Tembi Locke makes a deadly house call in Flesh and Blood


The latest episode of Blumhouse Productions Into the Dark, Flesh and Blood, is currently streaming on Hulu.

In Flesh and Blood, Tembi Locke plays a therapist who tries to help a teen cope with the loss of her mother, her agoraphobia, and a father who may not be able to help her. She was kind enough to talk to us for a few minutes about the role.

The Interview

Tembi Locke Goes Into the Dark

1428 Elm: Most recently, fans have seen you on NCIS: Los Angeles. You’ve been on The Magicians. How did you come to star in this episode of Into the Dark?

Tembi Locke: I did a Blumhouse project called 12 Deadly Days, which was on YouTube Red. So, there was a preexisting relationship with them. And I went in and read for it. I read the script and I was very interested. I loved Patrick {Lussier] the director. It felt like a real and fun and interesting project. And the whole idea of 12 horror films over the course of the year was kind of fascinating. And I wanted to work for Hulu. I was like, sign me up.

1428 Elm: I agree. The whole concept of having a show where it’s not just 12 episodes. They’re themed on a holiday around that month is something different.

TL: No, it’s fantastic! I can’t wait to see Valentine’s Day. I don’t know what’s going to happen for Easter. It’s so original. And that’s what I really loved about it.

1428 Elm: In Flesh and Blood, you play Kimberly’s therapist. Could you tell us about the character?

TL: Dr. Saunders has just begun seeing Kimberly. She’s a really loving, open therapist who is trying to help her client out of this paralyzed time that she’s in. And she likes Kimberly. There’s obviously some concern about the situation. There’s a lot happening and she needs a lot of help. I can really feel it. Her dad is also grieving and I don’t know how much he’s able to help her. So, Dr. Saunders is really Kimberly’s ally.

Tembi Locke-Collusions-Courtesy of Boomerang Productions Media, Inc

1428 Elm: I got that. It’s not only that her family is broken, but her house is literally broken with all the construction going on.

TL: Yes! It’s a real physical manifestation or physical metaphor for what’s going on for both of them. Which is why I know it’s even more important to get Kimberly out of the home. There’s too much destruction. The grief is destruction. It’s the holidays. It’s her birthday. The house is in disarray. And, you know, she starts new medication. We’re trying to regulate what that looks like for Kimberly and for her father as well. As a clinician coming into that, we focus on what we’re seeing as much as what we’re not seeing.

1428 Elm: Was that set really small? Did it end up feeling claustrophobic? Virtually the whole episode takes place in that house.

TL: Yes to everything you just said. We were filming in a house in Los Angeles. By the time you get all the props, the set, the crew, the actors, and the cameras in there, you start to feel claustrophobic and it informs the performances. It was a lot of stepping over stuff, which made for a great sense of drama for me coming into it as a character and an actor. “Ok, this is a hot mess.”

1428 Elm: How did the cast get along and deal with that in the downtime on set?

TL: Let me tell you exactly what we did. For downtime, everybody went outside. Fresh air, sunshine, green trees. You have to break it up. Otherwise, you’re filming for 12 or 13 hours and it’s a compact shoot. We tried to have fun and tell jokes. We got along incredibly well. I loved Dermot. Diana is fantastic. It was a surprisingly lighthearted set. That allowed us to take the performances where we needed to go when we walked back into the house.

Into The Dark-Flesh and Blood-Courtesy of Aaron Epstein/Hulu

1428 Elm: I can only imagine. I want to follow up on Dermot’s performance. I really enjoyed it and he said some really creepy things.

TL: You know what he brings is the nuance. It’s a performance that’s on the edge. And that’s so contrary to who he is. So, it was fantastic to watch and I loved the final product.

1428 Elm: And I think this is Diana Silvers’ first big role that we’ve seen.

TL: Yeah. She’s so brilliant in the role. She’s so perfect for this. She has such a sensitivity and strength that she brings to the character. It was fantastic. I really loved working with both of them and watching them play off of each other.

Spoilers ahead: We discover Kimberly’s father (Dermot Mulroney) is a threat to her safety. At the end of a session, Kimberly (Diana Silvers) is able to slip a note to Dr. Saunders (Tembi Locke) asking her to call 911. But her father discovers the note and kills Dr. Saunders to silence her.

1428 Elm: Your character has this big climatic scene. It’s where we find out, for sure, who Henry really is. What was it like filming that?

TL: That scene was really tricky to film. There were a lot of moving parts.

The physicality of being in one state where I think I’m okay. I think I’m leaving this home to be being pulled back in. And then of course what happens next is obviously my demise. And we had to rehearse that a lot to make sure the choreography would be safe. Then I wore this very specific prosthetic that would allow for all of the gore.

1428 Elm: All of the cutting.

TL: All the stuff! And I was so excited to film it. It was my first time dying on camera. Every actor wants to die on camera. Because it’s cool. And then to do it in this way with all of the moving parts. We did multiple angles. Where I was standing, the slow sort of him pulling me down and then the big splatter.

We could only do a certain angle of that one time. So we really did a lot of meticulous choreography to get it right. And, Oh my God it’s so good. It’s so good.

Tembi Locke-Collusions-Courtesy of Boomerang Productions Media, Inc

1428 Elm: It’s by far the goriest thing in the episode. And I was like, ok, here we go.

TL: Oh, yeah. Dr. Saunders thinks that there’s something up there. But this is beyond the beyond. And for poor Kimberly to see the potentiality of what’s happening with her dad and this violence is  frightening. It was an awesome scene to film. And you really have to be careful with each other because you don’t want any injuries. So there’s the technical piece and then there’s the emotional piece.

1428 Elm: You nailed the technical and emotional parts of that scene. And I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on your face. 

TL: And the eyes of steel that Dermot was giving me! I had very little acting to do because there was this other side of the character that he pulled out just for that one scene.

1428 Elm: Do you have any upcoming projects?

TL: I’m working on a project now for Fox called Proven Innocent that is going to premiere mid February. It’s a legal drama with Kelsey Grammar. It’s going to be great. I’ll have a recurring role. You can see me in that. And that’s my next thing. Look for it. Who knows, maybe The Magicians will have me back.

1428 Elm: That character was also a therapist helping a teen in a precarious situation. You’ve got a thing going.

TL: I think I do! If you need a therapist for a teen to college age person, call me!

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Thanks to Tembi Locke for spending some time with us! She’s awesome. Blumhouse’s Into the Dark: Flesh and Blood is currently streaming on Hulu.

Have you watched Flesh and Blood yet? How did you feel about Dr. Saunders? Let’s discuss in the comments.