The Lennie James Interview

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INTERCEPT: TWoP Blows Lennie James's Cover
My journey for Hawkins is: keep making him more complicated, because once we got past the whole notion of, "Is he a goodie?" or "Is he a baddie?" -- which is the whole journey of the first season -- we're still left with this guy and what would he do next. And, "Who is this guy and what would he do next?" is still the interesting journey for me. K: That's just it --we don't necessarily know everything there is to know about Hawkins, I mean, could he still go darker? Do you think Hawkins would have tortured the guy in "Casus Belli" if Jake hadn't stopped him? LJ: Yeah, I do. I think that if he wouldn't have done, it's not a clever bluff, particularly. I think in those particular situations he would prefer not to torture the guy, but if he has to, then he will. I think that is Hawkins's dilemma and the interesting journey of him as a character. You know, he's in a situation -- particularly in the second season -- where he's now having to, not just risk his own life in order to fulfill his new mission, he's having to risk the lives of people that are not as well-trained as him but also that he cares about in a way that he would prefer not to care about. He's having to use his wife, but he would prefer not to use his wife. In all that they went through in the first season, he has a kind of an awkward respect and camaraderie with Jake. But that doesn't mean, if needs be, that he wouldn't cut Jake to pieces. And that's his dilemma. It's about what he wants to do versus what he has to do. He's aware of what he is capable of and, to a greater or lesser extent on one side of his character, he's protecting everybody else from himself. K: In one of the episodes of the new season when Jake and his brother are planning on assassinating Constantino and Hawkins gets wind of it...I was expecting Hawkins to play almost the father figure to Jake, but instead he says, "Yeah, go ahead and kill him, but be smart about it." LJ: Yeah, exactly. I really liked that scene, and I like the way it turned out, and I liked the way I played it, because you know, we did different versions on it where he was softer on Jake, but we finally went for the one that was much more of a conflict. In a way, Hawkins was kind of like, "I'm disappointed in you, man -- I thought you understood." He's not interested in making Jake in his protégé. He's not interested in being that kind of Yoda. Because the thing is [as Hawkins], I completely understand revenge, I completely understand that this man may well deserve to die. I've met people who deserve to die, and I've killed people that deserve to die. But if you're going to do it -- because it's just about them being dead -- walk up to them quietly when they're at their ease and they're comfortable, because that's what his training tells him. His training is, "I don't want to make a show about it. I don't want it on the front page of any newspapers." When I -- when Hawkins has taken people out, he's walked up to them in the quiet of their everyday and he's slipped something in their drink, or he's walked up to them in the quiet of the day and he's done something to their car, or he's walked up to them in the quiet of their day and he's just put something sharp in the back of their neck. His mission is to do it, but his mission doesn't finish there. His mission is to get out without being discovered. What Jake wants to do is he wants everybody to know what he did, and as far as Hawkins is concerned, "That's not how I get the job done. But if you're going to get the job done in that way because this is your town, I can't be a part of it." And I think that line when he walks away from Jake and says, "I can't be a part of this," is really telling. Not just about where their relationship is, but possibly where their relationship is going to go.

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