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'The Killing' star Mireille Enos on re-inventing the procedural, the 'big clue' in tonight's episode. Plus, will there be a second season?

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The Killing
Carole Segal/AMC

Just hours after wrapping the first season of the latest addition to AMC’s arsenal of utterly addictive programming, The Killing‘s Mireille Enos was, much like the viewers of the show, on a journey. She was driving for four days from Vancouver to Los Angeles with a 6-month-old in tow.

Luckily, Enos, who plays the show’s fearless lead detective Sarah Linden, took a break from her trek to call up EW and chat about the show that’s remixed the procedural genre.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, I hear you’re on the road for the next four days. That’s incredibly brave with a baby.

Yeah. We’re trying to take our time since we have a 6-month-old daughter who you can probably hear in the background. [Baby coos] We’re not trying to push too hard. We’ll probably get in Monday night.

So were you pregnant while filming the show?

I was pregnant in the pilot. By the end of the pilot, I was 5 months pregnant. My whole 5th month we were shooting. And then I had my daughter, and we started shooting again 2 months later.

You’re kidding me! I had no idea.

I’m lucky that my body wants to be small and Sarah luckily dresses in big baggy sweaters. People ask me, “Do you ever mind that you’re always playing these girls with no makeup and no fancy clothes?” And I’m like, “Nope. That’s perfect. Thank you.” I’m comfortable and don’t have much time in the makeup chair. [Laughs]

Yeah. Tell me what its been like going from playing a polygamist sister on Big Love to this badass detective.

The timing worked out so beautifully. My storyline on Big Love was just naturally coming to a close, and in the fifth season, they just wanted to focus on the main family. So they told me they were going to be using me less and I should audition. Then there was this amazing project. It’s been so much fun.

When you were reading these pages, what did you like about Sarah?

She’s so intelligent, and [executive producer Veena Sud] trusted that you didn’t have to tell the audience everything Sarah was thinking. A lot of the story could be told in silences. And it’s so great and cinematic. A lot of times, TV writing is overly expositional. Veena didn’t do that. She wrote a script, especially the pilot, that was written like a film.

I also have to ask, was it written in there that she was always going to be chewing gum? Or did you add that in?

[Laughs] No, that was in the script. That was Veena’s creation.

So when you were reading these episodes, was any part of you worried about whether or not people would be able to connect to such dark material? I mean, it’s fantastic. People are loving it, but it’s also twisted.

I wasn’t really because on normal network television, these kind of network shows are so popular. But they have the huge task of having a new crime every week. Life gets really condensed in those shows. There’s no time to show the repercussions of an event like this. We really have the best of both worlds. We have the crime/whodunit genre. Then we have the luxury of time for the audience to get to know these people who are interesting. That seemed like a magical combination. Then you put that on AMC, which has a great track record. It was almost like we had all the cards stacked in our favor.

That’s such a good point about procedurals because we don’t get to know, say, the victim’s families like we’re getting to know the Larsons.

Yeah.

One of our readers commented last week, and said, “My stomach still hurts from watching,” or something along those lines. When you were reading the scripts, were you troubled by it all, too?

That’s so good! I mean, I’m sorry, but that’s also good. [Laughs] Um, it was uncomfortable, but there was also something satisfying about the fact that we were trying to tell the story truthfully.

So what can we expect from the episode we’re going to be seeing this week?

There’s a new big suspect in episode 4. We get to know a little more about Rosie in the fourth episode. And this week continues on from there with the video footage, and that leads Sarah to discovering a big, big new clue.

So that was Rosie in the video?

You’ll find out. [Laughs]

Let’s talk about Sarah and Holder, who are absolutely entertaining, especially when Holder just makes an ass of himself. What’s it like working with Joel Kinnaman?

Joel is fantastic and an incredible actor. He and I just hit it off right away. We were like brother and sister within a couple of days of working together. It was really such a treat to work on a relationship, which isn’t successful at the beginning, with someone you actually enjoy. If you’re friends, you have permission to be as mean as you want to be. The only thing we had to remind ourselves was that time was slowed down. Each episode is only one day, and on the fourth episode, we’d been working together for a month and a half. We had to slow down our investment in each other and our knowledge of each other. You’re going to watch them go through a lot together and appreciate each other’s strengths.

What do you see as their strengths?

Sarah has an amazing sense of observation. Her thoroughness is where her strength lies. Holder, whether he knows he’s doing it or not, he has amazing instincts about what people’s secrets are. And he doesn’t judge himself — like, any thought that comes into his head, comes out of his mouth. Sometimes that means it’s wildly inappropriate. But more times than not, he’s following a hunch. Some things will be like him throwing himself off a bridge, and then it ends up being what leads them to these major clues.

Have y’all talked about a season two at all? And what that would look like?

Of course we all hope there is a second season. Veena is keeping that story very close to her chest. So none of us have been told what that would look like yet.

Well, since you just filmed the finale, does it lend itself to a second season?

Yeah, absolutely.

Obviously you can’t say how the case goes, but maybe in terms of the characters, are there things we’re going to be left wondering about?

Yeah. The season definitely leaves a lot of questions unanswered about these people we’ve gotten to know. It definitely opens itself up for continuation of this story.

As a dorky fan, this news thrills me.

No, I’m so glad we have dorky fans. That’s so awesome.

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

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