With Jamal apparently dead and brother Barry installed as the provisional president of the Middle Eastern nation of Abuddin, cataclysmic change is in the air as FX’s “Tyrant” opens Season 3 Wednesday (July 6).
And the developments, which FX is being tight-lipped about, are so big that co-stars Adam Rayner (who plays Barry) and Jennifer Finnigan (as his wife Molly) can’t speak of them. So painful that Finnigan admits to sitting in her apartment in Budapest (where the series is filmed) at the end of the shooting day and sobbing. So meaty that both actors can’t wait to do more.
“I think the story that we’re telling involving Molly this year is one of the most powerful stories that’s ever been done on network television or on cable,” the actress tells Zap2it. “It’s extremely powerful and extremely impactful and emotional. … This year it’s a whole other level. I think in my career I can honestly say this is the most powerful and probably most painful material I’ve ever worked with. I’m really excited for the audience to see what we’ve been doing.”
At the end of last season, Abuddin’s president, Jamal Al-Fayeed (Ashraf Barhom), lay apparently dying after being shot multiple times by daughter-in-law Nusrat (Sibylla Deen), the wife of Jamal’s son and heir apparent, Ahmed (Cameron Gharaee), thus leaving a power vacuum. But the Al-Fayeed dynasty is not what the people of Abuddin want. The people want democracy and they want Barry to lead the new government. Barry agrees that democracy is the way to take the country forward but this former California pediatrician isn’t sure he wants the presidency. Or does he?
“He certainly doesn’t think he does,” Rayner says. “Whether he can be believed is for the viewers to decide. But he doesn’t think he does because he feels that it is a problem … that these countries keep returning to the same families and the same tiny elite (groups) from which to choose their leaders and he recognizes that. The problem is when you think you have a vision to take a country forward, you need to have your hands on the leaders of power in order to do that. Even with the best intentions, you are reluctant to relinquish that until you see your mission as being complete.”
As for Molly, she is back with Barry and very happy about it as Season 3 opens, even though his Season 2 romantic interest Daliyah (Melia Kreiling) remains close by.
“Molly is coming in feeling pretty positive even though their relationship isn’t clearly defined,” Finnigan says. “There’s always been a distance between them and I would say now more than ever, especially with Daliyah in the background. And Daliyah becomes somewhat of a political figure so she inserts herself even more into their lives. And I think when you have a third party in any marriage, it creates strain.
“But that aside,” she continues, “I think Molly is trying to stay positive. She has both of her children in Abuddin now and the family is back together, and so for a moment in episode one everything is quite peaceful and encouraging Molly.
“And then as things happen in ‘Tyrant,’ ” Finnigan adds with a laugh, “s**t hits the fan.”
You’ve been forewarned. Have your umbrella handy.