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Welcome to Quantico, TV's knottiest new thriller
By SP_COP on September 27, 2015 | From
Welcome to Quantico, TV's knottiest new thriller A crowd has gathered in front of the New York Public Library, stopping foot traffic on Fifth Avenue, to snap photos of a stunning dark-haired woman who just stepped outside. “Who is it?” a passerby asks, pushing through. Her friend shouts back, “It’s Selena Gomez!”

Nope, not even close. It’s Priyanka Chopra, one of India’s most beloved celebrities (though still a relative unknown in the U.S.) and the lead on ABC’s new action thriller Quantico. The series focuses on a fresh class of FBI recruits at the titular Virginia academy who, months after their training, become the primary suspects behind a terrorist attack on New York City. Chopra plays Alex Parrish, the recruit found at ground zero of the attack in the show’s first scene. She has to fight to prove her innocence (unless, of course, she’s actually guilty) by revisiting her time with her fellow trainees — or die trying.

On this Sunday morning, scores of Chopra’s loyal fans have tracked her whereabouts and come out in droves to catch her filming a reshoot, hoping for an autograph. “I’ll come back, okay?” she tells a fan asking for a selfie. “If I do this with you guys, I’ll get in trouble.” Considering this is her first time as the lead on a fast-paced action series, the last thing she wants is trouble. “It always makes me nervous when I try something that I haven’t done before, so I’m a wreck, honestly,” Chopra admits. “I just want to sleep for days when it premieres. I want to shut my door, get under a blanket, and be woken up on Tuesday morning, two days later, so I don’t have to go through the process of ‘Oh my God, it’s going to air,’ and, ‘Oh my God, it’s this scene,’ and, ‘Oh my God, what are people saying?!’ ''

Chopra may think she faces high stakes, but so do the viewers. As the FBI investigates the bombing, each episode will show the recruits — who include slippery Ryan (Jake McLaughlin), two-faced Nimah (Yasmine Al Massri), wired Simon (Tate Ellington), pious Eric (Brian J. Smith), sharp-eyed Shelby (Johanna Braddy, swapping the glitter of this summer’s UnREAL for the gunfire of Quantico), and cocky Caleb (Graham Rogers) — learning a new lesson at the academy. The show is structured to give those at home the fodder to play FBI agents themselves, showrunner Joshua Safran says, by using the evidence they see to deduce which character might be the culprit. “We’re designing it so the audience will have more information than the characters will,” Safran explains. “Everything’s connected, and nothing is extraneous, and everything is a clue.” Even the academy’s heads, Miranda (Aunjanue Ellis) and Liam (Josh Hopkins), have possible targets on their backs. Ellis jokingly suggests viewers take notes as they watch. “Make a chart,” she says. “Every week, write down who you think is guilty, who you think is not guilty. People’s loyalties are going to change from week to week.”

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TAGS: knottiest, Quantico, series, thriller, tv