The mid-season finale of HBO’s The Nevers aired this Sunday, and those who've already watched know that it's an extreme understatement to say there were some surprises.
It turns out that at least some of the cast were also shocked by the developments in the episode, including Laura Donnelly — who plays Amalia True on the Victorian-era show — who initially thought that they got sent the wrong script.
**SPOILER WARNING! Major spoilers for The Nevers’ sixth episode, “True,” below.**
In an interview with Collider, Donnelly recalled what it was like to read the beginning of "True," which starts out in 2121 rather than 1800s London. "You should've seen us reading the scripts,” Donnelly said. “We were like, 'Oh, they've sent us the wrong script.’”
The script, however, was accurate, and revealed that Donnelly’s character, Amalia, is actually Stripe (Claudia Black), a rugged and ragged fighter from the future, whose consciousness is brought back in time by the alien Galanthe and inserted in Amalia’s body (the original Amalia had killed herself just moments before the Galanthe’s arrival).
The twist is, in a word, bonkers. And Donnelly was clued into Amalia’s true background (pun intended) from the start. “I couldn't play her not knowing all of that,” she explained. “So, I kind of got pitched right from the start, this whole world that we were building and where Amalia had come from and who she really was, and all about the Galanthe and all about Stripe and all of that stuff, which was what drew me to it, of course. Because, suddenly knowing that I was going to get to play this woman with all of these secrets and layers and the person she's trying to be — the person she really is and all the things in between, that's just such fascinating material for an actor.”
Donnelly believes that material is also fascinating for the viewer. “I love that aspect of the show, that you get drip-fed that idea, that you start off thinking that you're watching one thing and things just don't quite add up, and over the course of the five episodes... you're getting the impression that maybe you're not getting the whole picture," she said. "And then, [Episode 6] happens and you realize you definitely weren't.”
With the revelations in “True,” it feels like the show could now go anywhere. How things play out, however, depends on Philippa Goslett, who has replaced Joss Whedon as the showrunner. “That's in Philippa's hands now,” Donnelly said when asked if she knew what’s in store for the back half of the season. “It's whatever she feels she wants to do with it.”
The first six episodes of The Nevers are now streaming on HBO Max.