Press Notes ()



Press Notes ()
Marlea Willis – [email protected] / 212.846.6748
Natalie Kenul – [email protected] / 212.846.6891
Jennifer Price Keith – [email protected]/ 323.965.1990
Elina Adut – [email protected]/ 323.965.1990
Kathie Berlin – [email protected] / 917.459.1998
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“I’ve done some really, really terrible things.”
– Former US President Richard Graves (Nick Nolte) in Graves
The EPIX Original Series Graves, a single-camera, 10x30minute dramedy, tells the story of President
Richard Graves (Nick Nolte), a former two-term POTUS as he embarks on a Don Quixote-like quest to right
the wrongs of his administration and reclaim his legacy 25 years after leaving the White House. With topics
ranging from immigration to gay rights, to foreign policy to public funding for arts and sciences, Graves holds
nothing sacred as he unspools some of his administration’s proudest victories. His enlightenment takes place
just as his wife Margaret Graves (Sela Ward) decides it’s finally time for her to pursue her own political
ambitions. The cast also includes: Skylar Astin, Heléne Yorke, Chris Lowell, Callie Hernandez, Nia Vardalos,
Ernie Hudson, Roger Bart and Angélica Maria.
Produced by Lionsgate, Josh Michael Stern (Swing Vote, Jobs) is the creator/showrunner, Academy Award®
winner Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) is the executive producer and Bill Hill (“Veep,”
“Eastbound & Down”) is the producer. Serving as executive producers along with Stern and Shapiro are
Keith Eisner (“The Good Wife”) and Eric Weinberg (“Scrubs”). The supervising producer is David Iserson
(“Mad Men”) and Lisa Parsons (“Arrested Development”) and Nick Nolte are also producers on the series.
The series was filmed in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Graves makes its World Television Premiere on EPIX in October 2016.
For several years, writer/director/executive producer Joshua Michael Stern and executive producer Greg Shapiro
kicked around the idea of a show about an ex-President who is living in retirement. Shapiro produced Stern’s
earlier movies Neverwas and Swing Vote, and they wanted to work together again.
Remembers Shapiro, “I had this notion originally of ex-Presidents living in Palm Springs. I always thought that’s
where Presidents went to die, because I grew up in Southern California and Gerald Ford lived down there. So
Palm Springs, ex-Presidents playing golf, and I thought that it would be an interesting twist on a political show.
Josh and I have known each other for years and we actually have a standing breakfast that we’ve had for
almost 10 years when we’re not shooting.”
When Stern and Shapiro thought about Nolte playing an ex-President, the show really crystallized for Stern.
“I called Greg and said, ‘We’ve got to write this for Nick,’” says Stern. “Nick as an ex-President who’s hard
drinking and smoking and sort of foulmouthed was something that was interesting inherently. Then we worked
on it further and came up with the idea, what if the President woke up one day and realized that everything he
did during his two terms of presidency 25 years ago messed up the country? And, what if he decided to go on
a journey of redemption to right the wrongs of his presidency? So we took it from there. I really had Nick in mind
when I wrote every bit of the dialogue.”
Shapiro had previously worked with Nolte on the movies Mulholland Falls, Simpatico, and Investigating Sex,
and he brought the show concept to Nolte. Remembers Nolte, “I said, ‘OK. Well, tell me when you get it done.’”
So Stern wrote the pilot, then Shapiro got it to Nolte. It took almost a week for Nolte to respond. Remembers
Shapiro, “He finally finished it and he said he cried. I think he hadn’t read a part that he connected to so
personally, and for obvious reason. We constructed it very much with him in mind, and Josh wrote it specifically
to his voice, having worked with him on Neverwas and gotten to know him a little bit.”
The show was conceived as a political satire. Stern explains, “The comedy comes out of the situation, and the
satire comes out of amplifying these events, the wrongs that the ex-President perpetrated on the country,
and what he’s going to do to sort of solve them or hang a lantern on them to enlighten people as to what he
did which was wrong.”
As the plot came together - with Richard Graves trying to tear down his own legacy, with former First Lady
Margaret Graves introduced to a career opportunity that will take her away from the family, and with the
daughter and son each returning home for different reasons - Stern aimed for a tone that would provide
“the ability to laugh at the things that are sort of being skewered and mocked, and at the same time, find
a real, organic truth to the characters, and like them and believe in them and want to follow their story.”
A key role would be the ex-President’s new assistant Isaiah. Stern confides, “I’ve always been influenced by
the movie My Favorite Year with Peter O’Toole, and I just love the idea of the master and the student, and
Isaiah really is the audience point of view too, and it really is a story of a guy who’s in the middle of this crazy
ex-First Family who are at the very moment that he comes into their lives, going through their own crises.”
With Nolte attached as star and as a producer, Stern and Shapiro began circulating the spec script that Stern
had written. The series sold to Lionsgate.
After Lionsgate came onboard to fund and produce the series, the studio suggested a pitch to find a network
home for the show. Recalls Stern, “The pitch was an ex-President gone rogue, and we had an image.”
Stern and Shapiro mocked up a photo to bring with them to network meetings: it was an image of Nolte as a
younger man as the President, and on the reverse side was Nolte’s infamous mug shot. Reasons Stern, “It was
sort of giving people the idea that this is who he was then, and now he’s gone a little bit off the rails and kind
of gone off the reservation. It was effective!”
Premium TV network EPIX agreed to pick up the show as its first original series, announcing the deal in May 2015
and extending a good degree of freedom of expression to its creators. Stern acknowledges, “It’s an edgy show
and it was amazing for me to have partners who were willing to take a risk on it.”
Politically, the show would neither skewer Democrats nor Republicans. Describes Stern, “It was about politics
in general. It was about the left and the right. We wanted to amplify the things that are wrong with the dogmas
of both parties and through the vehicle of an ex-President. He happens to be a Republican, but really the issues
that we deal with, from gay marriage to immigration; there are perpetrators on both sides of the aisle. You know,
Bill Clinton had a terrible record on gay marriage. George Bush had a terrible record, at least as we perceive it,
on the war that he created and that he started. And the show is centered very sort of solidly in a family dramedy.”
Confirms Shapiro, “It was very important to Josh and I that it not be in any way an apology or condemnation
of conservative Republican ideology, because it could have been the opposite. It could have easily been a
Democrat questioning all of the choices that he made. So, the things that Graves addresses over the course
of the season are specific issues. Specific policy issues and they could affect either side of the aisle equally.”
