Snowpiercer returns to our television screens tonight, bringing about a new chapter of TNT's post-apocalyptic saga. The series will pick up right where its Season 1 cliffhanger left off, with the revelation that a second train, known as Big Alice, has also been traversing around the frozen tundra. To make matters even direr, Big Alice is led by Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean), the presumed-dead funder and creator of Snowpiercer -- and his return will completely change the lives of everyone on the train, especially on the cusp of them trying to develop their own democracy. One character who will be profoundly impacted by Wilford's return is Miss Audrey (Lena Hall), the lead performer of Snowpiercer's "Night Car" and one of the most vocal members of the train's third class.
In celebration of Snowpiercer's return, ComicBook.com got a chance to chat with Hall about the new batch of episodes. We also spoke about the role Miss Audrey's femininity plays in Snowpiercer's world, filming part of the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and more!
ComicBook.com: What has it been like to see the response to the series? Because it feels like in season one, it definitely found a fan base and connected with people in so many ways.
Lena Hall: Yeah, it did. It was an interesting fan base to come on board. I think that a lot of people are looking for an escape from what's going on right now, so sci-fi and kind of this post-apocalyptic fantasy world. It's sci-fi, but it's also great because the themes in it are very much what's happening in the world, like current events, but it is wrapped in this kind of sci-fi feel. So you can see it happening in front of you, but it doesn't hit as close to home as perhaps watching something that's more based in reality and what's going on right now. I loved the graphic novel so much, and I was really excited to work on this show in general. And [with] my character, it was such a cool bonus, because originally was supposed to play a different character, and then it was all changed to fit around what I do. It worked out really well for me.
When the first season aired, that was really close to the time where we all went into lockdown. And we were still in lockdown. We thought "Oh, only two weeks we're going to be here," and it was longer and longer and longer. Obviously, it's still going on. We're not in full lockdown, but we are still dealing with the pandemic. And I think that for people, seeing other people locked up, but in a situation even worse where they can't even go outside, is somehow comforting. People were seeing their own stories played out right in front of their eyes, the class issues and people having access to say something as simple as penicillin was available for the rich and not the third-class or the tail. It is very class-driven, and about the haves and the have-nots, and how different people are treated depending on where they are on the train. And I just feel like everyone was feeling that very strongly, especially during season one.
When season two airs, we are introduced to a very egotistical character who wants control back of their train. You have the diehard people who would do anything for this person and believing their cause. So again, it's seeing a lot of the reflection in real life. I think people will see their stories being told a lot, and I think that's why that the show is starting to really resonate with a bigger audience as well, the more it's available for people to binge-watch. ...Now that that's available, I think more people are going to watch it. They're going to see their stories told. It is going to become more popular, and season two will definitely make an impact for sure, especially [with] everything that has been going on.prevnext
What was it like to find the dynamic between Miss Audrey and Mr. Wilford with Sean, and to play off of him as an actor?
It was so easy because he's such a good actor. We would talk a little bit beforehand. And Sean is very different than the characters that he plays. He's quieter, he's more soft-spoken, and he's very sweet. When they call action, the monster comes out, and it is absolutely a joy to work with. I love to try to make whatever actor I'm working with feel very comfortable, to try and do whatever they need to do to make the scene work, and I'm just there to react to what they do. I obviously give back, but acting is reacting, right? So with Sean, he'd just turn it on, and it was so easy to respond to. It was really easy to have chemistry with him.
He's very open and very fun to work opposite [of]. We had just such a good time. I'm very lucky, because this is my first time as a series regular in a TV show. I was more Broadway, and I've only done a few episodes here and there of other TV shows. And I did a movie, but this is my first time as a series regular, so I didn't really know what to expect. And I've had the best scene partners of all time. Jennifer Connelly is just incredible. I got to do some amazing scenes with her [in Season 1]. I learned so much just from watching her and just from being with her in a scene. And the same thing goes for Sean Bean. It's just that willingness and that openness to just do what you feel without the self-conscious things shutting it down. There's no caring about what other people think. That is a huge and strong lesson, especially for actors, but for people all over the place. Caring about what other people think is tough and it is limiting, but when you get rid of that, it opens up a whole world of things.prevnext
I really love how, even as the world of Snowpiercer is so post-apocalyptic and dark and gray, Audrey's femininity really shines through, and it's almost like a weapon that she uses to her advantage. What has it been like to develop that further, especially in Season 2?
It was a great thing because, while clothes are just clothes, the way we built the clothes was to make me and my posture change and make me feel a certain way. So I'm always in a corset, and that pulling, that tightness, that upright feeling... while the corset wasn't necessarily something for strength and power for women, she uses it as her armor.
And her ultra femininity is a wonderfully stark contrast to the world around her. [You feel] her pride in how she looks and how she presents herself every single day and every moment. She uses that as a way to get someone to feel a certain way, or to respond to her in a certain way. Not only does she use their sexuality in that way or her femininity in that way, [but] she also uses the strength and the power of what she's wearing, where it's more covered up and much more stately. ...When she puts something on, it puts her in a certain mood to get something done. So she definitely dresses accordingly. I think that even her wardrobe tells such a story.
It was fun because I got to give a lot of input to what she was wearing as well. We used Dita Von Teese as an example, and a lot of things were taken from Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn and all of these old-school silver screen stars and bombshells. It was a way to go back to a certain era, but modernize it and make it work for the apocalypse, and make it work for her and what she needed to accomplish.prevnext
What was it like to film the remainder of Season 2 during the COVID-19 pandemic?
It was like The Twilight Zone. You went back and you were like, "Oh my God, hey! No time has passed!" And then you see everyone is in masks, and it's like a parallel universe that's going on right now. "This can't be my reality, but it is." It was very interesting.
[It was] so crazy, but we got it done, and it was really nice to come back to something and finish it. Everyone was very respectful of the protocols. No one was complaining, we just wanted to get it done, and we wanted to tell this story and finish it up. I was very happy to do that, and very happy to go into quarantine for 14 days before we filmed. Some people are saying, "Oh, it's got to be tough." And I'm like, "Actually, it's kind of great, because there are no distractions."
It is nice to be able to go back and finish up [our] storytelling, because we really didn't know if we were going to.prevnext
What do you hope people take away from the season?
It's tough, because there's so much going on, and I don't want to give anything away about where my character goes. But I would say that I do hope that people stop and take time to really listen to someone else's story. Most people are very good people and mean well, and everyone during this time has been kind of trapped sitting behind the screen.
I would just hope that everyone can stop for a minute and listen to someone else's story, and just listen to the story in completion, from beginning to end, before interjecting their own thoughts on it or saying no. I think it's just important to hear someone's story, to hear how someone got to where they are and how they got to the point of where they got to.
Season 2 of Snowpiercer premieres tonight, Monday, January 25th at 9/8c.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.prev