‘Sneaky Pete’: Giovanni Ribisi, Margo Martindale & Graham Yost Talk Season 2

Giovanni Ribisi in Sneaky Pete
Myles Aronowitz/Amazon Prime Video
Giovanni Ribisi in Sneaky Pete.

It’s been over a year since fans of the Amazon series Sneaky Pete saw their favorite con man Marius Josipovic (Giovanni Ribisi) in action, but thankfully the wait is finally over as Season 2 hits the streaming site this Friday, March 9.

If the trailer for the new season is any indication, things are getting wild for the Bernhardt family in the countryside of Connecticut. For those not caught up to speed, Marius is a con man who, when released from prison, finds shelter with his former cellmate’s estranged family after he convinces them that he’s their relative Pete. Naturally both hilarity and drama ensue.

During the final episode of Season 1, viewers watched as Marius was stuffed into the trunk of a car by two henchman-like characters, who later ask where they can find his mother Maggie—and by this they mean Pete Murphy’s (Ethan Embry) mother.

Thankfully, this cliffhanger will be resolved as Season 2 picks up right where Season 1 left off. In anticipation of the new season, TV Insider sat down with stars Giovanni Ribisi and Margo Martindale, as well as executive producer Graham Yost, to discuss the upcoming episodes.

While the main details of the new episodes will remain a mystery until the premiere date, one plot point has been revealed, and that’s the addition of Jane Adams (Twin Peaks) as Pete’s mother Maggie. Last season, Audrey (Margo Martindale) and the rest of the Bernhardts didn’t speak of the estranged daughter, but this time around fans will learn more about her.

“We’re gonna find out [more about Maggie], but that’s one of the big things Marius has to figure out [as well],” says executive producer Graham Yost. “He has to get that information in order to get what he needs and what he wants, which is $11 million.”

Looks like we know what Marius’ next con is, or at least what he’ll try to attain this time around.

Of working with the new addition, Giovanni Ribisi had nothing but high praise for the actress, “Jane Adams is just a tour de force. It just really was a pleasure working with her,” says the actor. “Her performance throughout the season is something to tune in for.”

While the cast can agree that Adams’s addition is a welcome one, it doesn’t mean Maggie will be getting the same kind of treatment. “It’s emotional, but [Audrey] did some bad things too, so it’s not just [Maggie],” says Margo Martindale of her character’s reaction to Maggie’s return. “But, I’m gonna blame it all on her.”

Margo Martindale as Audrey Bernhardt.

As Maggie comes into play, what will that mean for Marius’ con on the Bernhardts, and will the real Pete enter the picture? You’ll just have to see, but Yost does confirm that the real Pete will play a larger role this time around.

“You’re going to see a lot more of Ethan Embry,” he says. “He’s just such a great actor, he’s this smart, erudite, guy and he’s just playing one of the biggest dunces and he just plays him straight and it’s just really funny.”

Now, it may be surprising to hear that there’s so much comedy going on in a show with such dark themes, but it’s the truth. Sneaky Pete, while being a crime drama, can also easily be categorized as a comedy.

“There’s something inherently funny in a lot of cons,” Yost elaborates. “In watching Marius go up against these people and try to pull something off—you’re sort of with him yet you’re also kind of the person who’s being conned… All the characters do it one way or another.”

For Martindale, playing the Bernhardt matriarch certainly has its perks, as she typically fills darker roles like Claudia and Mags Bennett in The Americans and Justified.

“[Audrey]’s different, and she’s naïve and vulnerable in a way and I haven’t gotten to do that in the middle of being a big toughie,” says the actress.

Just because she’s less of a baddie though, doesn’t mean Audrey’s easy by any standard.

“It’s a difficult part because [Audrey’s] a regular woman who is a smart and intuitive and very suspicious, but she gets in over her head and she will do anything for her family. The other gals are women who come from a darker place to begin with, I think Audrey comes from not a dark place, it’s not a light place but it’s not a dark place—a medium place.”

Libe Barer as Carly.

According to Yost, fans will get a look at Audrey running a con with her youngest grandchild, Carly (Libe Barer).

“There’s a very fun scene later on when Audrey goes with Carly and they’re running a con on someone on the street in a later episode.”

This leads us to wonder what kind of role the rebellious Carly will play this season, since last year she seemed to have the same knack for cons that Marius did. Ribisi assures that, “she becomes quite the nuisance for Marius.”

As for the rest of the Bernhardts, they’re all dealing with their own challenges this season. “They’ve all got their problems, and everything they thought they’d taken care of in last season—which is yesterday in the show—there’s further ramifications, there are consequences to everything that happens,”says Yost.

Among these things is the looming question of whether Marius’ identity will be revealed to the others.

“It’s interesting cause I that’s a tenuous thing to hinge a show on. How long can you play that out? So I think the show, in the smartest way, made it about so many other things,” says Ribisi. “I would say that the suspicion has come up a lot more [in Season 2] and who knows, maybe that might be a revelation if there’s a third season,” he teases.

Sneaky Pete Season 2, Available Friday, March 9, Amazon Prime