It’s been a barnburner of a first season for True Blood creator Alan Ball’s new project, Banshee, as ex-con Lucas Hood assumes the identity of the new (and conveniently murdered) sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania — outrunning his betrayed mob boss; reconnecting and sexing up his former partner-in-crime (who’s trying to pass off as a housewife); and clashing with the town’s shady, ex-Amish slaughterhouse tycoon.
It all boils down to the season finale airing on Cinemax tonight, March 15, at 10 p.m. ET. In preparation for what promises to be a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart, Wetpaint Entertainment talked to the actors who play three of Lucas’s allies: Hoon Lee, who plays Asian-American, gender-defying hacker Job; Trieste Kelly, who stars as tough-but-fractured sheriff’s deputy Siobhan; and Matt Servitto, who portrays Brock, the stern, passed-over heir apparent of the sheriff’s department.
Matt teases that the finale will feature all of the storylines merging violently. “It was very hard to shoot, and it was very exhausting,” he admits. “It was the first time all season that almost all of us were together for a whole episode. All these different storylines all culminate into this one moment … You get to see all the characters interacting with each other.”
To hear Hoon talk of it, the finale is gonna burn the storylines to the ground. He says that the writers vowed to “leave everything on the table, not hold everything back. Season 2 has to start with brand new things. In some ways, it’s gonna feel like a very fresh start. I’m very excited with, what happens in the aftermath of all of this revelation? We haven’t preserved a lot of the secrets.”
Hoon also laughs as he recalls how fans react online to how the action escalates in each successive episode.
“‘Oh man, that was gnarliest fight I’ve ever seen,’ And then a couple episodes later, ‘No, that’s the gnarliest fight I’ve ever seen.’ I think that’s part of our DNA, in a way,” he says, adding that this season is “gonna build to this amazing climax.”
Both Trieste and Matt comment on the breakneck plotting of the show so far.
“It’s so action-driven that every episode feels like the season finale,” Matt muses. “Any one of our episodes the last season could have been a season finale on any other show … Meanwhile, it’s just another episode of Banshee.”
All three actors rave about the crew involved, and not just executive producer Alan Ball. Matt, for one, loves the unconventional and “lean and taut” production. “We shoot it more like kind of a really cool, dirty, sexy, Quentin Tarantino independent film,” he says.
Since the show premiered in January, Job has broken out as a fan favorite, despite Hoon’s initial apprehension about playing such a challenging and unclassifiable role. “I talked to my agent and said, ‘They know what I look like, right? Because I am not a pretty lady,’” he jokes. “As I spoke to the creators and executive team, it became clear to me … they wanted to tap into the strength and humor and acid quality of the character.
“It’s been very encouraging to me that people [...] have really responded to a character like this who is out of the norm — who identifies with several groups that are definitely out of the mainstream — and that it wasn't a hate parade,” he enthuses.
As for Lucas’s other helper bee, Trieste speculates that Siobhan's shattered past could influence the potential future with Lucas, which has been alluded to in the storyline. “I think her history prevents her from getting close to men,” she says. “I think she has a thing for [Lucas], but I don’t know if she’s conscious of it. We’ll see what happens with Lucas and Siobhan. I think it will be hard for her to open up.”
Matt promises that the finale will provide “a lot of answers to a lot of questions, and then, like any show, a lot of questions are left open. Those questions will be answered — you’ll just have to wait until the next season.”
Season 2 starts production next month, and in the meantime, the actors are staying busy. Hoon is considering a possible return to his theater roots; Trieste is promoting her film Loves Her Gun, which won the Louis Black Lone Star Award at SXSW on March 12; and Matt is looking forward to the premiere of the Adult Swim show Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell on April 18 — which is “Touched by an Angel in reverse,” he says — in which he’ll play Satan!
To help tide us over until we return to what Matt calls “the most effed-up town in America,” he encourages us to check out the extra content online, including a 13-episode web series, Welcome to Banshee, which explores the characters’ backstories. (The online series even includes Matt’s favorite scene for his character so far.)
When the second chapter finally rolls around, Hoon teases that it will “get even deeper and even richer and use the question of ‘What happens now?’ to mine even further into these characters’ relationships.”
Adds Matt, quite succinctly: “It’s Banshee, man. Anything can happen.”