'Graceland' Finale: Serinda Swan on Kissing Aaron Tveit & Second Season Hopes
Serinda Swan opens up about the amazing season finale of Graceland in this brand new interview!
The 29-year-old actress stars as Paige, a smart and sexy DEA agent who lives and works with a group of undercover agents from various law enforcement agencies.
JJ caught up with Serinda to get the scoop on the finale, kissing Aaron Tveit, favorite memories, and her hopes for Paige in the second season.
Congrats again to the cast and crew for their season two renewal!
Click inside to see what Serinda Swan had to say to JJ…
JustJared.com Interview – Serinda Swan
JustJared: First of all, congrats on the second season!
Serinda Swan: Thank you! I love the cast and crew so much. It was such a family, so it was one of those ones that selfishly – obviously, business-wise you want to come back – but friend-wise and family-wise, there was just…we call it a “party line” from crew to cast. Everyone is on that text line. You know something happens when you look at your phone and you have 48 texts. We all woke up to like 70 texts and we’re like “We we’re picked up!”
JJ: There were so many twists and turns this first season. You guys shot it all before the show even premiered. How much was mapped out for you and how much did you learn week-by-week?
SS: Week-by-week. We had no idea what was going on. Jeff [Eastin, the creator] was really great with calling us and letting us know. The map was one that was like drawn on a napkin (laughs). There were definitely a lot of surprises and anything that we needed to know character-wise, he would make sure that we knew – any type of back story or anything to do with who we were investigating. He was very good to make sure that we were all on track with that. There were so many twists and turns. Like, “Oh, I’m going to make out with Mike now. OK, great!” That’s happening (laughs). We didn’t really know Briggs was a heroin addict until it came out. Those were the sort of things where some people were privy to the information and some people weren’t, so we didn’t play into what Serinda knew vs. what Paige knew. That was a cool thing to have, but then again, sometimes I was like, ‘I kinda wish I knew that!’
JJ: Jeff recently talked about how Mike and Paige’s relationship evolved as the season progressed. What was it like working with Aaron and building that on-screen chemistry?
SS: Really natural. Really easy. He’s such a phenomenal guy. He’s always singing in the trailers and things like that (laughs). He’s just a happy guy to be around and so talented. And I think the writing really supported it. It supported the fun. It wasn’t an obvious flirtation. I think one of the best things about it is when you look at the tweets, everybody is like, ‘I want Paige and Mike to be together! I ship Paige and Mike!’ – which I didn’t even know what ship meant until a week ago (laughs) – but there’s no “Paige has a huge crush on Mike” or “Mike has a huge crush on Paige.” I think its most fun to watch as a viewer when two people kind of like each other. Like, you see a connection and sparks. It’s like your two best friends who you know would be amazing together if they dated, but every time you get them together…you’re trying to sell one to the other, and I think the audience is trying to do that with us. And I love that. Who knows where that will go.
JJ: They dismissed their kiss after it happened and it seems if that relationship were to progress, Paige would be the one to maybe push back a little bit. Do you think its possible to have a romantic relationship in the Graceland house?
SS: I don’t know. That’s what is really interesting and that’s what the writers kind of have to navigate because it can get really messy. I think one of the best things they’ve done, is that they haven’t made it about the relationships intimately in the house. I think they’ve been really smart with that so far. Is it something that fans really want to see? Yeah. But I agree, I think if anything, Paige is going to have a little bit of a push-back. I think the reason she didn’t want Mike to date Abby – she’s not that selfish, bitchy girl who’s like “You shouldn’t date her” and then in the back of her mind she’s like “You should date me!” – she’s genuinely against relationships in Graceland. It’s a duality between her moral compass and what she truly believes, and then her feelings for Mike, which is pulling her in two different directions. By the end of the episode, you can see she’s back to her morals. “That was great, but no.” (laughs)
JJ: She also has these amazing, subtle comedic moments in the midst of all the drama.
SS: Yeah, that was something that when I talked to Jeff first…we don’t have a lot of the first season to develop Paige that much because obviously, I wasn’t in the pilot. I wasn’t one of the characters that was pitched and worked. I was definitely an afterthought – a lovely, wonderful afterthought! So they cast this role around me, which was phenomenal. I felt so blessed. Like, wow, this doesn’t happen. I definitely did four or five happy dances by myself (laughs). So we didn’t have much time to explore, and that’s what happens when you’re on a procedural with such a big ensemble cast. It’s great because you kind of weave in and out. It’s like how Friday Night Lights had such a big ensemble cast, but they would go from this story to that story. And it was never too many stories at once. It felt like that.
I’m excited to see a little bit more of who she is, and that comedy. Because they definitely allow us to joke around. I’m so happy they didn’t make her…they made me go blonde, but they didn’t make it like, “Oh, she’s the blonde in the house.” It was lovely that they didn’t do that.
JJ: Definitely. We got to dig deep into the background of a lot of the characters, but we’re hoping to learn more about Paige in the season season!
SS: Yeah, absolutely. That’s something that Jeff and I have talked about, a whole back story for her. It’s really awesome. And one of the things I hope they show is just how lethal she actually is. She’s very light and she’s very funny, but there’s a reason why she’s at Graceland. And we haven’t visited that yet. Why is she a DEA agent? And what is her skill set that brought her to Graceland as one of the best of the best? That’s something I really hope we get to explore. There’s a whole badass-ery that she hasn’t brought out yet (laughs).
JJ: Finally, what’s been your favorite memory from season one, either on or off set?
SS: One of my favorite moments that I remember was off set, I had a game night at my house that all the cast came to, and some of our crew. We ended up playing Running Charades, and it was a highly-competitive. Aaron taught us how to play. And at the end of the night, Aaron’s a very good dancer, and Manny [Montana] knows how to Dougie and C-Walk. So Manny and Aaron were dancing and the rest of us had no idea how to do it, so we ended up pulling it up on YouTube (laughs). So there are 12 of us in my living room watching a Dougie video, trying to do it. We never looked so white in our lives (laughs). We were so uncoordinated. I just remember laughing until I cried. And my whole living room is all glass, so I’m sure people were watching all of us, having no idea who we were at that point (laughs). That’s one of my favorite nights or experiences on Graceland. That’s the essence of who we are. We’re all big dorks and love each other so much.