On the run from the Kempeitai, Season 2 sees Juliana (Alexa Davalos) on the run and with nowhere to turn – at least seemingly. There is a last resort, but it’s one of desperation.
We caught up with Davalos to chat about Season 2 of The Man In The High Castle…
When we catch up with Juliana in Season 2, where is she and what’s she doing?
She’s in a great deal of trouble! [laughs] Basically she’s had to relinquish herself. She’s had to pleas for asylum from the Reich essentially. The Kempeitai are after her, and she has nowhere else to go on the west coast, so she makes this decision to seek asylum in the Reich – which is as one can imagine, dreadful.
What is her goal at this point?
She has a series of bits and pieces that have led her to this place. I think it’s quite easy to see Juliana as a bit of a damsel in distress, and though she is obviously she is in a great deal of trouble, she’s incredibly bright. She has a plan, though every plan she has gets sideswiped by these various things that come up, and right now being in the hands of John Smith (Rufus Sewell) was not exactly part of her plan. So she’s having to weave through all these obstacles, but she does have a plan, and it has to do with the Man in the High Castle.
She’s faced a lot of hard decisions – does it make it easier to empathise with her?
As someone who’s objective, I would hope so! For me certainly she’s suffered loss after loss after loss, and at the same time being that she’s surviving under that role under that level of oppression, there’s a certain level of numbness that comes with tragedy upon tragedy. She’s coping, but ultimately she has a lot of hope, and she’s incredibly tenacious. To me she’s like a little soldier. She’s just getting on with it, putting one step in front of the other.
How would you say she’s changed since the pilot?
It’s mental how much has happened, if you think about the span of the show. The first season takes place over the course of 14 days, and after the second season we’re about 26 days into the story. It’s A) How much can a person change in 26 days? She’s changing tremendously, she’s true to who she is, but she’s having to be a chameleon in order to survive, and shapeshifting as much as she needs to in order to stay alive.
She’s certainly stronger in the second season, she’s self-aware in a way that she wasn’t before, and she’s honed her skills.
One of the first times you’ve seen Juliana, she seems settled in. History has been unkind to collaborators – did it encourage you to view such people in a different light?
I feels like I’ve always had that. We’re very much a product of our environment, and when people are mistreated repeatedly and alienated, people become desperate and angry, and all sorts of things occur. It’s a terrifying cycle. As far as Juliana specifically, she grew up in that world, she doesn’t know anything else, and she’s adopted this semblance of not just respect, but a personal connection to the Japanese cultures. She has taken the best of what there is, and that does make her very different.
Will the timespan for Season 2 be similar to Season 1?
The first episode of the second season is a direct pick-up from where we leave off at Season 1, and it continues from there. Every episode is roughly a day/day and a half, so by the end of the second season we’re still only 25 days in. It’s crazy!
Can you tell us about any of the new characters that Juliana interacts with?
She’s interacting with the Smith family, which I could have never fathomed would happen in the first season! I didn’t see that coming. And then as far as new characters, there is a new one called Dixon that she has quite a bit to do with, who is connected to her family and the Resistance.
Is a reunion with Joe (Luke Kleintank) on the cards?
Hmm… how am I going to answer this? I’m going to say yes and no! How’s that, is that very clear and helpful? [laughs]
Does your answer have anything to with the alternate timeline?
No it does not! Tricky I know, but you’ll see!