Back in January, Netflix sent a few journalists down to the island of Islamorada in the Florida Keys to visit the sets of Bloodline. That location is not only so unique to the TV landscape, it informs the very fabric of Bloodline’s story of the Rayburn clan. Things are different there — it’s peaceful and languid until the storms roll in, and then it can be dark and chaotic (as Ben Mendelsohn told us, “you feel it”). The show encapsulates all of these moods in the gorgeous cinematography of its twisted tale, whose second season debuts May 27th.
While in the Keys, never wanting to return to life on the mainland (ever), we were able to visit the interior sets as well as several of the show’s many exterior locations, including the famed Rayburn house (which is actually a small resort called The Moorings) and that hammock. We also spoke with Mendelsohn (Danny), Kyle Chandler (John, who drove up in a motorcycle and offered to get us water, because he is the greatest human), Linda Cardellini (Meg) and Sissy Spacek (Sally).
In a new featurette from Netflix called “The Two Sides of the Keys,” the cast talk more about the landscape both physically and emotionally, and where the Rayburns are after the devastating events of Season 1 (as well as how Danny — his memory and legacy — fits into things moving forward). Check out the video below, and after that, read what the cast teased to us back in January about the upcoming season:
In regards to how Danny will factor into the new season, Mendelsohn pivoted the conversation to talk about John: “I do think that people will start to see John a lot more clearly in Season 2. There’s a few things that John decides upon that seem interesting given the context.”
When we asked Chandler if he thought John was a good guy, he answered that,
“When I’m looking at the character, I can objectively step out and say, “Wow.” But within the character, he didn’t commit the atrocity that other people might say that he committed. It made sense at the time. He hasn’t dealt with everything yet […] If I looked at John, I would think there would be many times where he would be getting up at 3AM because he couldn’t sleep and he would be thinking about, trying to justify. His existence that you don’t see on camera, I think would say he is a very lonely, screwed up, very dark person. When the character is on the camera, he’s hiding all that. And the very fact of hiding all of that, reveals what there is there.”
Having said that, Chandler added that for the end of the series he floated the idea, “‘Kill John.’ I would love to die. It would be nice to give this guy what he deserves.”
In the new featurette, we also see that Marco (Enrique Murciano) is not done investigating Danny’s murder. Chandler told us that, “It’s like a dart into a balloon, the way it’s playing out right now. It is piercing into the balloon, but it hasn’t pierced it yet, and I’m trying to get the dart back up really fast.” Cardellini added that there’s also going to be “some really interesting stuff” between Meg and Marco. “There’s some interesting fallout from what happened. His role is so great this year.”
As far as where the family find themselves in the wake of Danny’s death, Chandler continued,
“There’s certainly a leveling. It’s not like season one because at that point John had all the cards. And everyone has got a few different cards now, and they’re hiding some. And what the writers are going to do with that, I don’t know. I don’t know. And that’s another enjoyable thing about it, “Why do you suppose you did this?” So even as actors, we’re looking at the other actors thinking, “You son of a bitch, your character, I don’t like that.” So it’s really different. That part of it is fun. We’re all characters like in a game of Clue. “
To that end, Cardellini talked about how Meg has changed from Season 1 to Season 2 (and yes, she will get pulled back into what’s happening in the Keys even though we saw her move to New York at the close of Season 1):
“I think overall she’s a little bit less naive about the world in some ways, I think she’s a little bit darker. Even in her wardrobe, I think that’s reflected. I think there’s a certain amount of grief that they’re all fielding. They lost a father, they lost a brother, it’s hard to understand how you feel about that […] Meg has this way, she keeps herself together. She’s very much the feminine force in the siblings. She has this femininity about her appearance. She cares about her hair and her makeup, she’s put together. So I think in terms of watching that sort of person unravel internally is interesting too.”
Cardellini also went on to talk about Meg as a people-pleaser who looks to mediate, and yet, often does so to her own detriment.
“Whatever her mother asks her, she’d always say, ‘Yes,’ and then turns around and goes, (whispers) ‘Fuck.’ […] I think that that’s what’s fun about the character. She’s done so much of what was expected of her for so long and to please her extraordinary family and to find out that there’s a lot of secrets and lies. Having that sort of be exposed sort of rocks her sense of who she is and who her family is. And I think when you lose that, when that is your identity, you sort of become a ship lost at sea.”
Cardellini added that, “the allegiances are shifting, but we have this sort of strange sense of duty and commitment and responsibility to each other that is really being examined.” As for matriarch Sally, Spacek said, “In Season 2 Sally doesn’t really know what’s going on. She’s just got a normal life, she doesn’t know why everyone is being so weird!”
All 10 episodes of Bloodline Season 2 premiere Friday, May 27th on Netflix.