MR. MERCEDES - Season 2 key art | ©2018 AT&T Audience Network

MR. MERCEDES – Season 2 key art | ©2018 AT&T Audience Network

In Season 2 of AT&T Audience Network’s MR. MERCEDES, based on a trilogy of novels by Stephen King, things are heating up. Mass murderer Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) has been in a coma since being knocked out by aspiring private eye Holly Gibney (Justine Lupe) in the Season 1 finale. Holly’s timely action prevented Brady from detonating a bomb. But by now, it’s become clear to a lot of people, especially Holly’s professional partner, retired police detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson), that Brady is somehow able to murderously control other people from his hospital bed.

Breeda Wool plays Lou Linklatter, who started out as Brady’s electronics store co-worker and presumed friend in Season 1. The friendship came to an abrupt end when Brady stabbed Lou in the stomach. In Season 2, we see that Lou has survived physically, but emotionally, she is still struggling to overcome the trauma of the attack. She also may unknowingly be putting herself in more danger by agreeing, for a fee, to help Brady’s shady doctor, Felix Babineau (Jack Huston).

Wool, who also plays the Faith Duluth on UNREAL (the character had her own ten-episode Web series, UNREAL: THE FAITH DIARIES), sits down to talk about Lou in MR. MERCEDES Season 2.

ASSIGNMENT X: Were you surprised or just gratified that Season 2 of MR. MERCEDES is happening?

BREEDA WOOL: Probably deeply gratified [laughs]. Season 2 is absolutely beautiful, and I’m very excited about sharing it. I think the themes, the fears, the triumphs – it’s a ride. It’s a wild, wild, bizarre, unexpected ride, Season 2.

AX: How would you describe Lou’s state at the beginning of Season 2?

WOOL: I would say extreme left of center. I’ve been violated, I’ve been violently assaulted by a friend of mine who was a secret mass murderer. So my identity around that is a little shook. I no longer have a center, in my opinion, this season.

AX: Lou gets a tattoo on her stomach, in the area where she has been stabbed …

WOOL: Oh, we’ll learn about the tattoo. The tattoo is linked to something in my past that is linked to power, and having power taken away from you.

Breeda Woll in MR. MERCEDES - Season 1 | in MR. MERCEDES - Season 1 | ©2017 AT&T Audience Network

Breeda Woll in MR. MERCEDES – Season 1 | in MR. MERCEDES – Season 1 | ©2017 AT&T Audience Network

AX: A few characters essentially have their bodies taken over by Brady. Can you say of that happens to Lou at any point?

WOOL: [laughs] In terms of whether he literally infects me, or figuratively infects me, I think the moment that he stabs me and I find out about his betrayal, I’ve been infected.

AX: So you’re reacting to him, but you’re not necessarily possessed …

WOOL: Maybe, maybe not, we’ll have to see. But I do believe that violence can infect people. And once a violent act is done on somebody, they can spend their whole lives trying to rid themselves of that. And it’s so interesting, because specifically, my injury that he inflicted on me is three stabs to the abdomen. The recovery would have been arduous and so much pain and bleeding out. That’s days and months of pain. And so I loved the sort of poetry that this season starts with me in recovery, in the gym, in the other side of physical strength, but not yet on the psychological side of it.

AX: What is Lou’s attitude towards Hodges and Holly?

WOOL: Well, Holly bashed Brady’s head in, so this is a big underlining [moment] – Hodges couldn’t do it, I didn’t do it. I crumbled when he attacked me. But Holly, this sort of fragile, timid woman with a lot of social problems, probably on the [autism] spectrum somewhere, has the strength and resolve to do this violent act to save others. And it’s really underlining everything. I think in the story, next to Holly, it’s another echo of my powerlessness in the shadow of Brady Hartsfield.

AX: Are you continuing to have a good time on MR. MERCEDES? Has any of it surprised you this season?

WOOL: Every time I do a show, with UNREAL, and originally with BETAS, and now with MR. MERCEDES, it’s always a growing process. I do not leave the dynamic the same way I came in. But this season, specifically and artistically, was an extraordinary learning experience for me. I learned a lot from Brendan Gleeson, I learned a lot about observing writing this season, just getting the scripts and then seeing how they were molding things. I think [series adapter/executive producer] David E. Kelley is a crazy genius [laughs], and also [writer] Dennis Lehane, shaping the season as well. I think that making stories and making television is really a magical process. And if you’re with a lot of people who love their jobs and are really good at it, it definitely makes it exciting and thrilling and worthwhile, for sure.