Most importantly, emphasizes Shapiro, “Graves speaks the truth. One of his defining qualities is he’s finally
saying what’s from his heart. He’s not being branded and spun.”
Even more importantly, “I always thought about the show as a family show more than a political show,” says
Shapiro. “So the conflict was baked in from the beginning that Margaret had supported her husband for his
entire political career and always sat by his side, and now it was time for her to have her own moment.
And there were always going to be some messed-up kids!”
The dramedy was fast-tracked to begin production in fall 2015. A production office was set up in Rio Rancho,
NM, just north of Albuquerque. Producers and department heads were brought on board, among them “Veep”
producer Bill Hill, “The Good Wife” executive producer Keith Eisner, “Anger Management” co-executive producer
Eric Weinberg, “Longmire” production designer Thomas Walsh, who quickly began design and construction of
sets, and Jobs costume designer Lisa Jensen.
Comments Hill, “The material’s fabulous, and I like that it humanizes the President and makes him more real that
he could go against the policies of his party.”
Graves is set mostly in Santa Fe, NM, where the ex-President has retired. His backstory is that he was born into
a ranching family in New Mexico, became a two-time Governor of New Mexico, and then became a two-term
President of the US.
In mid-October 2015, production began principal photography on location in Santa Fe at the Plaza Café, a
longtime real-life restaurant that would become a hero set for the show, with free-spirited waitress Samantha
(Callie Hernandez) working there in the series and the President often stopping in for coffee and a club sandwich.
The Plaza Café is located across the street from the popular Santa Fe Plaza. The sun shone brightly on that
Indian summer day in mid-October when production started shooting. As Nolte sat on the bench outside the
diner between takes, he caught the attention of both of the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal,
with both newspapers publishing stories the next day. As the New Mexican reported, producer Bill Hill said Nolte
told him, “How much better can we have it than to be sitting in the Plaza in Santa Fe?” On that same day, it was
announced Sela Ward would play ex-First Lady Margaret Graves.
Stern directed episodes one and two, which he had written. Now it was a race to finish all 10 scripts so that they
could be shot, with Stern doing revisions on all the scripts and writing episode 10 himself, as well as being on set
every day.
Issues dealt with in the scripts include immigration reform, gay rights, Native American rights, and gun control—
but always, the characters’ relationships figure heavily.
Says Stern, “We found that the politics of it is the undertone, the underpinnings, the underbelly, but unlike
other shows like ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Veep’ and ‘The West Wing,’ shows that are dealing with the political
machinations, this is a show that’s outside of Washington and it’s about the reflection of Washington from the
inside of a family, an ex-First Family, and how they’re living their lives, having been there and now dealing with
the consequences of the things that happened when they were there.”
Suggests Shapiro, “The most important thing about Graves is that he’s on a search for authenticity. As much as
he is trying to correct some of the wrongs of his administration and his policies, what he’s really trying to do is,
at the end of his life is trying to live as authentically as possible. And I think that’s a very attractive quality for
anybody. People are generally drawn to that. And with political figures, we rarely see it. But when we do see it in
movies like Bulworth or The American President, it’s very compelling. In terms of the current political climate, to
be honest, the season was written before the primaries started. Before Donald Trump became a thing. It almost
felt like he was stealing thunder from us, because he was taking elements from Graves!”
The emotional themes that emerged? Stern reflects, “Issues of authenticity and what home is and how does our
past and the things we’ve done and said affect our present and how can we atone for it and move forward? How
can we not be defined by our wounds? How can we overcome the fear of our lives?”
The chronology of when the fictional Graves would have been President informed much of his present-day
activities. It was decided that he would have been in office from 1988-1996, thus wedging into a nether-space
during the years of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
The character of Graves was conceived as an amalgamation of a holy trinity of ex-Presidents: Ronald Reagan,
in that he was an iconic, lionized Republican who was a Westerner with a humorous streak; Lyndon Baines Johnson,
a Texan who was a bit of strong-armer and a folksy sort of guy; and Bill Clinton, with his warmth and charisma.
Describes Stern, “Like Reagan, he was idolized and he was despised, so there was a camp that thought he was
sort of the hallmark of one of our best Presidents, and a huge camp thought that he messed the country up and
was one of our worst Presidents. Which is where we find Graves at the beginning of the series: struggling with
this idea as to whether he was a good or bad President, and realizing that he actually probably was a little bit
of both, but the things that he did wrong were so wrong that he needs to speak out and try to right them.”
Most significantly, points out Stern, “In the foxhole of being a President, he listened to his political machine,
he poll-tested issues, he made mistakes. Now, he is reflecting on all of that and trying to make things right.”
Principal photography for Graves took place during four months on location in New Mexico, with wrap in
mid-January 2016. During that time, the seasons changed from the flowers of Indian summer, to autumn with
its falling leaves, to winter with snow blanketing the Graves compound.
Describes Shapiro, “We embraced the palette of the Southwest. So it became oranges and reds, and that was
important to balance it out so it’s not your typical Washington DC show.”
While the show was shooting, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz were battling for the
Republican nomination, and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.
The Graves cast stars three-time Academy Award® nominee Nick Nolte (Warrior, The Thin Red Line,
The Prince of Tides) as ex-U.S. President Richard Graves. Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award-winning actress
Sela Ward (Independence Day: Resurgence, Gone Girl, “Sisters”) as former First Lady Margaret Graves. The
talented supporting cast includes: Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect, Pitch Perfect 2, “Ground Floor”) as over-eager
assistant Isaiah Miller who goes to work for his political hero at the very moment that the ex-President is tearing
down his legacy; Heléne Yorke (“Masters of Sex,” American Psycho) as self-destructive socialite daughter
Olivia Rockefeller Graves; Chris Lowell (The Help, “Veronica Mars”) as son Jeremy Graves, just back from the
war in Afghanistan; and Callie Hernandez (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, Machete Kills) as tattooed, free-spirited
waitress Samantha who becomes the President’s muse, encouraging him to break loose of previous beliefs.
Joining them as recurring cast are Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) as Margaret’s no-nonsense
campaign manager Annie Novak, Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, “Grace & Frankie”) as “family fixer” Jacob Mann,
Roger Bart (“Desperate Housewives,” Young Frankenstein, The Producers) as speechwriter Lawrence Mills,
Angélica Maria (“Qué bonito amor,” Sea of Dreams) as wry housekeeper Ramona Alvarez, Tania Gunadi
(Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) as Margaret’s uptight assistant Summer, and Khotan Fernandez
(Before Night Falls) as the mysterious Arturo Del Rey.
