Ahead of Cloak and Dagger season 2's premiere, Marvel TV brought the cast and crew to WonderCon 2019 to promote the latest season as well as the future of its characters on television. Emma Lahana, who plays detective Brigid O'Reilly, joined the team and shed some light on her character's transformation into the superpowered being Mayhem. Brigid being reborn as Mayhem was originally teased at the end of Cloak and Dagger season 1, and now ahead of the season 2 premiere on April 4, Lahana reveals - in a roundtable interview with Screen Rant and other outlets - what it was like preparing for the role as well as playing both Brigid and Mayhem.
So what was it like this season with a lot more physicality?
Yeah, it's a lot more. I spent about a month leading up to it training Krav Maga, and that was really intense. I still have an injury I can't seem to get over from that thing. My body was doing - because I'm a ballerina - so my body was like I have to turn my feet in. So, yeah, I did a lot of Krav Maga. I did a lot of gun training as well - semi-automatic weapons, which is terrifying, and I had a panic attack at a gun range and had to leave. But, yeah, it was definitely a lot more... physically. Not just for my character but season 2 in general. It's like season 1 on steroids.
What can you tell us about your character in season 2? Because obviously at the end of season 1 she had a big transformation.
Right, so season 2 you kind of find a Jekkyland Hyde situation going on between Brigid and Mayhem, so Brigid is dealing with the aftermath of what happened in season 1 - heartbreak and all that stuff - on top of being shot by Connors. So as a shooting victim she's dealing with PTSD. She's dealing with it the most effective way... using pills. And there's this other side of her she can't really deny anymore that is essentially kind of filled with rage, and it's kind of a woman battling herself, essentially. I know that's vague.
Do you have your powers at all?
[Smiles] ...yeah, there are some powers in there.
With revenge being on your character's mind, how far do you think she'll go in season 2?
Pretty dang far. I mean, I don't know how much of the trailers you guys have seen, but she definitely... Mayhem is not somebody that really shows signs of [an] antagonistic display. She just kind of goes for it. One of her main powers essentially is that she kind of zero Fs. You know, nothing really holds her back. Brigid is a lot more in her head; Mayhem is not at all. She's really in a fight or flight mode at all times, so she's pretty ballsy.
So would you say Mayhem is truly a part of Brigid? Are we going to see her try to find a balance?
...I'm sorry I'm just trying to figure out how to answer this without spoiling things. Uh... watch the show and you'll find out? [Laughs] I mean, there's definitely a battle going on, whether somebody wins or somebody loses. You'll have to kind of watch to find out. I know that's so vague, it's annoying. I'm sorry.
I know you can't tell us much, but what can you tell us about how the character evolves throughout season 2?
I think by the end of episode 3 you'll have a lot of answers to those questions. It's a bit of a mindware. You're gonna go into season 2 thinking one thing, and we're gonna be like, "No, it's this thing." Then maybe it's not actually either of those things. You'll understand at the end of the night - of the premiere - what I'm talking about.
Does anyone ever refer to her as Mayhem or is that just like the season 2 tagline version [for that character]?
No, there's a reference to that, yeah.
Can you talk a little bit about your interactions with Tyrone and Tandy a little bit and how that's changed between season 1 and season 2?
So season 1 you see that Brigid really has this protective relationship with Ty, and she kind of takes him under his wing and she really wants to do right by him and bring justice to what happened to him. Obviously, she puts her own job and life on the line to try and help him, and that doesn't necessarily go very well. So in season 2, what I was saying before in dealing with PTSD and she's really struggling, you kind of see that relationship flip, and Ty becomes a protector of Brigid. And then there's almost parallels of the Mayhem side and the Tandy side because Tandy is a little bit more scrappy and doesn't necessarily think everything through the way that Tyrone does. She doesn't see everything in the big picture, sees things in a more simple way when we're talking about an anti-hero vigilante. So you kind of see the parallels between Tandy and Mayhem and then more parallels between Ty and Brigid.
What are some things that you as an actress do to differentiate between these two different personas?
Well, I looked into a lot of fight or flight and how that changes people's physicalities. So with Mayhem, there's a lot less blinking. Her whole physicality... her shoulders are back, she's a lot stronger, she's a lot bigger. Brigid is more protective of herself, so she's a lot smaller and a lot more apprehensive in the way that she moves. And there's a difference in the way that they speak, their voices. Like Mayhem is a little bit gruffer and deeper, and with Brigid, everything is just a little more careful.