Eion Bailey talks about why Jim is so calm in MGM+ horror series FROM

From - Courtesy MGM+
From - Courtesy MGM+ /

Actor Eion Bailey plays husband and dad Jim Matthews in the MGM+ horror series, FROM. “Fromtown,” as Bailey termed it in our interview, is a stressful place. It’s bad enough people get stuck there and can’t get out, but when the sun goes down, the situation gets even worse. The monsters come out and hunt the stranded residents.

Naturally, people freak out. Sometimes right away, sometimes it takes a while for the severity of the situation to really sink in.

Jim, however, is a rarity. Sure, he gets stressed and emotional, but he’s never fully lost it like so many of the others. Why? And how does Bailey bring Jim to life like that?

That was one of the questions we asked him during our interview.  Let’s check it out.

Note: The interview has pretty much been transcribed word-for-word, with the exception of some minor edits for clarity. And if you want to see the interview with Eion Bailey—plus a clip of him in an episode from season 2— you can! Check out the video of the interview included below.

From MGM+ Eion Bailey
FROM – Courtesy MGM+ /

1428 Elm: I have a question about Jim…he’s so calm. And he hasn’t really had a meltdown like some of the other characters, and I was just wondering how tricky is that to portray that, or is that something that you have within you that’s pretty easy for you to tap into?

Eion Bailey: (chuckles) Oh, if you could only ask my wife that question.

I think I am a pretty calm person. But…I have a temper, and there is all the things seething underneath. And I’m sometimes surprised that people think I have a very calm exterior when there’s a sea of volatility underneath. And emotion. I feel things deeply and intensely.

Hopefully, that comes across on screen. Even in those moments of composure.

But, yeah, I hadn’t really thought of that, that Jim hasn’t had a…like, he snapped at Harold, Harold’s character Boyd, one time.

He’s just not the type. He’s not the type to, like, be easy to yell at somebody. It doesn’t come naturally to him. And you see it when you read a character. You quickly gather what a human being is like.

Like, I have an uncle who is a rocket scientist, engineer background. And he is smart as could be. And I’ve also never seen him raise his voice. Then again, I haven’t seen him get stuck in a place like Fromtown. But you know what I mean. Certain people, their composure is just different. Their constitution is…some people just lose it easily and others can hold it in. So Jim is a guy who can hold it in until, you know, he snaps.

And maybe in season 3, there’ll be a snap-age.

1428 Elm: A snap…yes. Yes, season 3, yes! 

And I had a question…this kind of goes to the calmness because a good example of him (Jim) keeping his composure is when the house collapses, and he’s buried under the rubble. How hard is that for you to play…like, I don’t know what movie magic goes into all of that, but it looks so real, and I don’t know what you have to tap into to go there. But whatever you did, you did it great.

Eion Bailey: Thank you. The production design is really good on this show. It’s a talented team. So they build great sets, which makes the suspension of disbelief not too terribly difficult. So that was…that particular set was great. Everywhere you looked, there was a collapsed house all around. And then I slot into this little carve-out for myself, and then they screw boards onto me where I actually can’t move. So therefor it’s easy to have that…it feels trapped because…or it looks like I’m trapped, because in a way I am. And then you just go with it.

So I think it’s about even allowing yourself to get into those situations, which makes it so you can either do good work or not. The first thing is to even say “yes” in life.  Say, “yes,” and get into some uncomfortable, awkward positions and see how you do.

Watch Eion Bailey continue to stay calm despite the chaos when he reprises his role as Jim in FROM on MGM+. Season 2 premiered Sunday, April 23, with new episodes out every Sunday through June 25.

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What would you have asked Eion Bailey? Is there something you’d want to know about his character or about the series itself? Leave a comment letting us know!