As the fall television lineup oils its gears and powers back up, God Friended Me is preparing for its second season.
The CBS show made waves last season as a feel-good addition to Sunday nights with its positive message, remarkable cast, and uplifting storylines.
TV Fanatic had a chance to catch up with Suraj Sharma, the man behind Rakesh, Miles’ right-hand man, brilliant coder, and occasional comic relief, to find out just what we can expect from the second season.
Sharma gave us a few spoilers — we love those — and dished about the God Friended Me Season 1 cliffhanger, the introduction of a new character named Joy, Rakesh’s new job, his relationship with Jaya, and even explained that Paris will play as big of a role in solving the mystery of the God account as New York has.
We haven’t seen too many spoilers for God Friended Me Season 2. What can you tell us about the upcoming season?
Um, what can I say about the upcoming season? Uh, we have a couple of really good episodes so far. I feel like the stakes are rising. We are doing some special things. We’ve gotten a really couple of really, really special episodes, we’ve only shot like six or seven so far.
Read the full interview at TV Fanatic!
‘The Cleaning Lady’s Martha Millan on Her Dark Storyline, JD’s Return, and Much More
The Cleaning Lady, now airing its second season on FOX, is one of TV’s best dramas—and, in the spirit of the holidays, the one show I’m most thankful for! And that’s exactly why I geeked out a little when I got the chance to talk with Martha Millan about all things season 2!
Millan, who graces the screen as Fiona De La Rosa, is forced to go above and beyond to protect her family when her life becomes heavily involved with the Las Vegas criminal syndicate alongside sister-in-law, Thony De La Rosa (Elodie Young). In the second season, Millan’s character becomes a larger part of the action as she deals with a darker storyline that connects back to the dangers of living as an undocumented Filipino immigrant.
In her chat with CraveYouTV, Millan revealed how she prepares to get into the role of Fiona, what the latest episode means for her relationship with Thony, and how JD (Ryan Sands) will factor into it all.
In addition to some lighthearted questions (she reveals who the silliest person is on set), we also got a little tease of what’s to come for the rest of the season.
Check out the full interview below:
Fiona is in a very difficult position at the end of The Cleaning Lady Season 2 Episode 8 because she’s torn between her loyalty to Thony and protecting her kids. Can you speak a little bit about that?
Martha: Honestly, I didn’t even realize the direction of where Fiona was going to go in regards to what’s happening with Chris and everything. So, for me, it just goes back to the family issues that the show really is based on in terms of how far you would go for your children. And as you can see throughout the season, it’s definitely taken me to a lot of darker places [laughs], especially with the world’s colliding this season. So it’s been challenging in terms of just the conflict she has with who she is as a mother and then, on top of that, being undocumented, but also just the love that she has for her children and, of course, the ride and die relationship that she has with Thony. So, as an actor, it’s just an emotional bliss of rollercoaster emotions. But for the character itself, I think for any mother to go through that, these are stakes that are so high, but it is a constant question of how far will you go for your child and your family.
How did you prepare and approach this much darker storyline for Fiona this season?
To be honest with you, I didn’t really know the direction they were taking Fiona, so it was just that every script that I received, which is, like, basically three days before we start shooting, it was always like, “what?” I always just take it in stride and just really trust the material that’s been given and obviously the direction that they’re taking Fiona in. But it’s like life. You don’t know what’s going to happen. So I kind of approached it in that way where when I would get a script and then see the experiences or the journey that Fiona is going to take throughout that episode, it’s all about just being in the moment. So the preparation was all about just, oh, my God, be present. Make believable choices. And I really tried to stay true to what would it be like to be a mother under those circumstances, and those are extraordinary circumstances to be in. So I just grounded it in the relationships that are founded throughout this series. But, yeah, there’s really hardly any time to prepare.
So you guys are just finding out all the twists and turns just like we are.
Yeah, exactly. We get eight days to shoot an episode, and so throughout that episode, within maybe three to four days before the beginning of the next episode, that’s when we get the production draft of the script. And yeah, so pretty much it’s like real life. You’re just finding out day by day.
Well, we have this new character, JD, and he now knows a lot of their secrets and brings up a lot of issues that I feel Fiona never considered before. But can we trust him?
I know. And for me, it was like, I remember last season, everybody was asking, well, what direction would you like Fiona to go through her experience and in what way? And I was like, well, she needs some love, for crying out loud. With JD’s new character, there was definitely that essence that we don’t see, you know, throughout Fiona’s journey in season one. And in terms of trusting him with the way Ryan Sands is in real life, he’s such a good person. His energy is just so solid. And he was in Marvel’s Runaways, so he’s already a superhero in general, but in the show, I think his energy and his essence still translates, and it gives that kind of a balance that Fiona has been looking for in a way that she’s just never had other than Thony.
