Greg Kinnear Says He's Channeling Stephen King With His The Stand Role

The CBS All Access adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand continues with its third episode, "Blank Page", this week and it's one that will introduce a few more characters to the story of good versus evil set in a world ravaged by a devastating pandemic. One of those characters is Glen Bateman, a cheerful sort of misanthrope "dancing on the grave of the world" following the pandemic who ends up having a significant role to play. He's a character that is very much an intellectual with sort of his own philosophy on things and for Greg Kinnear, who plays Glen in the adaptation, it's like channeling King himself.

"Well, I read this book when I was in high school. And it is a very, very, very, very, very long book. In fact, if you want to feel good about the pandemic you're in, read Stephen King's The Stand and it will give you a whole new perspective on pandemics because that kind of backdrop is the nuclear bomb of pandemics is what’s going on with this story," Kinnear recently told ComicBook.com. "And ultimately, we focus on a set of characters that are left standing and challenged with the idea of rebuilding society and I think it's ultimately a wrestling and a grappling of good versus evil for everyone."

Kinnear continued, "And I loved Glen when I read the book. I think it’s kind of the voice of Stephen King, strangely enough. I'm channeling King. He kind of has a banjo plan, you know, a dime store philosophy quality to him, this guy. I didn't know what the hell he was talking about myself, as a writer, but I did like his take on everything. At top of the show, you find him having already given up on society, which in a way is kind of a power position. Everybody is grappling with what they've lost and here's a guy who had kind of already checked out. And so, I think he's more along for the ride, not trying to get back where we were, but just to kind of study it. It's a sociology study for him and I think his eyes are open. And he's learning as he goes and is enjoying the ride as best you can in all of this."

Kinnear also said that he feels like The Stand is a story that has stood the test of time, remaining both popular and relevant today.

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"I don't think there's honestly a Stephen King story that wouldn't be great in terms of a storytelling and motion picture medium." Kinnear said. "I mean, he tells good stories, many of them are high concept, very high concept at times. But as I say, I think his strength lies in characters. You know, you ultimately live or die based upon whether or not you believe the people who are interacting in these stories and I think the success of The Stand which really has stood the test of time. It's still read with a pretty big regularity by a younger generation year after year after year. It's the characters and how they, what they're searching for, what they're afraid of, what they're willing to stand up for. Those themes are there. They've been telling these back since Shakespeare. I mean, he captures stories in great ways, but he's always true to character."

The first two episodes of The Stand are now streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes arrive every Thursday.