Pure’s Alex Paxton-Beesley on Anna’s Isolation in Season 2

Super Channel
Super Channel

If you feel that it’s been awhile since Pure has been on your screen, well you’re not alone. After airing Season 1 on CBC, the drama was not renewed until Super Channel and WGN America came in and brought about the show’s return. That second season will premiere on both channels on Tuesday, May 28 at 10 p.m. ET. It’s also been over a year on screen as well as Anna Funk (Paxton-Beesley) must now attempt to go at it alone after her husband, Noah (Ryan Robbins), disappeared.

Anna now finds herself at the center of the drug ring she and Noah attempted to take down, trying to shield her children from the family’s involvement. It will be no easy task now that they’ve been excommunicated from their Ontario Mennonite community and new characters, such as Zoie Palmer’s Detective Valerie Krochack, are on the scene. To get a closer look at what Anna must go through this season, The TV Junkies recently spoke with Paxton-Beesley. She explained to us the intense and dark head space she had to go through in order to play Anna in Season 2 and previewed what may happen should Noah and Anna meet again.

 

The TV Junkies: It really feels like Anna is at the center of everything this season. How did you prepare for that or how did you come into the second season with a different approach than Season 1?

Alex Paxton-Beesley: It was an intense thing to prep for, especially because Ryan wasn’t able to join us until about a week after shooting started. So the first week of shooting was one of the most intense weeks on set I’ve ever had. My character was so isolated, but it was also so strange to be without Ryan, my partner in the show. It was especially hard preparing for all the Low German that I had to speak for this season. Laura Kohoot, our advisor on the show, is just the most invaluable member on our team and we spent a lot of time together working on that.

In large part, what was happening in the real world really supported what was going on in the show. It had been quite awhile since we had seen each other and there’s a year-long gap between Seasons 1 and 2. In real life it had been at least that long since we saw each other and then were thrown back together in this intense world. So that was really kind of helpful.

TTVJ: Season 2s are always fun too because you kind of have the kinks worked out and all the exposition has been explained. Do you feel that way and what was it like returning to Halifax?

APB: I totally agree with you. Season 2 of shows is sometimes when they blow up the formula so everything is changing and it doesn’t always work. In our world, it really did because in terms of storyline it’s really justified. Their world really has figuratively been blown up.

I couldn’t believe it when we got to go back for Season 2. When we were shooting Season 1 early on, and our showrunner Michael Amo told us over dinner his plan for the overall arc of the show. So I had known if we got to do Season 2 some of where I’d get to go with Anna. When I got the call for Season 2, I thought ‘oh man, I cannot wait,’ and then the scripts just exceeded my expectations. The first episode is so intense! Halifax is also one of my very favorite places in the world so to be able to be there, and be working, is just the dream.

Super Channel
Super Channel

TTVJ: As you mentioned, Noah is gone, it’s a year later, and he’s left Anna and the family behind to pick up the pieces. Where do we pick up with her in Season 2 and how is she different than the Anna we knew in Season 1?

APB: She is actively searching for Noah because she hasn’t heard anything since he walked away from her at the church. They’ve been excommunicated so Anna, Isaac and Tina are living in this strange purgatory. They don’t belong in the town, but they aren’t welcome in their community. They lost their family farm and are barely scraping by. It feels like an existence without a lot of hope. They start to wonder where on Earth are they going to go? Anna isn’t allowing herself to even imagine that, and is beginning to be confronted with it, as it seems more and more likely that Noah returning is not a possibility. They may be trapped in this in-between space forever.

She’s working really hard to preserve a sense of normalcy for her children and maybe find a pathway back to this life that they loved. She’s also very stubborn and is coming from a place of righteousness. She’s not necessarily feeling like her or her children are being treated fairly so there’s also a big shift happening for her, maybe away from this life she loved so much and had chosen for herself and children.

TTVJ: I imagine that’s such a dark head space that you had to be in to portray that.

APB: It was really isolating. It was nice on one hand because I had Jessica Clement and Dylan Everett and we got to be a family unit. That was very fun and we spent some time — we called it Book Club — just talking through the scripts, what we thought had happened with the family during the year and how much the children know about what went on. It was very isolating and strange way to come back to the show that we love so much and are so happy to be working on.

TTVJ: We see in the preview that Noah and Anna eventually come face to face again. What would having Noah back in her life mean for her?

APB: I think there was space for Noah to come back until there wasn’t. At first it’s a little of a too little too late situation. These are people who are used to being equal partners in all things that have gone completely incommunicado for over a year. Just imagine trying to establish any type of communication, let alone trust, after that radio silence. This deep burden that Anna has been carrying and trying to protect her children from, she’s been doing it all by herself. When, and if, Noah reappears in their lives in any capacity, that’s a pretty massive roadblock to try to navigate through, if at all.

Super Channel
Super Channel

TTVJ: I know Zoie Palmer is joining the cast this season as well as some others. Can you talk a little about the new characters we’ll meet?

APB: We were so so thrilled with the people that joined our cast this season and we’re so lucky. Zoie Palmer and Dalmar Abuzeid are playing the police presence in this season. Zoie is a single mom, former hockey player who is a forensic accountant for the police force who maybe has bigger dreams. What I love about Zoie and Dalmar’s characters is that they are bringing a bit of levity to our otherwise dark world. They’re very charming. Zoie as Val is so no nonsense and no bullshit. I think there’s a certain number of parallels between Val and Anna. They’re both very fierce mothers trying to do right by their families while living their lives and be good at what they do.

We’re also joined by Christopher Heyerdahl, the most delightful person and incredible actor, who plays Augustus Nickel. He’s a reformed Mennonite who comes into Anna’s life and maybe shows her another way of living. Working with him was wonderful, and very hard, because he’s so charming in this part that it was hard to not be the happiest person in the world around him. He made my job very hard because he’s adorable and funny.

Victor Gomez and Conrad Pla are the criminal element this season. They are some of my favorite villains that I’ve seen in quite a long time. They are both so very smart and such gentlemen in real life and that’s part of what makes them so terrifying in the show — that suave intelligence where you know they are going to get what they want and in inventive ways. It’s pretty horrifying.

 

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Pure Season 2 premieres Tuesday, May 28 at 10 p.m. ET on Super Channel Fuse in Canada and WGN America in the U.S.