Sonya Cassidy, who plays Liz on AMC’s Lodge 49, talks about why Liz enjoys oddballs so much and what it looks like when she snaps.
Q: Liz’s debt was a huge weight last season. So, now that it’s gone, why doesn’t she seem any happier?
A: Liz was floundering at sea in Season 1 and just keeping her head above water. Now in Season 2, we find her on land, but with no map and no idea of what direction to head into. There was tremendous relief in finally getting rid of her debt, but that debt distracted her from getting her act together in other areas of life. There are no excuses now and that’s a very daunting prospect for her. If you couple that with the fact that she’s reeling from nearly losing the only family she has left, we find her in an understandably vulnerable place.
Q: How does Liz feel about having Dud back on her couch again?
A: They’ve been through a huge amount together over the past year. There has been a strain on them as brother and sister, and as a family – small as it may be. It has shaken them both to the core. What’s interesting is that it feels like since Episode 1, it’s shaken Liz up more than Dud. She is very much reeling from that when we first meet her. Dud is back on her couch, but deep down, she wouldn’t have it any other way as long as she can make sure that he’s well and happy. Of course, she would never say that! [Laughs] But she’s filled with relief. Giving her brother her couch is one of the biggest expressions of love that we’ll ever get from Liz Dudley.
Q: Liz has a new job and her boss is…definitely a character. What’s it like for Liz to put up with him?
A: Let’s be honest – Liz is not in a position to be choosy right now. She’s temping, she has bills to pay, she’s got food to put on the table. Life is continuing regardless of the fact that she’s been through a very traumatic couple of weeks from when we last saw her at the end of Season 1. These are the cards she’s been dealt and she’s just getting on with it, which is one of the things I love about Liz. In another sense, I see Liz as a pretty patient person. I think she rather enjoys the oddballs and their quirks. They’re entertaining to her and very different from her. She’s very contained and quiet. Her boss, Dr. Kimbrough, couldn’t be more different from her. She has patience because it’s another interesting distraction. In Season 2, there are people who come into her orbit that really alter her momentum.
Q: And what’s the deal with Bobby?
A: Bobby isn’t new and he’s not a boyfriend. He’s a moment from a time gone by, who also happens to be very good in bed. Liz doesn’t want a relationship right now. She needs a reliable distraction from the nagging monotony of her life. Rekindling things with Bobby was easier than attempting to attract another human being. This is an example of how smart and practical Liz can be. [Laughs]
Q: But sometimes, we see her step out of that practicality…like crashing her boss’s car into the Pool Party truck…
A: [Laughs] It’s classic Liz. As much as she is a very patient, calm and thoughtful person, it’s all the more entertaining when we see her snap – although I think that is a symptom of her needing to deal with her emotions better. At that point, Liz is just so angry and frustrated. The final straw has been drawn. She’s sick of it. This is also the culmination of a lot that’s been building up over the last few weeks. And, frankly, who hasn’t crashed a car to avenge a loved one after they were attacked by a shark? We’ve all been there. [Laughs] She’s very genuine in both her joy and her anger.
Q: What does Liz’s comments about her mom’s death reflect?
A: Liz is stuck when we first meet her at the beginning of Season 2. She’s feeling helpless in a way that feels particularly acute, but she would never ask for assistance. She bottles things up and it manifests in ways that appear quite dark, but she doesn’t mean them to be. That’s just how she thinks. Facts about death aren’t morbid to her. With that in mind, their mom hasn’t been a presence in their lives in a tangible way. While it may sound casual, I think Liz is responding to something new. She’s responding to a restlessness that she can’t quite articulate at the moment. Seeing her mom on that video at the end of Episode 1 has whipped up the unexpected. She has to figure this one out herself. I think we get glimpses at that more vulnerable, softer side of Liz in Season 1, but Season 2 really allows us to delve under her skin as she quite bravely decides to investigate. It’s daunting to her, but also exciting – and that’s been really lovely to play.
Q: How would you describe Liz’s overall journey this season?
A: I would describe it as a seemingly unending Snakes and Ladders. If Season 1 was “as above,” then Season 2 is Liz’s “so below.”
Q: What are you most excited for viewers to see this season?
A: The characters and our world are set up in a way now where I hope our fans can tune in and really settle into the community. That’s what we want – for people to feel like they are with us. Also, dumplings. That’s all I will say on that. Magic and dumplings.
Read an interview with Wyatt Russell, who plays Dud.
Lodge 49 airs Mondays at 10/9c.
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