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The Bumblers are back — a little less bumbling than before. In last season’s finale, Ezra (Rob Heaps) double-crossed his ex-wife, the mysterious con artist Maddie (Inbar Lavi) to steal a multimillion-dollar ring and flee to Mexico with his cadre of fellow scammers, two of Maddie’s other ex-spouses. Now, Ezra is learning that he’s enjoying a life of crime more than might be advisable, and Maddie is trying to escape from her past — and the people who are trying to kill her. We sat down with Heaps and Lavi to discuss their show and its cult fan-base — and what could come next for our former lovebirds-cum-rivals.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: At the start of the first season, Ezra, Richard, and Jules are all down in Mexico. Did you film on location?
ROB HEAPS: We did film down there. We had to fight to do it because there were two earthquakes there, and then there was this awful thing with a location scout that was murdered on Narcos, but that all happened in the space of about a week, and so suddenly, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. We were obviously gutted, and then Adam Brooks, the co-creator of the show, really fought for it, and, in the end, got it. And I’m so glad he did, because hopefully you can see the energy of the background, and the life — you can’t re-create that sense of street life. There are just people wandering in the back of shots that are definitely not supposed to be there, and we were moving quickly and shooting hand-held. It was a very different way of shooting.
Did you already know how to speak Spanish?
HEAPS: I speak a little bit. Marianne [Rendón] speaks very good Spanish. In fact, her character does, as you see in the show. I have a little bit, but it’s gotten way worse. I think we all have enough to get by.
For the first part of this season, Maddie is completely separated from the rest of the group. What was it like not filming together?
INBAR LAVI: We got to see each other obviously on set, and outside of set while we were in Toronto filming, but there’s definitely such great chemistry, and it’s so much more fun doing a scene with the gang that it felt very different. Season 2 — filming it, watching it, being in it — was very different than being in season 1.
HEAPS: You kept saying it felt almost like we were in two different shows, which is kind of what it is. But it always makes it better when we do get together. There’s this excitement of, “Yes, we’re in the same room again!”
LAVI: You miss each other, and you get to appreciate it.
Is it fair to say Maddie is still holding a torch for Ezra?
LAVI: I think that’s a fair assumption. I keep saying this, and I truly mean this: I think that when you experience true love, it never really goes away. There’s always that little torch that stays lit, and all it takes is one or the other or the two to bring it back to life again, and I think that’s what she’s hanging on to, maybe.
In this season, we get a lot of flashbacks to Maddie when she was younger.
HEAPS: I love that stuff.
LAVI: I think they did a great job casting someone that captures a lot of the same essence that I have. They did the same with my mother, the wonderful actress who plays my mother. I was interested in finding Maddie’s place back in the day. I wanted to understand where she was, where she was coming from, what was going through her mind, and what was going through her heart when she was making those decisions.
Last season, we got to see Maddie acting as many different characters, whereas she’s mostly herself in this one. Inbar, did you miss playing Maddie playing other people?
LAVI: I did. I think one of the biggest draws of this show for me was to be able to get to play all of these different types of women, and this season was very much focused on Maddie, and stripping her down, and getting to really understand the woman behind all of these women, and it was challenging in another way — it was very interesting, and it was difficult.
There are definitely plenty of emotional scenes.
LAVI: There’s a lot going on. But it was a different kind of challenge, and I welcomed it, and I learned a lot from it and grew.
HEAPS: I love what you said about said about trying to get to the heart about who she is, behind all of the masks, because I feel like, structurally, I feel like that’s what’s so great about especially at the start of season 2, again it’s the opposite direction the Bumblers are going, exploring where they can go, and always growing and trying on different identities and having fun in this strange new place. And you’ve got Maddie trying to get to the bottom of who she is, seeing if there is even anything there.
Rob, it seems like Ezra continues to have very dangerous taste in women…
HEAPS: What’s your concern?
I mean, Maddie wasn’t good for him.
LAVI: I think that depends! What is “good” anyway?
You… stole all his money and broke his heart?
LAVI: Look. I gave him real good loving, she gave him confidence…
HEAPS: No, don’t even try to get out of this one!
So why do you think Ezra is drawn to dangerous women?
HEAPS: I don’t know! It’s like that thing of you’ve been burned once… humans are weird! Every rational analysis says, “Don’t do that again, don’t go down there because that could end really badly.” And yet, you can’t help yourself. [Ezra’s] like, “There’s that thing again, but I know what I’m doing now so I’m going to control it this time, and I’m now changed, I’m now street-smart; I’m a con artist, you’re not going to catch me out again.” Maybe it’s part of that, maybe it’s some weird sense of wanting to prove to himself that he’s not that same guy. I think when you get f—ed over, there’s a lot of self-loathing? I think actually the loathing you feel towards the person who broke your heart is actually, when the dust settles, is actually self-directed.
From being on this show, are you ever tempted to pull any cons in real life? Sometimes I’m watching and thinking, “That doesn’t look that hard…”
LAVI: I definitely have conned a lot of people in my day. I’m not proud of it; it sounds like I am, kind of, now that I’m saying it. I think for the show. I had to test the waters. I had to see how far I could go, and what is the rush that comes from it? And why is she so addicted to the danger and the fun that comes from that game? Also, I’m an actress: I pretend to be other characters for a living, and I feel like when we walk into a room for an audition, you have to convince the people in front of you that you’re telling the truth.
HEAPS: Yeah, and every actor knows that fear of being found out, right? You’re like, “I’m an imposter!” So every audition, it’s terrible, but really you are just trying to con someone into hiring you.
LAVI: We’re all playing a role, you’re playing a role at home, you’re playing a role at work, you’re playing a role to survive.
What was it like working with Uma Thurman?
HEAPS: It was fun.
HEAPS: Yeah. It’s crazy. I mean, you walk on, and for the first few minutes, it’s just this person who stepped out of a movie poster. There’s no one like her; she’s so iconic. She’s even unique among film stars, I think, because the work she’s done is so select and so iconic. It is like this weird thing. And then minutes later, she’s just this working actress, and you’re just working. She was doing this play on Broadway, and she was stressing because she was starting rehearsals in two weeks, and she came up to me and asked if we could run some lines. I thought she meant the lines in the scene we were doing. And then she handed me this script, and I was like, “Oh, hang on! Shouldn’t we really be doing the scene that we’re about to do?” But I was just reading this play with her.
LAVI: It’s funny, because my friends always ask me, “So, is she down-to-earth?” And I’m like, “NO. She cannot be down-to-earth, because she’s out of this world.”
Season 2 of Imposters premieres tonight on Bravo at 10 p.m.