itb_303_am_1116_0010_rt.jpg

Exclusive: Into the Badlands' Ally Ioannides explains Tilda's compromising choices in 'Leopard Snares Rabbit'

Contributed by
May 6, 2018

Spoilers within for the Into the Badlands Season 3 episode, "Leopard Snares Rabbit."

Can you believe it? Tonight's episode of Into the Badlands saw the nigh-unthinkable happen: Tilda and the Widow forging something of an alliance after weeks (months, even) of being at odds. It's somewhat of an unforeseen move on Tilda's part, considering the fact that she's recently been dedicating her life to making the Widow's that much harder—but is this all part of some big plan? 

This week, SYFY FANGRRLS had the opportunity to chat with none other than Ally Ioannides about all things Tilda-related, including what it was like to film that big fight scene at the beginning of the episode, Tilda's relationship with Odessa and whether or not she thinks there's the possibility for reconciliation between Tilda and the Widow before the season ends.

Hi Ally, how are you? 

I'm good. I'm just sitting here drinking a turmeric latte, looking at all my boxes. I'm about to leave my Ireland apartment. 

Yeah, I heard you officially wrapped. That must be a bittersweet feeling. 

It's so weird. It's like being in a really co-dependent relationship for like nine months, and then you're breaking up, and you're like, "This is the right thing. I should be breaking up with you. It's been great, but it's time to leave." Then you're also like, "But I won't be fed my lunch. I won't have a scheduled day." It's all very strange. I had my last day yesterday, my last day on set. I was covered in blood. It was really fun. Then I had ADR today, and yeah, then I'm off on a 5:00 AM flight tomorrow morning. 

I spoke to Al [Gough] for the premiere, and he said that one of the things that he likes to joke about is [referring to] the Widow and Tilda's relationship as Lady Bird with swords. 

Amazing. 

Do you think that's an accurate comparison, at least in terms of where they stand in season three? 

Yeah, totally. Tilda is at that age where she's becoming her own person. She's going to do her own thing, but then the Widow's still her mother and she's been the greatest influence her whole life. It's like when you're growing up, you blame your parents for a lot of the messed-up things about you. Also, there's the fact that the Widow dropped a chandelier on her. [laughs] There's a lot of animosity towards them, but they've been apart. They've been focused on different things. Tilda's been very focused on murder and anger toward the Widow, but the Widow's focused on less familial things. She's been focused on her war.

I think Tilda's really ready for this confrontation and the Widow maybe isn't so much. She's been ignoring it, ignoring her feelings. It's all about to come to a head. They're finally talking to each other. 

itb_303_am_1009_0166_rt.jpg

You get to have a pretty intensive fight scene in this episode with Sherman Augustus, who plays Nathaniel Moon. What do you like most about getting to do those big fight scenes? 

Mostly everything. I love being on fight unit. They do two units, which I'm sure you know about. We have drama unit, which is essentially a bunch of people standing around talking to each other, and then you have fight unit. We have a whole Chinese stunt team and people from all over the world flipping around on wires, and chatting, and it's really chill and upbeat. I love fight unit.

I love doing all the fight sequences too. I really like martial arts and I really like martial arts films. My love for it has grown exponentially from being on the show and being around so many incredible people. I'll never forget watching the Chinese stunt teams flipping around like it was nothing the first year. I loved that and I loved being around that. I love being a part of it too. 

That fight scene was really fun. Sherman's great, Sherman's amazing. He can move like crazy, and he's so down too, to do anything, which... I really respect him for that. He came in Season 2 and was basically thrown into this huge fight [with Sunny], which is one of my favorite fights on the show. 

You get on set and you don't really even know at all what you're going to do, actually. You kind of have a rough idea, because you've read the script, but honestly, sometimes I don't even read the fight scenes in the script because they change them so much. It's completely different. We choreograph our sequences like 15 minutes before we shoot them. We go through it as many times as we can, which is sometimes like five times. Then we just do it. That's why it was great, because we both got to do a lot of our own stunts. 

Ching May was doubling me on that fight sequence, and she's one of the best stunt women in the world. She seems to me like she's probably an alien or a superhero or something, but I know that she's a real person because she's also the loveliest human being. The things that she could do were just incredible. Dee Dee, my choreographer on that fight sequence, was trying to get me to do this thing where Tilda is up in the trees and then she flies down with her sword. It's 30 feet up, completely inverted, headfirst going down. I didn't know that I was going to do it at all that day, obviously.

I'd just had a huge lunch and a bunch of coffee, and Dee Dee had put Ching May up, and he was showing me how to do it. He was like, "This is what you're going to do." I usually will do anything that Dee Dee asks me to do, because I respect him so much. I've never wanted anyone's approval so much. I just think that he's the coolest dude ever. He's amazing. I'll usually try my best to do anything that he asks.

He showed me. Ching May did it. She's on a wire, flying down headfirst. I was like, "Yeah, I can do that." Then they were like, "Are you sure? You can try it." I was like, "Okay, I'll try it." They put me up there and they started to invert me, kind of flip me head first looking down, and I just felt my entire body lurch. I was like, "I'm going to throw up. Dee Dee, put me down, put me down." So I didn't do that.

