Ten Reasons AMC Shouldn’t Cancel ‘The Killing’

AMC has announced that it is canceling The Killing, a gritty police procedural based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen (literally, "The Crime") and starring Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman as Seattle detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder. This is not good.

Simply put, it’s the best crime drama I’ve seen on TV in a long while. (I loved the dark and existential Parisienne policier Spiral, but that was released in the U.S. by Netflix—thankfully—last fall.

"We have made the difficult decision not to move forward with a fourth season of ‘The Killing,’" the network said in a statement. "We want to thank our great partners at Fox Television Studios, creator Veena Sud, an extraordinary cast and the dedicated fans who watched."

One viewer used the comments section on the New York Times article reporting on the cancellation to write a little note to the station: "To AMC: your audience is too important to alienate. You’ve cancelled excellent show after excellent show while leaving "Walking/Talking Dead" on and cutting seasons up into small pieces so you can make more money." Clearly we need more zombies.

I’ve seen every gray, rain-soaked episode and I am bummed—as I think are many of the 1.5 million viewers of the Season 3 finale.

Here are ten reasons that AMC shouldn’t cancel The Killing.

1. There’s a refreshing lack of violence and jump cuts.

In a world where we have been desensitized to violence and given a steady diet of quick-cut shootouts and chase scenes, it’s refreshing to experience a slow-paced crime drama that focuses on little things like narrative and character development—and not the blood splatter, gunshots and screeching tires.

2. The suspense.

One of The Killing‘s best attributes is that it’s extremely hard to guess the killer. But perhaps the grinding suspense was part of its downfall. The show "has been plagued since the end of its at first critically acclaimed initial season by declining ratings and a mutiny by once-supportive critics and fans when its central mystery—the grisly murder of young Rosie Larsen—was left unsolved until Season 2," writes Greg Braxton of The Los Angeles Times. But it’s exactly the long, drawn-out suspense that made it so compelling.

3. Mireille Enos.

Experiencing Enos’ steely embodiment of the single-minded and emotionally withdrawn detective Sarah Linden was nothing short of a revelation. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter praised her trailblazing performance: "It’s not until you watch Enos play Sarah for a while that it sinks in—there hasn’t been a female American character like her probably ever."

4. It’s a new art form.

Mireille Enos may look eerily like Helga in the famous "Helga Pictures" by painter Andrew Wyeth, but there’s much more visual artistry to the show than just a pale, blank-faced redhead in turtleneck sweaters. Newsday‘s Verne Gay spoke about the third season as an art form: "Everything fans loved about it the first season is back. The rain, the gloom, the pervasive sense of doom…The colors, or lack of them—the ALMOST reds and greens, smudged by deep shades of gray and brown…you start to think this isn’t a TV show so much as the palette of a seriously depressed artist."

5. Joel Kinnaman.

The rangy Swedish-American actor (who stars in the upcoming Robocop remake) seems as comfortable inhabiting the wise-cracking, street smart, recovering addict detective Stephen Holder as his character does in his XXL hoodies. And the chemistry he has with Enos is riveting. One New York Times commenter wrote, "I’d like to see them resurrect the series with just Holder & Linden but doing something else, maybe opening a pet store together. They were the reasons I tuned in."

6. Vegetarianism.

Holder is not only the show’s fearless tough guy, he’s a committed vegetarian ("I don’t eat meat, bitch!" he barks in one episode). It’s an unusual character trait that crops up throughout the series, like when he’s munching on a veggie burger while on a stakeout. Though I seem to recall him eating a fish sandwich, so perhaps he’s a "pescatarian." Either way, it’s different—and cool. UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, who has urged the world to eat less meat to save the environment, would be pleased.

7. Seattle.

From its rain-slicked streets to its fog-steeped forests, the Seattle of The Killing is a perfect setting for solving grisly murders. It’s like an urban version of the creepy moors from The Hound of the Baskervilles. Plus, the only other current television show that is set in the Emerald City is Grey’s Anatomy, which is a snoozefest at best. Aqua Teen Hunger Force was recently set in Seattle, but for its current season, moved to Chicago. And that doesn’t really count, since it’s a cartoon.

