Rios adds, “Even in the beginning, in the first episode of the second season, they’re still trying to wrap up all those stories, and it takes a while because there are so many storylines that need to come and intersect. They take their time, but once they do, it comes in with a big bang, which is great.”
When audiences do find Daniel in Season 2, he is coping with sobriety — or a lack thereof — with the help of sponsor Gary, played by “The Office’s” Brian Baumgartner. Adriana, meanwhile, is “still reeling from her sister’s disappearance,” Rios says.
“You’re able to see in that first episode where she’s trying to just make sense of it and in her mind just say, ‘She’s gone,’ but you really have no idea. Then you get introduced to her girlfriend. You get into this personal sort of state,” Rios adds. “I have a family, and we try to tap into all of that.”
Lillard quips, “I could die like that [snaps] and no one would care.”
Both actors are excited about the fact that “The Bridge’s” writers let go of the serial killer storyline in Season 2. Lillard feels that opened them up to “infinite possibilities, and [the writers are] killing it.” In the second season, both Daniel and Adriana are main characters, which gives Lillard and Rios more confidence as actors.
“I think the great thing is that we are counterparts to Diane and Demian. We are a different voice, they are doing their own thing, and I think that as the show goes on we are doing another thing, and at some point we’re part of the convergence. Just trust that the writers know what they’re doing,” Lillard says. “I feel like a lot of lessons were learned that first year, and the second year is more under control.”
This shift is what convinced Rios to stay on in Season 2. “Everything in the first season I loved because it reminded me so much of my family, but I didn’t know what they wanted to tap into the second season,” she says. “Talking to the creator and knowing that they didn’t want to go and find the serial killer, that there’s so many other things that we can tap into because of the problems of the border. I just didn’t want someone to be like, ‘Oh, you’re just stereotyping.'”
Both Adriana and Daniel, as at odds as they may sometimes be, are going after a big story in Season 2, and their actors are very thrilled about the journey.
“I think the exciting thing is we have a thing that we’ve locked into and that over the course of the year we continually go after. That’s, as a journalist, the thing you want, and that’s the rush,” Lillard says. “They’re going after the Pulitzer. They’re trying to do something bigger than that newspaper. They’re onto something bigger than them, and they know it. I don’t think they give a s***.”
“The Bridge” has offered roles for Lillard and Rios that they wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and both say they love the scope of the series.
“For better or worse, you have a show that’s swinging for the fences. You have a show that’s trying to be incredible. We’re tackling s*** that’s not dealt with on TV, and we’re trying to break ground that’s bigger and wider than people have broken on TV in America,” Lillard says. “As an actor, you’re proud to be a part of something that’s trying to do something different. Whether it works or not, whether we land or not, whether we win Emmys or not, there’s people right now in this room going, ‘We’re trying to be incredible.'”
“The Bridge” Season 2 premieres on July 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.