Numerous guest stars appear throughout the series including: Bob Balaban (The Grand Budapest Hotel,
Gosford Park) as Homeland Security Secretary Burns, Nora Dunn (Bruce Almighty) as snarky reporter
Laura Wolf, Chris Elliott (Groundhog Day) as veterinarian Thomas Nash and Gary Farmer (Dead Man)
as Hennepaw Tribal Chief Cawley.
VIPS featured in Graves playing themselves, include civil-rights lawyer Gloria Allred, TV journalist Martin Bashir,
politician Barney Frank, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, TV journalist Joan Lunden, personal
trainer/TV personality Jillian Michaels, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and MSNBC political
analyst Michael Steele.
Directors for season one are Joshua Michael Stern, Bob Balaban (“Nurse Jackie,” “Georgia O’Keeffe,”
and “Bernard and Doris”), Frank Coraci (The Ridiculous 6), Robert Weide (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”),
and Iain B. MacDonald (“Episodes”).
EPISODE 101 “Evil Good And Good Evil” – Directed by JOSHUA MICHAEL STERN
Expected to spend his retired years living quietly outside Santa Fe, NM, former President Richard Graves spins
out into an existential crisis when he realizes that his White House’s policies of 25 years ago have messed the
country up and decides to go on a journey to right his administration’s wrongs. Graves befriends bohemian
waitress Sammy and drags his uptight new assistant Isaiah along as he goes off the grid and tries for the first
time in his life to live in the present moment and be authentic. Meanwhile, Olivia Graves is having a breakdown
of her own, shedding her picture perfect First Daughter persona after separating from her Rockefeller husband,
as her mother — the ever-composed Margaret Graves — tries to keep her family’s antics from drawing attention.
EPISODE 102 “You Started Everything” – Directed by JOSHUA MICHAEL STERN
The family and staff unsuccessfully try to prevent Graves from finding out that his attempted assassin Martin
Treadwell, while he was in the White House 25 years ago, is seeking a furlough to visit his dying mother. Graves
attends his gardener’s niece’s quinceañera and becomes an advocate for the Mexican immigrant community.
Margaret is approached by the Republican Party and invited to launch a Senate campaign, while Isaiah and
Olivia get too close for (Isaiah’s) comfort.
EPISODE 103 “Nothing Can Come Of Nothing” – Directed by BOB BALABAN
The family deals with the repercussions of Graves’ unorthodox show of support for Mexican immigrants, and
Graves encourages a federal bureaucrat to grant amnesty to a group of illegal immigrants who have sought
refuge at his ranch. His son Jeremy returns home after serving four years in the Army only to find that even
being a war hero seemingly can’t impress his emotionally distant father. Olivia is excited to have a sexy new man,
Arturo, in her life despite the language barrier between them, and Margaret continues to mull over a run for the
Senate despite Graves’ disapproval.
NICK NOLTE (President Richard Graves)
A three-time Academy Award® nominee, Nick Nolte has sustained a discernible level of
integrity throughout his career, leading him to the biggest role of his life -- international
super-stardom, and to his role as producer of many of the projects in which he appears
under the banner of his production company Kingsgate Films.
With the ability to masterfully portray a wide range of roles, Nolte was most recently
seen in A Walk in the Woods, co-starring Robert Redford. He also starred in Lionsgate’s
coming-of-age mixed martial-arts drama Warrior, for which he received Academy
Award®, Screen Actors Guild and Broadcast Film Critics nominations for Best
Supporting Actor; as well as the Ben Stiller-directed Hollywood spoof Tropic Thunder;
Paramount Pictures’ Spiderwick Chronicles; Sony Pictures Classics’ The Beautiful
Country, directed by Hans Peter Moland and executive produced by Terrence Malick; the Olivier Assayas directed
Clean, co-starring Maggie Cheung; The Peaceful Warrior, adapted from the Dan Millman novel Way of the
Peaceful Warrior and directed by Victor Salva; and Neverwas, directed by Joshua Michael Stern and co-starring
Ian McKellan, Jessica Lange, and William Hurt. He also voiced the character of Vincent the Bear in DreamWorks’
animated feature Over the Hedge.
Nolte’s additional film credits include: Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle; director Neil Jordan’s The Good
Thief; Ang Lee’s The Hulk for Universal Pictures; the Polish Brothers’ Northfork for Paramount Classics; director
Alan Rudolph’s Investigating Sex; director Paul Schrader’s Affliction, for which he received Academy Award®,
Golden Globe® and Independent Film nominations for Best Actor; Oliver Stone’s U-Turn; Afterglow, produced
by Robert Altman; Jefferson In Paris; Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear; and The Prince of Tides, in which he starred
opposite Barbra Streisand, and received an Oscar® nomination for Best Actor and won the Golden Globe® for
Best Actor; Down and Out in Beverly Hills, 48 Hours; Weeds and Sidney Lumet’s Q&A.
His production company Kingsgate currently has in development White Jazz, with a script by James Ellroy,
based on his best-selling film noir novel, and The Last Magic Summer, an adaptation of the Peter Gent novel
of the same name.
SELA WARD (Margaret Graves)
Award-winning actress Sela Ward continues to score strong, powerful roles in both film
and television. She will next be seen as the President of the United States in the highly
anticipated feature, Independence Day Resurgence. The project reunites Ward with
director Roland Emmerich, with whom she first worked on The Day After Tomorrow.
Other film credits include Gone Girl, The Guardian and The Fugitive with Harrison Ford.
She won a Best Actress Emmy® for her break thru performance in “Sisters,” earned
another Best Actress Emmy® and a Golden Globe® for her work on “Once and Again,”
and most recently co-starred with Gary Sinise on “CSI: NY.” Other television credits
include a recurring role on “House” and starring in the made for TV movie, Almost
Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story, which earned her Emmy® and Screen Actors Guild award nominations.
Ward, a Mississippi native and graduate of the University of Alabama, moved to New York after graduation. She
started a career in advertising but soon after was approached by the Wilhelmina Agency and she embarked on
a successful modeling and television commercial run. A move to Los Angeles catapulted her into the world of
acting when she was discovered by Blake Edwards who cast her in his film, A Man Who Loved Women.
In her native Mississippi, Ward founded Hope Village for Children to provide a safe haven and an alternative to
the traditional foster care system. The organization offers a more permanent home that provides a continuum
of specialized treatment programs, services and facilities to meet the individual needs of neglected and
abused children.
When not working or tending to her philanthropic projects, Ward is an accomplished painter and NY Times
bestselling author. Her first book, Homesick, is part inspirational story, part memoir that tells Ward’s quest
for a balance of the comforts of her small-town childhood and the big city way of life.
