Barry Sloane is making the rounds at ABC. After a stint on “Revenge” as Aiden Mathis, the badass lover of lead Emily Thorne (or Amanda Clarke, depending on the day), he’s moving on to “The Whispers,” the network’s anxiety-invoking new drama about children who are being influenced to commit horrible deeds by a possibly imaginary, possibly not, villainous new friend. The show comes from executive producer Steven Spielberg, and Sloane plays Wes Lawrence, a government agent who tries to untangle the mystery behind what’s happening.
What made you decide to move on from “Revenge” to this show?
It was an easy one. I’d already made up my mind that I wasn’t going to stay with "Revenge" midway through the third season, so I was kind of off, in a way. And then when I started looking at various scripts, as you do, this one, as soon as I saw it, I was attracted to it. And then I knew the cast that they were putting together for this, it was a no brainer, really. It became very very simple, and Spielberg involved? It was like, OK, when do I turn up, what do you want me to do?
What kind of imprint did Spielberg leave on the project?
I think just visually. You’ll see it in the pilot, but just as it goes on. There’s like a ’70s and ’80s feel to it, which I really loved. Some of it reminded me of being a child. Some of it took me back a little bit, just an innocence to it that I hadn’t seen in a lot of television. There was no gratuity about this. OK, there’s creepy elements, there’s things that might make you think, but in the same way that Blair Witch Project did. Not to that extreme, but in the fact that, did I just see that? Did I hear that, what did he say, what did she say. I think we leave a lot to the imagination, and in doing that, we kind of leave it up to what scares you, or what scares someone else. And that to me is the more terrifying thing.
Was it appealing to be playing a father?
There’s roles for certain parts in your life that come along at the right time. I’m a father of a daughter who’s coming up to five right now, so when this came about, everything was there for me. The idea of working closely with a child for some actors would be jarring because if you don’t have that relationship instantly with a kid, they can shut down their doors. We were very fortunate with who we had. They were all very prepared to go the extra mile.
There’s a lot asked of the kids on this show, who are all very young. Did it go smoothly working with them?
Every child that they employed on this show, wonderful work. It should be no surprise that Spielberg casts children well. There’s such a soul and a heart to these children. They just get it perfect. It’s truly one of the most unique TV shows I’ve ever done.
Has your own daughter met your screen daughter?
We used to hang out outside work. What’s quite funny is Kylie, who played my daughter, her last onscreen father was Russell Crowe, so I had a lot to stand up to.
Did she pass on anything about Crowe?
He swore a lot. [Laughs]