What can we expect from Max Park and Annie Mouradian in “The Flight Attendant” season 2? Seeing as how Kaley Cuoco’s character Cassie Bowden is pretty occupied with the drama going on, Deniz Akdeniz and Zosia Mamet assure fans that their characters will be much more active this time around.
“They’re more embroiled in the the murder, mystery and espionage than before. They’re right in the thick of it,” Deniz Akdeniz shared. “They’re even getting themselves into danger, so it was fun to be a part of the madness.” Zosia Mamet added, “I think they start out Season 2 doing all right. They’re taking a lot of baby steps in the right direction. It might not be for everyone else, but for these two, that is how their new chapter begins.”
Check out the interview below:
Q: The first season of the show was a huge success – did you have any idea it would get the response that it did?
DA: We had such a good time making the first season. The scripts were so good. The characters were so good. The mystery was so good. Everything was feeling right but you never know until people see it. We could have a great time and be like, ‘this is amazing,’ and everyone else is like, ‘this is awful!’ We were very fortunate it was quite the opposite. It was really nice to see the show hit a lot of chords with a lot of different people so hopefully that will translate to this season and we won’t disappoint!
Q: What’s it like going into a second season on something that was so successful?
ZM: I think there’s always a pressure when you have a hit. Our industry is so wild. You can be making what you think is the next best thing and for whatever reason no one watches it or vice versa. We had the best time on season one and we all thought we were making something very cool but you just never know. So the success of the first season was great and you come back and you’re like, ‘I really hope we can do this again!’ The writers did an exceptional job of creating what felt like an organic transition from season one to season two. It felt so much like the core of our show, yet bigger and louder and a little bit deeper in terms of all of the characters’ storylines and personal struggles. You get excited again, you work your butt off and you hope everyone loves it as much as they loved the first season!
Q: The first season was based on the book. This season doesn’t have the same source material – how did you feel when you read the scripts?
DA: I’m not a writer but I was like, ‘how are they going to do this?!’ But it was such a smooth transition and they did an amazing job. The scripts trickled in and I was hooked every time I read one. It was like watching it week to week where you didn’t know how it was going to end, they were that engaging.
Q: Was there anything you were surprised by?
DA: The engagement in the first episode was like, ‘what?!’ It took so much for Annie to admit her feelings for Max in the first season – he had to get hit by a car and almost die! So the fact they were engaged was a nice fresh start, and then as we go on and the mystery unfolds, there are twists and turns.
ZM: One of the coolest things to me was the mind palace. In season one, it was such an epic conceit and a special part of what set our show apart from other things. Kaley was just magical in that, so all of us were like, ‘are they going to do that again? How are they going to do it?’ And I think what they came up with was so incredible. It was no easy feat. It nearly killed everybody trying to make it happen but they slayed it. The first time I watched [this season] Kaley with gold dress Cassie I was like, ‘that’s a different actress.’
Q: Did either of you have much input into your character arc?
ZM: In terms of the writing, no, but I do think that we have an incredibly collaborative team from Kaley to Steve Yockey. They took what we created in season one and really wrote for, and to, us so it felt so organic. We also have a very openly creative set so we improvising a tonne and if something feels like it’s not working, we talk it out. It’s not like we’re pitching ideas for our storyline but we certainly have room to play.
DA: There was such a strong foundation and footing that once you got to set, if something wasn’t working you’d have the space and the time to figure it out. It really became a melting pot and that’s really rare and refreshing.
Q: You two have a lot of scenes together, what’s it like working together and improvising?
DA: I think the scenes with the two of us are always fun because they give us a lot of permission to go crazy and it gets to a point where they’re like, ‘go so far you can reel it in,’ which is a nice thing to do. And then with Kaley, it goes even further, and it’s fun to go down those rabbit holes and add things in and see what comes up. Most of the time for me it was trying to keep up with either of them! You’ve got to be on your toes otherwise you’ll get left behind.
ZM: Deniz is being bashful, he’s amazing. Clearly from day one we had that chemistry. We give each other a hard time but we genuinely have such a good time together and I think that’s what comes across on screen. Because we are allowed from the powers that be to play, it allows this space for Annie and Max to be Annie and Max. There’s this wonderful dynamic of Annie spinning out and Max having this ability to bring her back down. Sometimes they would allow us to go a little further into something that would never make it into the cut to find our rhythm in a scene and create a more concise version that would then eventually make it into the cut.
Q: Zosia, what’s in store for Annie this season?
ZM: She’s a big mess at the start of season two. She has spent her entire life on this path and allowed herself to be defined by this work that she does. She’s wrapped her entire self up in it so once she eventually realises that her conscience can no longer allow her to keep doing what she’s doing she is left staring into a black abyss and knowing what her future looks like. She’s said yes to Max’s proposal and he’s stuck around – I don’t totally know why! – but she’s just really lost her mojo and is trying to figure out how to get it back.
Q: And Deniz, what about Max?
DA: Annie constantly pushes and tests the boundaries of Max’s patience and love for her and he keeps coming up against it. I think he’s made a lot of concessions in the past and now they’re being put to the test and it gets to the point where if the high stakes drama hadn’t come up would this relationship have survived? It’s fun to explore the very real relationship issues that maybe people have but against this backdrop of espionage, kidnapping and bounty hunters…
Q: What’s in store for Annie and Cassie’s friendship this season?
ZM: It’s interesting because in episode two, Annie has a horrible job interview and admits to Max that she’s essentially jealous of Cassie because she is normally the together one and now she’s not and Cassie is. Season one brought them closer than they had ever been, given what they went through. And so in season two, when Annie and Max realise Cassie has gotten herself into some crazy shenanigans yet again, it’s like, ‘ok, here we go again, let’s do it.’ And because Annie doesn’t have anything of her own right now and needs the distraction, she’s happy to jump in and help Cassie again. She loves her friend and she’s proud of her growth and she wants to help her continue down that path.
Q: Zosia, you and Kaley have amazing chemistry – how was it reuniting for a second season?
ZM: Kaley and I are basically like a married couple. My husband was away working for a good chunk of filming and I moved in with Kaley. We joke because neither of us went to college and so we were like, ‘we’re basically living our college days, we’re room mates!’ We literally would drive to work together. Honestly, it became a little sickening. Everyone was like, ‘we get it, you love each other.’ She’d be like, ‘I’m working til 8pm,’ and I’d be like, ‘well, I wrap at 4pm so I can take care of the dog, it’s ok.’ I get to work with my best friend in the world and we have the most fun ever and Deniz gets roped into our stupid insanity! It’s honestly rare in this industry that you get to work on something great where you all love each other and have a really great time and that’s what we got.
Images by HBO GO. Catch “The Flight Attendant” Season 2 only on HBO GO.