Tell Me A Story Comes To The CW: Danielle Campbell Explains Her ‘Sexy, Mysterious’ Spin On Red Riding Hood
Though Tell Me a Story already enjoyed a two-season lifespan on CBS All Access, Campbell says it makes “perfect sense” for The CW to give its viewers a chance to experience the “thrilling, sexy, mysterious” anthology series for the first time. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the fairytale-themed drama comes from the mind of Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries) and co-stars Paul Wesley, the man formerly known as Stefan Salvatore.
When the series first premiered in 2018, “a lot of people were comparing it to Once Upon a Time [because of its fairytale themes],” Campbell says. “But it’s really fairytales reinvented. What’s unique about this show is that we’re retelling the stories in a modern-day setting without a lot of those fairytale elements. These things are happening to real people in the real world.”
The show’s first season finds Campbell playing a Little Red Riding Hood-inspired character named Kayla, a California girl who is forced to relocate to New York City with her dad after the death of her mom. “She doesn’t really know her grandmother [played by Kim Cattrall], so she isn’t happy about moving in with her,” Campbell says. “And she’s really angry with her dad. Basically, she’s mad at the world looking for any way to stir up trouble — and she finds it.”
Her trouble comes in the form of Nick (Billy Magnussen), a charmer with a dark side. “Not everybody is what they appear to be,” Campbell says of Kayla’s new man. We don’t think we need to spell out which character from Little Red Riding Hood served as the inspiration for Magnussen’s devilish character. (Grandmas, beware!)
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Some stories are worth telling anew.
The CW evidently believes so, since it’s bringing a series from a sister outlet to broadcast television. “Tell Me a Story” streamed on CBS All Access, and the show begins again as it makes its CW debut Tuesday. Executive-produced by Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries”), it puts contemporary, sometimes creepy twists on classic fairy tales — for starters, “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “The Three Little Pigs.”
Danielle Campbell, of the “Vampire Diaries” spinoff “The Originals,” plays Red Riding Hood surrogate Kayla. Relocating to New York with her father (Sam Jaeger, “Parenthood”) after her mother’s death, she has an unusual high-school teacher (Billy Magnussen, “Game Night”) who’s the counterpart of the wolf in the correlating story.
Adapting “Tell Me a Story” from the Spanish series “Cuentame un Cuento,” Williamson explains that he and his creative team “chose these three fairy tales because they sort of complemented each other with their themes and the morals of the stories. They told three diverse story lines, and (we’ve) sort of interwoven them in a way in which the original series did not. The ‘Three Little Pigs’ story line might be reminiscent of the original (show), but ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel’ are just products of me and a roomful of writers.”
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