Kelly Souders on The Real Story of NatGeo’s The Hot Zone: Anthrax [Exclusive Interview]

The Hot Zone: Anthrax series created by Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders

Simon Kurz, played by Carlos Gonzalez-Vio, talks with Dr. Bruce Ivins, played by Tony Goldwyn, in the lab at USAMRIID. (National Geographic/Peter Stranks)

After twenty years, the real story of the anthrax terrorist that haunted the United States may never be solved. In the latest series from National Geographic, the six-episode story tells a narrative of the FBI’s relentless pursuit to uncover the killer and the perspective of the top suspect from a government laboratory in The Hot Zone: Anthrax from the executive producers Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders.

Here is the official synopsis:

In a timely limited series that depicts the plight and eventual triumph over a national threat, The Hot Zone: Anthrax takes place in 2001 when the United States was rocked by another deadly act of terrorism. Letters containing anthrax were sent to unsuspecting victims in Florida, Washington, D.C., and New York. The anonymous assault claimed five lives and caused panic throughout the United States. Despite many false leads, a team of FBI agents and scientists slowly closed in on a shocking prime suspect.

While many of us can remember the breaking news headlines and widespread fear that arose during the anthrax attacks, there are many layers to this chilling and unbelievable crime story that have not yet been told.

The Hot Zone: Anthrax, inspired by true events, follows parallel stories of Matthew Ryker (Daniel Dae Kim) and Dr. Bruce Ivins (Tony Goldwyn). Ryker, an FBI agent with a specialty in microbiology, risks his career to convince his superiors of the unthinkable just three weeks after the 9/11 attacks: The United States is under attack again. Ivins, a brilliant microbiologist who becomes embroiled in the hunt to find the 2001 anthrax killer, works closely with the FBI to uncover who is behind the deadly anthrax letters, while his growing instability and paranoia give way to deeper unnerving discoveries.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Tony Goldwyn on Playing FBI Suspect Bruce Ivins in NatGeo’s The Hot Zone: Anthrax [Exclusive Interview]

The cast also includes FBI Agent Dani Toretti (Dawn Olivieri), who is tough enough to maneuver through the boys club in the bureau and is among the first agents on the ground at the 2001 Capitol Hill anthrax attack; bureau newbie FBI agent Chris Moor (Ian Colletti), a graduate of Quantico and eager to learn under a seasoned agent; high-ranking FBI lifer Ed Copak (Dylan Baker), who feels the weight of responsibility to get justice for a wounded nation after the recent events of 9/11; FBI agent Eric Sykes (Morgan Kelly), a cocky agent who delights in mocking Ryker for his hunt for “elusive bio-weapons”; Sheila Willis (Denyce Lawton), a pharmaceutical lobbyist dating Ryker but rethinking her priorities after 9/11; Dr. Simon Kurz (Carlos Gonzalez-Vio), a USAMRIID colleague of Ivins who finds himself out of his depth when suspicion among scientists starts to bubble up in the tight quarters of the biosafety level 4 labs; Jody Hall (Vanessa Matsui), a diligent USAMRIID scientist seen as a confidante by many with a wary eye on the political and person agendas of those around her; Mayor Rudy Giuliani (Enrico Colantoni), who emerges as a bold advocate for the citizens of New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attacks; and respected journalist and NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw (Harry Hamlin), the steady and trusted voice of reason for a post-9/11 nation.

LRM Online’s Gig Patta spoke with executive producer and showrunner Kelly Souders about the narration of this frightening story that gripped the nation.

Kelly Souders began as a writer and executive producer of the comic book television series Smallville that starring Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum. She executive produced a few high-profile television series, including Beauty and the Beast, Salem, and started the first season of National Geographic’s The Hot Zone about the spread of the Ebola virus. Also, she was the consulting producer for Genius for both the Picasso and Einstein series.

National Geographic’s The Hot Zone: Anthrax is currently playing on the National Geographic channel and streaming on Hulu in its entirety.

Watch the exclusive interview with executive producer Kelly Souders below. Let us know what you think of the interview.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, National Geographic

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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