Pennyworth returns for its second season Sunday, December 13, on EPIX, and we got the chance to chat with Paloma Faith about what’s to come.
Faith plays the role of Bet on the Batman prequel.
The series was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, having been shut down earlier this year.
Below, Paloma speaks about her character, what’s to come, and more!
TV Fanatic: Bet has more layers than your typical TV character. What do you like the most about playing her?
Paloma Faith: Well, I haven’t ever had the opportunity to sink my teeth into like a fully well-rounded character or been in a series before.
What I love about it is, as people know, I don’t come from a traditional training background.
I’m really learning as I go along, and all of the emotional highs and lows and the fact that Bet is a character who’s quite capable of jumping from any emotion to another within a split second means that I get to really explore a whole plethora of characters in one.
So I feel like I’m learning so much. It’s like an acting apprenticeship to me because I can be aggressive and then vulnerable within like a moment and actually more so in season two because, in season one, I was just often very hard, but in season two, we start to really explore the nuances, and there’s a lot of indication about Bet having a softer side as well.
So, it was really great to play her.
Do you think Bet sees herself as a villain, or do you think she sees herself as misunderstood?
She doesn’t see herself as a villain. I think that she thinks everything she does is completely justified.
I actually understand why she would think that because there is a lot of supposed good guys doing just as much violence in the show as her and as harshly and weirdly.
I mean, Alfred Pennyworth and Bet Sykes are kind of neck in neck on the bizarre front in types of aggression.
Your scenes with Jack are great, but Alfred and Bet didn’t share a lot of time on the screen in the first season. Do they cross paths even more in the second season?
Even less, I’m afraid.
We closed Season 1 with Bet being locked up after kidnapping the Queen. What can you tease about where we pick up her storyline?
Well, no one ever wants to be locked up!
But when we come to Season 2, we come into their lives a year later. It’s a clever writing trick in that we don’t have to explain how Bet is out.
She’s such a fantastic character. The one-liners are probably some of the best on TV.
Is there anything else you can tease about the second season?
We’ve got a lot more references. I really liked it when I watched the show, and it had these Easter eggs of the history of British culture.
Last season, we had Jack the Ripper, and we had John Ripper, and then we had, like, James Saville getting hung, and all these sort of little jokes if you’re like really nerdy like me, you get to take out the names.
There’s quite a lot of that going on in Season 2.
I’ve only seen the first three episodes, but I actually enjoy watching it to pick up on who comes up.
There are a few Batman characters that come into Season 2 also. We start to see how the relationships are made with the people that ended up being around Batman.
I understand production was shut down due to the pandemic earlier this year. Are you able to speak about the differences in shooting the series nowadays?
So afterward, we had very strict protocols in place where we all tested several times a week.
We had to fill in a form every day and test our temperature every day to get on to the production lot.
And we have to wear masks right up until shooting. So even like rehearsing in masks. When they say cameras was the only time we took them off.
And then, as soon as they say cut, we put them back on again. Everyone was trying to reduce the amount of exposure we might have If there was anyone on set with the virus.
And then, obviously, the crew were socially distanced from us. We weren’t allowed to go near them, and they all had to wear masks, and we weren’t allowed to eat together.
So it was different, but to be honest, because it was in such a massive contrast to the isolation of, if we weren’t at work, we felt like we were living the dream because we were at work and we were able to have a laugh and be around people.
And also, you know, in, in the knowledge as well, that like everyone had had a test, and stuff was quite reassuring. That felt quite luxurious.
I know you recently released Infinite Things, your fifth studio album, and hosted The Voice Kids. Are you working on anything else at the moment?
I’m making a human being, actually.
So, I’m very heavily pregnant, and I’m just waiting a bit for that. Promoting the album and Pennyworth simultaneously up quite a lot of time.
So, I’m pausing on the creative stuff for now, just while I promote. I don’t think the two go together very well.
Pennyworth Season 2 airs on EPIX. If you’re watching along internationally, new episodes are available on Starz Play.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.