In Episode 15 of Ghosts‘ freshman season, Brandon Scott Jones‘ Revolutionary War soldier Isaac was struggling with his sexuality. Rather than accepting his feelings for Nigel, Isaac instead tried to seduce Rebecca Wisocky‘s conservative 1800s baroness Hetty to hilarious effect. Below, TVLine Dream Emmy nominees Jones and Wisocky, along with director Kimmy Gatewood, break down The Nape Scene, as it’s lovingly dubbed.
BRANDON SCOTT JONES | I remember thinking to myself, “This is the show that I signed up for, and I’m so excited about this type of moment where it’s two big ridiculous characters, and we’re doing this funny thing between the two of them.” Because [they’ve] been alive for so long, there’s so much weight behind it all. It was this really funny, almost farcical-like scene that I was really, really excited to play and hopefully find a balance with.
REBECCA WISOCKY | There’s a really lovely give and take… and we added lots of little things because [Brandon and I] speak the same language, comedically and musically. For instance, the very end, I think we pitched in the moment, when I turn around, you’d be snoring and have your eyes closed, and then when I turn around again, you open your eyes.
JONES | That type of choreography that we decided with Kimmy was really, really, really, really helpful.
WISOCKY | [Our ghosts] can’t ruffle bed pillows and things, so every bed that you see any one of us lie down on or sit down on is actually pretty much made of stone. I just knew how much more time it would save and how much funnier the scene could be if we set up a little bit of the choreography of how I would roll over and when you would sit down and just those kinds of things.
KIMMY GATEWOOD | They stuck pretty much to the script, [but] Hetty’s wailing of “nape” was definitely something no one could have written. It reminded me what a tremendously gifted theatre actor Rebecca is. It made me laugh so hard.
WISOCKY | I didn’t plan that. It was very easy with Brandon to get into that state of just being literally all aflutter… After that take, I remember thinking, “Oh, well, they can never use that. That was way too much,” but because it was truthful, I think it worked.
JONES | You’re not looking at me, I’m looking down at you, and the desperation, the heat coming off of your nape, your nape was making me laugh, and so I’m sure there’s a lot of [takes] that we couldn’t use.
WISOCKY | Because I made you too hot.
GATEWOOD | When she put her hand on his chest, and he just delicately took it off with his finger, that was not scripted.
JONES | We discovered that, Rebecca. A good moment of physicality where she did that, and you can just sort of feel that we’re really affecting each other, physically, there, which was really nice. You can’t touch anything in the show, you can’t touch an object, so when we get to touch each other, it’s fun. I hope that’s the pull-quote: “When we touch each other, it’s fun.”
GATEWOOD | I loved [Brandon’s] approach to the bed. His shoulder was just slightly up, and then just seemingly without even trying, he was just suddenly on the bed, and his leg just gingerly went over his other leg. I thought that was very funny. His approach to the scene, it seemed like he was channeling some kind of wild animal with Isaac’s soul.
WISOCKY | There are a number of takes in which, believe it or not, Brandon Scott Jones is even funnier than the take that made it to your screen. There was one take where — I’m very proud that I didn’t break for it — he actually rolled off the bed. I find him endlessly delightful and funny and charming, and so one day I might get him to kiss my nape, but probably not.
GATEWOOD | They are playing these characters that are from two different eras that are… dealing with this sort of modern problem in a very specific, funny, heartfelt and truly memorable way. It’s an incredible example of great acting and great storytelling.
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