SKYLAR ASTIN (Isaiah Miller)
Showcasing his incredible dramatic and comedic talent, native New Yorker Skylar Astin
has starred in a wide range of television, theater, and film projects.
Astin’s film credits include Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 co-starring Anna Kendrick
and Rebel Wilson; Flock of Dudes; 21 and Over; Taking Woodstock; Hamlet 2 and
Wreck-It Ralph.
His television credits include “Ground Floor,” opposite John C. McGinley and guest
appearances on “Halt and Catch Fire”, “Girls” and “Glee.”
His breakout role came in 2006 when Astin starred as George in the Tony® Award-winning play “Spring
Awakening” alongside Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff. “Spring Awakening” earned eight Tony® Awards. Most
recently, he starred in Carnegie Hall’s special production of West Side Story and opposite Dantino Fontana in
Encore’s production of God Bless You Mr. Rosewater.
Astin currently splits his time between New York and Los Angeles
HELENE YORKE (Olivia Rockefeller)
Heléne Yorke is best known for her role as Jane on the critically acclaimed television
series “Masters of Sex.” Other television credits appearances on “Person of Interest,”
“30 Rock,” “A Gifted Man,” “I Just Want My Pants Back” and “Louie,” and voice over
work on “American Dad,” “Family Guy,” “Bojack Horseman” and “Robot Chicken.”
She was also featured on the acclaimed web series “High Maintenance.”
She was featured in the film The Night Before starring Seth Rogen and
Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
On Broadway, she co-starred in American Psycho and Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway.
CHRIS LOWELL (Jeremy Graves)
Chris Lowell starred in the critically lauded television show “Enlisted” as well as in the
Veronica Mars feature film, based on the cult TV show, opposite Kristen Bell.
This fall, he appears in Complete Unknown, opposite Rachel Weisz and
Michael Shannon via Amazon Studios, and Katie Says Goodbye, opposite
Christopher Abbott and Olivia Cooke. Other feature film credits include Up in the Air
and The Help, for which he received a SAG Award and a National Board of Review
Award for his work. In 2014, Lowell saw the theatrical release of his directorial debut,
Beside Still Waters, through Tribeca Film.
A fine art photographer, his works are featured in the Elton John Collection and
the Sovereign Collection. His recent exhibit, “Thirty-One Days,” opened alongside Vivian Maier at the Jackson
Fine Art Gallery.
Callie Hernandez hails from Texas where her acting career began working with Terrence
Malick in a small role on his film Weightless. From there, Callie moved to New York to
continue her studies with acting.
Since then, Callie has continued to work with brilliant directors such as Ridley Scott
(Alien: Covenant), Damien Chazelle (La La Land), and Adam Wingard (The Woods)
and is looking forward to all of these films debuting in theaters over the next year.
NIA VARDALOS (Annie Novak)
Academy Award® & Golden Globe® nominated actor/writer was born and raised
in Winnipeg, Canada.
Instant Mom, Vardalos’s memoir on adopting her daughter at the age of three, is a New
York Times bestseller. Social workers estimate the information from the book has placed
1000 children in permanent homes. Additionally, Vardalos donates all proceeds to charities.
Directed by Gary Griffin (The Color Purple), Vardalos performed the role of Jenny in
the musical Company and won Toronto’s Broadway Theater Award for Best Actress
in a Musical.
Vardalos voices Angie Diaz in Disney XD’s animated series “Star vs the Forces of Evil.”
With her husband Ian Gomez, Vardalos hosts ABC’s “The Great Holiday Baking Show,” and guest-stars on
ABC’s “The Catch.”
Currently, Vardalos wrote, produced and reprises the lead role of Toula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.
At The Public Theater, in December 2016, directed by Thomas Kail (Hamilton), Vardalos will perform in a play
she adapted from Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling book, Tiny Beautiful Things.
Vardalos attended Toronto’s Ryerson Theater School, and went on to perform onstage in Shakespeare and
many musicals, later taking a box office job at The Second City. One fateful night, the lead actress fell ill,
Vardalos convinced producers she knew the show and to let her fill in. The next day she was hired and went on
to write/perform in twelve Second City revues in Toronto and Chicago, winning Chicago’s Jefferson Award for
Best Actress.
Her feature films include the # 1 romantic comedy of all time, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, for which she was
nominated for an Academy Award® for best Screenplay, a Golden Globe® Award for Best Actress, winning the
Independent Spirit Award and People’s Choice award. She also wrote and starred in Connie and Carla, acted
in My Life in Ruins, and For a Good Time, Call; co-wrote Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks, directed her screenplay,
I Hate Valentine’s Day, and appeared on TV shows such as “Jane the Virgin”; “Law & Order: SVU”; “Grey’s
Anatomy”; “Cougar Town”; “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and hosted “Saturday Night Live”.
Presently, Vardalos mentors six writers, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their eleven-year-old
daughter, and many pets.
Ernie Hudson, a sought-after film, television and theater actor, currently stars in the
2016 feature Ghostbusters starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, the third
installment of the iconic film from which he gained fame playing Winston Zeddmore
opposite Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis (“Ghostbusters” in 1984,
“Ghostbusters 2” 1986). Other standout films Ernie is known for include starring roles
in feature hits Gallows Road, You’re Not You, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous,
Miss Congeniality, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Congo and The Crow.
On television he currently stars opposite Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the Emmy
nominated series “Grace & Frankie” and will be seen mid-season in the new FOX
series “A.P.B.” Other television credits include “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film,” “Law & Order,” “Modern Family,”
“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Criminal Minds,” “Key and Peele,” “Franklin & Bash” and “Oz.”
Hudson is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
ROGER BART (Lawrence Mills)
Tony® Award winning actor Roger Bart most recently co-starred in the Broadway
musical “Disaster!” Other Broadway credits include the title role Mel Brooks’s musical
Young Frankenstein, The Producers (Tony nomination) and You’re A Good Man, Charlie
Brown for which he won the Tony.
In film, he recently was featured in Speech & Debate, a film adaptation of Stephen
Karam’s acclaimed off-Broadway play, and he also appeared in Trumbo, starring Bryan
Cranston. Other film credits include Last Vegas, Law Abiding Citizen, Harold & Kumar 2,
The Producers, American Gangster, and The Stepford Wives. He also voiced the role of
Young Hercules in the animated feature, Hercules.
On television he is known for recurring roles on “Revenge,” “Episodes” and “Desperate Housewives” and guest
starring roles on “Scream Queens,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and many more.
