‘Snowpiercer’ Star Rowan Blanchard on Playing Alexandra, From Her Loyalties to Life Aboard Big Alice
TNT’s dystopian drama Snowpiercer races into Season 2 with a whole new set of challenges, as a Layton (Daveed Diggs), Melanie (Jennifer Connelly), and the other passengers make way for another train, Big Alice.
Aboard the other train? The long-believed-dead Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean), and Melanie’s daughter, Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard). With emotions running high, survival takes a backseat to the familial drama.
“Season 2 is about establishing what life is like in comparison between Big Alice and Snowpiercer,” Blanchard teases. “We have a whole new set of characters, and it definitely changes the stakes of the show.”
Below, Blanchard tells us what to expect from Alexandra’s story as she copes with the return of her mother and decides who to trust.
We heard quite a bit about Alexandra in Season 1’s final episodes and now, she’s here. What’s the character like?
Rowan Blanchard: Alex has been raised on Big Alice, which is an extremely different train than Snowpiercer. It’s a whole different set of politics, a whole different set of access. She’s pretty much raised herself, which I think is a really important part of her character. The closest thing she has to a parent is Wilford, who [treats her] like a co-conspirator.
When the show picks up, Alex is trying to appear extremely tough and hard because she doesn’t want her mom to see this vulnerable side of her. And we learn to what extent and how she navigates being pinballed back and forth by Wilford and Melanie.
How has Wilford influenced Alex’s feelings about Melanie?
Well, he’s groomed her to not believe anybody except for him. When she meets Melanie, there’s this part of her that really wishes she had a mother. That’s where the real story begins, when Alex starts listening to herself and questioning everyone around her, rather than just listening to Mr. Wilford.
Will questioning what she’s been taught be good, or dangerous, for Alex?
I think that the minute she starts questioning things, it’s good. That’s where the show picks up, when people question everything around them because there’s so much going on. Alex doesn’t really have intentions like the rest of the people on the train do. She’s not trying to win power, or trying to take over. And everything gets unfolded for her quite quickly.
So, how is Big Alice different from Snowpiercer?
Big Alice is essentially Wilford’s power trip, right? He controls the resources, he controls the food they eat. It’s all within his power, and it’s like he lives for that. I don’t think that anybody on board has questioned that because there’s been no reason to, until we have something to compare it to. When they see how everybody’s living on Snowpiercer, it’s just kind of mind-blowing.
You share most of your scenes with Sean Bean and Jennifer Connelly; what was it like working with them?
They’re both so amazing, and I feel like I’ve learned so much from being around Jennifer. I feel really, really grateful that the show provided me opportunity to work with her because she’s been acting since she was a child and I’ve been acting since I was a child. I really look up to people who have managed to keep their head on their shoulders, and have such a lengthy and detailed careers.
So, is there hope to be found in Season 2?
In different ways, yeah. It’s hard to talk about this without spoiling certain things, but I think that there’s a lot more possibility in Season 2 than maybe it appears there was in Season 1.
Snowpiercer, Season 2 Premiere, Mondays, January 25, 9/8c, TNT