8. Depth.

One of the most interesting factors about The Killing was that it took 20 episodes to cover one single case. Yeah, I know it’s kind of crazy, but that’s the kind of depth you just don’t get on regular American TV dramas, which are "chickletized" for short attention spans—and heaps of commercial breaks. The show was a standout in this sense, and it’s a pity that more Americans didn’t tune in, since it could’ve helped, in a small way, combat our collective ADHD. Now where was I? Oh right…Number 9…

9. Veena Sud

The show was developed by the incredibly talented Canadian-born Filipino-Indian-American television writer, director and producer Veena Sud, who served as a writer and executive producer (and cut her teeth as a writer, story editor and executive producer for the TV crime drama Cold Case). With The Killing—which earned her nominations for both an Emmy and a Writers Guild of America award—the multi-talented, multi-hyphenated Sud has established herself as a sort of lone wolf in the forest of American TV crime drama. Paramount Pictures announced that she is writing a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1941 thriller, Suspicion. Sounds juicy. She’s one to watch.

10. There’s little else like it.

Homegrown American crime dramas just aren’t as good as their brethren born across the Atlantic—unless you want to go back to NYPD Blue or Hill Street Blues. From the French Spiral to the Danish-based The Killing to the British-based Low Winter Sun (which premiered last month on AMC), the European-style policiers are…how shall I say…killin’ it.

So there you have it, 10 reasons AMC shouldn’t cancel The Killing. It’s sad to see such an excellent American version of a remarkable European import be taken off the slate. I don’t care who killed Rosie Larsen anymore. I’m more concerned that the studio heads who killed The Killing are getting away with it. Who knows Maybe Netflix will pick it up. But for now, I’m going eat a veggie burger and watch the latest episode of (let’s see what’s on)…Rizzoli & Isles?! Sigh.

 

Amy Seimetz Talks Complex Women & Strong Emotion in Her Directorial Debut ‘Sun Don’t Shine’

Bursting onto the screen with frantic gasp of air, Amy Seimetz’s Sun Don’t Shine grabs you by the neck and holds you captive. From its fierce and emotionally-charged opening scene—a rough and muddy lover’s quarrel—to the dreamy back road driving sequence that follows, you’re entranced in the film’s hot and sticky world straightaway, teeming with tension, anxiety, and fear. With swampy earthy tones of the Everglades and rosy hues of passion, Seimetz’s directorial debut is both visceral and expressionistic, playing out through feeling and texture, guiding you with potent emotion as you follow a young couple on the run.

A character study that picks up after the act of murder, Sun Don’t Shine exists in the balance of what comes after, the post-crime delirium and limbo before consequence. Hazy voiceovers that harken back to memories of hopeful intimacy are woven throughout the unraveling and unnerving narrative, shedding light on the paranoid couple that ventures into the seedy tourist trappings of southern Florida with a dead man in the trunk. Kate Lyn Sheil and Kentucker Audley bring a frightening sense of life into Crystal and Leo, playing them with every nerve exposed and emotions seeping out and fusing into the sweat on their skin.

 

With her first feature, actor, writer, director, and producer Seimetz has established a voice that’s powerfully distinct, pulsating with a heartbeat that screams. After making short and experimental films for years, producing other people’s work, and acting in films from Joe Swanberg and Megan Griffiths—to name a new—Seimetz stunned us in this year’s Upstream Color alongside Shane Carruth. Not only did their performance prove to be one of the most enigmatic yet beautiful portrayals of love, but it was the first collaboration for the two filmmakers, who seem to share more in common than the simple idea of confounding audiences. And while continuing to write and direct on her own terms, Seimetz also recently joined on to be a part of AMC’s mysterious hit The Killing, and HBO’s upcoming Christopher Guest project The Family Tree.

 

In anticipation for the film’s theatrical release last Friday, I got the chance to speak with Seitmetz about evoking feeling rather than exposition, the complexity of female characters on film, and not having to answer to anyone.

 

As an actress and a filmmaker you’ve done so many wonderful things just in the last year. But in terms of this film, what was the inspiration to tell this story? I’ve heard you say it stemmed from a recurring dream you were having.