ANGÉLICA MARIA (Ramona Alvarez)
Angélica Maria is Mexico’s legendary sweetheart… a multiplatinum recording artist,
Grammy® winning music, film, theater, and television superstar.
Her television success started when she was just 16 years old as she became one of the
pioneers of today’s popular telenovela format. To date she has been featured in more
than 25 productions, including “Que bonito amor,” “Ana del aire,” “Corazon salvaje,”
“El hogar que yo robe,” and “Muchacha italiana viene a casarse,” which became
Hispanic television’s first true international hit, making Angélica Maria a household
name and a favorite leading lady from New York to Chile to all of Europe.
Maria’s movie credits include The Book of Life, Sea of Dreams, Tattooed Love and Hidden Moon, among dozens of others.
As a recording artist, she created Baladas Rancheras, becoming the first Latin recording artist to sell more than
two million records in the U.S.
Tania Gunadi started her career in TV series and movies, including “Even Stevens,”
“Pixel Perfect,” “Go Figure,” “Imagination Movers” and ”Aaron Stone.”
Gunadi has also appeared in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Wiener Park,”
“The Magic of Ordinary Days,” “Transformers Prime,” and “Enlisted.” Feature film credits
include Blackhat, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Bob Funk, Possessions,
Such Good People, and Zambezia.
Born in Mexico from Brazilian descent, Khotan has appeared in more than 17 leading
roles in Spanish market networks and is now boosting his profile in English language TV.
Recent television credits include the lead in “Eternamente Tuya” for Azteca Television in
Mexico and guest starring roles in “Royal Pains,” “ISA ,” “Alvaro Camacho,” and “Perro Amor.”
Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, Khotan is one of the few
actors to have worked in different countries with all major TV
networks, including Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and the U.S.
In 2008, Khotan was chosen by QUIEN Magazine as one of Mexico’s 12 Sexiest Men Alive.
Is there a consensus about everyone’s all-time favorite American President among the Graves filmmakers and
cast? Here’s how they weigh in…
Joshua Michael Stern: “FDR, in some ways because of where he was in history, but there was also something
about the sense that he was bigger than life and yet at the same time physically crippled, that has always
interested me. There is that dichotomy between being such an important man and a man who came from such
strength, and yet was suffering physically.”
Greg Shapiro: “Bill Clinton. He is as charismatic in person as the mythology around him. And a good friend of
mine actually worked in the White House with him and was so impressed with him and his ability to focus and
Bill Hill: “Lincoln. I’m supposed to be related to him somehow through my great-grandmother’s genealogy.”
Sela Ward: “I don’t have a favorite President, but my favorite First Lady would be Jackie Kennedy because she
elevated the woman’s position in the White House. She really did raise the bar for every other First Lady and
for the image of what a First Lady should be, whether it was her style, graciousness, class, or intelligence.”
Skylar Astin (Isaiah Miller): “I’d have to say Clinton.”
Heléne Yorke (Olivia Rockefeller Graves): “Everybody says Lincoln. He was great.”
Ernie Hudson: “Obama’s too soon to say. I like him a lot but he’s still in office. I think Kennedy. In his presidency,
I felt the whole nation could come together. In the time that he came into office during all the chaos that was
happening in the country, I thought he was certainly admirable. I love the fact that he could inspire people by his
presence. That’s what a President does. You can’t change a lot of policies. You can’t fix a lot of things. But you
can pull people together. You can inspire hope and people can gather around an idea or a thought.”
Roger Bart: “I’ve certainly loved Barack Obama, but I have to say that I’ve liked Jimmy Carter an awful lot.
He’s the only President that didn’t fire one shot during his presidency. And being somebody who wishes there
was always an alternative to violence, I think I most commend him for not doing that. And also for how he has
conducted his life post-presidency – he’s been selfless and beautiful.”
Tania Gunadi: “Abraham Lincoln.”
Gloria Allred: “My all-time favorite President is the person whom I intend to work for so that she will become the
next President of the United States. That’s Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
Bob Balaban (Secretary Burns): “I’m a huge FDR fan. Looking back at FDR and judging him from what I’ve been
reading, even lately, in new books that keep coming out about what really happened in World War II, I actually
believe that FDR—along with Churchill—but as the President of the United States, FDR pretty much singlehandedly made sure that the Nazis didn’t dominate the world and certainly the United States. I think he probably
did change the world the most.”
Rudy Giuliani: “My favorite all-time American President in my lifetime is Ronald Reagan. And my favorite overall
would probably be Abraham Lincoln. Both Republicans. Abraham Lincoln liberated millions of people and
Ronald Reagan liberated millions of people.”
Joan Lunden: “I was quite close to George and Barbara Bush. The seniors.”
Jillian Michaels: “I would have to go with Abraham Lincoln. He seems like a pretty good dude to me.”
Thomas Walsh (Production Designer): “Teddy Roosevelt. The bravado of Roosevelt! You wish you had someone
like that today when you look at all the other Republicans running. Where did the magic go? Where did the fire
go? Where did the honesty go? We’re dealing with little things now as opposed to the big epic things that really
changed our lives and the world. TR is my favorite. He also had the best house by the way – Sagamore Hill.”
Featuring Graves Crew Location Manager Sam Tischler, Production Designer Thomas Walsh and Costume
Designer Lisa Jensen
Principal photography on Graves took place in the high desert terrain of New Mexico, mostly in Santa Fe,
Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo, with several dozen different locations used as well as a soundstage.
Santa Fe
Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico, is perched at 7,000 feet in the Sangre de Cristo foothills. It was where
Graves found its core locations and where ex-President Graves (Nick Nolte) is living.
Renowned for its Pueblo and Territorial style architecture, much of it constructed from native adobe, Santa Fe
was founded in 1610 as a Spanish colony and today thrives as a creative arts Mecca. Home to hundreds of art
galleries, it has attracted such artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, along with authors D.H. Lawrence, Cormac McCarthy,
and George R.R. Martin; actors Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Val Kilmer, Shirley MacLaine, and Ali MacGraw;
director/fashion mogul Tom Ford; and retired politicians including former CIA operative Valerie Plame and her
husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson.
The show tapped into several hero locations in Santa Fe that appear regularly on Graves. Most high-profile was
the real-life Plaza Café, which production rented out repeatedly for filming, since the character of Samantha
(Callie Hernandez) works as a waitress in that longtime coffee shop and Graves often drops in.
