Sonya Walger previews THE CATCH season finale: “It’s very, very unexpected”
As season 2 of THE CATCH landed on ABC this spring, with a new focus on a lighter, more romantic-comedy quality, it didn’t let up on the danger and vengeance that ruled much of Season 1. Assassins, deaths, kidnapping, surprise daughters, surprise returns, you name it, Season 2 has had it, all the while pumping up the charm, humor, and energy.
When I chatted with Sonya Walger (Margot) late last week to prepare for the finale, we looked back on the season as a whole, talking about how jam-packed it has been. Laughing, she said, “It’s been a busy year…it really has!”
With a show like this where you can’t trust anyone and you never know where the story is going to go, she promised that the season finale, airing Thursday at 10/9c, “will have everyone completely taken by surprise,” adding that it’s “teased and poised so, so beautifully for season three!”
For more on the finale (over which Sonya expects we’ll shed some tears – “I’d be surprised if there’s a dry eye in the house”) plus the very cool thing she’s up to on hiatus, read on!
Margot has had quite the second season!
It’s been a busy year, yeah, it really has.
Did you know all of this was coming, a daughter and Sybil turning against her again? How much of season two were you kind of caught up on from the get, this is what’s going to happen?
I knew a daughter was coming, and I knew that there would be a hookup with Danny. I don’t think any of us knew how, you know, far that would go. And I knew there would be more Margot and Sybil dynamic because that one’s too delicious to leave alone. So some of it I knew, but only in the broad strokes. I think one of the great things that happens, I mean, it’s incredibly tough on the writers to keep producing at the speed that they need to, but one of the fun things is them watching us, at what’s firing and what’s not and what dynamics are really, really working and then getting to run back to the scripts and implement them and set them into deeper motion and stuff, which is great.
One of those things that I love, too, is that you can really understand why Ben and Margot worked. You can root for them too, which is such an odd dynamic, but in a way, you really do root for them over say Ben and Alice!
Yeah, yeah, no, it’s true. It’s been, it’s just the fun thing is all this cast is so talented that you can, it’s just a fun group of people to work with and, you know, find the chemistry with each of them.
And I like that they kind of shifted really to what they’ve been saying is romantic comedy more so this season than anything, but there’s still so much darkness and there’s still murder and there’s still that revenge and things like that. So that’s a fun dynamic, I’d imagine, to get to play, that you get to be funnier and lighter but also dark.
Yeah, exactly. It’s such a fun thing to do as an actor to get to flex like that, to get to be quippy and funny and at the same time ruthless. It’s unusual to get to do both in a scene, forget in a whole show. So I’m loving it. I’m absolutely loving this role. It’s just a complete delight to play.
And then of course, Felicity somehow survives and is back and thanks Rhys for the scar in this week’s episode.
It’s such a testament to Shivani Ghai and her performance that they managed to bring her back in a complete soap opera twist. Yes, it’s so great, and it was so fun and so exciting when we all discovered that Felicity was coming back. It was great. And it was also just that delicious feeling of the fans are going to love this. So that’s always good.
And what are you hearing from fans this season? Are you hearing a lot on social media from them?
Yeah, I think it’s really gratifying. I think people are just absolutely loving the show and loving the direction that it’s taken, and as you say the sort of rom-com element of it and the lightness of it. I think people are loving watching us all emerge and sort of reconfigure so that seeing Alice’s past and the ex-boyfriend Ethan and who is he and figuring that out and then Margot hooking up with Danny has incited an awful lot of comments [laughs]. I think it’s all these sort of unlikely moments have just really, really caught people’s imagination. It’s great.
I love that a lot of times the men are screwing up more than anything and the women are these strong women who sure there’s flaws, but they’re really taking charge!
Yeah, they’re really on top of things. I know. I love it.
What can you tease about the finale?
