WATCH | New series focuses on terrors endured by Japanese-Americans in internment camps during WW II

13 August 2019 - 07:00 By Deepa Kesa

AMC Network's The Terror: Infamy officially drops in South Africa on Tuesday night and here's why you should make plans to stay indoors and binge watch! 

Infamy focuses on Japanese-American families who were interned in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and Arkansas from 1942 to 1945. The nail-biting, fact-based series highlights the cultural clashes and traditional conspiracy theories of the time. 

TshisaLIVE caught up with some of the cast members in Los Angeles ahead of the show's release, who all said they want members of the audience to feel like they are living in the skin of the characters. That way, they will have succeeded in bringing to life the experiences of those involved. 

Director, Alexander Woo, said he aimed to make it as culturally accurate as possible. He said despite some production challenges, like creating a 1940s Vancouver, the sets were as realistic as possible.

Infamy focuses primarily on the Nakayama family's experiences during this turbulent time. 

Derek Mio, a fourth generation Japanese-American, landed the lead role of Chester Nakayama. Derek said it was hard to embody the character. To help him do so, he visited many locations and tried to imagine what it was like for Japanese-Americans in the 1940s. He also turned to his family, who had vast knowledge of the period. His late great grandfather lived on Terminal Island. 

Kiki Sukezane, who plays shape-shifter Yuko Tanabe, said she was thrilled to land the role, but struggled to understand Yuko’s personality and character. She travelled to Japan to work with a coach, who told her to embody an animal to understand Yuko. 

Also in the cast is Star Trek star George Takei, who was held in a Japanese-American internment camp with his family from a young age. Fellow cast members said he played one of the biggest roles in making the show as culturally accurate as possible to give the audience a greater sense of the terror the prisoners endured.

Catch the series on Sundance TV (DStv 108) at 9pm.