Ron Cephas Jones on playing a “villain of circumstance” in Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story

The year kicked off with Paramount+’s splashy, star-studded adaptation of The Stand, which turned one of Stephen King’s most popular sagas into a sometimes compelling, frequently messy event miniseries. Meanwhile, AppleTV+ has been ramping up to launch a King adaptation of their own, Lisey’s Story, bringing a similar prestige pedigree to the novel the author has called his favorite. While The Stand is a sprawling, post-apocalyptic epic about the battle between good and evil, Lisey’s Story feels much more intimate and personal, diving into the spaces between good and evil, life and death, and reality and fiction—sometimes quite literally. One of its key players is Professor Dashmiel (Ron Cephas Jones), a man whose work and quest for answers puts him at odds with widow Lisey Landon (Julianne Moore), the series’ protagonist; but does that make him a villain? That’s one of the many questions that drew Cephas Jones to Lisey’s Story, which embraces the discomfort of uncertainty. In the video above, the actor teases the miniseries’ exploration of “the middle ground,” and shares how Stephen King’s impact was felt on set even when he wasn’t there.


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