Tara, Diablo and John Introduce United States

It was Showtime's turn to present their newest show this morning at the TCAs, born from the mind of Steven Spielberg, The United States of Tara. After a video introduction from Spielberg himself, the cast and producers sat down to answer questions on the show. Toni Collette stars as a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder, which her family and friends accept and work with rather than hide. Here are some highlights from the panel:

* Diablo on the subject matter: "This is not the kind of series you can base on imagination. When you-re dealing with a sensitive topic like this you have to do your homework - There are certainly people who have lived their lives this way - In this case I wanted to make sure that it was completely grounded."

* Toni on taking the part: "I only ever respond to the material. I never had any aspirations to work in TV, but as soon as I closed the last page of the script I turned to my husband and said I have to do this it's a complete dream for an actor to play so many parts. . . I was most nervous about creating Buck [the male alter], I didn't want him to be a clich in anyway. There's a specific friend I observed. All of the characters are so complex and whole, you don't have to travel that far to make it real."

* John on his part: "When I finished reading the script I turned to Toni's husband and said ''I have to do this."

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