‘Leverage: Redemption’ Stars Talk Sophie’s Past, Parker & Hardison’s Date Night & More
One of TV’s most entertaining shows, Leverage: Redemption, returns for its second season on November 16 (with the first three episodes) on Amazon Freevee, and our favorite bad guys are back to do some good — and face their pasts.
The Grifter (Gina Bellman’s Sophie Devereaux), Thief (Beth Riesgraf’s Parker), Hitter (Christian Kane’s Eliot Spencer), Hacker (Aldis Hodge’s Alec Hardison), Fixer (Noah Wyle’s Harry Wilson), and Maker (Aleyse Shannon’s Breanna Casey) are all back to take on corporate bad guys and dirty dealers. Wyle, Bellman, Riesgraf, and Shannon tell us more. (Wyle and Riesgraf also each directed two episodes, and Wyle wrote one.) Plus, scroll down for an exclusive sneak peek!
At the end of Season 1, Parker officially handed the reins over to Sophie to lead, while she continues to take charge of the rest of the Leverage International teams. So how much are we going to see Parker in that role?
“Not enough,” Riesgraf jokes before adding, “In all seriousness, I really hope we do get to dive in and see Parker running these teams. We see her talking about it, and there’s little hints here and there that she’s got a real dark side when she’s dealing with some of these other A-holes over there.” Instead, we’ll see Parker embracing being more of a support and an adrenaline junkie in Season 2.
Meanwhile, Sophie is “all in” and “loving” being in charge, Bellman says. “She’s in her groove, she’s thriving, she’s not looking back. She’s really into the planning.” Furthermore, she’s “loving life” in Season 2, with the star noting that as opposed to the black she wore last year while in mourning (for Timothy Hutton’s Nate), you’ll see her in colors, patterns, and flowers. “Maybe next year – we haven’t talked about it — she’ll be ready for love again next year,” she shares.
Harry’s Back With the Team
While Harry left the team to go do some good on his own, he is back. “What we’re trying to say is that he’s found his conscience, but … he really enjoyed the adrenaline rush, being part of the team and being out on the con,” Wyle explains. “He misses the costumes and the accents.”
As for what brings him back, the team calls him for help (“it’s always nice to feel needed, to feel valued”). “They kind of blew into his life like a hurricane and turned it upside down and showed him all these different things that he could do with his life and that he enjoyed doing with his life. And it’s hard to walk away,” Wyle continues. And don’t worry about him juggling the legal and less than legal sides of his work: “It was never really a concern throughout the season that those two worlds were ever out of balance.”
Pasts Come Back to Haunt
Because Sophie is “really in her groove” leading the team, it’s a “shock” when someone from her past shows up. “She let [this person] down in a big way back in the beginning of her career in crime, and this person wants that debt to be paid and it completely stops her in her tracks,” Bellman previews, teasing “a bit of the invasion of the Brits” from her character’s world. “She’s a character that in the past has sometimes stopped and wondered about the collateral damage, the fact that they were thieves. This season is all about her having to face up to the fact that she let people down in her past and that there is a debt due.”
And while they are a family and depend on one another in high-pressure situations, “they’re all really private about their pasts and they have a silent agreement that they don’t go there,” Bellman notes. That will change this season, both with Sophie and “quite a personal storyline where [Eliot’s] quite exposed to the team.”
Eliot is also going to be the one to confront Sophie about her past and “make her accountable,” Bellman reveals. “[He’s] the one that says, what are you doing? What are you risking? What are you not telling us? How are you making us vulnerable? What are you gonna do about it?”
Meanwhile, Harry is able to be “a little bit of a mirror at times, saying, are you sure this is what you want to be doing? Are you sure this is how you wanna be reacting?'” according to Wyle. “It’s one of the few vulnerabilities we ever see Sophie Devereaux have. And it’s one of the few times outside the Sophie-Nate relationship that we’ve ever seen her need anybody.”