I was having this reoccurring nightmare for a very long time—initially from when I was very young and I’m not sure why—but I was more Leo’s character. But in the sense that your dreams are all you, I guess I’m all the characters. The dream is that I have a lover and this lover has killed somebody, and I want to do anything I can to cover it up. And so that was the impetus for it, because I find that level of love and wanting to do that for somebody very beautiful. But I also find it really dangerous and interesting, and can tumble into something very bad very fast. So there’s that, and I had been through a pretty rough time and wanted to make a film that dealt with death. There’s an angle that deals with death in this film, but the two characters are not in denial of the actual death. You keep it out of sight, but the whole movie is about death even though these characters are doing these things that seem like it’s not about it.

 

It’s interesting that it came from a dream, because the whole movie felt like a nightmare. It was very expressionistic and so much more about tone and atmosphere than actual narrative. I found that very beautiful because it evoked so much more feeling than any sort of exposition would have. The feeling of anxiety and fear speaks for itself.

I have no interest in exposition at all. I get that it serves a purpose in a narrative for people, and I use it sparingly in the film to help people along, but the idea that they would say anything outside of what they would say to each other is not very interesting to me. To force people to say stuff just so the audience can get on the same page is really not that interesting in my head. Also, I started with no interest in narrative film at all, I wanted to make experimental film—I don’t even know what that means anymore, everything’s sort of an experimentation at this point. But I was more concerned with mood and tone and emotion and how that feels, and just to visually and sonically tell emotion and tone and what it feels like to exist. I don’t think that that is literal. And so, specifically with this story, I was obsessed with what it feels like to have crossed that boundary into this space.

 

Some of my favorite moments were the shots out the window when they were driving with the cut up voiceover. There was strength to those scenes . They were filled with so much emotion and understanding of the characters even though very little was being said.

Yeah, the voiceover is beckoning back to a period in time when they’re feeling okay and they’re feeling intimate and discussing things. That’s a place that they can’t go back to, and that was an acknowledgment on my part that I’m not really interested in the story that ended before this story begins. Everyone’s life is a series of different stories and I make reference to what they were like before and how they got there because that is interesting, mostly to the emotional plot points that I wanted to explore—which is how you can be so irrational and tumble into these things. I’m not really concerned with if she’s telling the truth or not, but to her it makes sense and to her that’s the story that she remembers and that’s the story she’s going to tell, and that’s all that really matters at this point. And not only that, the story that happened before she’s killed her husband, the end of the story is that she kills her husband and now a new narrative has begun because she’s completely cut herself off from society. She’s crossed this boundary, and so the new narrative begins when you cut yourself off from being able to relate to society as a free standing citizen who plays by the rules and expects things back from society. So her new narrative begins when she’s made this irrational decision and then is completely cut off and society coming back is consequence. So I was interested in the suspended period of time after the cut off from society, which is the crime and then the consequence, the reentry into civilization which is going to prison. 

 

What’s so appealing about their relationship is how cut off they are from the rest of the world. They’re so alone and this is all they have, but we rarely see them in a tender moment. They fight but you understand why that tension is there, and understand that there was a time with a lot of love there but they’re in a completely place now.

I definitely can relate to those emotions, but without murdering somebody. Sometimes you get in situations where love seems like the most important thing, whether or not it’s hard and upsetting, and you suddenly feel like it needs to be solved right now. You’re stuck with this person or you want to figure it out with this person, and so the voiceover is another metaphor. I know they’re trapped in the car most of the time and they’re trapped it these situations where it’s just them, but its also like in love. There’s this idea that as long as you just don’t leave the bed or the bedroom that you guys are going to be totally fine, and then once you start thinking about society and introducing all of these other elements and these other people into the equation, it starts to unravel.

 

Yeah, even the smallest things. She keeps telling him about these things she wants to do with him—go to the grocery store, lie in a bed, get on a boat. They’ve never been able to do these things and now they never will.

