Clara does a lot more stressful things this season, like when she starts taking part in Paul’s job in certain ways, such as walking up to that house in episode 7. Can you talk through what it was exploring that side of Clara and approaching how you thought she would deal with those types of situations?
I don’t think Clara thought she would be walking into that house when she got up that morning. That made it a lot easier, because in the opening episode of season 2, I’m like terrified just to pose for a picture [while helping Paul out on a project]. And it’s so nice that by the end I’m like, “I’ll go in and I’ll pretend to be a maid.”
But I think it is sexy for them. Part of the way that they made up is plotting this thing and doing this thing together and stepping into his world and proving to him how much she’s in it with him and how much they’re in it together. I thought that was really great. And I think she loses herself for a moment in doing that, because it is nice to have an afternoon away from your baby. So there’s a little bit of that happening with her, too. It’s just like, “Gosh, it’s nice to be out in the world and doing something that feels important and dangerous and thrilling.”
At that time, a lot of times you had to marry your avatar. You had to marry the person that was going to go out in the world and represent you, and do the meaningful thing. I do think that she takes a lot of pride in that and being the bedrock of a person like that. But it’s nice for her to get her hands a little bit dirty, too.
If there’s a season 3, do you think Clara would be doing more of that? Would you like to have Clara be doing more of that?
I would hope so. Paul is really smart, but he’s an emotional wreck. So I think it would be nice for him to have her support to some degree.
One thing I noticed in episode 7 is you do a lot of scenes in the car. I don’t know how much of that was Hollywood magic versus you actually driving in an old-time car like that, but did you have any experience driving in one of those old cars while you were shooting?
I never got to drive, but Chris [Chalk] did. Chris drove, and when we were driving away from the house, we were on the rig so we’re not literally driving, but he is driving when we’re first coming around the corner. I will say it’s very cool. I’m from Detroit, so I feel like I’ve been to every car museum, heard every story about every car ever. So it was pretty cool to be in there.
It was pretty smokey. It was hot, so it wasn’t so glamorous. But because normally I’m in the house, just as an actor it was nice to just literally be out on the street and be in the field.