Several times, production shot scenes with Graves walking across or driving by the central Santa Fe Plaza, which
is just across the street from the Plaza Café. The Plaza is shown in autumn with its trees turning golden and in
winter dusted with snow and draped in colorful holiday decorations.
The Graves family compound is situated on country singer Randy Travis’s former Santa Fe ranch, just outside
of town. Located on a sprawling 220 acres, this luxury ranch is large enough that the Grammy® winner used to
park his tour bus in the estate’s bus garage and is even said to have kept a pet buffalo on site, as well as horses
and cattle. An adobe gate with a bell tower allows entry onto the property. The home has 10 fireplaces and is
decorated with such Southwest accents as hand-carved doors, inlaid details, wood-burning stoves, beamed
ceilings, and tiled floors. A bowling alley and gymnasium are tucked into an adobe building that looks from the
outside like a traditional New Mexico chapel. There is also a shooting range, stables, and swimming pool, the
latter two appearing in the series.
At the ranch, production filmed numerous exteriors of the cream-colored estate, including scenes of cars pulling
up and leaving the roundabout driveway under sapphire-blue skies; scenes entering and leaving the house with
its heavy wooden doors; scenes of Graves on horseback riding through the immigrants’ tent city situated among
the sagebrush and pine trees; scenes at the stables; and scenes with the estate blanketed in snowfall.
Santa Fe’s famed Loretto Chapel, located downtown, doubles for a church in the Cotswolds in England, in the
episode involving the former British Prime Minister. A former Roman Catholic church with a “miraculous” spiral
staircase that ascends 20 feet without a visible center support, the Loretto Chapel was constructed in the late
1800s and designed in the Gothic revival style, including spires, buttresses, and stained glass windows.
The Hennepaw Reservation scenes that take place on Indian tribal land were filmed south of Santa Fe at
El Rancho de Las Golondrinas; the Phoenix Christmas store scenes were shot in downtown Santa Fe near the
Plaza; and Santa Fe’s Rosario Cemetery doubled for a Baltimore cemetery.
An hour south is Albuquerque, which is New Mexico’s largest and most urban city, and home to a number of
diverse locations found for the show.
The gated Zachary Mansion doubles for Olivia’s (Heléne Yorke) Rhode Island estate, and the Albuquerque
Publishing Company offices provided the law office where Olivia’s divorce is negotiated. Meanwhile, the Graves
Presidential Library scenes were shot at the Albuquerque Art Museum.
The Hotel Albuquerque doubled for both the Palm Springs resort where a gay wedding is held, and for a Silicon
Valley hotel where Margaret (Sela Ward) participates in a fundraiser.
Several locations meant to be in Baltimore were also shot in Albuquerque, including the Calypso Strip Club,
which was filmed at Albuquerque’s Knockouts Gentleman’s Club; the pizzeria, which was shot at JC’s NY Pizza
Department; the Tattoo Parlor, transformed from the Ace Barbershop; and Johns Hopkins Hospital, shot at
Gibson Medical Center.
Rio Rancho/Bernalillo/Santa Ana Pueblo
On the outskirts of Albuquerque, the Quinceañera party was shot at the Prairie Star Restaurant on Santa Ana
Pueblo Indian land, while the recurring location of Samantha’s trailer park was in Bernalillo.
The Black Hawk Bar, a biker bar where Samantha takes Graves, Isaiah, and Secretary Burns, is actually Silva’s
Saloon in Bernalillo. Says Location Manager Sam Tischler, “It’s an old bar. I think it’s been in the family for 80
years and when you walk in, the whole wall is just covered with photos and dollar bills that people have written on.
It has a lot of authenticity and texture. It’s just real. And when we walked in to shoot it, we didn’t change a thing.”
The posh Hyatt Tamaya Resort and Spa, also on Indian land, was re-dressed to play as a Santa Fe hotel where
the RPAC (Republican Political Action Conference) convention takes place.
Interiors for the Graves compound were designed and built on an 11,000-square-foot soundstage in Rio Rancho,
as envisioned by Production Designer Thomas Walsh. These elaborate sets that establish the inside of the
family’s hacienda are richly detailed, with almost a dozen rooms surrounding a central Spanish courtyard that’s
lit by skylights and filled with a working pond and real flora and fauna. It is in these rooms that we peer most
intimately into the lives of this ex-First Family.
“The back-story of Graves is that he is the ex-attorney general and ex-governor of New Mexico. He is a native son
of New Mexico. He was born on a ranch here. He had pretty humble beginnings. He grew up as a cowboy. So he’s
very familiar with Northern New Mexico. It’s his world. When he was President, they left New Mexico and went to
Washington, DC. They always came back to New Mexico. This really was their Western White House, in essence,
much like other Presidents have had their retreats,” explains Walsh.
“So we created a hacienda for him. The idea behind the hacienda is its original adobe structures were completely
renovated. This is not a celebration of just Southwest living. This is actually the home of a very powerful couple
in the world for eight years. In the White House, they had 150 people working for them and now they’re back in
this hacienda that’s been converted for their afterlife of 25 years since his presidency.”
To reflect the lifestyle of such a power couple, Walsh reasoned, “The hacienda is not classic Southwest
architecture. It’s the bones of that, renovated to be the envelope for a very international couple. A couple that
have traveled to many worlds and circles and they’ve brought that back to their final home. And so it’s a
mash-up between Southwest architecture, Northern New Mexico, North African, Santa Barbara, and classic
Santa Fe. It’s been really fun to find those mixes and make it serve as a place for their very rich,
complicated lives to exist in.”
Symbolic visual motifs that appear throughout the home are sculptures and paintings of hawks and horses.
Explains Walsh, “We wanted to make sure we hung onto his roots as a rancher and cowboy. So we have these
themes. The hawk is a prominent metaphor. You’ll also see birds and other wildlife. And, many horses and
saddles on display. It’s an interesting combination of Western ruggedness and a very fine Eastern, Oriental,
and traveled experience.”
The most potent room inside the Graves compound is Graves’s office. “It’s the inner sanctum of an ex-President.
It represents the depth of his life and his travels and his many accomplishments,” Walsh maintains. The
handsome wooden desk was found in a consignment store in Palm Springs. On it sits an American eagle golden
sculpture. Nearby is a faux Remington cowboy sculpture. Many photos of Graves and his family relating to their
earlier years were created and placed on display throughout the office, including Graves as a young man on a
horse, Graves meeting other heads of state, and Graves at various real points in history. His international life as
a statesman is represented in his study with swords that were a gift from the Emperor of Japan. A number of
original paintings were commissioned of Graves, depicting him as a rancher/cowboy/statesman. Some of them
riff on Ronald Reagan in terms of themes and imagery, and some of them graft Nolte’s head onto the bodies of
Lyndon Baines Johnson and Bill Clinton. Western saddles in the study and throughout the house remind us that
we’re on a working ranch, not just in a home of privilege.
