The marketing for Cloak & Dagger's second season has leaned into the Mayhem -- literally. Since she emerged from the waters at the end of Season 1 with glowing eyes, fans have anticipated Emma Lahana’s take on the Marvel villain. Season 2 will address a number of heavy issues, not the least of which is human trafficking, so having a wild card like Mayhem in the mix should only add more intensity to the series' next chapter.
During WonderCon, the show's cast and crew spoke with press about the series' new episodes, diving specifically into what Mayhem's revelation means for the show's characters moving forward.
“I think a lot of questions are going to be answered, but first there’s going to be even more questions… Mayhem has been introduced, and they are trying to grasp and cope with the idea of this thing that they were not expecting to," Olivia Holt (Dagger) told us. "They had it under control, and now things are getting a little rocky and a little tricky. And so I think there’s a lot of confusion and a lot of questions that need to be answered, but again, Tandy and Tyrone will figure it out."
“Brigid respectively comes back this season with a little less pep in her step," Aubrey Joseph (Cloak) added. "She’s kind of developed a little bit of PTSD from everything that happened, so you see Ty and Tandy become these protectors for her and reassuring her that everything is ok and that we have a job to do, you know? We can’t sit around and wonder what’s happening. We kind of just have to tackle it head-on. That’s another aspect that you’ll see this season, as well.”
We learn in the season's second episode, "White Lines," that Emma Lahana is actually playing two separate people, Brigid O'Reilly and Mayhem, not two personalities like fans had assumed. Lahana went more in-depth into how she differentiated these two characters in her performance.
“The way that I played it was there’s a lot of difference in her physicality. Mayhem is a lot stronger. Brigid’s in her head a lot and Mayhem is not, so she doesn’t have those voices in her head making her question things," Lahana explained. "She gives zero fucks, essentially, and just goes for what she wants to go for. Nothing is holding her back, and that is probably, even though she does have powers, the thing that really helps her the most. The fact that she doesn’t have this conscience pulling her back thinking about, ‘Should I do that? What is the ripple effect?’
“So her physicality is a lot different, and her voice is a little lower, a little gruffer. She doesn’t blink as much because she’s in fight or flight mode. So she’s always very energized and big and just ready to go and do what she needs to do. And Brigid’s a lot more protective of herself, makes herself smaller, doesn’t want to be seen as much.”
With playing two characters, there was bound to one that Lahana preferred. “Definitely, Mayhem is more fun to play," she confirmed. "Brigid’s easier to play because it’s more familiar, and it’s kind of, like, cozy. But it’s much easier for me because I would say I am much more like Brigid, so it’s a fun departure for myself and what I’m generally type-cast as.”
As far as how she prepared to channel the rage of Mayhem, Lahana pointed to feminist and environmental movements as her inspiration. “I think there’s this interesting parallel of everything that’s going on right now, everything with the #MeToo Movement where women are starting to find their voice more. And it’s this aspect that we’ve had to be silenced. Mayhem is almost this character that is throwing all that away, and she just says what she wants and does what she wants, to a fault.
“There’s a lot of stuff with animal rights that make me really upset — I’m vegan and all this stuff going on with the environmental movement and the fact that we’re overfishing and destroying our oceans. So when I think of stuff like that, and videos I’ve seen involving animal cruelty, that would make me very very rage-y."
Lahana relished getting the chance to embrace the darkness this season, something she didn’t get a lot of opportunities to do in previous acting gigs. “Even from Season 1, I think it was so obvious just reading the character breakdown from the first script for me that this was a diverse writers room and that there were women involved in writing these characters and the fact that our showrunner Joe Pokaski allows us as women to be complicated and not have to fit into a certain box. And we get these amazing scenes that are three pages long, and we’re not talking about boys or crushes, which as an actress is actually very rare: the fact that you’re not there to serve a male storyline.
“That’s been really refreshing because a lot of the time I’ll read a script, and I’ll want to play the male role because it’s more interesting, and it’s more thought-out. So even from Season 1, it’s all been very refreshing because we have such a great, strong writers room,” she said.
Airing Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT on Freeform, Cloak & Dagger stars Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen/Dagger and Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Johnson/Cloak, as well as Emma Lahana as Brigid O'Reilly/Mayhem, Andrea Roth as Tandy’s mother Melissa Bowen, Gloria Reuben as Tyrone’s mother Adina Johnson, Miles Mussenden as Tyrone’s father Michael Johnson, Carl Lundstedt as Liam, James Saito as Dr. Bernard Sanjo and J.D. Evermore as Detective Connors.