For Hollywood actor Dermot Mulroney, the star of romantic comedies like The Wedding Date and My Best Friend’s Wedding, playing an antagonist in the second season of teen-assassin series Hanna was an opportunity to embrace the “old guy” in him.
Hanna, an adaptation of Joe Wright’s critically-acclaimed 2011 film of the same name, has been created by David Farr, who co-wrote the original feature.
The first season of the series, starring Esme Creed-Miles as the titular character, premiered last year on Amazon Prime Video and the sophomore season will start streaming on the platform from July 3.
While Creed-Miles and Mireille Enos (Marissa Wiegler) will be reprising their roles, Mulroney is the new addition.
“I’m just now getting used to playing an old guy. Everyone on the set had a great companionship. All of us and I’m sort of the older members of the cast so it’s amazing to see the same feeling across two or three generations of actors. It was a real collaborative thing between ages,” Mulroney said in a Zoom roundtable with international journalists, including PTI.
The first season focused on Hanna being raised in a remote forest by her adopted father, Erik (Joel Kinnaman), as she figures out that she had been born at a facility owned by Utrax — a secret operation with the aim of raising genetically modified female assassins.
In season two she moves to The Meadows, a boarding school-type facility for trainee teenage assassins, headed by Mulroney’s Carmichael.
The 56-year-old actor said he was fascinated by the world Farr created and the way he weaved Carmichael’s plot, without making it appear like a sudden addition.
“The tone of the series was so beautifully delivered in the first season of the show for Carmichael. (It felt like) I was there in season one. I was just off camera,” he said.
Behind all the action in “Hanna” there lies the dilemma of teenagers in the modern world and their struggle to fit in.
Mulroney said as somebody who enjoys collaborating with teenagers, he has strong “opinions” about the way they are portrayed on screen.
“I always find starring opposite teenage people very interesting. Because I play opposite the teenage girls frequently, I have opinions about how well that age and type of character has been depicted in our culture.”
The actor believes at a time when the world is going through a cultural change, the series touches upon a lot of relevant topics.
“The entire global culture change, which has started in the last couple of months, this story takes on may have deeper repercussions, that goes without saying…
“Audiences will learn through the season how the government functions and how heads in the government march out and start their own rogue groups based on what they believe to be true. All of these things play in our culture as we speak,” he added.
Mulroney is also impressed with Esme, who has performed some breathtaking stunts in the series, and finds her working style “fascinating”.
“What Esme Creed-Miles creates with Hanna is fascinating to watch. The moments I have with her are peak moments in the season. Esme is a very enigmatic person. Without labeling anybody she was fascinating to work with. I’ve learned a lot from her,” he said.
Praising Enos, the actor added that working with the Golden Globe-nominated artiste was a “high point” for him as she contributed a lot in his performance.
“I was so privileged to join Mireille and other cast members. They did such a fantastic job in season one. It was thrilling to join a show that was already tied up and going. In some way, it makes our job easier.
“But for me the people who made it the most wonderful job were Mireille and Anthony Welsh because I have most of the scenes with them. We instantly became friends and had a great time working. It was delightful to see Mireille and watching her perform from the front row.”
British actor Welsh, best known for starring in Fleabag and Black Mirror, is essaying the role of Leo Garner, Carmichael’s right-hand man in Hanna season two.
Mulroney said Welsh played Leo with perfect attitude and even though his character acts as a support to Carmichael, the young actor gave him an individuality.
“The way Anthony played Leo was really smart. He didn’t play any hand to John Carmaichael.”
Hanna season two also features Gianna Kiehl, Aine Rose Daly and Yasmin Monet Prince.