The following contains major spoilers for the April 14 episode of FX’s Snowfall.
On Snowfall, if you try to deceive Franklin, you have to be prepared for the consequences.
As fans of the FX crime drama saw this Wednesday night, the repercussions for Manboy (played by Melvin Gregg) meant a slow, loquacious and bloody death. Meanwhile, Tanosse (Adrianna Mitchell), the woman Franklin thought loved him as she secretly worked with Manboy for Franklin’s plug, had to take the wrap for the murder. Or at least tell the cops she’d killed him in self defense. How Tanosse explained the corpses of Manboy’s boys, whom Jerome shot up and left for dead outside her home, was left for viewers to imagine.
“Most people on Twitter said they were ready for Tanosse to die,” a slightly hurt Mitchell tells TVLine. “People are really protective of Franklin. On set, [Damson Idris] tried to prepare me for that. He was like, ‘People are going to hate you.’ I told him viewers would see my point-of-view, but he was right and that has not been the case. That’s been a new experience for me, dealing with an audience that’s so protective of another character.”
Mitchell, whose previous TV credits include The Good Fight and The Blacklist, didn’t find out Tanosse’s hidden agenda and destiny until Episode 8.
“They gave me the scripts as we shot them,” she says. “I knew Tanosse wanted something, because Franklin is a kingpin and he could help her with her life. And it’s amazing how they cut things together; they really made Tanosse look shady. I didn’t know my character was double-crossing Franklin, but I liked seeing her veneer crack a bit, and seeing her stress.”
“It was really fun to get that information,” Mitchell adds. “Tanosse was at the center of a conflict and I thought that she was going to die. I don’t want her to go to prison, either. But we left her at such an inconclusive place that my hope is that she will figure a way out of this. And if she is able to get rid of all of these bodies, I would love for her to circle back in Season 5.”
Perhaps Tanosse could join forces with stripping hitwomen Black Diamond and Dallas. After all, she knows her way around a knife. “Maybe if she could pawn Manboy’s jewelry and all those guns, she would be set…,” Mitchell says, chuckling. “She’s messy and scrappy — but she’s alive.”
That’s a heck of a lot more than Manboy can say. Gregg, whose resume includes The Way Back, says he enjoyed working on Snowfall while it lasted, and he appreciates the opportunity given him.
“All good things come to an end,” Gregg admits with a sigh. “My favorite part was dying. I did a short a couple of years ago where I put, like, five different Denzel [Washington] characters all in one narrative. When I played Training Day Denzel, I would get shot and still be talking. And then I pulled out a cigarette and kept talking, because Denzel takes forever to die.”
“When I read the [Snowfall] script, that’s the first thing I thought about,” Gregg says, reveling in the parallels. “I was giving my best, slowly dying Denzel.”
As for the vitriol Gregg read about Manboy on Twitter, he says his character is just misunderstood.
“As an actor, you have to be able to justify your character’s actions, so he’s grounded in something,” Gregg says. “When it comes to Manboy versus Franklin, I understand this is Franklin’s show and viewers are his fans. But Franklin isn’t a good person.”
“You see what he did to those old people at the bookstore, and the people at the shelter,” Gregg reminds. “He tried to set me and Skully up, and he’s the reason why the whole Miller family is dead. What did Manboy do, really? He got Franklin a girlfriend. But nobody wants to tweet about that.”
Snowfall fans who want to see more of Mitchell and Gregg won’t have to wait much longer. Mitchell will guest-star on the April 19 installment of CBS’ Bull (playing an assistant district attorney), while Gregg has a role on the upcoming Hulu miniseries Nine Perfect Strangers (slated to premiere this summer).
Until then, Gregg has vengeful visions for Franklin and his family on behalf of the Millers.
“I hope Manboy has an illegitimate child who avenges us all,” he says with a laugh. “That’s what I want to see in a Snowfall reboot in 20 years.”