But in terms of trusting him, I mean, you never know, right?
This show makes me skeptical of everyone!
There are so many twists and turns, and when I’m reading the script and it’s like, “oh, my God, where is this going?” But right now, it’s all about just being in the moment and just kind of also being an actor and just trusting that this is probably going to take another twist and turn. But right now, we have to really portray the truth, which is she’s still there’s still chemistry between them. There’s still that past love. And obviously, the revelation that he did love her during that time is something that has, I guess, brought about new sparks. But again, this is a world of TV, and you just don’t know where those sparks can lead to.
Yeah, it’s like, am I wrong in hoping that his girlfriend doesn’t come back?
[Laughs] I know, right? Trust me. As Fiona, and looking at her character, obviously, there is that hope. I think just the hope that Fiona finds some kind of happiness, especially being thrown into this world of the dark underworld that Thony is experiencing, that we see some kind of light and hope for Fiona, especially after the 15 years that she’s been undocumented, and then to experience the underworld of Vegas with Thony. It’s something that we just hope for Fiona, I hope for anyway, too.
How does what’s going on right now in episode eight affect and impact her relationship with Thony moving forward?
Well, I think the way it’s ended, that’s the beauty of how the writers have created what they’ve created is that JD could be the wedge that possibly could be driven in between Thony and Fiona. Especially with the fact that he has brought up some very specific truths in terms of the relationship that she has with Thony has affected her life in the fact that her brother has been killed, her son is now involved, the family is in danger. All for this love, you know, for the love of her sister-in-law in the ride-and-die relationship. And JD really makes Fiona question if it’s all worth it because he’s involved, too, because of his daughter. And it’s extremely understandable why he’s cautious and why he doesn’t want her to be around Thony, because it’s just logical.
But through our eyes—as Thony and Fiona—this is all about family and what we do for family and to save Luca’s life and to protect Chris as well. And I don’t think JD understands how far we’ve gone at this point, but he’s definitely brought in such a very logical perspective that everybody should be able to understand except for Thony and Fiona.
Aside from being entertaining, the series is important for the strong female leads, diversity, immigration, and even making sure that there are real consequences for every action, for every character. So what’s been your favorite story to tell through The Cleaning Lady?
I think for me, in season one, it was just such an introduction to the world of being undocumented. The fear that they constantly experience every second of the day is that their lives could be taken away from them instantly. Whether it’s just driving and getting pulled over, whether it’s also the reason why Fiona really expresses her distress with Chris of getting in trouble at school is that they could also be deported by being reported by the school, et cetera. I mean, their lives are just living on eggshells every day. So for me, that’s always something in the back of my mind. And then now that we’re deeper into this darker world of Arman and Thony, it’s even more precarious in every way. Like, the level of fear is heightened, and the anxiety just doesn’t stop. So that’s something that I am aware of.
But I also wanted to be authentic in just the fear of a lot of what undocumented people do live day in, day out. And then not only that, being a single mother, I mean, like, we’re talking about so many situations that Fiona’s dealing with. But also, I also have to remember that there is a reality for people in this country that live that every day. So that’s something that I also want to just be very careful about. But yeah, I think last year with the “Ice Box” episode of being almost deported really hit home for Fiona. And I think a lot of things just upended her in every way and realizing that wanting to also find a way for her children, for Chris, so that he doesn’t have to go through what I’m going through. But it’s just a constant battle. For, I guess that’s what really interests me or, at least, inspires me to be authentic in the story.
I think that’s part of what makes the show so special and different.
It’s incredible how Miranda Kwok and Melissa Carter have shaped the show, that, they still touch on the reality of the topical and relevant issues that they’ve explored, but then also create like this, you know, all the explosiveness of entertainment value in TV and the dynamic relationships between Thony, Arman and Nadia (Eva De Dominici), and Kamdar (Naveen Andrews) and the now JD and Fiona. These are just really great elements of writing, but still trying to remain true to their plight in the show, of what they want to achieve as people, as individuals.
What is it like filming these intense themes? Is it as stressful as it is for us watching? Because I always feel like I need to have a drink after I watch this episode to decompress.
Oh, my God. I love that you said that. Because trust me, if you’ve seen any of my Instagram stories, it’s like you see it’s definitely all kind of congregating at a watering hole at some point just to release and distress. Because I think that’s the beauty of our job, is that we get to really live and tell the truth of what that moment means. But then for me, anyway, I step out of it, for sure, just to give myself some sanity.
