Graceland's Serinda Swan Sheds Light on Paige & Mike's Second Season Relationship!
The 29-year-old beauty plays a badass DEA agent named Paige who resides at Graceland with a group of undercover agents. We caught up with Serinda during a recent visit to the set in Fort Lauderdale.
Not only will we see some major romance for Paige this season – cough cough Mike (Aaron Tveit) cough cough – but she’ll get her own case that involves sex trafficking – a fight Serinda is very passionate about herself.
Graceland returns on Wednesday, June 11 @ 10PM on USA!
JustJared.com: First things first, how would you characterize the second season compared from the first?
Serinda Swan: It definitely has some of the ties from the last season, like you definitely find out a little bit more about the tape and things like that. The wonderful thing is because there are so many characters in the house and its very character-driven, it’s not just dun-dun-dun the tape! There are many different storylines that we follow, there are lots of different love interests coming in and lots of different things like that. It’s dark, it’s definitely dark.
You get to see a lot more of who Paige is, which is tons of fun for me. The first five episodes last season were an introduction to bring the USA viewers in and be like, “Now it’s going to get dark, people are going to do heroin, maybe an arm or two is going to get cut off, but we’re going to ease you in, it’s going to be OK and you know by the end it’s mayhem.” But we figure we have a solid group now that understands what our show is about and how dark we get, so they really gave us the liberties to have some fun, it’s great.
Click inside to read the rest of our interview with Serinda Swan…
JustJared.com Interview – Serinda Swan
JJ: What are some of the biggest changes that we’re going to see for your character?
SS: Action. She gets physical (laughs). Yes, technically I have a love interest right now, there is a little bit of that as well. You get to see the story between Mike and Paige develop, which is great for all the fans who are “Pikes,” which I just found out about. I was like what is a “Pike”? And there is “Paginny,” which is Paige and Johnny, which I’m like, “That’s never going to happen between Paige and Johnny” (laughs). We all know that’s never going to happen, but they put cute little pictures of us together from different scenes where it looks like we are looking longingly into each other’s eyes, which is actually so cute. I love that people do that.
But you see a lot more action, you get to see a lot more storytelling. It’s an ensemble cast, so you are always supporting someone else’s storyline if you’re not one of the main ones, which is great when you have such amazing writers because your support is still a wonderful story. But this year Paige is in one of the main storylines and there are some dark things that are happening. We had a couple people on the set the other day, and I showed up with a black eye and scrapes all over me and I was like “Sorry, there’s no pictures right? Because this might not look so good.” But yeah, you get to see a lot more of who she is, a lot more of her skill set and what makes her one of the best DEA agents around.
JJ: Is there distrust for Briggs now or is everything back to normal?
SS: Yeah, there’s a mixture, I think people are kind of weary, but he did such a good job with the tape disappearing there’s nothing we can really do about it. So you go with the majority of what you know about the person and what the majority of what we know about him is that he’s a great wonderful, badass, funny guy and we love him. So you always want to give the person the benefit of the doubt. And so I think Briggs is riding on the benefit of the doubt throughout the second season. You see a big personality change within him the first few episodes because he doesn’t know where the tape is either, so you have to just imagine you know this thing that is deciding your fate is just floating around, which is horrifying so that is definitely taken a toll on him and that will also come into play later this season as well. Most of the characters are like, “Ah Briggs we love him, hug it out” but there’s a few that are still like “I’m watching you.”
JJ: What about Mike? He was labeled a rat, so where does he stand with everyone in the house?
SS: We forget it. He’s so pretty we’re like, “Whatever, we’ll take it, sing once and awhile in the house and we’re good” (laughs). Yeah, no we understand why he did it; he kind of makes amends for it. I think Paige sort of has her boyfriend glasses on. She’s interested in him, I wouldn’t say boyfriend glasses yet, she’s sort of like, “Yo, you have to man up, you’re a rat,” but Paige is a tough cookie and she needs a man so you see that ebb and flow in the first few episodes. But yeah we get over it. Also, in the beginning of season two he’s not in Graceland, he’s out, so he has to work his way back, but as I said he’s so pretty we forgive him.
JJ: Is there a big bad this season? What can you tell us about the central case?
SS: There’s a few, which is wonderful. One of the most amazing things is, if you know a little bit about my personal causes I fight a lot with sex trafficking, we do a lot of work in South East Asia and also North America. So last year I was talking to Jeff [Eastin] and some of the writers. The first thing for me is that drug trafficking is number one and sex trafficking is number two, which is insane, it’s like 9 to 30 billion, which is pretty big gap there, dollar business per year. So for me personally, that’s what I do when I leave the show. So I sat down with Jeff, I was like, “One of the main things is that girls get smuggled using drugs and then sometimes they get sold or whatever it is and there are many, many different stories of them coming into the U.S. because there are over 100 thousand of them right now in the US.” And I was like, “If there is some way we can find a storyline or even just a mention and somehow bring this to light and use the show as a platform for something we can let people know about,” – and they said yes!
They took us op on it and this year we have a story on human trafficking and it is one of the bad guys we are going after. So for me, it’s like every day I go to work and I’m so excited. It’s one of the best things because we get to bring this obviously horrific situation to life, but I get to do it through such a fun storytelling way. And they are so accurate, they’ve been talking to the UN and all these different things are going on to make sure everything is accurate and we’re not just in storyland. I feel bad for the writers because I’m like, “Hey, actually these are the statistics here and when I went to Cambodia…” and they are like “Yes, Serinda” (laughs). ut they do it and they sit down with me and make sure everything is right. I feel so blessed because I can talk to you guys not just about Paige and Mike…and it’s so nice when the two worlds come together and we can actually use the spotlight as an actor to illuminate something else in the world that’s happening. I’m fulfilled.
JJ: Are we going to find out why Paige came to Graceland and her backstory?
SS: She’s kind of a mystery in that sense, there was a version in one of the episodes where you did, but they chose to keep it out. I think it’s going to stay a mystery until it becomes something big. I think up until this point you are starting to see her skill set and then you’re going to kind of be surprised at how she can do that and why does she do that? I think because of how many characters there are and we obviously want to see longevity for the show, so instead of just a flash in the pan of this is her story, we will go into each one of the characters and gradually build something so there is interest there in what is going on.
JJ: How does everyone react to Paige and Mike’s relationship?
SS: They don’t really know about it for a while. We are pretty stealth. We keep it pretty simple, there’s a lot of doors in Graceland, lots of rooms we can hide in. Yeah they don’t know about it for a while and when they do they seem to be alright with it. There are rules obviously, but as you can see in season one, rules are starting to get broken, walls are starting to come down whether it’s for a lovely renovation and things are getting better or there’s a wrecking ball and we are destroying our house. There are definitely changes and we have to adapt to them. There are other relationships that form within the house. People want to hide it, but we’re all undercover agents so they to detect things, they know what’s happening. It’s interesting to see what happens when they kind of start to know.
JJ: Paige and Mike make a really great team. Will we see more of that and who else would you like to team with?
SS: I want to team up with everybody! Paige and Mike work together the most of anybody in the house. But we need more Charlie and Paige, we need strong girl stuff! I think its time to get those bad ass women together! I think it would be great, the way we could riff and do comedy would be something great if added.
JJ: What would you say is Paige’s achilles’ heel?
SS: Her heart, at the end of the it is her heart. She just cares and I think that is what it is, she is tough but she cares. That is what it is. That is what I love about the character, its another level. She cares about Graceland and the people there. She cares about the cases. Its nice to have that to work through.