SUBURGATORY’s Jane Levy talks about what’s coming up in Season 2

On tonight’s all new episode of SUBURGATORY, Dalia decides that her new best friend is her dad’s new fiancée, so Tessa and Lisa accidentally become the leaders of the KKK (Kimantha, Kenzie, and Kaitlyn).  Before long, Tessa is tasked with helping Dalia regain her confidence and friends.  Meanwhile, Dallas and George’s relationship takes a turn for the intimate.

I spent some time chatting with Jane Levy, the actress who plays Tessa, about what’s coming up for her character, how George and Dallas’ relationship affects Tessa, and what Malin Akerman’s Alex adds to the show!

Congrats on the success of SUBURGATORY! I am loving the season, and the different relationships we’re seeing play out.  What can you tease for us about what we’ll see in this week’s episode?
The episode mostly revolves around the new relationship between Dallas and George and how awkward it can be when you’re getting to know somebody.  They really like each other, but they’re still getting to know each other, you know, more than just friends.  So they’re sexual relationship might not be exactly what George expected.

How does Tessa react to the fact that these two are finally going for it?
Tessa’s pretty smart, and it’s been pretty obvious to viewers and everyone in Chatswin, that there is something going on between them.  At the end of last season, you saw Dallas and Tessa getting really close, and so she likes Dallas a lot and she’s happy for her dad.

We’ve seen Dallas play the mother figure role that Tessa never had – how is that impacted by Alex being in the picture?
Dallas and George’s relationship will stay really separate than the storyline with Tessa and her mom.  They do meet each other, but there is nothing going on there.  It’s mostly, the mom coming back in the picture, mostly scenes with Tessa and Alex (played by Malin Akerman).  But it’s like a really confusing thing for Tessa.  It’s not going to be a sappy tearfilled reunion; it’s going to be more, I’m not sure how to explain it.  It was really interesting to shoot it.  It was emotional, not in the sense of some huge breakdown, but it’s sort of such a big thing, Tessa doesn’t know how to comprehend that yet.  I think the audience will really enjoy meeting Tessa’s mom, and I think once you meet her, and see what she’s like, it makes a lot of sense, who Tessa is.

What I love about the show is that it conquers these big moments but doesn’t make it a “very special episode of SUBURGATORY.”  It’s in the fabric of the show, so it has to be fun to play the emotional beats but also go fully slapstick when called for.
Definitely!  For it actually to work, which I hope you think it does [laughs], is a testament to Emily, the creator, for writing it, and knowing these characters so well that it doesn’t seem forced or out of the blue.  It makes sense of their makeup, and why they do everything that they do.

We saw sparks between Ryan and Tessa in last week’s episode – is that a relationship that we’ll continue to see explored?
Yeah, the relationship will just get stronger and stronger, I think.  You’ll see that they really do like each other, and that it’s a pretty sweet relationship.

Is there a character besides Tessa that you love watching or hearing what comes out of their mouths?  Or is there someone you would love working more with because you don’t get the chance.
I’m lucky because I kind of get to work with everybody a little bit, unlike some characters that have never been on screen together.  But I think Dalia is pretty spectacular.  Carly Chaikin – no matter what, her delivery, it just kills me every time.  In the table reads, everything that comes out of that girl’s mouth is so funny to me!  What’s so interesting about her is, like, she’s this totally different character.  Carly has created this girl that I haven’t seen on TV or in movies, you know?  And she’s hilarious.

I don’t want to call them friends, but I think underneath it all, they truly are becoming reluctant friends.  Is that something we’ll continue to see, the Tessa/Dalia “battle” so to speak?
Yeah, there’s always going to be a battle, I think mostly because Tessa is a compassionate person.  Yes, on the surface, she’s snarky and what could be seen as judgmental, and sometimes a know-it-all, but she’s 16 and she’s really smart.  I think you can see that underneath all of that, she’s a big hearted girl, she’s always trying to help someone out.  So I think there’s a lot of compassion that she has for Dalia, but Dalia has none of that towards her [laughs] and never will, and I think it’s really funny.  You’ll see, especially in [tonight’s] episode, Tessa really trying to look out for Dalia, and Dalia just insulting Tessa over and over again.  That relationship has been a fun one to play!

SUBURGATORY airs Wednesday nights at 9:30/8:30c on ABC – for more information, head over to the ABC SUBURGATORY site for videos, photos, and recaps of any episodes you’ve missed!