Jennifer Connelly has had an illustrious career. From the cult film Labyrinth to an Academy Award for her supporting role in A Beautiful Mind, Connelly has proven she can play just about any part — and in 2020.
Jennifer Connelly stepped out of her comfort zone of appearing on the big screen to star in the TNT series Snowpiercer, based on the 2013 film of the same name by Bong Joon Ho.
Connelly plays the stoically enigmatic Melanie Cavill on Snowpiercer, the story of a nonstop train that circles the globe in order to keep its passengers safe from a global killer ice age that has ravaged the world.
In season one, Melanie kept a tight rein on the train as the head of “hospitality,” often serving as an unyielding disciplinarian against the rebellious stowaways tucked away at the tail end of the convoy.
But by season two, she has been stripped of her power and aligns herself with those same rebels to take on the all-powerful Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean), who runs the train.
In an exclusive interview with Looper, Connelly discussed Melanie’s transformation and revealed what it’s really like working with Sean Bean on Snowpiercer.
Melanie has had quite the transformation on the show. She went from a stony “bad guy” to more of a grounded, down to earth “good guy.” Which side of her is more fun to play and why?
Both sides are fun to play. But with hospitality, that was a role she was playing. So there’s shallower waters, as it were. She’s kind of playing a part there. And the time that we spend with Melanie as her true self, I think we’re able to go a little deeper. And the scenes have a little more truth to them, which is fulfilling in a different kind of way.
And there’s a little more action too, right?
And a lot more action! Although even in hospitality, she was a mover and a shaker for sure. But I have some serious action in season two.
How has the return of Wilford and the addition of Sean Bean amped up the drama in season two? And what’s it like working with Sean?
Well, Wilford is fomenting people on the train. He has a lot of supporters. The train was already divided, and it’s even more so now. Allegiances are being tested, and the train is literally… with him as a leader or a potential leader, it’s going to tear itself apart. So it’s really amped everything up, and it was great fun working with Sean.
I think he’s a delicious bad guy, because he’s a bad guy who’s having fun and who is charming, and so he’s persuasive. And I think Sean, he really had a lot of fun with that and did a great job.
What can we expect from Melanie, now that it’s been revealed that your daughter Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard) isn’t dead?
They meet each other on the train, and they have a reunion, and it is as fraught as you might think it would be after they’ve had seven years of separation. And Alex has been with Wilford. You can imagine that it’s a pretty complicated reunion. And so over the course of season two, they dance around each other, and as you might also imagine things start to shift.
What are your thoughts on the theory that Alexandra is Melanie and Wilford’s daughter?
I have never heard that theory before, or thought about it. I don’t think that’s… Whose theory is that? [Laughs]
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