‘Containment’: Hanna Mangan Lawrence Interview

Containment star Hanna Mangan Lawrence
Hanna Mangan Lawrence as Teresa in ‘Containment’ (Photo © 2016 The CW Network, LLC)

Hanna Mangan Lawrence called working with her Containment co-stars like being in a school camp in Atlanta. Mangan Lawrence said the big ensemble cast of the new The CW dramatic series really bonded, hanging out after shooting episodes, and going to dinner or drinks. “We, as a whole cast and everyone who worked on the show, we just all kind of straightaway meshed,” said Mangan Lawrence during our interview at the 2016 WonderCon held in downtown Los Angeles. She also talked about her character on the series and what audiences can expect when they tune in to check out Containment on April 19th.

Hanna Mangan Lawrence Interview:

Some members of the cast say they’re germaphobes after doing the show and some aren’t. What about you?

Hanna Mangan Lawrence: “It has me more aware. I notice it. I notice when someone coughs or when someone shakes my hand, but I would like to think that I’m not playing into it. I used to always be weird on shaking hands because I have like clammy hands…only sometimes! Not always. I don’t know why I said that! There’s nothing worse than you feel like you’ve got a clammy hand and they want to shake. You’re like, ‘I don’t know…’ Anyway, that’s another story.”

Can you talk about your character and what your storyline is for the season?

Hanna Mangan Lawrence: “I play Teresa Keaton who is a young pregnant girl on the show. She has this love story with her partner, Xander. They’re quite young but they’re madly in love although the baby wasn’t really a decision. Like, they probably didn’t decide to have the baby but it’s happening and they’re going to give it all the love they can and raise the baby. But my mom isn’t so keen on that and she wants me to adopt it out, give it up for adoption. And so we’re actually at the start of the pilot where I’m about to run away with Xander and they’re going to go away and raise this child. And right before I get on the train to go meet him – he’s outside what becomes the quarantine area – I’m about to go on the train and the train stops and I can’t get on. Like, the train comes into the station, train stops, but the doors don’t open. At that stage nobody knows what’s going on. Is it just a train glitch or whatever? So that’s the kind of a conflict is that for me the love of my life is outside the quarantine area and I’m inside very pregnant.”

How will the fact she’s younger and more impulsive play into how much danger she’s in?

Hanna Mangan Lawrence: “You know, they are young but they’ve got level heads on them. They’re quite mature for their age. The thing is that there is this disease outbreak happening and that is so scary and that’s on your mind all the time. But our number one goal is to keep this child safe inside me, to get me out, to keep it safe. The thought of giving birth in a diseased section of the city isn’t one that I think of favorably.”

Does this kind of scenario make you wonder how you would react?

Hanna Mangan Lawrence: [Laughing] “I mean, just if I was pregnant how would I react?! That’s what I kept thinking. I was like could you imagine you’re in this part of the city and it’s sectioned off, you can’t get out and not just that but I am about to give birth, already scared because I am so young and having a baby this young and running away… You’ve got all these things on your mind. I don’t really know how she’s coping as much as she is.”

Being in Atlanta where it was so hot, how was it wearing that pregnancy prosthetic?

Hanna Mangan Lawrence: “It was quite good because I’m always wearing clothes so it didn’t have to be a full prosthetic, so it wasn’t as heavy which didn’t make me as hot. But it was kind of like this really sexy leotard with a massive belly, just kind of pillow material. But I did have a cute bellybutton that had popped. I had ice packs on my back and when I would take it off at the end of the day, it was just drenched in sweat.”

What was your reaction the first time you saw yourself in the pregnancy belly?

Hanna Mangan Lawrence: “I guess I was like when I do become pregnant I hope I don’t put weight on anywhere else like my character did. I was like, ‘That’s great. It’s just there and not anywhere else.’ It’s probably not a realistic view of what’s going to happen.”

Will we see her bond with anyone that outside of the quarantine she might not have connected with?

Hanna Mangan Lawrence: “Yeah, and I think that’s something that’s really interesting about our show is that me being an 18 year old pregnant girl and then interacting with people who are completely different from all walks of life. You would never meet them; you would never interact and you do, which creates such interesting drama, interesting stories. I’m really excited for everyone to see that.”

What do you think it is that makes Containment stand out?

Hanna Mangan Lawrence: “I think the special thing about our show is that, yes, it is a disease show but ultimately you’ve got these really strong characters and strong stories. It’s really about that. It’s about love. It’s about common and normal everyday things put into an extraordinary situation. I think that is just going to really grip people.”

Watch the full Hanna Mangan Lawrence interview: