Resurrection - Cast, Matt Craven, Devin Kelley, Omar Epps, Frances Fisher and Kurtwood Smith
Resurrection - The cast, Matt Craven, Devin Kelley, Omar Epps, Frances Fisher and Kurtwood Smith, at Disney / ABC Television Group's Winter Press Tour 2014 ©2014 American Broadcasting Companies, photo by Rick Rowell

After eight seasons on the popular series House, Omar Epps now stars in his own show, ABC’s Resurrection, which premiered on March 9th.

Epps portrays J Martin Bellamy, an immigration agent, who becomes involved in an astonishing story that is impossible to believe. When an 8-year-old American boy named Jacob wakes up alone in a rice paddy in rural China, with no idea how he got there, Bellamy is sent to escort him home, to Arcadia, Missouri.

When they arrive at the address where Jacob says he lives, they discover a 60-year-old couple, Henry and Lucille Langston (Kurtwood Smith, Frances Fisher) who lost their 8-year-old child Jacob 30 years before. Little by little other people who died 30 years ago start coming back.

Can Bellamy solve this mystery before the world discovers what is going on, and can he protect Jacob from forces beyond his control? Tune in to find out!

I spoke with Omar at the TV Critics tour in January about his new and intriguing series.

What was it about this show that attracted you?

Resurrection, 103 - Omar Epps
Resurrection, 103 “Two Rivers” – J Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps) ©2014 American Broadcasting Companies, photo by Guy D’Alema

It was the story and definitely the character. I just feel like the thing that connects us as human beings more than ethnicity, class, is life and death. To explore the notion of people returning is really interesting to me.

I think it’s a universal thing, something that we all think about, living while we’re alive. And in the back of our minds we see things happen every day and then we take them into ourselves and that ‘what if’ is constantly recycling.

Do you think about death more now that you are doing the series?

Resurrection, 102 - Omar Epps and Landon Gimenez
Resurrection, 102 “Unearth” – J Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps) and Jacob Langston (Landon Gimenez) ©2014 American Broadcasting Companies, photo by Guy D’Alema

I haven’t thought about it more. I think you appreciate life more. Things happen every single day. I just had a close friend of mine who had to bury his son out of nowhere.

These things happen to everyone, everyday, so for me it’s more about being more present, aware and enjoying (life).

Had you read the book The Returned, that this series is based on?

Resurrection - Kurtwood Smith, Frances Fisher and Omar Epps
Resurrection – Kurtwood Smith, Frances Fisher and Omar Epps, at Disney / ABC Television Group’s Winter Press Tour 2014 ©2014 American Broadcasting Companies, photo by Rick Rowell

I thought the book was a phenomenal story. It just asks these really big questions. And the scope of the book, to me, was enjoyable because it was happening everywhere in the world.

So mentally you got to open up to those possibilities a lot more, where we’re dealing with this first phenomenon happening now. And I think that bodes well going down the line for us.

You are, in a sense, the messenger in this series. Is it a mental conflict for your character?

Yeah. Not to give away where we will end up at the end of the season, but Bellamy is in it for the long haul in terms of his connection with this boy, and then the other characters in the town.

The town as a whole becomes a family, and Bellamy is vested into it a hundred percent. We cover that in the first season.

It’s been reported that Jason Mott, who wrote The Returned, based your character on himself. Have you taken anything from your interactions with him that inform how you play the character?

Resurrection, 101 - Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Kurtwood Smith and Devin Kelley
Resurrection, 101 “The Returned” – J Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), Lucille Langston (Frances Fisher), Henry Langston (Kurtwood Smith) and Gail (Devin Kelley) ©2014 American Broadcasting Companies, photo by Guy D’Alema

No. We have a really good rapport, and we talked about that a little bit. But I told him where I saw the character coming from, and he was like, ‘Okay. Cool.’

I built my character in my crazy way that I do in my mind, and Jason was cool with it, so I was happy with that.

How has this experience differed from your 8 years on House?

Completely different experience, great vibe, we genuinely all get along as a cast. We all got along on House, we just lucked out that way, but it’s a really good vibe, and we have a great time working together.

You’re the lead in this, are you working more?

Working more, but it’s all the same thing to me. I prepare the same way, so I’m just taking it as it comes.

I asked Omar in upcoming seasons if the story will open up and people will return from the dead all over the world? Click here to listen to his reply.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.