In tonight's episode of Treadstone, "The Bentley Lament," fans will get a peek into the world of Tara Coleman (Tracy Ifeachor, DC's Legends of Tomorrow)'s past and her plans for the future. The episode, as with the ones that have come before it, follows a lot of characters through a serpentine plot full of deceit and mystery -- one that Tara is determined to make some sense of. To that end, she has to confront her past in tonight's episode while also taking a couple of literal, physical journeys. Set in the world of The Bourne Identity and exploring the organization that made Jason Bourne who he is, Treadstone is one of the best reviewed new series USA has had since Mr. Robot.
The series stars Jeremy Irvine, Tracy Ifeachor, Omar Metwally, Brian J. Smith, Hyo Joo Han, Gabrielle Scharnitzky, Emilia Schüle and Michelle Forbes. Treadstone debuted on USA Network in October, and tonight's issue gives a lot of insight into where Ifeachor's Tara Coleman goes from here. Ifeachor joined ComicBook.com to discuss the episode, and the wild ride of telling stories in the universe of Bourne.
How often do you find yourself reading a script and being like, "wait, did I miss something?" And then you turn the page and some character's like, "wait, how did you get a helicopter?" And you know it isn't you, it's the way the story is unfolding?
There're always loads of surprises in every script. I will read a script 2 or 3 times before the first readthrough, to make sure I haven't missed anything. To make sure that any seeds that need to be planted are planted. And so, I read it a couple of times before I even stop to think about, "when did you get a helicopter?"
But the writing on this show is really good. We've got a great creative team, so they're constantly adapting and changing and helping to grow the show in new directions. So, they're really great about listening to input from us and what we think about the characters. It's just so lovely, because it turns into a collaborative process. It is a new, a different world from the one that I live in or you live in. They are dealing with the world of the CIA and conspiracies, and all of these things. So for me it's kind of clear, but I do find myself personally going, "Huh, I wonder what happened there when they said that or something was possible?" And you find little things and invent conspiracies in your own life, as a story. You think, "Oh, maybe we could do that in one episode." So I think the writers must be something like that as well. And that's how they come up with such great stories. They're so lifelike.
I know people who are journalists who cover wars and conflicts and protests, then they get home and they feel like there's always another shoe about to drop. Do you think it's possible to really turn that fully off in the human brain?
There has to be a way of leaving it on set as part of your warm down as an actor, because you can't take these things home with you, because there has to be this element of naivety about life. I remember meeting one of the prime ministers of England, and he said something. He was being criticized for not shutting the London Tube network down on one particular day. And they asked him, "Well how do you feel about that?" And he said, "Well, we get several bomb threats every day. If I was to shut it down every time there would be no system." I thought, wow, oh my gosh, I just actually don't want to know that.
There are things that we are not supposed to know, in order to have this life where we can function. And the men and women that serve so admirably in both countries: they take that on so that we don't have to. They live their lives looking over their shoulder, so that we can enjoy a country that's free. So doing this show it was a reminder that there's this whole other world that people experience and live and fight in, that most of us have no idea about, and I'm grateful for that.
Tara is one of a handful of characters who are mostly good guys. There's a show obviously where everybody has shades of gray and everybody has flaws, but your character is an easy character to root for. Do you think that looking at this episode where we get to know a little bit more about her backstory and the people around her, helps her round that out so that it's, no, she's a good person but she's not two dimensional? She's not just a good person?
Yeah. Tara is an amazing kind of fun. It's like a fuse is lit in the first episode, where she goes to meet Quan, and Edwards steps into the taxi to introduce this whole new world to her. And we just see this really long fuse, this kind of burning slowly up the line and there's going to be this big explosion or something. So, it's a slow burn. We meet her in different, but we learn about her character. And I was so glad to play somebody whose motives were just plain good. She is, like you said, someone who you can root for. She fights against injustice. And I think that's one of the things that attracted me to the role, because we have that in common. Standing up against poverty, standing up against human trafficking, and all of these things.
Those are things that I do really feel quite strongly about, and Tara is somebody that just doesn't even look before she leaps. She'll be there. She'll be fighting against the injustice. She doesn't even have to have a relationship with that person. She fights the Quan's daughter because that's one she can attack. And I think that does make her somebody who is easy to root for in a world where everything is so similar and you have different operatives running around doing things. It was exciting to play somebody who is always on the the right side, but might not necessarily be doing it in the right way or the way that you would expect.
You talk about your ability to relate to the character because of the fact that you do nonprofit work and things like that. Are you the kind of person who has to divorce yourself of that and submerge in the character? Or are you the sort of actor who can use personal experience to inform the way that you're playing Tara?
