Lucy Liu, Ginnifer Goodwin and Kirby Howell-Baptiste in a story of lies, infidelity and murder that kill fans guessing until someone eventually pulls the trigger.
The series is also providing actor Leo Howard — who rose to prominence on the Disney XD comedy series Kickin' It — with an avenue to shed his Disney past off for a more adult role in the CBS All Access drama series.
In a conversation with PopCulture.com, the actor and director spoke about sharing most of his scenes with Liu, and how he sees her as a mentor as he embarks further into his promising career in Hollywood.
Howard stars alongside Liu and Jack Davenport in the series' 1984 storyline, which revolves around socialite Simone Grove (Liu) starting an affair with her best friend's 18-year-old son Tommy Harte (Howard) after discovering her third husband Karl's (Davenport) homosexuality. It is just ridiculous enough that it works.
Acting alongside Liu has been a privilege for Howard, he said, who praised the series' star for how she spearheads the dreamed toward success.
"There's a stigma in the industry where if you are the sort-of leader on a set task-wise, which Lucy is, how you act and how you are on set really affects the entire crew, entire cast," Howard told PopCulture.com in a phone interview Thursday, August 29. "Lucy is one of the greatest that I've worked with in terms of setting a good work environment. Not only is she a really pleasant person to work with, but she's so professional and so on top of her game."
"She always brings something really interesting to the table," he added. "I think that inspires not only the crew, but also the cast to perform better on the day. I'm very fortunate to call her one of my friends and she's a really special human being."
Along with his acting, Howard broke ground early in his career and continues to hold the Guinness World Record for youngest TV director for helming an episode of the Disney XD series at the age of 16. The now 22-year-old actor revealed Liu directed the upcoming eighth episode of Why Women Kill, and he was able to shadow the acclaimed actress and director during filming.
"That was a really cool experience. Just getting to learn from her because she's got a really cool take on [the show], and I respect the fact that she's approaching it the way that she does," he said. "Directing television is a whole different task in its own because... your job is to not only put your thumbprint on it but you also accentuate [the writers'] thumbprint."
"Marc [Cherry] is such a talented writer and he does such a good job at setting tone that you don't want to take away from that," Howard added. "There's a really fine line that you have to ride that I felt Lucy absolutely nailed it."
Why Women Kill is currently streaming its first four episodes. The show premieres new installments Thursdays on CBS All Access.