Hanna star Esmé Creed-Miles talks “emotional” season two and the exit of two major characters

The actress speaks exclusively to RadioTimes.com about taking a "step back" on action scenes.

Hanna season 2 (Amazon Studios)

Coming soon to Amazon, Hanna season two will see Esmé Creed-Miles reprise her role as Hanna, the genetically modified teenager first brought to life on-screen by Saoirse Ronan in the 2011 film adaptation. 

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But while season one saw Creed-Miles performing many of her own stunts for the show’s adrenaline-fuelled action sequences, this season the actress will “step back” to focus on the more “emotional beats”.

Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com over Zoom, Creed-Miles said, “I actually took a step back this time around, I didn’t train as much, didn’t do as much of the stunts that I did in the first season, because for me it was important to utilise my time and reserve my energy for those really emotional beats, of which there are quite a lot of in this season. “

Last season the show lost one of its biggest stars, Joel Kinnaman, after his character Erik (Hanna’s adoptive father) was killed off. Asked about filming season two without him, Creed-Miles admitted, “It was different, but I think it was great for Hanna to be able to come into her own a little bit more, you know, without Erik’s shadow.”

The actress also “definitely” misses the character Sophie (played by Rhianne Barreto), who is absent from season two: “Rhianne is a brilliant actress, and that was such a fun relationship. But I really trust the writers, and I think at the end of the day, the decisions that they make always end up benefitting the storylines.”

The second season introduces a slate of new characters, mainly young women who are like Hanna – genetically modified teenagers born in a lab – but who never escaped the clutches of Utrax, the shadowy organisation that’s training them to become assassins.

Hanna season two (Amazon)
Utrax trainees Jules and Sandy in Hanna season two (Amazon)

However, when asked by RadioTimes.com, Creed-Miles stopped short of calling this female-driven second season ‘feminist’: “I think that at its core, Hanna is fantastic entertainment, and I don’t think it requires too much politicising,” she said, “but I do think that having fantastic female directors onboard helps to emphasis the empowering elements of the show – but yeah, I think at its core it’s just a fantastic blend of thriller and drama, and I really hope that audiences can just enjoy that escapism.”

Much of the new season is set at ‘The Meadows’, the girls’ boarding school-type building where the Utrax trainees are taken, and where they begin to develop their assumed identities for the outside world.

Asked whether she thought the insular, boarding school atmosphere influenced the feel of season two, Creed-Miles said, “I mean, I think it is the feel of the season… I definitely felt that slightly claustrophobic energy, just being on those sets.”

The new season also sees the relationship between Hanna and former Utrax employee, Marissa Wiegler (played by Mireille Enos) move away from the antagonist dynamic of season one.

Hanna season two (Amazon)
Hanna season two (Amazon)

I think it’s really fascinating how they go from being these arch enemies to taking on the world together,” Creed-Miles said of the relationship. “There is that added tension of, ‘Can they trust each other?’, and whether or not they can trust each other, they essentially do, because they have the ability to kill each other and that creates a palpable tension that I think was a really fun dynamic to play with.”

She also teased a fight scene between the pair that takes place inside a truck: “[The tension] of course comes to a head in that brilliant scene in the truck, you know, where I think you really get to see those two characters just full out being themselves, getting out all of this anger and pain and trauma, and I think it’s actually quite character building for the two of them!”

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Hanna season two launches on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 3rd July 2020 – check out what else is on with our TV Guide