No they can’t, and there’s a love behind it but there’s also this fantasy version of what the relationship can be. I notice in myself, being a complicated human being and making mistakes, my reaction is to be like—I can be the good girl, I can be the wife, I can be ambitious, I can good at my job, I can be a good mother—I’m not a wife or a mother—but the idea of it. I go back to like, wait, I want to be those things. And then you start fantasizing about those things even though it’s not taking reality into consideration—I’m complicated and I come with problems and I should be loved with those problems. And so going back to the love thing, I do think it’s really beautiful, the idea of somebody really wanting to love you through this giant mistake. I do think that that’s a beautiful idea and I wanted to flip that trope on its head. Very rarely do you see it being a man loving this troubled woman. Very often you see this troubled man that a woman wants to save—unless it’s a stripper. So I found it really alluring. Going to Badlands for instance, she’s so innocent and so trusting and loving and accepts whatever he says and goes along with his reality even though he is an extremely troubled and bad person. And you just accept that she loves him and you don’t really question it. But it’s a really interesting thing to flip it and allow it to be a man with a woman. I’ve seen some distaste for that, like, why didn’t he get the fuck away from her? I’m glad, I want those questions to be raised because I see it a lot in cinema, this idea that women are supposed to accept that a man’s troubled. For instance, I was very fascinated when I was younger about Kierkegaard, and he said to Regina— the love of his life—that he was too dark to be with her. So he removed himself from her and wrote all these works like Fear and Trembling yet kept sending her manuscript after manuscript, which is like torture to this poor woman. But also being in love with someone and being like, I’ve already accepted that you’re this tortured soul and now you’re telling me that I don’t have the capacity to understand it. As if I don’t have any existential crises of my own? This idea she has to accept that he would be this way and just move on, and he would never accept her was basically what he was saying. So time after time after time narratively I kept seeing these stories of women accepting the neuroses or violence of men, the stand-by-your-man sort of idea. But never really saw it flipped on its head; so it was fun to play around with that.

 

Crystal wanted to be this good woman but she just couldn’t do it. And these extreme emotions she was feeling and had no control over reminded me a lot of Gena Rowlands in a A Woman Under the Influence.

Totally. A Woman Under the Influence and Gena Rowlands’ performance in that, or Gloria or—

 

Opening Night.

Exactly, anything. She was so fearless and so explosive. Also Barbara Loden in Wanda or Isabelle Adjani in Possession—her performance in that is unclassifiable, just this gorgeously crazy emotional roller coaster and she’s so unpredictable. What makes her so interesting to watch, including Gena Rowlands, and even Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek in 3 Women, is what’s so alluring about them is that you start to trust them and as soon as you start to trust them and love them, they turn and become unpredictable. That became fascinating to me, that you could hold a movie with that. Kate’s not only a great actress, she’s a cinephile and she’s a very interesting person, and wonderful and not crazy but a complex woman, and actually quite a wallflower when you meet her. It just became completely interesting to place her in a sense where its like, we’re going to want to love you and as soon as we want to love you, you’re going to flip a switch and be unpredictable because that’s intriguing.

 

There was such a juxtaposition in her performance depending on her emotional state. When she was upset, even her voice was totally different than, say, the voiceover, or when she was in the bar with him acting calm for once. To see those two very distinct sides to her was so dynamic.

She’s fun to play with. There’s a play on sound; I’m not just directing her on an emotional level, I also direct her with her voice. I’d tell her a certain pitch that I want and she understands that sonically we’re taking it to this high frequency, pulpy level. That takes an incredible amount of trust and I’m lucky that I got it from her. It’s musical and her performance is extremely sonic as well as emotional.

 

Yes, and it seemed absolutely exhausting.

Oh yeah, for both of them. We’re shooting in 100 degree weather in the middle of the summer in that humidity. So there were exhausting days, but we didn’t shoot more than eight-hour days because we were shooting on film so we only had so many takes. And on top of that it was just brutal outside, so we had to be really economical.

 

Setting the film in Florida, there’s so much to the location because it’s this place that’s part tourist attraction but has this seedy, violent underbelly. It gives the film a haunted, almost southern gothic quality. You grew up in Florida. Did you write the film specifically for this place?

Speaking to the southern gothic thing, Flannery O’Connor is one of my favorites and the story…

 

A Good Man is Hard to Find?

