When Season 2 of Condor kicks off this evening, there will be some familiar faces from the first season. Returning is Kristen Hager as Mae Barber: doctor, mother, and widow of Joe Turner’s (Max Irons) best friend, Sam.
During our 2019 visit to the set of Condor, Kristen Hager filled us in on where we find Mae when the story resumes. Read highlights of our conversation below, and be sure to watch the Season 2 premiere of Condor tonight at 9pm ET on Super Channel Fuse, and tomorrow on Super Channel on Demand. And if you missed it, be sure to read our interview with Max Irons.
Where do we find Mae when the story resumes in Season 2?
We pick up Season 2 two years after Season 1 and find Mae in a much different spot. It was a lot for her to go through the death of her husband, find out he wasn’t the man that she thought that he was, and suddenly be a widowed mother of two. Enough time has passed now that Mae is finally ready to move on with her life, start dating again, and let Sam go as best as she can. But obviously, the past continues to come back to haunt her.
She’s moving on with her life, yet she’s dating another CIA agent.
It’s a close-knit community and Season 2 is about the domestic [side of this] world. You see a lot more of what’s going on behind closed doors in these people’s personal lives. It’s the circle that Mae runs in and the people that she knows, and ultimately, ends up in a relationship with another CIA agent.
What is her relationship with Joe like once he returns home?
We touched on it a bit in the first season, but Mae and Joe are extremely close. Her family is the closest thing that he has to family, especially [after] losing Sam. He is her greatest confidant, and he doesn’t have anyone else. Mae also feels responsible for him in a lot of ways. There is some sadness at the beginning because he’s been gone for two years, and there’s a sense of abandonment with Mae’s children. He’s not a father figure but is the closest man in their lives, and because he’s been gone, there’s a bit of anger. There’s also tension that builds between Joe and Mae upon his return because the last thing that she wants is for him to have anything to do with the CIA.
When you first signed on for this role, did you know that Mae was going to be more than just the grieving widow?
Normally, when you’re cast in a project, especially when it’s an episodic television show, you read the first episode, and that’s it. You audition or you’re offered a role, and you don’t necessarily know what the arc is. That was definitely the case when I went in to read for the role of Mae because I only read the first episode and there were two scenes. I knew that her husband was going to be killed because another scene that I read was from Episode 2 or 3.
When they offered it, I was reticent to sign up until I knew what her arc was, so they sent me the first seven episodes. By the time I got to Episodes 6 and 7 — which were very much Mae-focused — and I saw what a beautiful journey she had, that was the selling point for me. It was very important to not just be the grieving wife in the background of this CIA world.
What can you share about the dynamic between Mae and Reuel Abbott (Bob Balaban) this season since he’s still in her orbit?
I love playing opposite Bob Balaban. He’s fantastic, and we have some excellent scenes coming up in Season 2. If there’s someone to blame and hold resentment towards, it’s definitely Reuel Abbott. Letting go of everything that happened with Sam has been the hardest part for Mae because Reuel is still very active in the CIA world, and she sees him on a regular basis. We also find her eldest son acting out because he’s dealing with the grief of losing his father and also has a lot of resentment towards this man who he holds accountable for what happened with his dad. There’s a lot of great tension between Mae and Reuel this season, which has been great fun as an actor but will hopefully lead to some high-stakes scenes.
Speaking of Mae’s children, what is her relationship like with her son, Sam Jr., two years after losing his dad?
As any parent can attest, dealing with adolescence is always going to be challenging, let alone a 17-year-old who has all of this pent up aggression and anger towards the unfairness of his situation, losing his dad in the way that he did and not knowing who he could trust. In a lot of ways, Mae feels like she’s lost control of her son, and is really trying to be the best parent for him that she can be while feeling like he’s spiraling.
Photo Courtesy of Super Channel