I think for this character, it maybe more that. But, I think, I went to an amazing screening and the the other week -- obviously it's award season and I'm a BAFTA member, and I'm loving seeing this amazing work -- and the thing I take away from it, is a character is a bit like an iceberg. There always has to be more below than above. So you always have to be able to see less than there actually is. And you have to chip away at this character. And so, if a character is warm-hearted like Tara, it's easier as a warm-hearted person to connect with that person, with that character. But if they're not, if you are playing a sociopath or somebody who is just not a good person, I think there are elements of yourself that you have to go, "okay, I wouldn't do that."
You can never divorce yourself completely from a character. I think it has to be the opposite. You have to find the humanity in every character that you play. So even if it's the opposite of you, in some ways that makes it slightly easier to play once you get over any kind of fear of "Oh, I'm nothing like this person." You actively choose to find ways where you are like this person. I'm quite ordered. But I think Tara is probably someone who's a bit messy; things aren't clean with her. She's not as ordered as she should be.
That's the thing that makes her more human actually. So I think if you can find ways that you are the mother, and even if you're playing someone who's really horrible, you can find a way to be compassionate towards your character. I think you always have to be on the side of the character that you're playing. With Tara, it's easier to be on the same side because she's fighting for good. But other roles I've played, some of them are not good, but nobody wakes up in the morning and goes, yeah, I'm a bad person. I'm a terrible human being. Nobody really does that. They kind of go, well I did what I had to do and they find justification for why they had to do what they did and the way that they had to do it. And I think if you can find that in every character that you play, then you're able to bring more of yourself to it. But it's just that you're filtering it through a different lens.
Do you feel on some level that television is almost the ideal format to explore that iceberg, so to speak?
I love television.. I mean, I love other art forms, but television you get to explore a character. The person that I played in the first draft of the pilot is almost completely different to the person that you see on the screen now. In film, I can't think of many films where that happened. The first person you meet is always completely different. I suppose movies like Boyhood and things like that, but there are very few. Television has this space that film doesn't have, but then film has a different kind of space that television doesn't have. So it's nice when you are in one to explore it fully. Who we meet in episode one is not who we're going to meet an episode two, three, four, five all the way to ten. She changes every time.
She's learning about life as well. She's kind of given up on life when we meet her. Not life, but her professional life. She'd kind of given up that up because truth wasn't being reported as truth. It was being compromised, and she wasn't going to stand for that, so she stepped away. She wasn't going to be complicit. And then obviously the CIA step into the picture and she goes, okay, okay. One last time. This is one last time I'm going to give everything I have. And she does. And she's the one that pulls on that thread and pulls on the layers of the onion. So, it's been amazing. We filmed in so many different cities as a whole, as a cast. We're going to see lots more cities, lots more countries.
I mean it's a Bourne franchise after all, so can you expect anything less. But it's going to be really exciting to see everybody else get to share in the thing that we've been working on. And it's also lovely because we, as cast members, don't get to see each other's work other than the readthrough. We're not in many scenes together and some of us aren't in any scenes together. So we suddenly see this on screen and we're like, wow, we've never seen that set before. You've never seen those people in that scene before. It's definitely not a show that you could scroll through your phone; it's going to be a show that you'll want to watch 2 or 3 times to go, "Oh, did I miss something? Oh wow. Oh, that's what that means." And it will come up in a different episode and be explained. You'll go back and put the pieces together. So it's been a really exciting journey and I'm glad that I get so long to explore this world.
Without spoiling anything if you can, how is your character different at the end of this week to the beginning of the episode?
How is my character different? Well, my character has gone on a journey this week.
It's very difficult because we also filmed sort of [out-of-order]. I was filming about three episodes at the same time. So logistically, you'll see different actors pop in and out of episodes because we're all filming something else. We can't physically be in every single episode if you're a character that travels. And say, my character, we met her in this taxi cab and we're going to see her just go on this amazing journey. And you're going to see some of her life before it all came crashing down and she gave it all up. There was these sort of hints about in the next few episodes coming up.
I myself make lots of little behind the scene diaries so you can find them on Instagram. There's loads of lots of videos that obviously I can only post after the episodes. But, there are lots of different videos and things like that, so you get to learn more about the character. You get to learn more about the country, the space, and me as a person. I think those are the things that help an audience connect to a show when they see those things as well. And the things I like to see when I'm watching a show, so I made sure to make those video diaries so that the audience can feel like a bigger part of the show as well. Like they were there as it was being made.
Treadstone airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network.0comments