The most atmospheric area in the hacienda is its central Spanish courtyard. “It’s a brilliant solution for creating
nature and a refuge in a large living environment,” points out Walsh. “It’s an open space where light, air, and
nature can be celebrated and seen through all the windows from all the different spaces. We used it with a full
summer look, then changed it into an autumn look. In the course of a day, we re-silked all of our trees and took
away all of our bougainvillea and brought in autumn tones. Then we decorated it for Christmas.” The stone-andtile fountain in the center of the courtyard is a working fountain.
Other distinct sets on the soundstage include Margaret’s study, with its floral motifs and more contemporary
artwork; Richard and Margaret’s majestic bedroom with its lush fabrics and layered curtains; Olivia’s bedroom,
with its silver princess bed and overbearing memorabilia of her youth including numerous Livvy dolls from when
she was the prototype for an American Girl doll and the family permitted her to be branded and marketed as a
child; Jeremy’s more masculine bedroom with his Army duffel and blanket; Isaiah’s separate quarters, which are
fairly Spartan but do contain a working fireplace; a luxurious kitchen with upscale Kohler appliances and granite
countertops; and numerous hallways decorated with representational sculptures and paintings, all of them
surrounding the courtyard and connecting the rooms.
At the back of the soundstage, stands an actual salvaged Gulfstream G2 jet from Northern California. Production
salvaged the parts that were needed, which was the main cabin with all of its finishes and leather chairs and
veneer work, providing a tremendous amount of value albeit in a tight space. The art department decorated
it with the presidential seal and other embellishments to make it personal. “As with any First Family, you need
to get to many places around the world quickly. Many of them have chartered jets. We went one step further.
We bought a jet, or shall we say, we salvaged a jet and brought it here, disassembled. And then we put it on
the stage so that the Graves family can go wherever they want, whenever they want,” says Walsh. “It’s a
throwback to when Graves was the most powerful man in the world and had his own private
jet to take him anywhere.”
“The concept behind the costuming was reality as much as possible, a little more crystallized,” says Costume
Designer Lisa Jensen.
Richard Graves is often seen in suits with dress shoes or cowboy boots. For his casual look, he wears nice slacks
or jeans, often with checked shirts, in a look that is reminiscent of Mitt Romney on the campaign trail. “There is a
sense of starched formality but it’s not stuffy, with a little bit of a Western look, especially when he’s on a horse,”
says Jensen. He’s an old-style President in his look, often wearing a Republican red tie, and sometimes
a Democratic blue tie.
The look for Margaret Graves was largely inspired by the clothing designs of Carolina Herrera. “It’s very clean
with color blocks, and a lot of blacks, reds, turquoise, purple, and cobalt blue. I thought of Anna Wintour, and
Millicent Rogers transplanted as a New Mexico socialite,” describes Jensen. Other influences for Margaret’s
pared-down, minimalist style included Jackie Kennedy for the clean lines and simplicity of her clothes,
Michelle Obama, and Nancy Reagan.
Margaret’s costumes include several cashmere sweaters and pants by Michael Kors; a red St. John suit; a
re-sculpted knit boucle black jacket by St. John; an Armani black and gray V-neck, side-tie jacket and pant;
a Carolina Herrera orange dress; and shoes by Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik.
All of Margaret’s jewelry is by contemporary designer Alexis Von Viragh, who specializes in vibrant, spiritually
resonant statement pieces with one-of-a-kind gold and sterling silver chains adorned with unique spirit charms.
Isaiah is a young man from modest means so most of his costumes were off the rack from JCPenney and
Burlington Coat Factory, including four suits, khaki pants, button down shirts, and sport jackets.
Olivia is often seen in tank tops, as well as Paige jeans and Hudson jeans. She wears a Tahari pink suit that’s
figure-sculpted and made to look Chanel-like, to her divorce mediation. She often wears pinks, creams, and soft
blues. At the RPAC convention, she wears a black Herve Leger bandage dress with Manolo Blahnik shoes.
To costume Jeremy, Jensen frequently shopped at J. Crew, opting for preppy, classic checked and plain button-down
shirts and suits with a slender fit, frequently sculpted tighter. He is most often seen in browns, grays, and blues.
For free-spirit Samantha, Jensen purchased some one-of-a-kind vintage clothing, including a fringed jacket and
cowboy boots from Albuquerque’s Buffalo Exchange. For the scene at the RPAC convention, Samantha wears a
burgundy, olive, and black floral dress reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn, from Neiman Marcus.
JOSHUA MICHAEL STERN (Creator/Showrunner)
Joshua Michael Stern is a unique talent who writes, directs, and often self generates
financing for his projects. Jobs, Josh’s third feature film, was the closing night film at
the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired for distribution by Open Road
Films and opened nationwide in August of that year. Jobs stars Ashton Kutcher, Dermot
Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, and Matthew Modine.
Previously, Josh co-wrote and directed Disney’s Swing Vote, a Capra-esque fable
starring Kevin Costner as a working-class slacker in a small New Mexico border town
who, thanks to a voting machine glitch, single-handedly decides the presidential
election. The movie co-stars Kelsey Grammer as the incumbent and Dennis Hopper
as the challenger, who try to win Costner’s vote.
In 2005, Josh’s debut feature Neverwas opened the Toronto International Film Festival. Neverwas stars an
acclaimed cast including Aaron Eckhart, Nick Nolte, Sir Ian McKellan, Jessica Lange, Brittany Murphy,
William Hurt, and Vera Farmiga.
A career as a filmmaker seemed like a natural fit for Stern, who was born into a family with a unique showbusiness pedigree. His grandmother, Nancy Green, worked as David O. Selznick’s East Coast studio executive,
discovering such talent as Marlon Brando, and bringing British actors such as Alec Guinness and Jessica Tandy,
to America. Stern’s grandfather, Jules Green, was the original executive producer of “The Tonight Show,” which
he created with Steve Allen.
Lionsgate’s Graves for EPIX is Joshua’s first TV project. A show he created and wrote, Josh also directed the
pilot. Starring Nick Nolte, Skylar Astin, and Sela Ward, Graves is the story of a former two-term President who
realizes that many things he did as President messed the country up, so he goes on a Don Quixote-like journey
to right his administration’s wrongs.
