We're four episodes into Season 2 of Freeform's Beyond, and the mysterious drama keeps building for Holden Matthews, as well as pretty much anybody he comes into contact with. Holden may be the lead character, but it is Dilan Gwyn's Willa Frost who has really started to come into her own.
Whereas the first season found her mostly solving Holden's many, many problems, this season (and last night's episode in particular) found her dealing with her own issues for a change. They are plentiful, and if we thought the Matthews family had drama, well, they have nothing on the Frosts.
SYFY WIRE recently caught up with Dilan Gwyn, and we discussed the most recent episode (which involved both a sex scene and an emotional tell-off), the importance of female directors and writers, the dangers of shipping, fan theories, and much more.
WARNING: From this point forward there will be spoilers for Beyond Seasons 1 and 2. Go and make sure you're caught up (or start bingeing), and then come right back!
An important aspect of this week's episode is that it was directed and written by women [Vanessa Parise and Nichole Beattie, respectively].
Dilan Gwyn: Yeah! I know that they made a conscious effort to try to hire more female directors, and have more women involved in both directing and writing. They told me this, and I was just, "That's awesome."
Does it make a difference for you in the performance, or does it not affect that?
The gender doesn't really affect how a person directs or writes. However, it is nice, because it is a male-dominated world when you're on set, you're always the minority. It's nice to have some women that are making some decisions, because, well, yes ... I think sometimes it does affect certain scenes. For example, I'm really glad the sex scene was directed by a woman. I was actually really comfortable with that, because I think that the gaze changes, if it is a male who directs it or a woman. That's something that I was happy about.
It's just nice, because it's so unusual, especially that they're both women, it's just enjoyable to be a part of the process where we're able to make some more decisions and not be kind of dominated by someone who tells them "No, no, you have to change that," and sometimes you're like, "Oh, that would be better," and sometimes it is because it's more of a female perspective.
With this episode I can see where that's important, because it's not just with the sex scene, but also when you tell Holden off at the end, which was a long time coming.
Thanks! I think so. That's true, that's one of the other things that, especially with these two women, I thought that she [Beattie] wrote it really well, it was how I would probably do it myself if I were to talk to Holden, and also with the director [Parise], she really wanted me to ... it wasn't like, "Oh, you're crying because this or that," it was how I as a woman would kind of do it. You kind of try to hold it in, but you kind of also want to give him what's what. I was happy with the combination of the two of them, they worked really well together. I'm happy they did this episode, it's really Willa-heavy. It was good.
Holden is usually the focus ... do you feel that the romance between him and Willa overshadows Willa as a character at times, or does it enhance it?
Last season there wasn't a lot to play with in terms of the character of Willa. Everything was centered around Holden, for obvious reasons, so it wasn't like, "Let's explore this character ..." It was like, no, everything that happens to Willa happens because of Holden — like, if Holden's hurt, or Holden's in trouble, or something's going on with the realm or whatever. I don't think the romance specifically overshadowed it, I don't think we got much into it last season, because there was so much happening ... but yeah, I think this season she's able to stray a little bit away from his orbit, which is nice.
Willa has problems too, and I think that's part of what made that scene so satisfying at the end.
Yeah, she's allowed to have problems, even though I know all of these earth-shattering things are happening, she's still a human being, and things affect her emotionally.
This is a show with so much secrecy, mystery, and certain reveals every episode. How much of that do you know in advance, and how much do you only find out when you get the script?
If I could choose, I would want the whole season ahead of time. It's easier to plant the seeds that I need to plant and know what's gonna happen, and prepare a little bit for it. On our show they actually don't tell us much. Sometimes if there's a bigger plot they'll tell us, or hint at it, but smaller things we just know when we get the episode, which is a week and a half before we shoot it ... or maybe two weeks if we're lucky, but usually not. It's pretty crazy.
Has there been a moment so far that you've really wished you knew about beforehand, or has it pretty much gone on the way you would've done it anyway?
No, it's gone the way that I kind of thought — and also I'm really on the writers and Adam [Nussdorf], the creator, I'm on them all the time, like, "Tell me, you have to tell me this, you have to tell me that ..." I think I'm usually the actor who knows the most, because I won't let it go. I think there are definitely surprises, but there were things that I was usually kind of like, "That's what I thought" or "That's what I hoped for." It was good, it wasn't like, "Oh, man! That's not at all what I was thinking!"
Fans of this show run rampant with theories on the internet — do you pay any attention to that, or do you keep away from it?
I do, actually, I'm curious to see what people say. Fans of this show are really kind, and there's a lot of positivity oozing from the internet, so to speak. It's fun to read and kind of be like, okay, so this is what people think, or this is how people feel. There's the whole "Team Willa, Team Charlie" and that whole thing ... which I personally, I don't really understand that whole thing, because for me, I feel like Charlie's Charlie. Willa's Willa.
For me, their worth isn't measured in how much they're compatible with Holden. I guess that's how people watch shows nowadays, it's how well you're compatible with the main character — it's the same, though, because they're both really powerful figures. But I definitely follow, and if it is anything bad I just move on — but people are usually really nice.
As this is a genre show, mixing fantasy and sci-fi, are there any other genre shows or properties that you're into, or would love to work on?
Oh man, yes ... The Walking Dead isn't really fantasy or sci-fi, what is it, exactly ...
I was definitely like, I would love to be in that show. I remember when Penny Dreadful was on, I was really into that. Right now I'm really into comedy shows, like, I want to be on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I want to ... have you seen that movie What We Do in the Shadows?
YES, they're going to make a show, and I was like, I want to be in this show! But yeah, I wrote once on Twitter that I want to play ... the guy in Walking Dead, the guy with the bat ...
Negan! I was like, can I play his long-lost daughter?
We'd watch that, for what it's worth.
Beyond continues on Freeform at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and be sure to check back with us every Friday morning for exclusive behind-the-scenes videos!