Not many of us have ventured into the mysterious world of New York City’s underground subway system — but Arielle Kebbel sure has.
The actress plays young beat cop Amelia Sachs in NBC’s new series, Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector. Inspired by the 1997 Jeffrey Deaver crime thriller, the show also stars Russell Hornsby as Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic NYPD detective who comes out of retirement to investigate the return of a notorious serial killer following three years of dormancy. The pair become partners of sorts as Kebbel’s character heads out into the field wearing a body camera and earpiece to follow the veteran detective’s orders.
During an appearance on the Today show Friday, Kebbel reflected on a particularly tense moment in the trailer that shows her on the subway tracks as a train approaches.
“We actually filmed on a real New York subway,” said Kebbel, 34. “It was St. Patrick’s Day and the track next to us was still running, so we had a lot of fun surprises with people coming and going. But it was terrifying.”
“And in fact, none of that was scripted,” she added. “All of the screaming … they let me improv as what felt right for me at the time.”
Kebbel and Hornsby both agreed that shooting in N.Y.C. was “a dream.”
“I think New York City is the best supporting character in any show or movie,” said Hornsby, 45. “It’s so unique and it’s so descriptive. The people here, the voices, how they talk, how they walk, all the energy is New York — you can’t get that replicated anywhere else.”
For Hornsby, there were challenges that came with playing the paralyzed character, made famous in the 1999 Denzel Washington movie The Bone Collector.
“It’s a challenge, and it was one that I’m up for. Having gone to theater school and studying Shakespeare, you’re taught to allow the words to work for you,” he said on Today. “They really focus on stillness when you’re sitting on stage in theater class, so I just went back to my days at Boston University and really worked on that stillness.”
And the role opened his eyes to “what changes haven’t been made” in society, he said.
“You look at the stairs going down to the subway, and where they need elevators,” he said. “You look at the necessity for curb cuts, so that wheelchairs can have access up and down sidewalks. So you really see what work needs to be done to help the disabled community, and you also see what progress has been made as well.”
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector premieres Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.