The stars of the upcoming Hulu series were joined by author Georgia Hunter during a Television Critics Association panel Thursday
During a panel at the Hulu Winter Television Critics Association gathering in Pasadena, the two actors were joined by showrunner Erica Lipez, director Thomas Kail and author Georgia Hunter as they discussed the series, which follows a Jewish family separated at the start of World War II.
"There's so many people affected by World War II, of course. And there's so many interesting stories within all of those people, and [this] family happened to be one of those forcibly displaced families who we decided to tell the story of," King, 24, said of the Holocaust drama on Friday.
While noting that each perspective from that era in history was "worth telling," King explained that their series in particular is also both "hopeful" and "optimistic."
"It deals with a lot of pain and suffering and sadness but there is a lot of hope in this show," she said. "And we hope people feel that as well."
We Were the Lucky Ones follows Hunter's New York Times bestselling novel of the same name, which was released in 2017 and follows the Kurc family living in Radom, Poland.
King, who called the Hulu adaptation a "beautiful show," added that it is important to share "the sadness that has been experienced throughout history in order to create empathetic people."
"It's exciting to watch. You love these people. So it's really nice to be part of something that's not only educational, of course," she said. "But you really love this family while you're watching. You want to know what's going to happen with them. And it's all true, which is incredible."
As for Lerman, the 32-year-old Percy Jackson alum reiterated that it's "important to tell these stories for every generation."
"This is about what happens when hate goes unchecked," he said. "You can apply that to current times, the future, you can learn from the past and this piece of history, this period of time."
Lerman added that he was personally drawn to the story, and ultimately thinks it's an important one to share, because he hasn't seen the particular "angle" that We Were the Lucky Ones focuses on. He also revealed that he felt "emphasizing with the refugees" should be an important takeaway from the project.
"I haven't seen the stories within this project, the characters' journeys, I haven't seen that angle explored before," he said. "It's not just exploring something that's been done before. This is new and interesting and I think we'll enlighten people about another aspect of World War II that they maybe weren't familiar with."
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We Were the Lucky Ones premieres March 28 on Hulu.
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