AMC is gearing up to take viewers back to the rainy days of Seattle in the upcoming third season of "The Killing." With a new case for Detectives Linden and Holder comes some new faces including Peter Sarsgaard, who portrays death row inmate Ray Seward. The actor spoke with The Hollywood Reporter in anticipation for the June 2nd premiere.
A fan of the series' first two seasons, Sarsgaard said that what initially drew him to the project was both Mirielle Enos' steely Detective Linden and the slow burn that carried through the series. "I was...interested because the series is less about a body count and more about everything surrounding what happens in situations like this — the repercussions. The thing that pissed everyone off [the season one finale], I enjoyed," he said. "I just don’t think that there is a resolution. A lot of times, when there is a resolution on a TV series or a film, if it’s not totally earned, I hate it... It feels artificial to me. I have a real radar for artifice. It almost always feels contrived. Endings are contrived."
What ultimately intrigued Sarsgaard about his particular character was that, despite portraying a death row inmate, it was difficult to pigeonhole him as 'good' or 'bad.' He said, "I was very interested in playing someone that seemed like it had potential to be a fully-realized person on some level. A lot of people ask me, 'Are you a 'baddie'?' It’s seriously not like that. I think in the end, no one will be able to peg which one I am.
He continued, explaining that the specifics behind the growth of his character were just as surprising to him as it will be to viewers, stating: "[Veena Sud] told me the arc of the character in general, not specifics. I definitely was surprised week by week. I would get the scripts and read the pitches before they got edited and changed because I wanted to know. Sometimes I didn’t know how something happened plot-wise — that maybe I would’ve known character-wise — and I would find out in retrospect. Veena only tells you what you absolutely need to know."
Ironically, the third season sees a shift in tone that radically changes the make up and pacing of the series. "I know that [the more gradual pacing]'s definitely all over this season," he said. "There will be a lot of surprises for people. But I think that there’s also other stuff that I find more interesting — the way people change or don’t change; people who get stuck in their ways and suddenly change."
Sarsgaard continued, "I think [the third season]’s going to be very emotionally gripping. This season — having seen the other ones — is a lot less contemplative. It’s a lot speedier and dynamic. It feels a lot more dangerous."
Don't miss the two hour premiere of "The Killing," Sunday on AMC!