The intensely violent Cinemax drama series Banshee is bolder and even more ambitious in its third season. With the aftermath of the events of last season bleeding out over everyone, and the dangerous threat of Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers), who’s hell-bent on righteousness, ex-con and master thief Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) is beginning to wonder if it’s all worth it.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Trieste Dunn (who plays Deputy Siobhan Kelly) talked about what has most surprised her about the journey with her character, how Season 3 compares to previous seasons, how her character has most changed, discovering Lucas Hood’s secrets, why Lucas is ultimately good for Siobhan, completely unhinged criminals, favorite fight scenes, and why the violence sometimes gets to be too much. Be aware that there are some spoilers.
TRIESTE DUNN: What has most surprised me? That’s a great question. Well, the journey has been pretty nuts. Before Lucas showed up, we were in this world where there were not so many problems. He gets there and all hell breaks loose, and there are machine guns out and ready all the time. It keeps surpassing and keeps having to compete with itself. It goes so far, and then it has to be bigger and better in the next episode. It just gets to a point where we’re constantly beating each other up, which is kind of fun, honestly. It definitely get be exhausting. We’ve had some episodes where we’re like, “Oh, my gosh, this is crazy!” But, it’s really rare that you get to do this kind of stuff on a TV show. I’m just really trying to enjoy it and appreciate it because when do girls get to do this stuff, ever?
How would you compare Season 3 to the previous seasons of the show?
DUNN: There’s definitely some pretty major stuff that happens. It’s having to compete with previous seasons and be bigger. There’s definitely one big thing that happens. The whole season is about the Redbones vs. the cops, and the good guys vs. the bad guys. In the first season, it was the Rabbit thing. This is very much in the world of Banshee. You’ve got the Redbones, and you’ve got the Banshee sheriff’s department with three people now. It’s just crazy. It’s tough. It’s like a video game, at the hardest level. We’re at the hardest level, this season.
DUNN: Siobhan has always had a resilience. There were certain things that were hinted at, in Season 1, that didn’t fully get addressed, but you know that they’re always there. She’s a resilient, tough person. But through all that crap and through Lucas, especially this season, she grows a real backbone. She always kind of has that, but her vulnerable side doesn’t get the best of her. She learns some stuff about Lucas and isn’t happy about it, but that’s what women do.
Yes, but he is hiding some rather large secrets.
DUNN: That’s true. How did we not see it before? We’ve been playing that card so much with, “Wait, is he who he says he is?” Brock has said that six times, each season. We’re always making jokes about, “How are we so dumb that we haven’t figured out yet that he is not really a sheriff?” So, Siobhan figures some stuff out, this season.
Even if you knew something felt a little off, who would actually assume that somebody in that position was really a criminal and not at all qualified to do that job?
DUNN: Yeah, I was definitely playing with that a lot in Season 1, and was trying to sniff him out, but then I realized that I had to stop doing that because I never sniff him out. I just trusted him, I guess. In Season 2, I was definitely a little annoyed with Siobhan, by the end of the season. I was like, “Figure this out!” This season, I’m less annoyed with her because she figures some stuff out.
DUNN: What’s strange about it is that it’s been three years since we’ve been doing this show, so it feels like a lot of time has past, but in the world of Banshee, it’s only been like a year. That many months haven’t gone by. Lucas and Siobhan aren’t living together and having domestic bliss. They’re still feeling each other out. They’re doing things that couples do, like having lunch together, which is so weird for Banshee. It just can’t happen. All hell breaks loose, and we have to move on to more important things.
Is she secure in their relationship, at this point, or is she not there yet?
DUNN: I think she ends Season 2 not secure. In Season 3, she’s pretty secure, until she gets thrown, at a point. They start off in a good place and she adopts his style of being a cop, which is just play by your own rules. But then, she learns some things about Lucas.
Do you think Lucas Hood is ultimately good or bad for Siobhan?
DUNN: I think totally good. He’s better than the last guy she was with. Maybe it’s cynical to say, but for Siobhan, in the world of Banshee where everybody is a criminal, he’s good. He’s a good bad guy. He’s not playing by anybody’s rules but his own, but at least the driving force is usually positive. It’s usually to take care of somebody, to take care of something, to get revenge on someone, or to save someone. The means in which he goes about the things he does are all wrong, but he’s usually doing it for the right reason.
The Rabbit issue is resolved, but Kai Proctor and Chayton Littlestone are still threats. What do the criminal issues of both of those men mean for Banshee?
DUNN: They’re just completely unhinged. We all, including Proctor, have to get together to figure out a way to deal with the Chayton problem. The Redbones completely take over the town. There’s no other option than all having to work together. Even though Proctor and Lucas hate each other, and Proctor is a bad guy, he’s a good guy compared to Chayton. With the Redbones, it’s full-on war.
DUNN: In Season 2, I really had a lot of respect for that character. I thought, “Oh, this is cool because this character has a moral code. He’s doing this stuff because of some religious reason and he’s trying to say something.” But, he just goes crazy. He’s a psycho who’s completely nuts. He wants to take over. We had to go farther than ever before. I’ve blocked it out. I can’t even talk about it.
Do you have a favorite fight scene or action sequence that you’ve gotten to do?
DUNN: There’s been a lot of fun stuff. In Season 1, I really loved the fire scene. That was really intense because we really burned down a house. That was crazy. That was actually a really fun sequence because it was really fluid and there was a lot of running around, and there was all of this emotional stuff with my house burning down. That was a really memorable night. And then, in Season 2, I would have to say the Breece-Siobhan fight was fun because we really got to work on it. It was my first ever fight scene, so I did the stunt training every day and it was just so much fun. I felt like a kid taking martial arts classes. And then, this season, I definitely have some stuff. I don’t want to give it away, but there might be a machete involved. When the guns get lost somehow, you never know what you’re going to find.
With all of the violence and blood on this show, have you ever had a scene or moment that just got overwhelming because it was too much, even if it was justified for the show and the character?
DUNN: Yeah, there are days like that. Whether you’re doing it or not, you’re seeing so much violence. I remember a scene in Season 2, where we were all in a trailer and Chayton and Lucas were fighting. I feel like we were at that trailer for a couple of days. There were all of these Redbones. They were throwing us against the wall, and we were throwing then against the wall. And then, Chayton was throwing us against the wall. Everybody was getting thrown against the wall. If it’s not happening to you, you’re watching it happen, and it does definitely get to be too much. I didn’t go to lunch that day. I just went to my trailer, listened to Joni Mitchell albums, and painted my nails pink. I remember that particular day I was like, “I’m not into all of this violence.” Usually, if you’re not doing it all the time, it’s fun. One big fight scene every year is enough.
Banshee airs on Friday nights on Cinemax.