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Interview: Quentin Plair Discusses the Complexities of Hulu’s ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’

In Tiny Beautiful Things, actor Quentin Plair performs incredibly as Danny Kincade, husband of Clare Pierce (Kathryn Hahn). The two have a very complex relationship, and the audience meets them at a point where they are at odds with each other, and the only thing keeping them from separating is their love for their daughter Rae (Tanzyn Crawford).

While speaking to Awards Radar on Zoom, Plair discussed his collaboration with Kathryn Hahn on the show, stating that she “was so giving of her time. Throughout the entire process, especially in the beginning, when we came together and knew we had to bring this marriage and backstory to life very quickly, we got together and had conversations. We talked about our backstory and did this thing called “36 Questions To Fall In Love” on a hike. We were able to find some shared memories. About a week and a half before we started shooting, we would share with each other, via text, music that we were listening to that might have sparked a thought that we had about the show or a memory that we had about the show. I would send her a song and the memory that sparked for me, and then she would add something that sparked her. I would add something that sparked back, and we would build a memory that we can both return to through this text chain. During filming, she was just so giving and free.”

Plair also discussed his collaboration with Tanzyn Crawford in building a father-daughter relationship with Danny and Rae and expressed that this chemistry “organically happened” because “Tanzyn is just incredible. She was definitely one of my favorite people on set. When we were doing interviews together, she was like, “Yeah, I’m just gonna bother him until he likes me.” And I was like, “I didn’t know that’s what you were doing, but it worked.” [laughs] She’s just fun and has so much heart. We got to this natural relationship where it felt like I was probably a lame big brother to her, and she would teach me about things like TikTok and stuff like that. She would come to me with some concerns about this being her first big opportunity and things she was going through, and I would give any advice I had. Initially, I wanted Danny to be a loving father, I wanted him to care for his daughter. It became very easy because I naturally cared so much about Tanzyn, and our natural relationship just kind of found its way on screen in a sense, and it was really great.”

In trying to peel the layers of Danny and Claire’s relationship with Rae, Plair explained that it wasn’t necessarily a challenge but more “trying to be in that natural parent position where you might find yourself with a daughter that is truly finding herself in changing her name and going through periods of understanding her sexuality in a place that I don’t think Danny had as much familiarity with. But he really wants to be there for his daughter. There had to be this natural place of trying to relate but not necessarily knowing the right things to say, but knowing you want to be there for your daughter, and also trying to help your wife see that you need to give your daughter space to grow. It was finding those dynamics and personally trying to live through them as one would who deal with what they are instead of changing another person’s mind. I had to love that person for who they were and just be there for them to relate and understand that they’re going through a tough time, which is puberty. And all of us have a hard time going through that.”

During our video conversation (seen below), you will also find out about Plair’s personal relationship with Cheryl Strayed‘s collection of essays, his conversations with showrunner Liz Tigelaar, which scenes were the most difficult to film for him, his (and Kathryn’s) approach to filming the therapy scenes, and his interpretation on the show’s ending.

Be warned, if you have not seen the show, the video interview does contain FULL SPOILERS for Tiny Beautiful Things.

You can check out the full conversation below and see all episodes of Tiny Beautiful Things on Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ internationally.


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Written by Maxance Vincent

Maxance Vincent is a freelance film and TV critic, and a recent graduate of a BFA in Film Studies at the Université de Montréal. He is currently finishing a specialization in Video Game Studies, focusing on the psychological effects regarding the critical discourse on violent video games.

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