The Newbies Are Confident
Harry and Breanna, who joined the crew in Season 1, do have some experience now. “He is more confident and more enthusiastic, more willing to lean into certain things with full gusto,” Wyle says of Harry. “He’s no longer having to prove himself as the new guy.” Part of that is losing the “evil lawyer” nickname — and even getting away from Sophie calling him “Mr. Wilson.”
And just like Shannon is now (“I was so nervous coming in Season 1, not having to live up to anything, but also having to live up to some stuff”), Breanna’s more confident. “I think Breanna’s reveling in that,” she says. “We get the opportunity to see her grow and establish what identity she chooses. The world is kind of her oyster. As she’s becoming more open minded, I think Brianna’s exploring some things that maybe she was just so against in Season 1, for instance, her femininity, which me being actress that exists between my femininity and my masculinity and all the parts in between, the spectrum in between.”
And while crew boss Sophie is “amused” by what she’s seeing in Harry, with Breanna, “it’s a little more complicated because Sophie’s always had that kind of maternal part of her nature,” Bellman admits. Because of that, you’ll see Sophie reminding Breanna that there are options for her beyond the team and “she doesn’t have to live in this kind of group of misfits.”
Like Season 1, Hodge isn’t around full-time, but “it was really important to me, even if it was with a phone call that you see the last tail end of, to let people know they’re OK and they’re good,” Riesgraf says of Parker and Hardison’s relationship. “Inside, she’s struggling with him being OK. She’s his protector in a lot of ways, and she knows he is afraid of dust mites and afraid of heights, and he is going to one of the highest places in the world. So it’s like she’s worried about him, but there’s a lot of fun and a lot of humor and it’s very evident that the love is still there and they’re good.”
Season 1 also introduced a love interest for Breanna in Emily (Aury Krebs). “It might have sailed,” Shannon reveals. “Breanna’s getting a little smoother. She is getting a little more confident and she’s seeing what fish are in the pool. You might be seeing someone new.”
A Different Kind of Con
While there won’t be an episode in which the crew takes on other roles in flashbacks (like “The Van Gogh Job” and “The D.B. Cooper Job”), there is one in which “the Leverage crew takes a slight backseat to another crew that basically does the running of the con,” Wyle previews. “In that episode I play a character that is euphemistically referred to as the Lumber Duke, maybe one of my favorites of the year.”
Adds Bellman, “We’re watching from a distance a little more, that we are more like puppet masters rather than being front and center.”
Bellman rejoices in being able to do comedy (it’s her “happy place”), and with the upcoming “Work Study Job,” she gets to do just that. “I get to play a really goofy science professor and there’s kind of a throwback to the character that I played in ‘First Contact Job,’ one of my favorites, and a bit of the character that I did in ‘The Office Job,'” she shares. “I really played around with my costume and made her this really kind of silly over the top character. It’s fun to be Sophie and sophisticated in the kind of nice sexy clothes, but I wouldn’t want to be that if I didn’t also have the option to be a kind of goofball too.”
Riesgraf points to “The Date Night Job” as one she enjoyed. “I think people have been wanting to see Hardison and Parker on a date for a long time. It’s a lot of fun, and I got to do some fun stunt work and get real playful with Aldis and a younger actor,” she says. “There was action, there was comedy, there were some night shoots, there was all the things that are kind of challenging, but when it all comes together you’re super excited about it.”
Shannon named “The Tournament Job,” sharing, “Pierson [Fodé] is hilarious. We were laughing about magnetic shoes that help us hit our mark and stuff. Just playing with him was excellent.” You can get a peek at the two together in the exclusive clip below.
Shannon also listed “The Debutante Job,” noting working with Hodge, “just because he’s such an amazing person, human actor, watchmaker, across the board, and he just brings a new energy to the set. Playing with him I think is always great on a con.”
Leverage: Redemption, Season 2 Premiere, Wednesday, November 16, Amazon Freevee