On Season 3 of the AMC drama series The Killing, actress Bex Taylor-Klaus plays Bullet, a tough, scrappy street kid who is the self-appointed protector of all other street girls. With a gruesome string of murders having been uncovered, it puts all of the street kids at risk, and Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) on a case that is sure to lead them down a dark path.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Bex Taylor-Klaus talked about how she came to be a part of the show this season, the moment when she found out she got the unique role, why she immediately identified with the character, what it’s been like to work with Joel Kinnaman, how Bullet’s look came about, her favorite episodes, and what first interested her in acting. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
BEX TAYLOR-KLAUS: I just got the audition for this character. I’d never actually seen the show until the callback. I’m hopeless. But then, I had to keep watching and was so sad when I ran out of episodes.
What was the audition process like for this?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I got the breakdown for the characters that they were looking to cast, and what they were going to be like, with the audition sides, which were basically short scenes with the characters. I had to read those to see if I was what they were looking for.
Is it nerve-wracking to audition for something so high-profile, or did you feel ready for something like this?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I feel weird that I’m about to say this, but I felt like I was ready. Bullet is such a phenomenal character, in such a beautiful way. Going out for it was really, really fun. Getting it was fun, too.
Do you remember the moment when you found out that you got the role?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I remember that moment. I recently got asked what the best moment of my life was, and the first thing that popped into my head was getting the phone call from my agent. I was the intern for a class, so I had to walk out of the room. My best friend was also interning in the class. The room had a glass door, and I took the call and looked in through the glass door, where my best friend was staring at me. I didn’t even have to make a face or say anything. She busted out of that room and gave me the biggest hug of my life.
Bullet really is unlike most characters on TV. Did you know that she’d be an important character for a lot of people like her, who haven’t seen themselves on TV before?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I don’t know. I hope people like it. Man, she’s awesome!
Was Bullet someone who you found yourself immediately identifying with, or did you have to figure her out a bit before you could play her?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: It’s really funny ‘cause from the very second I got the breakdown, I was like, “Oh, wow, I can definitely relate to this kid.” There’s definitely something there that this kid has. When I read the sides, I was like, “This is just too much fun! I get this kid.” She’s definitely the kid you want to root for. She has so much going for her. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s tough and she’s got really, really great instincts and intuition. She’s definitely one of those people that you just want to see succeed.
How does Bullet and this group of kids fit into the story that’s being told this season?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: Well, the poster says “17 and counting.” There are 17 bodies in a water retention pond. It’s intense because, all of a sudden, there’s this serial killer that connects to a case in Sarah Linden’s (Mireille Enos) past. It’s the one that made her crazy. So, it’s dark. And the way the street kids come into play is that the 17 bodies are all teenage hookers. They were all street girls. It’s our world down there and, all of a sudden, the cops are thrown into it.
Do you think their mutual distrust for authority is what brings Bullet and Holder (Joel Kinnaman) together?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: Yeah, I think they see parts of themselves in each other. It’s a wonderful little love-hate relationship.
How has it been to work with Joel Kinnaman?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I fell in love with the Holder character. Joel is incredible! He’s just so talented and he’s such a sweet guy. He’s this big, looming sweetheart, and he’s smart. He’s quiet, but when he talks, you want to listen because he always has something good to say. Getting to work with him has been a dream come true.
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I wish I could take credit for the clothes, hair and jewelry, but that was other departments. I love them. They came up with some of the coolest stuff, ever, for me to play with, including my own hair. But in terms of mannerisms, it just came about from the writing jumping off the page, and from the people around, creating a flow and working together. It was fun.
Bullet puts across a fearlessness and bravado that is clearly a protective mechanism for her. Were you told much about her backstory, and is that something viewers will learn about?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I had a long conversation with (show creator) Veena [Sud] about where Bullet came from and what was going on with her. Bully is really unique because, while other kids on the street are there because they ran away from problems that they had or there are drugs involved or they have to be, Bullet is there because she wants to be. Bullett never fit in until she got to the streets. She is on the streets because she wants to be. There is where she belongs, where she fits in and where she’s needed.
What is it about her that made her the self-appointed protector of the other street kids?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: The way she sees it is, if she doesn’t do it, no one will. Because she’s seen a lot and she’s been through a lot herself, she knows what can happen and she doesn’t want to see it happen again. She likes helping people. She’s incredible.
How will the feelings Bullet has for Lyric (Julia Sarah Stone) come into play, throughout the season?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: You will definitely see more of us kids. Bullet does not like the fact that Lyric is with Twitch (Max Fowler) because she’s head-over-heels in love with Lyric. You will see a lot more of us, and a lot happens with all of us. It gets pretty intense and pretty interesting. I love it! There’s so much I want to say, but I can’t. I just can’t wait until you see all the episodes.
TAYLOR-KLAUS: That’s a good question. My answer would be all of them. They’re all so good. Everything is so much fun, and everything is so fantastic and twisted. So much stuff happens. My favorite episodes are Episodes 8, 9 and 10. Episode 10 is a good one. It’s really intense.
Is it fun for you, as an actor, to work on a show where you never really know what to expect next?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: Oh, yeah! I love it. Some people hate it, some people love it. I’m one of the ones who loves it because it’s never a dull moment. We’re always guessing, and always having fun with that. We have little gossip sessions where [we compare notes]. It’s quite entertaining.
How did you end up pursuing both sports and acting?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: There were just people who were more like me and liked to do the same things. I loved playing sports, and I loved acting.
What first interested you in acting?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: When I was two years old, I became Dorothy. I saw The Wizard of Oz and I was Dorothy. I am perfectly willing to be ridiculed for that because it’s embarrassing, but it’s true. To some, it’s adorable, so I’m going to go with that. I wore the clothes and the shoes. I went through three sizes of those stupid shoes. And my sister was the Mayor of the Munchkin City because. I went by Dorothy. You couldn’t call me Becca or Rebecca, or anything. You had to call me Dorothy, or I wouldn’t respond. It drove my family crazy!
The Killing airs on Sunday nights on AMC.