I spoke to my sister about this and she’s like, you’re just so intense all the time. I’m like, well, if you think about the things that I’m going through, I mean, I don’t know if it would make sense if I would be just super chill about it. I don’t think there would be any believability in that. I think what’s great between Thony and Fiona, just you can see how the contrast of the two women, of how Thony handles these situations and in opposition to how Fiona deals with things. And it’s a beautiful dynamic, too, that the writers have created and allowed us to explore. So I think also that adds to the show in every way, the energy of the show in every way.
But yes, definitely, I have a drink or two after we finish a lot of the things. And then in between takes, I definitely always find a way to laugh, dance, have fun, even while I’ve got tears in my eyes or whatever. Because it is these are things if you are experiencing them in real life, I mean, you need to step out as an actor to understand that that’s not my reality, that’s just the reality of the characters.
So I definitely try to lighten things up on set in between takes.
Would you call yourself the silliest person on set?
I’m pretty much definitely the silliest person to the point I think it annoyed a director. [Laughs] I respect everyone’s process, whether it’s the director, the crew, or the other actors. For me, that’s all about just being creative. But I think because the scenes are so explosive and so intense, that, as a creative, individually, I need to step away from that, otherwise it’s something that’s going to become a part of me. I definitely dance around a lot. I definitely love to laugh, like I said, to the point where I think one director was quite annoyed by it.
I want to see the blooper videos for these!
Apparently, they’ve made one because we just wrapped, so I’m also curious too, but I’m not the only one. I mean, I definitely am silly, but I know that Adan Canto and Elodie, once they get into their giggle fit, they don’t stop! So I’m hardly ever on set with them, except for that one time when I did meet and work with Adan Canto, which was also extremely nerve-wracking for Martha as well as Fiona. But I know that those two, they’re giggle bots, they do not stop laughing. And then, of course, Oliver Hudson is the wonderfully, adorable ham on set as well.
Is there a character you would like to share a scene with that you haven’t as of yet?
Oh my God. All of them! I love Nadia’s character and how they’ve developed her. And I would love to see the interaction because they’re both very fiery women, Fiona and Nadia. And obviously at different class levels, but they both have the same background, so I think that would be an interesting dynamic, and mainly because I love hanging out with her in real life too so it would be fun to just do a scene. And then, of course, Russo, I mean, I don’t know what kind of scene that would happen, but Liza Weil is one of my dearest friends, so we definitely decompress together after the scenes, but we never have them together unless there could be a possibility…
It probably wouldn’t be good for Thony!
No, it wouldn’t be good for Thony or Fiona if that would happen.
Anything possible though, right?
In this show, trust me! Because the fact that I ended up in a bathroom, watching someone being tied up, was definitely something I did not expect. I really commend the writers for their creativity, but it’s still grounded. And the pushed reality that we face each script is still grounded upon the basis of family values. And how far would you go? Because the relationships are so raw and real. I really am in complete gratitude to the creativity of Miranda Kwok and Melissa Carter and all the writers in the room. It’s amazing.
You said you finished filming the season, so without giving away too many spoilers, what can you tease for the rest of the season for fans? What can they expect?
Well, I think worlds have definitely collided, and once that happens, I think the consequences of that collision, and the actions that have been taken, will come to light. If that’s a good enough teaser!
Yeah, I like that. Now I’m even more intrigued.
Trust me. Yes. When I read the last episode, I was like, “oh, my God. Okay, how are we going to do this?” Put it that way.
What one word would you use to describe the remaining episodes of the season? Just one word.
I was, like, trying to think of something, but no, unexpected, because that’s what happened to me when I read it. I was like, “what?”
Maybe the word should have been “what?”
Yeah, that could work, with an exclamation and question mark! [Laughs]
The next episode of The Cleaning Lady airs on Monday, November 28, 2022, after the Thanksgiving break. You can read all of our reviews here.
Chicago PD Review & Interview – Tracy Spiridakos on Big #Upstead Moment (8×11)
Upton’s childhood trauma bubbled up to the surface on Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 11.
This isn’t the first time the series has touched upon Upton’s past, but audiences were able to get a better grasp at the hell she went through while growing up in a household of domestic abuse.
Up until now, she never fully confronted how it affected her into adulthood.
On Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 3, Upton couldn’t even bring herself to visit her father after he suffered a heart attack.
The truth is, she’s been running from her past for her whole life, but the trauma has finally caught up with her and it’s significantly affecting every aspect of her life including her career and her promising, new relationship.
And she’s beginning to realize that if she lets this bruised part of herself continue to get in the way, it could jeopardize everything she’s ever cared about.
The case was solid with or without an anchor to Upton’s personal life as the outcome wasn’t obvious. Also, how gruesome was that scene of the mother with her teeth pulled out and her fingertips burnt off?
Upton responded to a call that involved a young child who has endured a lifetime of emotional and physical abuse.
She immediately felt drawn to the little girl, Becca, as she saw herself in her pained yet hopeful face.
