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Exclusive: Into the Badlands' Emily Beecham on the Widow's longing in 'Black Wind Howls'

Contributed by
Jun 3, 2018

Spoilers within for the Into the Badlands Season 3 episode "Black Wind Howls."

We all know Into the Badlands for its fight scenes, of course, but it truly shines in the dynamics between characters when they're not drawing swords. This is best encompassed by the Widow, Minerva (Emily Beecham), who manages to pair deadly ruthlessness with unexpected moments of compassion for those she cares about.

SYFY FANGRRLS talked with Beecham ahead of tonight's episode about how far the Widow will go to repair her relationship with Tilda, what the Widow's plans are against Pilgrim and whether or not we'll see any romance blossom for her this season.

I spoke with Ally earlier in the season about Tilda and the Widow's relationship, but I would love to get your perspective on it as well. Now that the two of them, at this point, have forged a tentative alliance, how do you think that is going to affect their relationship? They've had a lot of ups and downs.

Well, they were separated for a while and then they lost trust for each other, but then they proved that... in little moments, they've proved that their bond is still strong. Tilda has saved the Widow on occasions and vice versa, and I think it's apparent that they'll still protect each other. And now, Tilda is a stronger character, a stronger person with her own opinions, so they have changed a little bit.

There's a really lovely moment between them, when Tilda's reeling from a really tough conversation with Odessa and she reaches out to the Widow with this truce. The Widow literally reaches out to her to offer her more compassion and maybe a shoulder to lean on. At the end, they agree to be allies, but do you think the Widow is taking what she can get at this point in terms of rebuilding the trust between them?

Yes, and I also think [the Widow] does need all the help that she can get against Pilgrim, because he's a force that she should be prepared to fight against. He can control the dark chi, and he's a very powerful enemy to have. So she needs all the support that she can get at this point. And also, I think she also wants to rebuild that relationship with Tilda. I think they both belong together a little bit.

We get a scene where the Widow's interrogating Castor, and she definitely sows the seed of doubt in his mind in terms of Pilgrim's new relationship with M.K. Is this her way of trying to weaken Pilgrim's inner circle so that she has one less enemy to deal with?

Oh, yes! Absolutely, yes. He's young and impressionable and definitely would cause trouble if he mistrusts M.K. [The Widow] sees he's very loyal and protective towards his family with Pilgrim, and also perhaps that he's being cast to the side a little bit. She understands that he has the dark chi, [but] he's vulnerable in a way so she's interrogating him and provoking him to feel jealousy and, yeah, weaken them from the inside.

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There's an interesting moment later when they end up deciding to bring Castor back to Pilgrim, and Cressida points out that she can sense the gift deep inside the Widow somewhere. If she's eventually presented with the option to get her gift back, how likely do you think she is to say yes to that?

I think she would definitely not give it a second thought. I think she would like to get the gift back a lot, because if she had the gift then that would solve a lot of problems and make her sort of invincible, perhaps. At least, she believes that. She'd definitely accept and want her gift back. 

The episode before this, we had some really great flashbacks for your character in particular, and also for Lewis Tan, who plays Gaius. It establishes that they definitely have something of a history; he talks about saving her life when she gets thrown into the pit as a young cog. When I spoke to Al Gough earlier this season, he let it slip that the Widow is a character who's going to be getting a love story. What do you think it would take for the Widow to let down her guard enough to pursue a romance with someone?

She doesn't trust people very much and she doesn't trust men. She talks about men who've let her down. She says that a lot. So she has a little resentment for Chau and that family. She's reluctant to trust [Gaius] and let her guard down. I don't want to give spoilers. 

[But] she's not that tough about it, really. She's not that much of a hard egg to crack, but yeah, she does long for some kind of connection. I think they have a bond, a natural bond together. She seems like a tough egg to crack, but you will see.

Into the Badlands airs Sundays at 10/9c on AMC.