The actor tells EW there is "a lot of movie magic happening" in upcoming episodes.
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In the season 2 finale of the post-apocalyptic drama Snowpiercer, Daveed Diggs' Andre Layton absconded with the titular train's engine in search of an habitable locale, helped by the research saved by Jennifer Connelly's (supposedly deceased) Melanie Cavill. Is Layton's plan still on track at the start of season 3, which premieres on TNT Jan. 24, and is set six months after that finale?

Daveed Diggs
Daveed Diggs
| Credit: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

"It's not going very well!" reveals Diggs. "At the end of season 2, the trains were split apart, and Layton and his band of rebels are on this small pirate train, that is only ten cars long, and are trying to complete Melanie's mission of finding warm spots where people might be able to live outside of the train. The sort-of math that they are relying on is proving to be not necessarily playing out, the theory has not yet been proven when we meet them. So, yeah, they're in a tricky situation but trying to remain hopeful and continuing from spot to spot, tyring to look for places where they might be able to live."

Below, Diggs talks more about the season, the delights and travails of making these latest episodes, and how the cast have been entertaining themselves while shooting the show in Vancouver (two words: dance party).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What has been happening on the other train in the six months before the start of season 3?

DAVEED DIGGS: Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) has taken over again and has reshaped things, reclaimed his old authoritarianism regime, and is making sure that he's very well taken care of, and sapping a lot of the resources. But [he] is also being a very charismatic leader, which he's always been very good at, but also presenting himself as aspirational in a way that is I think one of the potentially frightening things about dictators. He believes that as long as he is presenting as the person who is the fly-est, suavest, best-speaking member of the train, that is how you keep people hopeful enough to keep surviving and providing resources to the train.

What can viewers expect this season?

The show was already on 11, I think, so I guess maybe it's on 12 this season. So many things happen. There's a ton of action, but what I liked about shooting this season was that there are a lot of big, emotional, character-driven revelations that happen in some of the most action-packed moments. There's a great storyline between Layton and Josie (Katie McGuinness), and how their relationship is shifting or adapting, based on Layton maybe having a child and how that's going to work out. A lot of the moments that they have to talk about that are while they're doing some completely extreme thing, on some crazy mission. I like that about this season, that there's an effort to keep the emotional journeys alive even in the action-y moments. There's some new sets that are pretty cool, there's some new characters introduced that I can't talk about, but there's a lot of fun discoveries this season. There's a lot of new stuff. For people who have been watching the show, you haven't seen it all.


One of the new cast members is Archie Panjabi, can you say anything about her character, or Archie herself?

She's fantastic. I mean, what a great, great, great actress, and such a great human, and so much fun to be around. I don't think I can talk much about her character, but it's a great addition to the story.

One of the producers revealed last year that the character of Melanie will be returning this season. Will we have to wait long for that?

Uh, honestly, I have no idea. I haven't seen anything, so I don't know. We shoot out of order, so who knows? I can't reveal in what capacity she is returning.

If you don't mind me saying, that is the answer of a man desperate not to get in trouble.

They can fire me!


Is there a particular moment that springs to mind when you think of shooting season 3?

There was a lot of movie magic happening this season in ways that there weren't before, because [they were] trying to up the ante on stunts, but also on locations and sets and stuff. There are a lot of things this season that look really badass on the final side of it and that shooting them is the least badass-looking thing. I'm so excited for it all to come out so I can release the behind-the-scenes stuff, because there's a lot of very, very silly things happening that they've cut together to look like they're very cool. That was a very good time. I've laughed a lot this season at just the lunacy of the set-up.

Obviously, you've been filming under Covid protocols for a while. What was it like shooting this season compared to the previous one?

This one, the borders in Canada were shut down while we were there. A lot of us were used to being able to go home on weekends occasionally to see loved ones and have external support systems. That really didn't exist this last season. For a cast that was already exceptionally close, we got even closer, and that was kind of lovely. It was really, really hard for everyone to spend seven months without seeing your significant others, that was tough, but the cast in particular rallied around each other last season and became a family in a different way. It made me very grateful to be with the people I'm with on this show. It would have been impossible in a different group I think.

How do you entertain yourselves of an evening?

[Laughs] In a lot of ways. We got really good at that. You had to be pretty careful if you were going out to dinner even, or whatever, so a lot of us spent time with each other and we weren't afraid of a dance party! [Laughs]

Present company excepted, who is the best dancer in the cast?

Oh, man. Maybe Mike O'Malley. [Laughs] Mike O'Malley gets down!

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Watch the trailer for Snowpiercer season 3 below.

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