Yes! That’s one of my favorites, and that totally has come back around to me. But then also Florida is this really strange fantasy world where people came to build dreams and build this vacation or a place to relax and retire. But it took a really long time to colonize Florida because it was so uninhabitable, it was swamp lands, and no one was really supposed to live there—the same way Los Angeles is a desert and no one’s supposed to be living there. But  they sent all these prisoners down to Florida to dredge it and they were given this deal that if they dredged certain parts that they could get out of their sentence and they could get a piece of property. So they were workers for the government and for these companies that were going to make money off vacationers, but the first people that were there—aside from the Native Americans who had been killed off—were these criminals that were sent down and promised their freedom. And then they sent vacationers down, so that’s the foundation. Well, that’s not just the foundation of Florida, that’s like the foundation of the United States. But on top of that, the vacation aspect of Florida also bred the road trip idea and there’s all these road side attractions there and a lot of southern sort of Americana elements to Florida still, and I really wanted to incorporate that into the film with the underbelly of denying all these dark things. But that’s also part of the narrative—they’re denying what they’ve done and she ends up watching mermaids in her final hours of being a free person with a body in the trunk that’s needing to be dealt with. 

 

Her watching those mermaids was great, it’s the ultimate escape and transports her back to a childlike state where none of this ever happened.

There was some woman years ago that kidnaped her kid and she’d been missing for days and when they found her she was at Disney World, just sort of hangin. And I was like, I guess if you’re with your kid and you love them so much you’re willing to kidnap them—in that desperate, maybe not healthy love—then yeah, you shouldn’t be holed up in a house, go to Disney World. You know you’re screwed, why not have your kid’s last memory of you be that? But on top of that, while I was writing it and while we were shooting, the Casey Anthony trial was going on. I couldn’t tell if she knew she was lying anymore and I couldn’t tell what story she thought was straight. She would get so emotional but then she’d get real cold real quick.

 

It’s pretty fascinating how the mind works sometimes.

It’s incredible, almost brilliant in a way. I don’t want to say that because it’s so dark and awful, but just misguided storytelling. And she believes it and the only way to do that is to believe it. I was also fascinated with a character you didn’t really ever know if you could trust. 

 

Watching Upstream Color and watching this, the two share a sensibility. You and Shane both seem to share a similar cinematic language with a very unstructured and emotionally-rooted way of storytelling.

Both of us see our tropes of narrative as subversive ways to get at something that’s transcendent. It feels like there’s a lifetime to tweak it, but I don’t think that linear or logical explanation for anything explains how it feels to be an emotional human being or an experience of the world. You have the facts, and those facts are important for sanity purposes, but what it feels like to be within those facts is a much more interesting. Using the caveat that there is a problem to be solved is a way to keep the audience engaged and come with you to solve it, so I think we both share the same attitude that it doesn’t really matter—here are the ideas I want to explore and I’m going to trick you into exploring them with me. 

 

It’s much more about evoking something in the viewer. The entire time I was watching this I felt totally ill at ease, and for me, that’s how I knew I was truly engaged and enjoying it.

You bring character and mood and that’s more interesting as a sensual and experiential element because the universal thing about human nature is that there really are only a few narratives, and if you can just tell those and bring your subjectivity to it, that’s what we’re interested in. 

 

As someone who works in a specific pocket of the independent film world, where do you find the state of things?

We’re in a period of independent film where, in order to make something that is actually your own voice, you have to fight so hard to do it and find the money to do it. I think the recession gave filmmakers a lesson in who gives a fuck, I’m going to make what I want and play around with ideas. But I don’t even know what it means to be independent anymore, it’s lost its meaning, its like HD or organic.  I don’t really care to be a part of a club or be indie unless it means that I don’t have to answer to anyone.