GREG SHAPIRO (Executive Producer)
Greg Shapiro is the Academy Award®-winning producer of The Hurt Locker, directed
by Kathryn Bigelow, which received a total of six Oscars® including Best Picture.
Shapiro was also executive producer on Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which received
five Academy Award® nominations, and Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary, starring
Johnny Depp.
Shapiro most recently produced James Gray’s The Immigrant, starring
Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner, which premiered at the
66th Annual Cannes Film Festival as part of the official competition and was
released by The Weinstein Company in 2014.
His other producing credits include Child 44, directed by Daniel Espinosa; The Conspirator, directed by
Robert Redford; The Rules of Attraction, directed by Roger Avary; and the popular Harold & Kumar franchise.
Currently in production is the independent film Weightless, starring Alessandro Nivola and Julianne Nicholson.
BILL HILL (Producer) – Hill is a strong executive with critical experience in the entertainment industry across
multiple platforms on both business management and creative. His ability to recruit the best talent then mentor
and empower them creates a cohesive, collaborative, loyal, and successful work environment.
Before becoming an executive producer/producer/line producer, Hill worked in many capacities below-the-line
from grip to accountant to UPM. He has the respect of crew members and studio executives alike. Hill is a proud
member and cardholder of IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees).
Hill has a great track record for working on television pilots and helping them get picked up as seen with shows
like “Three Rivers,” “Nashville,” “Veep” and “Revenge.”
He was the co-producer of the pilot of “Nashville” as well as co-producer of Cinemax’s first original scripted
drama “Banshee” and line producer of two seasons of “Veep.” Hill earned the “produced by” credit on season
four of HBO’s half-hour comedy. This would become the Emmy Award®-winning season: Hill’s first nomination
and first win. He was also nominated for the Golden Globes® and Producer’s Guild Award for Best Comedy.
Lionsgate Chairman Kevin Beggs stated that, “Bill is a friend to the creative process and a bottom line
production guy rolled into one and incredibly rare find in today’s television landscape...Bill is simply one
of the best, if not the best in the business.”
KEITH EISNER (Executive Producer) - Eisner is a former executive producer of “The Good Wife,” where his
involvement spanned five years. He has served as a writer-producer on a number of other critically acclaimed
shows including “Law and Order,” “NYPD Blue,” and “Gilmore Girls.” He began his career as a comedy writer.
ERIC WEINBERG (Executive Producer) - Weinberg was born in New York City and grew up in northern New
Jersey. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Eric went back for an MBA at the Wharton School
and then spent three years on Wall Street before following a friend out to Los Angeles to try his hand at writing.
His first writing job was on “Politically Incorrect” with Bill Maher, and he’s been writing and producing various
comedy series since then, among them “Scrubs,” “Californication,” and “Wilfred.” While he still misses New York
and will be happy to tell you why, Eric lives in Los Angeles and is the father of three children.
DAVID ISERSON (Supervising Producer) - Iserson is originally from Freehold, New Jersey and attended
Northwestern University. He began his television writing career on “Saturday Night Live.” Since then, he served
as a supervising producer for USA’s “Mr. Robot,” a co-producer for AMC’s “Mad Men” (nominated for a WGA
award), a producer for Fox’s “New Girl,” a co-producer for NBC’s “Up All Night,” and an executive story editor for
Showtimes’s “United States of Tara.” He is also the author of the young adult novel Firecracker, released in 2013.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Allis, a taxidermist (yes, really) and their dogs Dr. Bacon and Professor Jones.
LISA PARSONS (Producer) - Parsons is a television comedy writer who has written for several shows
including “Arrested Development,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Betas,”
and “Brickleberry.” She has also written pilots for Sony, MTV, and ABC Family.
SAM TISCHLER (Location Manager) - Tischler has been location manager on the TV series “Manhattan,” “Dig,”
“House of Cards,” “Chicago Fire,” “In Plain Sight,” and “Breaking Bad.” He’s also been location manager on the
feature films 50 to 1, Tiger Eyes, Inhale, Deadly Impact, The Spirit, The Burrowers, and A West Texas Children’s Story.
THOMAS WALSH (Production Designer) - Thomas’s diverse career spans feature films, IMAX, episodic series,
documentaries, commercials, industrials, rock videos, Broadway, and regional theatre. Currently, he is the
production designer on the popular series “Longmire.” He originated the Disney/ABC hit series “Desperate
Housewives.” Having been nominated many times, Thomas is the winner of the Emmy Award® for the CBS-TV
series “Buddy Faro.”
His feature film credits include A Hand Maids Tale, A Gathering of Old Men and The Majestic. Thomas continues
to work on and off-Broadway recently designing the new American play, Annapurna. He designed the Tony
Award® winning production of Children of a Lesser God and the original critically acclaimed productions
of Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit.
LISA JENSEN (Costume Designer) - This is costume designer Lisa Jensen’s third collaboration with “Graves”
writer/producer/director Joshua Michael Stern and her second foray into episodic television. She has costume
designed Stern’s feature films Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher, and Swing Vote starring Kevin Costner. Her previous
work includes the TV series “Dig” for NBC/Universal and a long career of feature films including the recent
Good Kill, In the Valley of Elah, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, George of the Jungle, Grumpy Old Men,
and Grumpier Old Men, Freejack, White Palace, and The Fabulous Baker Boys. Lisa resides in New Mexico
with her husband, retired makeup artist Ben Nye Jr., and their two wacky dogs on 6 acres in the middle
of a fantastically beautiful nowhere.
Directed by
Joshua Michael Stern
Bob Balaban
Written by
Joshua Michael Stern
Executive Producers
Joshua Michael Stern
Greg Shapiro
Keith Eisner
Eric Weinberg
Supervising Producer
David Iserson
Bill Hill
Nick Nolte
Lisa Parsons
Director of Photography
David Hennings
Production Designer
Thomas Walsh
Costume Designer
Lisa Jensen
Set Decorator
Bryony Foster
Location Manager
Sam Tischler
Casting Director
Wendy O’Brien
Executive Story Editor
Abby Gewanter
Nick Nolte
Sela Ward
Skylar Astin
Heléne Yorke
Chris Lowell
Callie Hernandez
Nia Vardalos
Ernie Hudson
Roger Bart
Angélica Maria
Tania Gunadi
Khotan Hernandez
Guest Appearances
Gloria Allred
Martin Bashir
Barney Frank
Rudy Giuliani
Joan Lunden
Jillian Michaels
Bill Richardson
Michael Steele