Taken is back tonight on NBC with an exciting second season and a couple of new faces joining the cast. In the fall, I visited the set of Taken and chatted with stars Jennifer Beals and Clive Standen along with new additions Jessica Camacho and Adam Goldberg. Here is what they shared about Season 2.
Now that we got to know Bryan Mills in Season 1, the new season can focus on him doing what he does best.
“Season 1 had to be the reboot of the character,” said Standen. “When we watch [the Taken films], we don’t necessarily think about Bryan Mills so much. That’s one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses. [We had] to actually see what made him tick. Season 1 was about having him rough around the edges and not really understanding the rules. Being a Green Beret is very different from being a CIA agent, plus there’s the emotional turmoil [from the loss of] his sister.
Standen continued, “In Season 2, he knows the rules and can break them, and Christina trusts him. The most important thing for me, and I think the reason why people are saying Season 2 is like a reboot, is that it’s time to refocus it back on what the film is about — a lone wolf who will kick down doors or smash down whatever is in his way to get something. Whether it be a person or a thing that’s taken, you cannot stop this man unless you put a bullet in his head.”
There’s a new team with Christina at the helm, and she has faith in the people she’s chosen to be a part of it.
“She’s a transformative leader, and not about tyranny at all,” explained Beals. “The responsibility ends with her, but she’s assembled a team that she thoroughly believes in. She’s not interested in telling all of them how it’s going to go down. It’s really important for her to elicit the best from those around her and, and for the team to have all the information before making a decision. Why would you assemble the best and brightest if you’re just going to dictate? Now that she’s fully responsible for the company and not just working under the bureaucratic umbrella, she sees the value even more of everybody trying to work together.” Added Goldberg, “We’re not working directly for the government. It’s a little more subterranean.”
The series has become more episodic, but there will be a few things carried throughout Season 2.
“Each episode, for the most part, serves as a standalone story line,” Camacho shared. “The connecting part is the formation of the team. As they learn more about one another, [we see] how it changes the team dynamic and how we see their relationships start to expand. The connecting part, if I had to say there was one, is the team as a whole.” Goldberg added, “There’s a couple of seeds that are planted in the first episode of the season that crop up here and there. Essentially, [each episode is] self-contained.”
Bryan is going to be forced to interact with this new team, which will add a fun layer to Taken.
“You could describe the team as a dysfunctional family,” Standen stated. “It’s like Bryan has a foster mother, a sister who annoys him, and an older brother who lives up in the attic on his computer all the time.” About his relationship with Kilroy, Standen added, “Bryan is Mr. Serious and kind of cantankerous, and Kilroy brings this great lightness. He lives in a different world from Bryan Mills. He often ends up picking on Bryan, and Bryan doesn’t have a comeback. They can both learn a lot from each other, and as the season goes on, we have a lot more in common than we thought. There’s a reckless side to Kilroy as well.”
Much like the James Bond films, the world of Taken now has its Q in Jessica Camacho’s character, Santana.
“My character does have a lot of toys,” explained Camacho, and also said that the lingo is foreign to her. “I have to rely on my weapons guys who know about these weapons, what they do and what they’re called. These experts have used these weapons before, and make sure that I’m holding them right and shooting them right.”
Goldberg is playing a more mature, seasoned hacker, which is something we don’t often see on TV.
“I don’t know if he’s some kind of Snowden, but that’s a frame of reference I’ve been using,” Goldberg said. “[Kilroy] has a somewhat ideological or political bent. They start describing him as being a bit of an anarchist. I think it’s less that and more a guy who is just anti-establishment.”
Christina may appear to have it all together, but she still doubts herself at times.
“She’s the kind of person that walks in the room and assumes she’s one of the smartest people,” Beals conveyed. “That makes her such a pleasure to play. It becomes more compelling when starts to question herself, or when she is out of control. What happens when that person starts to question their judgment, or is concerned about the call they made. That’s when it gets interesting.”