Snowpiercer star Lena Hall spoke to The Natural Aristocrat about Miss Audrey & Mr. Wilford’s twisted relationship, Alex Cavill’s jealousy, and Andre Layton’s revolution.
* This interview contains spoilers for Snowpiercer Season 2.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT [NIR REGEV]: Creative people sometimes lack structure or stability in their lives. Do you feel that’s part of Miss Audrey’s attraction to Mr. Wilford? The comfort of Wilford’s order and the dependence that grows from within it.
LENA HALL: Yeah, it’s all she knew. Miss Audrey met him at a really young age, as it’s revealed that she was his exclusively when she was 18… But that doesn’t mean that they hadn’t met before. And she was groomed basically just to be for him and the structure…
I guess I wouldn’t call it structure. I mean, it is certainly a chaotic kind of love but she was kept after, taken care to, and taken care of.
It was a traumatizing and abusive thing that she didn’t really know was going on until after the fact. Until she got some distance and and was able to look back on what had happened in horror.
But you know, that was her choice. And unfortunately, because she had met him so young, that’s her life, her reality. That’s what she knows.
And that’s what she knows about relationships as that is the closest thing she’s had to love. Has she ever experienced love? We don’t really know that.
Mr. Wilford’s love is so abusive and wrong and it’s so manipulative on both ends, that it couldn’t possibly be true love. It’s very dark, it’s very poisonous. They bring out the worst in each other. I don’t feel she had a choice in the matter but I don’t think she knew any better either.
I certainly don’t think that she was given much of a choice. And as time went on between them, she had less of a choice. She had less, she felt like she couldn’t leave. She felt like this was her life.
Regardless, she really had no say in it. As much as she loved to think that she was manipulating him as well, it was all his games and his tricks that he taught her. So, she was never in control really.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Miss Audrey has stepped into this pseudo stepmother role with Alex Cavill… And Alex appears to detest Audrey’s relationship with Mr. Wilford, shoulder checking her on “Keep Hope Alive“.
Do you feel Alex is resentful that Wilford’s spotlight is being thieved away? Or is it the lost, shy hope that her mother & Mr. Wilford would make amends someday? Like a disgruntled, divorced couple.
LENA HALL: I think that it’s more like that stepmother showing up and taking information away from Alex.
Alexandra was always in the know, she always knew all of Mr. Wilford’s plans and was in on the game… And then Miss Audrey shows up and takes that away from her. Now she doesn’t know what’s going on and Miss Audrey is grabbing Alex’s important role away from her.
There’s a lot of competition between the two of them. I think that Miss Audrey has a bit of a jealousy streak as well. And while she’s curious and wants to know more about Alex, she’s also oddly jealous of all the attention that Alex had from Mr. Wilford. The jealousy is one of those things that paints Audrey’s downfall, one of her weaknesses.
Miss Audrey is very vulnerable… Much more vulnerable than anyone would think because she puts on a strong exterior. But she’s extremely vulnerable and her ego is vulnerable. I think anyone that comes between her and Wilford becomes a part of that jealousy.
Even though she doesn’t want to go back to that life that she had with Wilford… It’s that whole thing that Wilford has instilled in her that’s causing the jealousy. That if anyone else has his attention, that’s a bad thing.
It’s all been kind of programmed into Miss Audrey from early on. It’s not something that she’s ever worked on or tried to remedy or heal within herself. She didn’t really know it was something that needed to happen. And so, Mr. Wilford has the same kind of strength over her.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Though they’re not married, it seems Mr. Wilford would be keen on the phrase ‘Till Death to Us Part’. Of course, testing the foundations of those words in a twisted way. Beyond the control factor… Do you feel Mr. Wilford asking Miss Audrey to commit the ultimate sacrifice for him is his version of being a romantic at heart?
LENA HALL: It’s a really dark thing. You’re trapped in this poisonous relationship and the only way out is to kill yourself… He’s asking you to kill yourself to show loyalty to him and I guess it’s the ultimate sexual experience for him.
It’s also a way to get away from the horrible relationship for the other person… Cause there’s really no other way out. They think that’s the only way out you know? Miss Audrey thinks that that’s the only way.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: I knew immediately that Miss Audrey would go back to Mr. Wilford. Whenever someone starts talking about their ex constantly you know it’s just a matter of time before they get back together. Miss Audrey telling everyone that would listen that she’s a changed person now and would never go back was a dead giveaway. Did you feel likewise when you first read the script?
LENA HALL:Yeah, I think the reassurance is kind of her trying to convince herself, but you know, the only person that’s convinced is no one. No one’s convinced. She’s unfortunately trying to ready herself and convince herself that she is strong and she can do it and she’s not going back.
