“Will Trent” Cast and Creative Team Tease What’s to Come in Season 2

Will Trent is back for Season 2 on Tuesday, February 20th, and the cast and creative team recently took a break from filming to stop by the TCA Winter Press Tour to talk about what’s in store. “We're taking [Will] on the journey of adding something into the identity that he had created for himself,” revealed executive producer Daniel Thomsen about the series premiere, “Me Llamo Will Trent,” which finds the GBI detective trying to connect with his newly discovered Latino heritage. “What's interesting is just getting that information so late in life when you already felt like you had a fixed definition of who you were and having that be thrown into a blender. There's going to be stories this year about him reaching out and trying to meet people from his family, and how that's going to take on different directions. We're excited by it.”



While Belle, the chihuahua who plays Betty, was seated for most of the panel in Jake McLaughlin’s lap, star and producer Ramón Rodríguez discussed how his canine costar helps his guarded character open up to viewers. “Betty really represents in a beautiful way something that Will has always longed for,” the actor shared. “It's connection, some sort of a sense of family. I think it was very unexpected for him. To watch that evolution of how he's such a softie with this dog versus everyone else in the world in the show, it's just a beautiful color that he gets to express. It's this inner child in him that comes out that I love, and I love that Betty's like Angie's therapist at times, just listening to her.” As for his scene-stealing partner, who will have a canine guest star for several episodes this season, Ramón couldn’t be happier with the casting. “We lucked out getting Belle. She's amazing. She really is.”

“I learned a lot about myself the very first time I read the script,” revealed Erika Christensen, who plays Will Trent’s longest friend Angie Polaski about the unexpected benefits of accepting the role. “There's a self-awareness to her that I really admire… It was great to find that aspect of myself.” The collaborative nature of the executive producers has also been a delight for the actress, who feels heard when she shares ideas for her character. “The fact that I'm having ideas and am willing to share them is awesome. It's wonderful to expand upon myself as an artist.”

“I am learning to do a lot of the things that Faith already has naturally, which is to speak up for herself, be authentically herself in any room with so much confidence and security,” Iantha Richardson revealed about what she takes away from her character, Will Trent’s GBI partner Faith Mitchell. “Since we started the pilot, that is something that I've come across and cultivated more for myself. I love the parallel between the two, me and Faith. And then I also think when you step into a new role, for me, this is a pretty big role. I'm new on the scene. This is the most I've worked on a show so far in my career. And so, just learning about myself and how, in a personal way, how you handle time, how you handle the lack thereof of time, how you handle life when you're tired, or you want to hang out, and you can't. All the little nuances that are human, like learning about myself in that way, being stretched in that way, is really something that I've learned on this show. And I think that steps out of the character and into Iantha in a really big way.”



One of the major bombshells at the end of the first season was Amanda Wagner’s pivotal role in Will’s life from birth, with the first season ending with a touching moment around a vending machine. “You just see an evolution of that moment,” Sonja Sohn promised about the dynamic between Amanda and Will in Season 2. “There's an episode, which we're in the middle of right now, where Amanda's past comes back to haunt her. And some more information about Amanda is revealed at that time to Will, and there's a conflict that comes out of that. But bonds are created in the moments that we figure out how to traverse those conflicts and those sticky moments in life.”

Few characters have stickier moments than Michael Ormewood, who has some blurred moral lines and his own complicated past with his partner, Angie. “You're going to see a lot this season with what's going on with my at-home life, which I think adds a whole different dynamic,” Jake McLaughlin teased about his arc this season. “You're going to get a lot more insight into not just my character but a lot of the other characters in this season as to who they really are. And you'll get to make those decisions for yourself as an audience member rather than being spoon-fed those things. And that's what I like. If you took the names out of a lot of the shows that you see out there, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the characters. But on this show, we all have a very unique way of talking, unique way of doing things. So you can take all of our names out and you can tell exactly who's saying what without having the name above the dialogue. And that also says a lot in credit to Dan and Liz, and all the other writing staff on the show. That they write to the characters and let us have a little bit of freedom to do that. And so I like that this season, we're getting to have a lot more private moments with all of us, really.”

While the creative team has a lot of room to make this series adaptation of Will Trent its own thing, fans of the books will be happy to hear that the author is still involved. “It’s a big subject for [Karin Slaughter],” shared executive producer Liz Heldens when asked about how the series handles violence against women. “We have done stories from the book where we flip the genders. We try to kind of keep a tally in the book. We are a crime show. That is the engine of our show. We're homicide and murders, and that's our show. Will and Angie are both survivors of past violence in their childhoods. We try to honor the journey of a victim.” But whether you’ve read the books or not, Season 2 of Will Trent promises lots of twists, turns, surprises, and more Betty.

Season 2 of Will Trent premieres Tuesday, February 20th, at 8/7c on ABC. New episodes are available to steam the next day on Hulu.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).