Little Marvin‘s Amazon terror-anthology series Them brings to life a supernatural drama which seemingly takes a page out of history.

Set in the 1950s, the series follows the Emory family as they move into an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. However, after moving in, the family becomes the target of racist neighbors and a malevolent entity that haunts their home.

Ashley Thomas, who plays patriarch Henry Emory, tells ABC Audio that the series was very “triggering.” 

“It really affected me on some days,” he reveals. “It was really overwhelming to know that our people were going through these things just because of the color of their skin.”

Noting the Great Migration of Black Americans who left their homes in the South for a better life in the West, Thomas says learning that some ended up in a more “hostile environment… weighed on [him] throughout the whole project.”

Deborah Ayorinde, who plays Henry’s wife Lucky agrees, adding she even sought “therapy” to make sure she “healed properly.”

“I had to make sure that I sat with someone to unpack all of this stuff…,” she says.

Ten-year-old Melody Hurd, who plays Gracie Emory, says the series was especially challenging for her because of racism. 

“There was people being racist and it’s really hard for me because I’ve never been through something like that,” she says. 

Hurd’s on-screen sister Ruby, played by Shahadi Wright Joseph, says her experience was very “similar” in that she “never experienced that type of blatant racism before.”

“It isn’t real, but sometimes your mind can’t separate yourself from the character,” she explains. “So it can be tough at times… [That’s why] it’s really good to have a mental health routine for these kinds of scenes — because it’s very heavy.”

Them is now available on Amazon.

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