Into the Badlands: Emily Beecham on the Widows’ Fight Against the Darkness Within

Aidan Monaghan/AMC
Aidan Monaghan/AMC

Just when we thought Into the Badlands couldn’t possibly get any more visually stunning, the AMC drama series doubled down with a second dose of the Widow (Emily Beecham) and a change up in color palette that was simply breathtaking. It was also a very emotional journey for the Widow, as she realized the darkness that still remains inside of her and how getting the gift back from the Master (Chipo Chung) could spell lots of trouble. Armed with this new knowledge, the Widow is still poised and determined moving forward in her battle against Pilgrim (Babou Ceesay).

Monday night’s episode was part of a two-night premiere for Into the Badlands, as it marked its return for the final episodes of the season. “It’s a shame that it’s come to an end,” Beecham told The TV Junkies. As she prepares to say goodbye to such a powerful character, Beecham also provided us with some insight about what it was like to pull double duty and face off against herself in this week’s episode.

 

The TV Junkies: The Widow is such an iconic and special role. I was saddened to hear that these would be the final 8 episodes we had of the show. What do you take away from getting to play this character for 3 seasons?

Emily Beecham: It’s been pretty fun playing her. It’s fun playing a leader. It’s also fun playing a character that has so much responsibility, and as she claims, who is doing it for reasons of substance. She’s quite aristocratic and a bit like a queen so that’s very fun.

TTVJ: She is such a great character so getting to see a bit of an alternate reality with the Widow in this episode was great fun. What was your reaction when you heard that’s what this episode would be about?

EB: I was very excited. It sounded like a big challenge because you could shape the scene however you wanted because you were playing both characters, and that never happens. I was really looking forward to acting with the special effects and being able to face myself, literally. There were a ton of costume changes, makeup changes and blood changes. That takes a lot of time with leather! [laughs]

It was a lot of fun and really a thriller. There was just so much going on and at one point even one of our cameramen fell over a pot. He’s fine but we were really going for it!

Aidan Monaghan/AMC
Aidan Monaghan/AMC

TTVJ: It was so much fun seeing the small differences in the character and the world, especially the red everywhere. The clothes have always been such a wonderful part of the show and I loved that choice. Did it have any effect on helping you get into this other version of The Widow?

EB: It was liberating wearing red for the first time because I’ve been in black for three years. It was a challenge because of the speed of filming, and with everything going on and the complex stories, working out whether this was a dream, what it all means and who is this person in red? Creatively trying to work out a way to play it that makes sense was a challenge because dreams also don’t always make sense.

The fight sequences are also choreographed on the day so you really never know what you’ll be doing. You’re working it all out as you go along, trying to make decisions, and learn the choreography as quickly as possible. It’s a bit like juggling and an extreme challenge. I’m really grateful to have had that challenge though because every job I have from now on will seem very easy in comparison.

TTVJ: I was excited to see that she still rocked her stiletto heels in both versions of herself.

EB: [laughs] Yes! The red ones were actually a bit higher.

Aidan Monaghan/AMC
Aidan Monaghan/AMC

TTVJ: Now that the Widow has made these discoveries about herself and this darkness within her, how does she use that information going forward in her battle against Pilgrim?

EB: She lets go of a lot of resentment that she held before. She is so desperate to get the gift back and really needed that from MK, but now she realizes that all these things she should’ve had wouldn’t have made her the same person. She realizes that she wouldn’t have been a very likable character or had the same integrity and drive to help others. She wouldn’t have had the empathy and her painful experiences, that she thought she shouldn’t have gone through, actually have made her the strong character that she is. When she comes out of it she does so with a new understanding and she can not struggle, not let her pride and anger get in the way and approach the fight with a new understanding. She changes a bit after it.

TTVJ: Will we continue to explore the relationship between the Widow and Bajie (Nick Frost) moving forward?

EB: Yes, and I think that’s really fun. They have quite a fun relationship deep down that the Widow doesn’t actually show a lot. There are parts of her that come out because he knew her when she was a child. So he knows her better than anybody else does, as does The Master, but Bajie and her definitely have a different relationship than she has with any of the other characters.

 

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Into the Badlands airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.