But Miss Audrey knows very well it’s just words and not the truth of the matter. She’s terrified of him and he’s a monster… She knows what Mr. Wilford is capable of better than anyone else.
She saw no way around it and no way out of it, she was gonna see him regardless. Mr. Wilford was always going to ask to see her. And it’s like going to meet your own doom.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: That moment Mr. Wilford touches your wrist to check if the scar is still there… It’s a really brutal scene. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a pre-credits warning with that kind of hotline number to call after a TV show before. What was it like shooting that scene?
LENA HALL: Yeah… Those scenes were extraordinarily difficult to film. It’s a very scary thing to film something like that. I’ve never done anything like that.
So, I have to pull from other things in my life to get ‘there’ emotionally. The fear and the lack of control. Knowing oneself so well that, you know, you’re a fool for trying to fight.
Every little thing, every little touch, every little action that he does… It’s like Miss Audrey is a mouse and Mr. Wilford is a tiger. And there’s no escaping because they’re trapped in a room together and there’s no escaping for the mouse.
So the tiger just plays games with the mouse until the tiger can, you know, destroy it at the right time. It’s a cat and mouse game.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: The visual optics of Miss Audrey’s defection aboard Big Alice with the flip of a gate sent a loud message about Layton’s leadership. Did it feel surreal for you to be Wilford’s symbol of a weakening, almost crumbling revolution on Snowpiercer?
LENA HALL: Well, I think that for Miss Audrey, she just knows that it’s inevitable what’s going to happen. She knows the capabilities of Mr. Wilford. She knows that when Mr. Wilford wasn’t on the train, they had a chance. It was a good fight to fight because the odds were in their favor and she wanted to see change on the train.
Everyone wanted to change and she felt it. But with the appearance of Mr. Wilford, it’s like she knows that doom is coming. She knows that the fight is perilous.
Audrey knows the only real way that she can even possibly be a help, is to try her best, to have some influence on Wilford. She needs his trust because without it Audrey feels she can’t do anything helpful for anyone.
He doesn’t trust her, so she’s got to gain his trust. She knows that the better position is to at least have some form of just a little bit of control or like be a voice in his ear to steer him a little bit. Audrey knows that’s a better position than to try and fight against that.
Audrey does know that’s the card she holds, to be the voice of reason. Or perhaps maybe she can get him to understand or have mercy on those who fought in the revolution. So I think that for Miss Audrey, she made the right decision to stay on Big Alice.
But it’s difficult because it seems like she’s turning her back on everything that she had fought for prior. And it seems like she’s turning her back on Layton, but at the same time… She knows that he’s doomed.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Steven Ogg was your press roundtable partner back at New York Comic Con 2019. You obviously spent some time getting to know him. So, I’m curious… What did you think about Steven shaving his hair and beard off? I mean he looked like a whole different person!
LENA HALL: I wasn’t on set but he did that live on camera! It was pretty cool. I heard all about it!
Steven Ogg is a sweetheart. He’s such a lovely human being. Like, he’s so much fun! Steven’s very funny. We have a really great time on set together!
Although I did’t get to spend much time with him unfortunately. I wish I got to spend more time with him, he is a wonderful person.
Very different from his characters that he plays. And I love that! I think that’s so great. Sean Bean is also very different from Mr. Wilford.
I mean, everyone is fairly different from who they play in the show. They’re all lovely and very funny. Like the cast is an extremely funny cast.
The fact that we’re all in a drama together is mind blowing because I’m like we all need a comedy! Like what’s going on?! (laughs)
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: In the Snowpiercer TV Series Fan group on Facebook, I made a write-in poll asking members what Snowpiercer character they wanted to spend Valentine’s Day with. Guess whose name came up frequently?
LENA HALL: Miss Audrey, of course!
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Yeah, Miss Audrey was a big favorite, along with Melanie Cavill, Andre Layton, Bess Till and Mr. Wilford. One member even wrote, “Won’t lie. I’d do the bath with W”
LENA HALL: What? No! you couldn’t pay me enough to have a Valentine’s Day with Mr. Wilford!
– This is Part 1 of The Natural Aristocrat®’s interview series with actress Lena Hall that will be published over the next few weeks! Stay tuned!
Looking for more Snowpiercer interviews, news, recaps and reviews?
– Check out our interview with Katie McGuinness on Snowpiercer’s Josie Wellstead!
– Read more about Melanie’s daughter Alexandra Cavill reconnecting with her in this Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 3 recap! Seemingly the start of Alex’s lack of standing in Big Alice’s crew from Wilford’s standpoint. Will Ruth Wardell soon follow in Miss Audrey’s footsteps and join Big Alice?
– Be sure to watch our NYCC 2019 interview with Jennifer Connelly about the importance taking on every acting challenge with a blank slate. The source material as the ultimate guide in the journey, rather than replicating success in past works.