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Exclusive: Into the Badlands' Emily Beecham discusses the Widow's journey in 'Raven's Feather, Phoenix Blood'
Into the Badlands packed a one-two punch with its return to television this week, delivering two episodes for its midseason return to the air, with the second one airing tonight — and if we thought the situation was going to be easier for our favorite characters, this series shows no signs of stopping, especially for the Widow (Emily Beecham), who got to experience a very personal vision of what her life would have been like if she'd always been in possession of the gift.
From Tilda (Ally Ioannides) as a scarred, broken cog to the promise of a supportive relationship with Gaius (Lewis Tan) literally cut short, it's safe to say the Widow is probably rethinking her original intention of getting her gift back after all. But how will it affect her moving forward? SYFY FANGRRLS had the chance to chat with Beecham herself, and the actor shared some insights about her character's journey and what it felt like to literally fight herself.
Your character had a really epic fight sequence with the Master that kicked off Sunday's episode. I talked a little bit with Al and Miles about it yesterday, but I would love to get your take on it too. Not only is it this really kickass fight, but it's a great representation of the Widow having to come to grips with her past while she's trying to move forward. How do you think that dynamic between the two of them is going to shape her character and how she approaches her mission to take down Pilgrim?
Yeah, there's definitely some balance, in that [the Widow's] doing things on her own terms, in her own way, with her boundaries, and she's quite closed. We really get to know nothing personal about her, but the Master forces her to confront those things that make her softer and more insecure at times, but ultimately probably would make her a better leader in terms of self-reflection and facing the past. Which probably makes her feel angry.
It's a great fight sequence, but also she's been harboring resentment for the Master for so long now. So we hear the Master's side of it, and the Master's story is part of the Widow leaving her past behind and growing up, in a way.The Widow basically gets a glimpse into what her life would have been like if she'd the gift all along. What do these visions for her ultimately end up revealing for her in the long run? What do you think she takes away from experiencing that?
She yearned for it all this time and so in having it, she gets to see how poisonous it possibly is, a poisoned chalice — and that also that having what she thought she wanted would have destroyed her ability to empathize. She would not have as much empathy as she has for the people that she says she is fighting for. She would not have that insight.
If she had had everything that she had wanted, she wouldn't have experienced many of the things that she ended up experiencing throughout her life and her childhood. And because of those experiences, she is the strong and empathetic, more noble character. She's doing things out of her desire to help people and that wouldn't have been the case [otherwise].
One relationship that has been really terrific to finally get to see play out is the one between the Widow and Bajie. It's a great scene between you and Nick Frost. What's the most fun about getting to do those kinds of scenes between characters who have a surprising history between them?
Well, she behaves in a different way with him. She can't really be stony-faced the whole time [laughs]. You get her in a different place so that's really fun, seeing her cope with somebody who doesn't actually take her seriously at all and also just bugging her a bit, in a humorful way, who doesn't take himself seriously. Seeing that more perhaps relaxed side of her, more like the relationship they had when she was a child. He knows her truly, because nobody else really does know her.
The fight scene that wraps up the episode is so good, and it's about the Widow battling herself and the two sides that kind of war within. What was that like to film?
Yes, that was really fun. It was a challenge to find where we were in the story because it's not filmed in sequential order. I was filming, fighting with my stunt double. It's quite enigmatic, what it all means, because it's a dream sequence, so you have to work out what it is the character is trying to see, or what it is to see herself in the mirror world. It was challenging, but it was good fun. It was double the fighting; it was a lot of costume changes and make-up changes [laughs].What do you think the outcome of that fight means for her journey heading into the remainder of the season?
Well, she got to face herself, the version of her that got what she thought she wanted, and she gets to see that this is not what she actually wanted. It's not the type of person that she wanted to ever be and this is not who she will become.
There's more of a sense of freedom and breaking the old patterns which may not have been working, her patterns of anger and bitterness and desperation, and her need for MK. She realizes he's not really necessary anymore, and she becomes possibly a more open person. And this is what she needs to further her cause and to put her demons behind her.
Check out a sneak peek of next week's episode, "The Boar and the Butterfly," below, airing Monday, April 1 at 10 PM ET on AMC.