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Q&A – Brent Sexton (Stan Larsen)


Actor Brent Sexton plays bereaved father Stan Larsen on AMC’s The Killing. In this exclusive interview, he talks about Stan in Season 2 and his own fondness for coveralls.

Q: The show picks up right where it left off. Was it hard to get back into the head space of Season 1?

A: I’d actually say it was easy. The summertime went by in a blink for me, and when we got back on set, it seemed like everyone got back into a great rhythm. We were up and functioning like a well-oiled machine by day three.

Q: Is there anything different about how you’re portraying Stan this season?

A: I don’t know if there’s anything in terms of the performance, but the conflict is different, and obviously Stan is going to be different. Last year Stan was a bit frozen in inaction. This year, he’s trying to take action and get resolution on his past, his present, and his future, but to gain resolution on one of those creates conflict on another.

Q: Stan has a tangled past, but he’s one of the more likable characters on the show. Is that something you take into consideration in your portrayal?

No, I can’t predict how the audience is going to interpret the characters. What I consider is the conflict and how do I humanize the conflict. And the rest takes care of itself.

Q: You’ve played cops and sheriff-types repeatedly. Have you ever given Mireille or Joel any pointers about playing a cop?

A: I have not — they’re both extremely consummate professionals and I’d feel like an ass doing something like that. But they are terrific, I love watching both of them. I’m always excited to see them when I watch the show.

Q: Early in Season 2, Stan is the focus of the Larsen family scenes because Mitch isn’t there. Was it strange not having Michelle Forbes around?

A: It wasn’t, because there are other things to play off of — Aunt Terry comes in, and Stan’s focus is on the boys. Jamie [Anne Allman] was really great to work with, and we have some great scenes coming up.

Q: You’ve acted in several crime dramas. Why do you think you’re so often cast in the genre?

A: Have I? I haven’t counted. Depending on the show, I’ve played a cop, a criminal, or a victim. So there’s a range.

Q: Is there a difference in your preparation as an actor depending on which of those parts you play?

A: No. I prepare for the conflict. I don’t prepare for any role differently than I would any other role.

Q: Is there anything unscripted that you’ve contributed to Stan Larsen?

A: Isn’t that what acting is, bringing in the unscripted part? I guess the only thing I can add to that is that I’ve had an open channel to Veena and the writing staff and I feel I’ve collaborated a bit. They’ve been very receptive. As far as I know, that channel has been open to everybody on set this year.

Q: Do you ever get to spend any time with Katie Findlay, the actress who plays Rosie?

A: I did. She’s absolutely delightful. I think she’s gonna be a huge success.

Q: Stan wore coveralls throughout much of Season 1. Were you glad to ditch those for a bit this season?

A: Yeah, the Carhartts. You know what? I actually like the Carhartts! There are a lot of other people that said they did too. But considering what Stan is going through in the second season, it made sense to put them on the shelf for a little bit.

Q: Is your own wardrobe at all similar to Stan’s?

A: I guess the shoes maybe? Depends what time of year.

Q: Did you spend the off-season fending off questions about who the killer is?

A: Well, I don’t know who the killer is. They won’t tell us until the last episode, so it was pretty easy. I really didn’t have any information to share!

Click here to read an interview with series star Mireille Enos from Season 2

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