Warning: This inside look at NatGeo’s adaptation of The Hot Zone is going to make you want to wash your hands. Like, a lot.
Because the adaptation’s cast and producers, led by Julianna Margulies, repeatedly drive home the point that the miniseries’ central pathogen will make the worst flu you’ve ever had seem like a weekend at the spa in comparison.
“Ebola Zaire is the scariest strain of the Ebola virus,” says the Good Wife alum, who plays Lt. Col. Nancy Jaax in the three-night event based on Richard Preston’s bestseller. “There’s no cure.”
The Hot Zone chronicles the 1989 outbreak of the deadly bug in Reston, Va. The real-life Jaax and her husband, Jerry Jaax (played by The Americans‘ Noah Emmerich), both were veterinarians with the United States Army at the time; she was a researcher at the Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. And when Nancy’s pathology lab received a troubling sample taken from a monkey at a nearby lab, she found herself at the forefront of a very scary outbreak just miles away from the nation’s capital.
The exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette above introduces viewers to Margulies’ Nancy, whose motivation “is saving people,” the actress explains, “not because she’s a hero, but because that’s her job.” We also hear from Emmerich and several of the projects’ producers, as well as Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham, who plays Nancy’s mentor Wade Carter.
The Hot Zone — which will air on three consecutive nights, starting Monday, May 27, at 9/8c — is “the closest thing to a living horror film you can come across,” Cunningham says. And if you’ll excuse us, we’re just going to go bathe in some hand sanitizer.
Press PLAY on the video above to hear Margulies & Co. talk up the miniseries, then throw on a hazmat suit and hit the comments!