When it comes to genre television, some TV series can rely on being inspired by well-known lore or the inclusion of established superstars to draw in massive viewership numbers, but in the case of Motherland: Fort Salem, it was an entirely original idea from creator Eliot Laurence and starred relatively unknown performers. Add to that the fact that it debuted during a global quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the series had its work cut out for it, only for the strength of the narrative and performances by its stars to earn it a passionate following and sophomore season renewal. The stars of the series reflected on that support ahead of the Season 2 premiere on June 22nd.
"Seeing the feedback was like the hug you never knew you wanted or needed or was going to love to have," Amalia Holm detailed to ComicBook.com. "We all were so appreciated for the work we put in, and you seldom get that in this industry, but the fans of this show are still communicative and generous and they reached out and they're just pouring love all over us. So now there's a need to be filled forevermore in my life because this has been amazing. It's been wonderful. This is not what I expect from every job."
In regards to debuting during a pandemic, the actor pointed out, "I just felt like Elliot, our showrunner, had been psychic, seeing 'what is the world going to want in a year or in a few years?' Because he's been thinking about this for tens of years, of course, tapping into all the little movements and thought processes going on in the world, merging that into an alternate universe, and just putting it on a silver plate in time for COVID, that's almost what it felt like. We were just [thinking], well, 'Thank you for bringing us along,' is what it felt like."
Despite being a fantasy series, with the paranoia surrounding the real-world persecution of witches being a form of misogyny, Motherland: Fort Salem will continue to push those allegories for sexism in a variety of cultures.
"I think it's just the beginning and the good thing about television is that these things grow," Lyne Renée pointed out. "And I think that only with the second season, given the fact that it's so different than the first, we're only going to keep on building. I think building an audience, building a maturity in an audience as well, having the younger audience and our three recruits, you see them grow up and I think we're all going to grow with them, the characters and the audience, and the fans that love this story."
The viewers aren't the only ones growing up, as the characters and performers in the series themselves are maturing.
"From Season 1, I was humbled and grateful for this opportunity," Demetria McKinney expressed. "I've done this work for years, but this is such a different character from anything I've ever played, but she is somebody close to home. My mother was in the Air Force. She was very regimented, very strict, very disciplined. And because of that, there wasn't a lot of room for nurturing, so we weren't all that close, but because of this experience and getting to step into those army boots, I now understand a little bit more of what she was dealing with as a single mother, trying to raise children and save the world. On top of that, getting to bring what I've been training for as Anacostia without knowing I'm a single mom, and getting to actually bring those tools of motherhood into this character and make this nice little hodgepodge of a person that teaches me empathy, teaches me sympathy, teaches me strength in different ways has been really, really fulfilling.
She continued, "I think that, hopefully, everybody is watching the growth of Season 2 of all of us, the journeys we're all on are so individualized and so nicely packed, but they have such amazing, amazing links to each other. So it just shows that even though we may be acting as armies of one in certain points, we are still a collective. And that woman power, that girl power, that strength is still abounding everywhere."0comments
Motherland: Fort Salem Season 2 premieres on Freeform on June 22nd.
Are you looking forward to the new season? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!