And Upton went to great lengths to help her. On one hand, her determination played a key role in solving the case, but on the other hand, it was dangerous because she was willing to break the rules and go against Voight’s orders.
Since she was fueled by emotion, she wasn’t thinking clearly, which made it easy for her to misstep and cross a line.
Throughout the episode, I wanted to shake Upton and tell her to snap out of it, but she was so focused. It almost felt like she thought she could save herself by saving Becca.
Coming from a dysfunctional family gives Upton good instincts. Her personal involvement in the case is largely the reason Intelligence found Becca in time.
However, it also forced her to reassess her approach.
After her heart-to-heart with Voight, Upton realized that she couldn’t go on like this and pretend that her past wasn’t seeping into her present.
A childhood fueled by control, manipulation, betrayal, and abuse also made it hard for Upton to form a real connection with another person.
Even before she took on the case, Upton bolted right after Halstead said the L-word.
While it’s a huge moment in their relationship, for Upton, it was a trigger because she’s only ever known a dysfunctional level of love.
Whenever someone would say “I love you,” there was always a catch. So, when Halstead said it, she was waiting for the other foot to drop.
Instead of allowing herself to get hurt, she wanted to beat him to the punch and run the other way.
That’s why her eventual decision to open up to Halstead and be vulnerable and transparent about her fears and insecurities was a huge step.
I love that Halstead didn’t try to “fix” Upton; He simply listened to what she needed while promising to be patient and stay by her side.
I wasn’t completely sold on #TeamUpstead prior to this episode because I’m used to the relationships on this series crumbling for one reason or another, but I’m digging the direction that this is going in.
Not every relationship starts in the honeymoon phase, and it’s clear Halstead cares enough about her to support her and help her get to a good point.
Hopefully, the series continues with the storyline and doesn’t drop Upton’s emotional turmoil.
We don’t need a whole episode dedicated to her working through her issues, but it would be nice to see some continuity whenever #Upstead’s relationship gets future screen time.
We got to chat with Tracy Spiridakos, who plays Hailey Upton, about the game-changing episode!
INTERVIEW: Parveen Kaur Reveals Saanvi Has ‘Trauma’ to Work Through on Manifest Season 3
Manifest fans have waited almost a year to learn more about what happened to Flight 828 and the passengers.
And we’re getting closer than ever!
Ahead of the Manifest Season 3 premiere, TV Fanatic spoke to Parveen Kaur, who plays Saanvi Bahl, an 828 passenger and medical researcher.
With a season that promises more answers than questions, Parveen confirms that a major answer does come to the surface that describes as both “emotional” and “meaningful.”
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait to see how the season plays out to know exactly what she’s referring to.
Check out our full Q+A with Parveen below:
At the end of season 2, Saanvi killed The Major. How does that affect her moving forward?
Well, she obviously carries the weight of that going into season 3. The season picks up about 3 months later, so it’s still relatively very fresh and she’s carrying a lot of that paranoia.
She’s kind of constantly looking over her shoulder waiting for someone to show up and say, “Hey, we know what you did. Your life is over, and you’re gonna go to prison.”
She’s carrying a lot of fear… and more importantly a lot of guilt because that’s not who she is, you know.
And it’s someone she thought that she would never become, and I think, obviously, it was an accident, of course, but she’s done something very out of character, so she’s dealing with a lot of stuff going into season 3 even outside of the plane.
When the season kicks off, has she told anyone else about what happened, or is Vance the only one that knows?
Vance is the only one that knows.
So she can’t talk to anyone about it!
She has no one! So, she’s almost like a walking volcano that’s just waiting to erupt. I mean, to keep something like that inside would be very, very challenging, which we see; We see her go through that arc in the season.
In the season 3 trailer, we see Jared holding a photo of The Major… what can you tell us about that, if anything!
There seems to be a little overlap with Jared and Saanvi… I don’t know how much more I can go in, but there is certainly overlap with those two characters in some capacity.
And we haven’t seen them work together that much… so that’s exciting!
Yeah, I mean it’s really great cause I never get to work with J.R. as Saanvi and Jared. We’ve had maybe one scene together, so yeah, I’m excited for people to see that.
It feels like a crossover from different shows with how little we’ve worked together. I’m always in the hospital, he’s always in the precinct, so we are going to see those characters’ paths cross.
Saanvi also eliminated the Callings, how does that change things for her?
She and Vance start working together, so it doesn’t change anything in terms of how she’s working and to what capacity.
It doesn’t really affect her until later on in the season, but I don’t want to say how because I can’t give that away, but in terms of how she’s trying to solve it, it doesn’t affect her.
She has a lot of skills, and then later on we realize that there are consequences to her not getting the Callings. That happens later in the season.
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