If you’ve ever dipped into Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone,” chances are you’ve watched the classic “Eye of the Beholder” episode. You know, the one where the woman lies in a hospital bed after surgery, her face wrapped in bandages, waiting to see if a procedure has transformed her face — a “pitiful twisted lump of flesh” — into societal standards of beauty.
Ginnifer Goodwin certainly knew it, making the mask she wore in her episode of Jordan Peele’s CBS All Access “Twilight Zone” reboot all the more special.
In “Point of Origin,” Goodwin plays Eve, a privileged woman living her best life, aided by her long-standing housekeeper Anna (Zabryna Guevara). Anna comes to Eve asking for a favor: Could her grandson claim Eve’s address in order to attend a better school? Eve assents. Shortly afterward, the authorities come knocking on her door and haul Anna away.
Turns out Eve’s in trouble too — but not for helping Anna. “Point of Origin,” like so many of the classic Serling episodes, uses science fiction trappings to tackle a societal issue, in this case, immigration.
“She collects people of various cultural backgrounds and she thinks that makes her … feel very good about herself,” Goodwin says of Eve, noting that the decision to help the nanny comes from a place of self-interest. “She feels very good about being generous and decidedly un-racist.”
Of course, like everything else in this middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, things aren’t quite what they seem. (That’s where the “Eye of the Beholder” mask comes into play.) The drama provided Goodwin, best-known for her work on “Once Upon a Time” and “Big Love,” the chance to go places as an actress that she has never before ventured.
“Each of these episodes is like acting gold,” she says of the series, which has been renewed for a second season. “I don’t feel like anybody has ever given me this much range to play. The way it felt is that I was being walked by the shoulders to the edge of a cliff and then pushed off and they filmed what happened.”
Goodwin also goes deep on other “Twilight Zone” Easter eggs and the way she dropped a signal for her kids to find (when they are old enough to view the episode). You can watch the full conversation below.