‘The Oath’ Stars, Creator Talk ‘Survivor’s Guilt’ of Leaving Puerto Rico During Hurricane Maria

TCA 2018: “Not only did we make a show together, we survived a hurricane together”

The new Sony Crackle drama “The Oath” was on location filming in Puerto Rico around the time the region was devastated by hurricanes late last year, an ordeal the cast and creator said bonded them as a group, and with their primarily Puerto Rican crew and host country.

“I think that we all felt very connected to our crew,” star Katrina Law told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday. “We were really very grateful that Sony and Crackle allowed us to go back after each evacuation, to go back into that environment and stay committed to our crew, and continue to bring money, creativity and production there. That’s the only way they can rebuild.”

“Not only did we make a show together, we survived a hurricane together,” she said.

Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm with winds up to 175 miles per hour, hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean last fall and caused unprecedented amounts of damage, resulting in one of the worst natural disasters in recent memory. Hundreds of Puerto Ricans were killed, and many more were left without homes, electricity or access to clean drinking water.

Describing a sense of “survivor’s guilt” in leaving the crew behind when it came time to evacuate, series creator and showrunner Joe Halpin said, “The crew became family, so we all got to come together, not just behind the camera or in front of the camera, we got to blend together and make it the best.”

Halpin added, “But it was also great to be able to tell them that we would come back, that we didn’t abandon them.”

“The Oath,” starring Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood”) and “Game of Thrones” alum Sean Bean, alongside Law, Cory Hardrict, Arlen Escarpeta and J.J. Soria, explores the world of gangs made up of the very people sworn to protect and defend — cops.

The cast and crew all agreed that they felt it was important that they return to Puerto Rico, not just to finish shooting the series, but to help the country rebuild after a devastating natural disaster.

“A lot of us, all of us did volunteer work there and we were very happy to be reunited with our Puerto Rican family,” said Law.

“It felt really really good to be able to go back and bring more jobs because some Puerto Rican families, they didn’t have anything,” said Hardrict. “They didn’t have shelter, they didn’t have drinking water. So to go back, that meant everything to us … It was our obligation to go back.”

“It brought us all closer together, for sure,” added star J.J. Soria.