‘The Flight Attendant’s Zosia Mamet on Annie’s Season 1 Journey & Hopes for What’s Next
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for all of Season 1 of The Flight Attendant.]
The series starts with Cassie finding Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman), her one-night stand, dead next to her in bed, and from there she goes on a wild adventure investigating his murder. That’s where Annie comes in. To help out her friend, Annie calls in a favor from one of her firm’s clients and, in return, she has to do something for them: Bring deadly pills, unbeknownst to her, to someone in prison. (It’s not until he quickly pops the pills that she realizes what she’s done.) Upping her bad week, her boyfriend Max (Deniz Akdeniz), who’s also helping Cassie, ends up in the hospital after a car purposefully rams into him.
In a brave move, Annie decides to give up the big bucks she makes working with nefarious clients, and quits. Of course, given what she’s done, she now fears being disbarred. We caught up with Mamet, who says it’s possible Annie’s done with law completely. “I think [the creative team is] sussing out where they want the show to go next,” she says. Plus, she tells us about her character sticking through thick and thin with an unreliable friend, why Annie’s life is now “messy, but good messy,” and more.
Annie’s life is pretty much in disarray by the end of the season. How is she feeling about herself?
Zosia Mamet: There’s this interesting fallacy in the world that you get everything figured out in your 20s and by the time you hit your 30s, you’re on your way. [But instead], you’re like, “Wait a second, I don’t have anything figured out and maybe a lot of the choices I made weren’t right.” A lot of people could have a mini-existential crisis. It just happened to Annie in a much bigger way. She’s very good at compartmentalizing. She’s spent the majority of her adult working life in denial that all her success is at the expense of denying horrible things happening, giving the upper hand to and protecting very bad people.
So, her life is in disarray, but she’s being a lot more honest about herself. It’s like when you get out of a bad relationship, and you might feel like s**t except you know it was still the right choice to make. Now nothing is in its right place and she has no idea what the future looks like, but she definitely feels more at ease with herself as a human with a moral compass. [It’s] messy, but good messy.
Is Annie worried the firm and those clients may come calling again?
Once you’re in bed with the mob and whatever form it takes, it’s not like you can say, “Oh, here’s my 30 day notice.” You’re beholden to them. I’m sure she’s going to be looking over her shoulder for quite some time.
Annie and Cassie’s friendship is back on track after that major fight.
Their friendship shed a skin in a way. They have that big fight and all these horrible things are said, but they’ve chosen to move forward because they love and adore each other. Hopefully their friendship will function a little bit better and be a little bit more honest.
Even when Annie wasn’t sure whether to believe what Cassie was telling her, she went out on a limb for her.
Annie goes through some pretty natural reactions, just as anyone would to someone they love, but also know has a substance problem and is a little bit of a loose cannon. You ride that line of, “I love you and want to protect you and be there for you, but also are you maybe crazy? Just drunk? Are you telling me the truth?” That’s a lot of Annie’s journey with Cassie and she finally has a breaking point with her with Max and decides she’s insane and taps out, then clearly realizes she’s wrong and tries to help her.
It was a lot of fun to watch Annie find out Miranda (Michelle Gomez) was real.
I’m so happy you liked that. That was a fun, eight-page scene [and] the first time Michelle, Kaley, and I all got to work together. I remember our director that day asked, “Did you want to break it up?” and we were like, “Let’s just go for it.” We nailed the first take, all of us remembered all of our lines, and we were so proud of ourselves.
Max being in the hospital finally prompts Annie to admit what he means to her. Why was it so hard for her to do that before?
I’m not a big backstory person, so I’m not entirely sure what happened to Annie to make her how she is. She’s a very independent creature and incredibly strong, but a lot of her strength comes from this hard shell around her that protects a huge amount of vulnerability. She puts all these walls up to keep herself safe. I imagine she never really cared about anyone as much as Max. It was probably always very casual affairs.
The fact that she loves someone is really scary to her because that creates a huge amount of vulnerability — you’re opening your heart to someone and that’s a scary thing, even if you’re a super-open person. As the season progresses, we see Annie’s walls slowly start to crumble, and him almost dying is a huge wakeup call. [But] she’s like, “I haven’t totally changed, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” The way he handles her is so sweet and loving, and he’s so endeared by her attempts to keep him at bay. He’s just going to slowly melt her as they go along.
What are your hopes for Annie in a second season?
I’m down to go on any ride that [creator] Steve [Yockey], the writers, and Kaley want to take me on. Obviously, I adore working with Kaley and Deniz, who I spent most of my time with. I am obsessed with Michelle Gomez, who is such a riot and so much fun to work with. We really only had that one scene together, so I’d love to get to work with her more. We just had this magical mixture of human beings from cast to crew and so you can’t go wrong. Anybody they match you up with would be a joy and a pleasure.
The Flight Attendant, Season 1, Streaming Now, HBO Max