Credit: David Giesbrecht/SHOWTIME

The season 4 finale of The Affair saw Cole (Joshua Jackson) and his young daughter, Joanie, driving off into the sunset. When Joanie reappears in season 5, she’s about 20 years older and played by True Blood’s Anna Paquin.

Ahead of the premiere, we talked to the actress about the final season — from inherited scowls to climate change in Montauk and all the drama in between. As we know, despite its sandy setting, life’s never quite a beach on this show.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Were you a fan before landing the part of Joanie?
ANNA PAQUIN: I had seen and loved the first season, but I rarely have time to keep up with TV shows so I hadn’t seen the subsequent seasons. I did a full marathon of all the episodes when I was hired to make sure I fully understood the world of the show — it was helpful to get to know my onscreen parents as their characters and learn about Joanie’s childhood. What can you tease about grown-up Joanie? She’s a coastal engineer and is, I think, appropriately cynical about the prognosis of the planet from an environmental standpoint. She ends up in Montauk on an assignment from work.

Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

Is she like her mom (played by Ruth Wilson up until her departure at the end of season 4) or dad?
It’s pointed out to her in one of the early episodes that she’s inherited her father’s scowl. It’s very accurate and something I really enjoyed playing. That’s all I’m really allowed to say.

In true Affair style, will we see her story from different perspectives?
For the most part, no. I can’t expand too much upon that because I’d get into very dangerous spoiler territory!

How was working with series creator Sarah Treem?
Sarah was pretty much the reason I wanted to do the show. She’s a phenomenal talent. I mean, it’s an amazing cast and everyone else behind the camera who create this show are wonderful. TV making is very much a team sport, but Sarah is the rock star. The way she portrays women as complex, flawed, intelligent humans who exist in moral shades of gray — the way men have always been allowed to—was very exciting to me as a performer. It was also such an honor to work on her debut as a director in the series finale. She’s a brilliant director.

The final season of The Affair premieres Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

To read more from the August issue of Entertainment Weekly, pick up a copy when it hit stands July 25-26. You can buy all five covers, or purchase your individual favorites featuring Arrow, the Flash, Supergirl, White Canary, and Batwoman. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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The Affair

Two marriages collide when a tragedy brings an affair to light; the Showtime original series stars Joshua Jackson and Maura Tierney.

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