Melissa Bowen's relationship with her daughter Tandy can only be described as "complex." On Freeform's Cloak & Dagger, the mother-daughter duo have struggled to understand each other since the death of Nathan Bowen, Melissa's husband and Tandy's father. Now a teenager, Tandy has more in common with her mother than she'd care to admit; both turn to substance abuse to drown out their feelings, and that leads to blowouts between the two. Despite their disagreements, though, Melissa loves her daughter -- even if she has a hard time showing it.
Speaking to CBR, Cloak & Dagger star Andrea Roth offered some insight into Melissa's character. She discussed Melissa's "mama bear instinct" and her favorite scene from tonight's episode "Call/Response," while hinting at the "shocking" and "heartbreaking" things to come. She also revealed her inspiration for those tough mother-daughter scenes, what drew her to the role and more.
CBR: What initially drew you to the role?
Andrea Roth: Initially, I was drawn to the complexity of the character. She was a woman who was currently living in a trailer park, who had once been fairly wealthy, and wondering how that turn of events actually happened. And at the fact that it was a Marvel! Who's kidding? That's exciting! Getting to play the mom of a soon-to-be superhero. And then [showrunner] Joe Pokaski, of course, from Heroes. Recently, I've been watching The Underground, and just loved the writing and everything that was going on with that. What a great, great project to get to be involved in.
On that note, what sets Cloak & Dagger apart from your past work?
For one -- I mean, obviously, it's a very specific genre. However, I feel like we aren't doing the typical. It's a little more dramatic. I feel like it's a little more complex. The relationships are a little more complex than the normal Marvel ones, which is really exciting. In many ways, there's a whole other element of excitement and Marvel-ness sort of sprinkled upon all of us working on the show. For me, pretty much, I feel like I'm still doing -- or I'm trying to do -- just truthful, dramatic, real work and to portray this woman's complex journey dealing with her daughter, that relationship with her daughter, and trying to fix my husband's name, to try to redeem [him].
Needless to say, Melissa and Tandy have a very complex relationship. Where do you draw inspiration from for that?
Well, I'm a terrible mother, and so I -- [laughs] No, I'm kidding... I just love anything dark. Not in my life! My life, I'm surrounded by flowers and cute little play areas everywhere that I've built for my child. But psychologically, as an actress, it's so interesting, the things that are sort of darker and complex and trying to understand them. And well, listen, I had -- you know, I think every -- well, maybe not, not every teenager -- does have issues with their mother. I guess I went through some trying times with my mother. I think the proper way to say it would be my mother went through trying times with me. [laughs] I guess just little bits of that and then it's just jumping into the unknown, because I don't have a substance abuse problem nor a drinking problem. I don't have things to pull that from, but I know pain and anger and hurt and grief, so I just try to bottle them all up together.