I think the ending will have everyone completely taken by surprise. I really do. I think the ending will have, I’d be surprised if there’s a dry eye in the house. I think it’s just, it’s very, very unexpected. Put it this way. I didn’t see the ending coming and I’ve read every script, and I was blown away by where it went. And it’s teased and poised so, so beautifully for season three. So yeah, I know that’s all very abstract but I can’t be any more specific without blowing the whole thing!
I did wonder if it was ending on some sort of cliffhanger where it would propel us to a season three. Every episode this season has kind of run up to the next so much that I feel like the wait between seasons could be horrible.
Believe me, for all of us. Yes, it could be. I mean, we’re just, we’re waiting to find out if we have a season three and really hoping we do. If we don’t, then I hate to have left the fans with this. I apologize now. But I think yeah, it opens so many fun doors for where season three could go. It really does.
That has to be hard, the waiting game. I can only imagine just waiting to hear what is it like as an actor waiting to know what’s/if that’s going to happen, if you’re going to get to go back to the show you love.
You know, it’s just such a huge part of what we do for a living. I did a movie very, very early on in my career with the late, wonderful Alan Rickman who became such a friend and mentor to me. And one of the things Alan said to me was, “The acting comes free. You’re paid to wait.” He meant it about sitting around on the set, I think, but I have never forgotten it, and it’s true, you just, you are. It’s as much part of the job as showing up on set and knowing your lines and not being late. It’s just part of it. If you can’t bear the waiting, then you should find something else to do.
I was talking to somebody the other day, another actor, and I had asked advice for people, and a lot of it was you have to have thick skin and you have to be prepared to just kind of jump on a plane if you need to and get to your next show or your next role.
That’s for sure. I mean, that part, the unpredictability is a crazy element to live with, particularly as you get older and more encumbered with stuff. I’ve got two little children who are two and four. Suddenly it’s a wait, what are we doing? I’m pulling who out of school to do what? So yeah, you have to be very, very light on your feet as an actor. That’s for sure. Only ever buy refundable tickets to anywhere.
Looking back on season two and season one, do you have favorite moments or favorite episodes that you kind of hold dear?
Golly, it’s hard to single some out. I think one of my favorite scenes has to be the scene where, because just the arc of it is so wonderful that starts with Margot and Danny in the shower or Danny in the shower and they’re all hot and heavy and then there’s a knock at the door and Ben comes in, and Danny’s crouching naked in the shower and I’m having this showdown with Ben in my room and it’s heartfelt and there are real home truths being sort of flung about, and then he pops, you know, Ben leaves and then Danny pops his head up. I just loved the arc of that. I felt it was such a journey. I got to play so many things in that from sexy, romantic Margot to devastated, vulnerable Margot to then building the front back up again and getting Danny out of the room. I loved that scene for its diversity.
I loved most of my scenes with Tessa. I particularly loved the one where I first meet her with [Alice]. Well, not the first meeting but the first me and [Alice] are interviewing her and I pull the strand of hair from her head and tell her I’m so sorry I am a monster. I love that. I think Philippa Coulthard is just such a lovely actress and was so fun to have her as my daughter.
And then I love any scene I do ever with John Simm (Rhys). I think we must have been brother and sister in another life. I just, he’s so easy and playful and delightful, and we’re both huge readers, so we often sit off set comparing the last novel we’ve read and short story collection. There’s just a lovely ease, brotherly ease of hanging out with John.
I like that you say that. I feel that any kind of character that has paired up on this show, there’s a spark there. There’s no two actors that you put in a scene that doesn’t pop. I think that that’s a testament to the acting and great casting, too, to find you all. And you really feel like these people have these histories.
It’s true. I’m so glad you say that. Yeah, I think Linda Lowy, our casting director, did an extraordinary job of assembling this cast. I mean, she really, really did. And as you say, and I think it’s what Allan recognized in season one is sure, we can bring in new fabulous people like T.R. Knight and Gina Torres, who God knows have been tremendous assets to the show, but also let’s just put all these people that we do have in a bag and shake them up and tip them out on the table and see what their new configurations bring us. So having scenes … I’ll speak for myself. Me and Mireille having scenes together was just so fun to do, and Jay Hayden is just such a delight to work with, so all my scenes with Danny I’ve loved doing.
