Everyone and anyone is now gunning for Peacemaker and his ARGUS pals, as the HBO Max series heads into its final two episodes.
But on top of those numerous external threats, there is also imminent turmoil within the team, as Adebayo’s role as a covert doer of Amanda Waller’s bidding comes to light.
TVLine spoke with The Suicide Squad alum Jennifer Holland, who plays team leader Murn’s No. 1, Emilia Harcourt, about how Adebayo’s perceived betrayal will play out, a “tiny” (and green) possible addition to the aforementioned threats, and whether next week’s finale will tease a possible Season 2.
TVLINE | At the time that you and Steve Agee (as Economos) shot the bonus scene for The Suicide Squad, observing Peacemaker in the hospital, was this spinoff series but a glimmer in anybody’s eye?
That wasn’t actually shot during the production of The Suicide Squad; it was shot early in the production of Peacemaker, and then they threw it onto the end of The Suicide Squad right before it was finished. So, no, when we were doing The Suicide Squad, there was absolutely no idea that we would be doing anything with my or Steve Agee’s characters beyond the film. We were just excited to be there, playing the characters, having a good time with some really incredible actors. And then this series just came out of nowhere.
TVLINE | Coming out of last week’s Peacemaker, a lot of stuff is happening. Like, pretty much all of the stuff. Detective Song (Annie Chang) and the entire police department, as well as all the jailhouse criminals, have been taken over by Butterflies, the White Dragon (Robert Patrick) has suited up….
We’re moving into the final act of the story, so everything’s really ramping up now, and it is crazy stuff. I love [last week’s] Episode 6; it’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s really hard for me to compare because they’re all very different, but there are very important character moments that happen for many of the characters in Episode 6. There’s a lot of nuanced character stuff that I just love.
TVLINE | The fake Peacemaker diary has gone public, and looking at the promo for this week, it appears like “the ish might be about to hit the fan” for Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), who of course planted the diary for her mom, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Are things going to get tense?
Of course. I mean, Harcourt doesn’t know anything about what brought Adebayo to the group, and at first she didn’t trust Adebayo. She then starts to sort of open up to Adebayo and starts to have a friendship with Adebayo — and Harcourt, obviously, doesn’t open up very easily to people. So, yeah, I don’t think Harcourt specifically is going to take it very well if she finds out that the team has been betrayed in any way — by Adebayo, or any of the team members for that matter.
TVLINE | The two of you did have that nice moment a few weeks ago, after Adebayo was involved in her first shooting. Harcourt was kind of like, “You shouldn’t feel good about it.”
Who knows what Harcourt is thinking in [series creator] James [Gunn]’s mind, but for my money I think that she was hard on Adebayo in the beginning because she wanted to scare her straight to some degree. She doesn’t think that she has the tough skin to be able to hack at in this line of work, and so I think she just starts to have some empathy for her.
TVLINE | As I was saying before, you have a whole bunch of Butterflies after you, the White Dragon and his minions have suited up, and apparently every law enforcement agency in the country is gunning for Peacemaker. Is there anything I am forgetting? Because I see a bit of Judomaster in the promo; I think we all had kind of forgotten about him!
We haven’t seen much from Judomaster in a little while, but we’re going to see some of him in the upcoming episode, for sure.
TVLINE | Chukwudi Iwuji (who plays Murn) told me that fans could spend two weeks brainstorming what the Butterflies’ food-providing “cow” might look like, and they still wouldn’t be able to quite nail it.
[Laughs] It’s true. It’s true. It’s weirder than you might imagine, even from James.
TVLINE | What has been the most challenging scene for you to film during this season? Physically or otherwise.
The fight sequences — namely the ones in the upcoming episodes, which I can’t really talk too much about — were the most challenging physically. They required so much intense rehearsal, and you get a little taste of what that sort of stuff does to these stunt actors’ bodies. I’m only spending, collectively over the course of the season, maybe four weeks out of the six months of shooting in the gym rehearsing fight sequences and stunts, things like that, but that’s what these stunt people do every single day, and it really takes a toll on your body. Towards the end of the shoot, I had a time when my back was just totally messed up. I had done this one stunt over and over again, where I sort of had to flip over and land on my back, and I think that’s what did it. But you know, I had a great time. It’s really awesome to be able to meld that athleticism and all of my history with gymnastics with what I love to do as an actress.
TVLINE | Well, I haven’t see a lot of obvious doubling going on with you. So, it came out well.
Well, thank you. I spent an extraordinary amount of time with my stunt double Yulia, who taught me everything ad nauseam, working with me over and over and over again to make sure that we could get it just about as good as she could do it, but then she would step in for certain things. She was a great double for me. I mean, when she would walk around on set people would, like, tap her on the shoulder or call her “Jen.” They all thought she was me.
TVLINE | I was once on the set of Once Upon a Time, and between takes I was about to go up to the actress who plays Granny and get some quotes when the publicist stops me and says, “That’s her stand-in.” I was like, “Well, that could’ve been awkward!”
Oh, yeah. The stills photographer was taking photos of Yulia a couple of times and people would come up to him and say, [Whispers] “That’s the stunt double,” and he’d be like, “Oops.”
TVLINE | Lastly, will the end of next week’s finale tease in any small way something for a possible Season 2? Or is it strictly about closure?
To some degree, I think the way that James approached Season 1 was that he wanted to make sure that the story was a complete one. He’s a writer of films, mostly; this is his first foray into writing an episodic series, so there’s a well-rounded story involved. There might be, you know, hints to other things, but I don’t know that he had any clear idea that there would be a Season 2 when he wrote Season 1, if that makes any sense. I think there’s always the hope that that’s going to happen, but there’s never really any conversation about it until you know how it’s being received. I also don’t think James wanted to lock himself into doing anything because if it wasn’t received well, it would make him really sad to have to continue on with a series that he loved but people didn’t really like. But I will say this: Some crazy s–t happens in Episode 8!