The crew would not stop giving me sh*t for that. I swear to God, every single day after that, whenever I was on a wire someone would be like, "Make sure you don't throw up, Ally," or, "Did you have lunch right before this?" I'm sitting there, "Yeah, yeah. F*ck off." Later in the season, Lewis [Tan] and I, we rappelled off a wall together, so... I feel like I've redeemed myself. 

One of the scenes I really loved this episode was Tilda's conversation with Lydia, when she sneaks in to get the lowdown on everything that's going on. It seems like she has this moment of realizing that she's going to have to start playing the game that her enemies are playing, rather than what she's been doing on her own terms. How does that factor into her decision-making through the rest of the season? 

Yeah, completely. That's a huge moment for her, and I really loved the Tilda/Lydia dynamic. I think it's so cool that they're together, because they do have a lot of the same values. Lydia is an amazing mentor for Tilda, and also I just love Orla Brady. She has been such a huge inspiration in my life. She's someone that I go to when I feel lost and in trouble. She's really helped me out. She's a bit of a mentor to me. I really loved doing that scene with her.

That's a huge moment for Tilda. This whole time, she's been in her own little bubble, and she's been putting a lot of energy into the Widow and all of the anger she feels towards her. I think that she realizes in that moment that it's a little bit misguided. She's coming from a place of hurt, where all this anger is coming from. She does realize in that moment that if she really wants to change things, she's going to have to compromise a little bit.

I think deep down, Tilda's like a humanitarian. I don't think she's a selfish person at all. She has that kind of selfless, hero, humanitarian thing in her [and] she's been hiding from that. It's hard to accept that. It's that kind of moment where you just realize that you've been so far from yourself for so long, and then somebody says something and you're just like, "Oh f*ck, you're right." It's really hard to admit that you're wrong. She doesn't obviously, but I definitely think that really, really speaks to her. Yeah, for sure. 

itb_303_am_1005_0006_rt.jpg

One of the relationships I know fans really got excited about last season was Tilda and Odessa. It looks like they're still going pretty strong, but it seems that Odessa doesn't really look like she agrees with Tilda forming that tentative alliance with the Widow at the end of the episode. Do we see their relationship tested in any significant way this season? 

Up until ... Sorry, my cat is so needy. She's like clawing onto me. Up until this point, even though we haven't really seen it, I feel like you kind of felt it, that Tilda and Odessa have been in their own little world. It is that honeymoon phase of their relationship, honeymoon in the Badlands where you're just off murdering people alone. They've been in their own space, doing their own thing, and everything's going great. As soon as they open themselves up to the rest of the world, they realize that they really do have different views on things.

Also, there's a lot of personal stuff there for Tilda. Yes, she does want to get back with the Widow, because it is a practical thing and it is the best thing to do for the Badlands and for their cause, and Tilda realizes that she isn't okay settling in her own little random part of the world, off from everyone. She needs to be a part of the Badlands. She needs to fix it. She has been a part of it all her life. She can't throw that all away. There's a lot of personal stuff there with the Widow, because it's her mother and she's always going to love her mom, I think. That's just the bottom line. Odessa feels that. 

[But] Odessa must feel like it's so weird, Tilda and the Widow's relationship. I never really thought of that because I'm in Tilda's mind, but Odessa must be ... this I'm realizing, because they really have a very strange, kind of co-dependent relationship, the Widow and Tilda. It's like mother/daughter, but also they're really the only two people that have been around for each other for a while. I think Odessa might feel a bit threatened by her too. There is that conflict, which is kind of the start of maybe something and some issues that they're having. No one's happy in the Badlands.

I love the scene at the end, when MK's gift comes back and Tilda steps in to defend the Widow against him. Can you tell us anything about how Tilda and MK's friendship evolves in Season 3? 

There's really not much of a friendship so far, which actually breaks my heart, because I really love MK and Tilda. I think that they're really special. Both of them are really sensitive people, like really deep down, back to Season 1. They both bring out something so nice in each other that I think has gotten so muddled with just all of the crazy stuff that's happened in the Badlands. Aramis [Knight] is like my brother. I just love him very much.

Just seeing him, for her, is just really crazy because he's been on her mind so much. She's been really worried about him, and she knows that he's with the Widow. It's so hard for her to see him have dark eyes at all, because she still sees him as this sweet boy that opened her eyes to the goodness of the world. She still sees him like that even when he does go dark.

She doesn't really accept, at this point, that he could ever be evil. She knows that she can still talk to him and she knows that she can convince him not to kill the Widow. Even though she's had her falling out with the Widow, she still loves [her]. She really just wants to talk to him and just help him, but obviously she can't because he's trying to kill her mom, and she's trying to save Odessa. 

It definitely seems like it's going to create some problems for her this season, at least. 

Yeah, I know. I know. I just want Tilda to be happy. 

I think that's what everyone wants. 

Just to catch a break. I just want her to find love and be happy, but also still be really vicious, because I really like it when she's vicious. 

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