The fact that late Rayburn black sheep Danny will continue to haunt Bloodline in Season 2 (premiering Friday on Netflix) is bad news for his sibling John but very good news for the latter’s portrayer Kyle Chandler.
“When they killed Danny at the end of Season 1 it all of a sudden dawned on me, “Oh my God, that means Ben Mendelsohn is gone,'” Chandler recalls to TVLine. “I cannot express how much fun I had working with Ben throughout that first season. We really had a great time. He brought so much life and enjoyment to the set. So it’s wonderful that he’s back and still a part of everything.”
And as the trailer for the new season strongly suggests, Mendelsohn’s pot-stirring character will show up in more than just flashbacks. In one scene, it appears Danny pays his guilt-ridden brother an unwelcome “visit” in the present. In the following Q&A, Chandler sheds light on the nature and frequency of those drop-ins, reveals the biggest behind-the-scenes difference between Bloodline and Friday Night Lights, and explains why he decided to temporarily lift his moratorium on reviving Coach Taylor for last summer’s hilarious Alamo Drafthouse spoof.
TVLINE | What’s John’s mindset when we pick up with him in the premiere?
I can’t tell you, for two reasons. The first one being I don’t really remember. [Laughs] It’s been a long time [since we shot it]. And No. 2, I never know what they’re going to do, they being [exec producers] Todd [A. Kessler], Glenn [Kessler] and Daniel [Zelman]. Because when they get in that editing room, things change, stories change, scenes change. They do a quite a bit of work in [post production]. So when I watch the show it won’t necessarily be what we shot. And it won’t necessarily be in the order that we shot it. They fiddle around with it quite a bit. However, I can tell you that [John and siblings/co-conspirators Meg and Kevin] are trying to deal with their paranoia around [Danny’s murder], and figuring out how to wash the blood off of their hands.
TVLINE | What can you say about the presumably hallucinatory encounters between John and Danny? Is that a common thread throughout the season?
I wouldn’t call it a common thread… You just have to watch and see. People will [interpret] it differently. It’s not like John is walking around with Danny day-in and day-out, like instead of a large rabbit he’s a dead brother. I think [the device] was used really well.
TVLINE | The trailer also indicates that Wayne Lowry has evidence that could implicate John in Danny’s death. Do you think John is capable of committing a second murder?
I don’t know. He may commit a second murder in Season 2. I have a personal feeling on it, but I don’t want to say because it might be a spoiler or something.
TVLINE | Now that you have two seasons of Bloodline under your belt, how would you compare this experience to the one you had on Friday Night Lights?
It’s apple and oranges. I enjoy the process we have [on Bloodline] as much as I did [on FNL]. They’re both very collaborative. But [FNL shot] down the street from where I lived [in Austin], and [Bloodline] is a plane ride and another two hour drive down to the very southern tip of the United States of America. That makes a big difference. But as far as working with the people and working with the writers and producers and what have you, it’s similar.
TVLINE | Are there enough secrets in the Rayburn family for Bloodline to stick around as long as FNL?
[Laughs] There are enough secrets with this family for me to keep doing the show until I’m 92.
TVLINE | Speaking of FNL, how did that Alamo spoof come about?
There’s an Alamo Drafthouse not far from me in Austin. That’s where my wife and I always go. The guy that runs it asked me if I was interested in making that video and I jumped all over it. I’ve never touched Coach Taylor [since FNL ended in 2011]. I like Coach Taylor and I’ve had opportunities to [lampoon the character] on a few different shows, but I never pursued it. I have a reverence for him. And I didn’t think he’d appreciate it. But this one I thought he’d appreciate.
TVLINE | Now how about reviving him for real in a FNL movie? Don’t do it for yourself — do it for me.
That’d be a tough one. Everyone’s a little too old now anyway.