Hawkeye Star Hailee Steinfeld Breaks Down Kate's Heartbreak and Betrayal Ahead of Season Finale

The penultimate episode of Hawkeye turned Kate Bishop's entire world upside-down. Throughout the new Marvel series, Hailee Steinfeld's new hero has been trying to solve some crimes with her hero, Clint Barton, and looking into the mysterious dealings of her soon-to-be-stepfather. However, she learned in last Wednesday's episode that her mother, Eleanor, was actually the criminal in the family, working alongside the Kingpin and ordering the hit on Clint.

Kate is obviously reeling from this betrayal, a type of hurt she likely hasn't felt since her father's passing back in 2012. She's carrying a lot into this week's season finale. Ahead of the new episode's debut, Steinfeld spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about Kate's mindset, and how it affects her actions going forward.

"Is it heartbreaking? Absolutely," Steinfeld explained. "The one person that Kate has been trying to protect this whole time is now not to be trusted and possibly not to be protected? Maybe Kate is meant to be protected against her. So I think I was more scared for her than I felt sorry. With everything happening around her, Kate has grown very quickly in a short period of time, and she's learned a lot. I think she's more capable than she was a few days prior of protecting herself even though she has an Avenger by her side to help protect her. So I felt more scared for her than I felt sorry for her in that moment. We learn this piece of information and though a lot of weight comes with that, we don't know much more. So before feeling sorry, I think I was more curious to find out more information, while being terrified for her and what her mom, at that point, is capable of."

Kate has grown up with plenty of privilege throughout her life, but she's now on the verge of losing everything. For Steinfeld, this is the time for her character to show people that she's more than just some rich kid.

"I think that goes in line with not judging a book by its cover," Steinfeld added. "There's a reason there's more than one episode. The story is unfolding, and this one is constantly unfolding and evolving. So surprises are happening and discoveries are constantly being made. But yeah, Kate's privilege is part of her story and how she might toy with that or take advantage of that or use that in ways that aren't appropriate at times. And her mother called her out for it. She's a young girl and she's learning what that means to have that privilege. Ultimately, we realize that the house she lives in, the credit cards in her wallet and whatever else she has doesn't matter when the people that you love aren't around or lives are being put at risk. So like you said, she ends up losing a lot, which is interesting, because we then realize her take on what people might have been harping on."

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The Season 1 finale of Hawkeye arrives on Disney+ on December 22nd.