Season two of Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes picks up with Brady (Harry Treadaway) on life support after Holly (Justine Lupe) was forced into nearly killing the mass murderer at the end of season one. Lupe joined her fellow Mr. Mercedes cast members and executive producer Jack Bender for roundtable interviews at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con where she attempted to give spoiler-free answers as to Holly’s state-of-mind following the traumatic events in season one and what’s in store for fans in the upcoming second season.
Justine Lupe, currently seen in HBO’s Succession, also talked about the second season in comparison to the second book and Holly’s feelings toward Brady.
Justine Lupe Mr. Mercedes Interview:
Holly was one of the most interesting characters in season one. What’s going on with her in season two?
Justine Lupe: “She’s definitely blossoming and coming into her own in a new way. I feel like how can you not grow or change after bashing someone’s brain in? So, there’s that. But there’s also that she’s in this new dynamic with Hodges that we kind of see evolve during the first season. It ebbs and flows into something even more nuanced than the first season.
As the scripts came in, I was more and more surprised and pleased by the way that their relationship evolves and consequently how she comes into her own during the second season.”
Do you think she wants Brady to wake up?
Justine Lupe: “No. I think she’s like, ‘Bye! What? He’s awake?’ Holly is not a violent creature and that’s one of the things she comes up against in the second season is that she did this thing that is inherently in opposition to who she is and what she believes and yet is in line with that as well. She’s done this thing that’s in opposition to who she is so, no, I don’t think she would want him to wake up. I think she’s like, ‘Go away!’
He’s frightening, and she understands that he’s someone who’s done a lot of evil things and would not want anyone else to be affected by his crazy psyche.”
What will be keeping Holly busy in season two?
Justine Lupe: “She started a business with Hodges. They started this detective business called Finders Keepers and she’s really killing it. She’s really capable and good at what she does so that’s where we begin with season two of Holly.”
Is Holly more interesting to play in season two than she was in season one? How do you feel about it?
Justine Lupe: “The whole thing is so awesome. I love her. I love her so much. I feel like playing with that character has been an inspiring influence to have as me, as a person. She’s so special and thoughtful and uninhibited. She has her quirks and stuff, but that’s what makes her awesome.
I’ve had a great time all the way through. I don’t think this season is any more or less fun; it’s just all been kind of a treat.”
Of all her little quirks which is your favorite?
Justine Lupe: “I think her lack of inhibition in terms of she just says what she’s thinking. Even in that first scene on the bench where she’s like, ‘My neck is hurting so I’m going to do this.’ (Turning her head the opposite way.) It’s a weird thing but it’s also awesome and not weird. I love that about her. I love that she’s like, ‘This is how I’m feeling right now.’ And you see these two men – Jerome and Hodges – embrace it. When they embrace it, you see her thrive.”
Why is Holly thriving when it seems the other characters are suffering from their involvement with Brady?
Justine Lupe: “Well, I think like there’s more to be said about that. You have to watch the season to see where the repercussions of doing such a violent thing come into play. They do. It’s in a quiet way and it comes out later on. But, I don’t want to give too much away.
So, I would say, yes, she’s doing very well because she has these people who have allowed her to be herself which is so important and also moving. I feel like everyone should have someone around that really gives them the space to be themselves and loves them for who they are. You see her really coming into that but at the same time, she is dealing with repercussions of what it means that she did this thing that is so in opposition to who she is.”
What about the relationship between Holly and Jerome? What’s happening there?
Justine Lupe: “Girl, you’re asking me?! I don’t know. I’m also like, ‘What’s going on there? Is this a will they, won’t they moment?’ They really do have a special relationship but it’s so easy to just imply that there’s something going on because men and women sometimes don’t connect in the way that they do.
I think right now it is just this kind of earnest bond that they have where they’re both excited about who the other person is and all their little nuances. They feel comfortable with each other and they also support each other in their intelligence. They are both excited by the other’s brain. I just say they’re a great team and who knows what could happen. (Laughing) I definitely get a vibe though.”
How comparable is the second season to the second book of the series?
Justine Lupe: “I would say don’t expect them to be… They really stuck to the structure of the first book in a lot of ways. I think the second season is more of a mash-up between the second and third books. There’s a lot of artistic license that Stephen King gave full blessing to explore. So, it goes off track but it pays homage to what’s happening in the way that Stephen wrote the second and third books. So, it’s going to be surprising.”
Is there anyone new who enters her life in the second season?
Justine Lupe: “Oh yeah. There are a few people. A lot of what happens in the second season – there’s a catalyst. There are two people who are the catalysts who launch us into what happens in the second season. I want so badly to be like, ‘And this is what happens!’ but I won’t.”
She was so great at putting together clues in the first season. Will that skill be really important in the second season?
Justine Lupe: “She’s an important component, I’ll say that. She’s not someone who’s just tagging along looking for a ride. I think Holly’s a pivotal role in the second season as well.”
Mr. Mercedes season two will premiere on August 22, 2018.
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