Something big is coming down the pike as Blindspot hurtles headlong towards the end of its second season.
In the show, Kurt Weller (played by Sullivan Stapleton) and his team at the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) are racing to figure out what terrorist group code-named Sandstorm has planned for “Phase Two”. Clues about what Phase Two entails, despite the FBI’s best efforts in deciphering a good number of complex tattoos on Jane Doe’s (Jaimie Alexander) body, have been scarce much to fans’ dismay.
So, when the opportunity came along to talk to actress Michelle Hurd, who plays the leader of Sandstorm, Shepherd, we jumped at the chance to obtain some intel.
“We find Shepherd in Thailand,” Hurd said, revealing what’s ahead for her character over the phone from Bangkok, Thailand. “She’s here to get a certain ingredient – the last thing she needs – for Phase Two of her plan. She finds herself for the first time in a really dangerous situation that she’s backed up into a corner and we’ll see how she gets out of it. It’s pretty exciting.”
Hurd told us she was in Bangkok for a week to shoot the stunts and action for an episode of the show, which is scheduled to air in Malaysia on April 27.
“I do my own fight scenes,” said the martial artist with enviable abs to boot. “If there are huge action sequences where I’m jumping on a car, I have a stunt double.”
Make no mistake; this episode in Bangkok is not the season finale but one that is necessary in order for all the pieces to fall into place for Shepherd’s endgame. She told us that the writers have clued her in on what Sandstorm hopes to accomplish.
“I just kind of got a hint as to what Shepherd’s overall endgame is but I can’t tell you what that is,” she said cautiously.
What Hurd could tell us, however, was the fight scenes are one of the things she loved best about being on a show as action-packed as Blindspot.
“We’re just like big kids. When we get a script and see that we get to do some kind of exciting physical activity, we kind of get giddy. It’s like we get to open a big present. I love that,” said the 50-year-old American actress.
“I also love all the strong female characters they create on Blindspot. I think Martin (Gero, the show’s creator) has a really good handle on making complex, interesting and powerful women who also have their vulnerability and sexuality.
“From Patterson (Ashley Johnson) and Tasha (Audrey Esparza) to Jane, Shepherd and Nas (Archie Panjabi) – I think they are all really interesting and why people enjoy watching the show.”
Blindspot has a lot of intense moments and thrilling action sequences as well. And according to Hurd, the actors have no trouble breaking any tension that develops from those kinds of scenes.
“On set, we have a great time. It’s really a great group of actors. It’s such a pleasure to step onto a set, especially in its second season, and be welcomed without hesitation. We joke a lot. There’s a lot of laughter,” she explained.
Interestingly, Stapleton, she divulged, was quite the opposite of the perpetually serious Weller. “With a person like Stapleton, you can’t help but giggle because he’s such a funny creature. As serious as he is on the show, he’s as goofy off camera,” she said with amusement. “Everybody is more relaxed and comical than their characters. Johnson is very funny as Patterson and she’s incredibly funny in person. Her comic timing is second to none,” she added.
Similarly, where Shepherd comes across as a chilling baddie who plays her cards close to her chest, Hurd was friendly and forthcoming. Shepherd, in Hurd’s eyes, is a committed, smart and passionate person, like a lioness.
“She is a force to be reckoned with. Her relationships with (her adopted children) Jane and Roman (Luke Mitchell) are complex but part of the core of who she is. Part of the reason she’s doing what she does is because Jane was betrayed and wants to make sure she is vindicated,” she clarified.
“She’s a really good committed soldier but she also has a very strong maternal core. There’s a complex dichotomy going on – a soldier’s mother.”
Although Hurd describes her current role as Shepherd as “delicious”, it is nowhere near as challenging as the Lope de Vega play she did for a Shakespeare company in Washington DC titled Dog In The Manger.
“I literally had two-and-a-half hours of intense dialogue – very challenging but very rewarding. Theatre was probably my most challenging role,” she said.
But, why get into acting at all when it’s such a tough business? She joked that she had no choice.
“My parents were both actors. I was the youngest of three girls. My middle sister is a choreographer and dance teacher. My elder sister is a stage combat choreographer as well as an acting teacher. It was in my blood and I couldn’t get out of it,” she explained with a laugh.
“But it is what makes me the most happy. The moment I’m either on stage or on set in front of a camera, it’s one of the happiest moments I have.”
Blindspot airs every Thursday at 10.40pm on Warner TV (HyppTV Ch 613).