Don't judge a show by its title. "The Affair," which premieres on Showtime on Oct. 19, both is and isn't about infidelity.
The idea behind the show's "Rashomon"-like structure, Treem explained, was that "storytelling in general is driven by perspective, and there are two sides at least, to every story." This is especially true in romantic relationships, especially affairs, because "you don't even have access to what your lover is experiencing when you're not around. There's this whole other world that they inhabit that you never get to see."
So which version is "correct"?
Well, neither, said Treem. "My feeling is that both sides are right, that the objective truth, if it exists, is something that the viewer will decide for themselves."
As executive producer Jeffrey Reiner pointed out, the subject matter of "The Affair" proved relatable for many of those involved, creatively. "A lot of us didn’t rob banks or we didn’t kill anybody," he said of the show's writing staff. "Everybody knows about marriage."
For Treem, the timing of "The Affair" proved interesting: She got married just a few weeks ago, an event that occasioned a thoughtful note from Showtime Chief Executive David Nevins.
For West, who most recently starred as Richard Burton in "Burton and Taylor," which chronicled the stormy relationship between Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and as a philandering newsman in "The Hour," the role in some ways was not exactly a stretch.
"I'm trying to think if I've ever not played an adulterer," he joked.
"The Affair" wasn't exactly a hard sell for West.
"As I was sitting in London with all my kids throwing things at me as the rain poured down, and they said, 'Would you be interested in doing a show set in Montauk where you have an affair with a girl on the beach?' It's what first sort of piqued my interest."
Still, he conceded, "It is an interesting one, that, you know, telling your wife, 'I'm off to America to make a show called 'The Affair.' "