But these were all people I never worked with last year. We would sit in makeup and be like, “Hi, how’s your show going?” We would just be completely reaching across the divide. So yeah, you’re right. There’s a cast full of good chemistry.
Do you get a chance with all this peak TV, do you have downtime where you can sit and you have shows that you find and you watch, you binge or you can’t miss every week?
I haven’t binge watched in forever because I just don’t have the time with a two-year-old and a four-year-old. I also am writing a movie. I’m trying to get a TV, I’m pitching a TV show. I’ve started a podcast. So I’m not big on downtime. That said, I was just on a flight – I’m in New York right now doing press for the show, so I, sitting around by myself yesterday, a whole six hours alone on a plane. Who knew how much fun it could be? And I binge watched CATASTROPHE and I love it. It’s so, so, so fun and I felt like, oh that’s right. This is what people do. They watch TV for a long time. It’s so fun. Yeah, it was great.
What’s next for you?
Yeah, well my podcast is the thing I’m doing at the moment, which I’m absolutely loving. As I say, I’m a big reader and so I started a podcast called “Bookish,” and I interview people about the five books that have shaped who they are. They pick five, and then we talk about why they mattered in their lives, when they read them, who taught them to read, and go from there. It’s a really, I’m just loving doing it. It’s so portable. It’s so easy. I go to people’s houses and I sit down with my laptop and my mic and I interview, I’ve done … Mireille was lovely enough to give me an interview. I’ve done Jon Hamm last week, Julie Bowen. I’m going to be Shonda Rhimes when I get back from New York. So it’s, I’m hoping to have a full season of either 10 or 12, I think, by this summer, and then I’ll release them all and then start again on another season. It’s fun and interesting and so fun getting to just sit and talk to people about books for an hour.
What I love about, like you said, the portable nature of a podcast, you can do it with anybody. I podcast over Skype and that ability to reach anyone presents so many options, too, that you can talk to anybody.
Yeah, exactly. It’s so fun and it’s also just so fun after the years I’ve been in TV and film of I don’t have to raise money. I don’t have to wait for it to be greenlit. I don’t have to audition for it. It’s just me sending an email and saying, “Hey, do you want to talk about books?” And thankfully, everyone that I’ve asked has been so delighted to do it. So I have six in the can and another four scheduled, so I’m really looking forward to just keeping this up.
Do you have your five books that have shaped you? Is that what you guys talk about, too?
I do, but I’m saving them for the end. The final episode of the podcast is my producer’s going to interview me so that I can talk about my five.
What other roles have you shot or are you working on?
Yeah, I did a movie last summer with Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried called “Anon,” which Andrew Niccol wrote and directed, who was the creator of “Gattaca” and “The Truman Show” and “Simone” and all these other wonderful sort of brilliantly sophisticated sci-fi movies. This one is a thriller and it’s dark and I’m vicious and wonderful, and I was just delighted to be a part of it. I play Clive Owen’s ex-wife in that, which was great. And now I’m in New York, I’m about to go upstate to start a little movie called “Departures” with Maisie Williams. I’m going to play her mum.
Which will be great, yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. I’m a completely obsessive Game of Thrones fan, but I’m going to try and shove that down and not just hover over her like a weird, rabid fan.
Yes, it’s like, just say hello, don’t mention GOT, don’t mention it. Don’t mention it. Don’t mention it.
Don’t, don’t, don’t mention it. Just keep really, really quiet. I know. I’m going to wait to see. Watch me. I’ll make it about 15 seconds before I accidentally call her Arya. I know it. But anyway, wish me luck.
THE CATCH wraps up with a very exciting season finale on Thursday, May 11, at 10/9c. Be sure to catch “Bookish” when that’s available soon!