AX: Last year, you had not read Stephen King’s MR. MERCEDES book trilogy. Have you read the trilogy now, or did you want to not read it to avoid being spoiled?

WOOL: I think am not going to read it until I’m done with the show [laughs]. I was thinking about going back to read Book 1 – I started reading Book 1, and then there were so many details that are shared in our series, but just ever so slightly different, and in my imagination, I had a really hard time discerning which was my imagination from the show, and which was my imagination from the book. Because I read scripts in the similar way that I read a novel. You dream up a dream as the words are coming to you. So it was very confusing [laughs]. And there’s also, specifically for my character in the book – Brady Hartsfield, there’s so much story in the book for his mind. And in the story and in the series, for me, there’s less in the book that explains where I’m coming from.

My mom has read all of them, and so she keeps calling me and she goes, “Do you want me to tell you? Do you want me to tell you what happens?” And so, as I was making this season, my mom would give me little things. I’d be like, “Okay, just tell me, it’s okay.” [laughs] But that’s my mom telling me an account, as opposed to Stephen King – when you read Stephen King, it produces so much imagery for me. He’s a real literary projector of images. I needed to come up with my own images [laughs] for the series.

AX: Did you have to learn how to do anything for Season 2 of MR. MERCEDES? At least in the books, Lou gets very techie in terms of putting equipment together.

WOOL: Yeah. I definitely did a lot of research on singularities, the fusion of technology and the human mind. I’ve read some stuff. Whether that plays in or not is still up for debate. But that’s a topic that I’ve always been interested in, that is being explored in the books of how technology and the human mind will come together. And there was a brain neurologist consultant – I spoke to him for a little bit about, we’re reverse-mapping the human brain. The dance between our experiences and [thoughts] – it’s a very big topic, and I did learn a lot about that.

AX: Do you have a favorite scene or episode from Season 1?

WOOL: I really loved Holly telling Hodges about being bullied in middle school, and just about that turn in her life, where she went from being a normal kid to being an outsider. And I felt like that whole monologue that she says about “jibber jibber,” which is really the crux of how she comes to hit Brady with the iron bulldog, I felt like that was such a beautiful echo to both my character, to Brady Hartsfield in the story, to that point where you go from being a part of the culture to being an outsider. And then what you do with that. I just thought it was beautiful. That’s my favorite scene.

AX: Do you have any other projects going on we should know about?

WOOL: I was just in the fourth season of UNREAL. Faith returns on UNREAL. I was on THE AFFAIR, I was on this season of THE AFFAIR, and I was also on FAMOUS IN LOVE on Freeform, and I did this incredible movie, THE SLOWS with Nicole Perlman, who’s a brilliant filmmaker. I co-wrote and am co-producing a feature film that I shot in January that we’re now in post-production, called I’M A TERRIBLE MOTHER [aka MOTHER’S LITTLE HELPERS]. So I’m extremely excited about that. It’s beautiful, it’s with Milana Vayntrub and Sam Littlefield, and Kestrin Pantera is the director, and it’s an extraordinary film.

AX: And what would you most like people to know about Season 2 of MR. MERCEDES?

WOOL: Brace yourself and fall in love – a very dark and weird love [laughs].

This interview was conducted during AT&T Audience Network’s portion of the summer 2018 Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour.

Related: Exclusive Interview with producer-director MR. MERCEDES – Season 2

Related: Exclusive Interview: Brendan Gleeson in MR. MERCEDES – Season 1 of the Stephen King series

Related: Exclusive Interview: Harry Treadaway on MR. MERCEDES – Season 1

Related: Exclusive Interview: Actress Breeda Wool chat about the new Stephen King series

Related: Exclusive Interview: MOONLIGHT actor Jharrel Jerome on MR. MERCEDES

Related: Exclusive Interview: Director Jack Bender on new Stephen King series MR. MERCEDES

Related: Exclusive Interview: Kelly Lynch on new Stephen King series MR. MERCEDES

 

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Article: Exclusive Interview with MR. MERCEDES actreess Breeda Wool on Season 2 of the AT&T Audience Network series

 

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