Actor Billy Campbell Tours His Favorite Haunts in Vancouver

Billy Campbell’s back in Vancouver and loving every gray, rain-soaked minute of it. The actor has been a sporadic resident since 1998, and he’s currently in town filming the second season of The Killing, the AMC crime drama in which he stars as Darren Richmond, a cagey politician in a town riveted by the unsolved murder of a young girl. But Campbell’s no interloper. Not only does he own his own spectacular loft in Yaletown, he also boasts a laundry list of Vancouver bona fides, having hiked the notorious Grouse Grind, shredded nearby Cypress Mountain on a snowboard, jogged through Stanley Park, surfed the frigid waves off Vancouver Island, and “contemplated” the Sun Yat-Sen Gardens in Chinatown with the aid of a certain homegrown specialty. Most important, though, is his affection for the city’s notoriously bleak weather. “I wake up here and it’s gray and rainy, but I feel like it’s a sunny day,” he says, which might explain his good cheer as he takes us to his favorite spots for dining, drinking, and relaxing by a fire during a typically damp day in “Hollywood North.”

+Alpha Izakaya Tapas Bar
1099 Richards Street, 604-633-0355

Vancouver is a city of sushi bars, but I hardly go anywhere else. There was a time I was coming here every night. I had a Japanese girlfriend who said, “Let me take you where we eat.” The izakaya here is imaginative. One of my favorites is an Italian Spring Roll (mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato, and basil in deep-fried spring roll).

The Railway Club
579 Dunsmuir Street, 604-681-1625

Vancouver’s got some terrific little music venues, and The Railway is sort of the mothership. They do this crazy sing-along the first Monday of every month that’s a Vancouver institution—as is the bartender, Dana, and her espresso martinis. It’s full of characters, and I love everything from the model train that runs along the ceiling to the kitschy Prince Charles and Princess Diana needlepoint in the back bar.

The Keefer Bar
135 Keefer Street, 604-688-1961

Two of my costars live near this place. I almost did too, but I think I dodged a bullet because I’d be here all the time. The gin rosemary cocktail Gez the bartender makes is unbelievable. Plus they have great small plates like dim sum, spring rolls, and Peking duck sliders which are perfect late night snacks.

Market by Jean-Georges
1115 Alberni Street, 604-695-1115

I heard the lead bartender here, Jay Jones, is one of the best in Canada. Here’s why I believe it: One of my favorite books is Alfred Lansing’s Endurance about the explorer Ernest Shackleton’s most famous expedition to Antarctica. So when, out of the blue, my man Jay brought out his commemorative bottle of whiskey blended to replicate a case Shackleton lost in Antarctic ice 102 years ago, what was left of my mind was totally blown.

Go Fish Ocean Emporium
1505 W. 1st Avenue (@ Fisherman’s Wharf), 604-730-5040

This glorified fish shack is close to Granville Island Market, but not everyone knows that it’s open year-round. These guys have huge line-ups every day in the summertime. But I just found out they’re open in the winter, too. Some- times it’s just me and the co-owner, Wanda. The fish couldn’t be fresher, or her wit more dry. They have a sister restaurant up the hill that’s a sit-down place serving beer, but I prefer just standing at the counter out on the water.

The Billy Bishop Branch 176 Royal Canadian Legion
1407 Laburnum Street, 604-738-4142

I spent the best New Year’s Eve here by the fire with my milliner friend Kelly Dunlap. After talking about videogames and nerd stuff with Simmer the bartender and mingling with the old guys, I realized I had to become a member. It cost me sixty bucks. It’s the most authentic English-style pub I’ve found in Vancouver, and to top it off, it used to be a rugby club, and that’s my favorite sport.

Actor Eric Ladin is Living in the Land of Fine TV

As the first three episodes from the second season of The Killing have shown, Eric Ladin has become a resident in the land of fine TV. Chances are you’ve seen him before as a minor, yet memorable, character in one of your favorite award-winning cable shows—Betty Draper’s cheap, opportunistic brother William Hofstadt in Mad Men, Corporal James Chapin in David Simon’s Generation Kill, polygamist Dr. Roquet Walker, who is integral to the Season Four finale of Big Love, even a drug addict on a recent episode of Justified. As one of the nagging concerns of a working actor is becoming pigeon-holed into one type of role, thTV e versatility Ladin has displayed keeps typecasting from being an issue in his bright future. Proof of this is most clearly evident through his character Jaimie Wright’s transformation in The Killing, evolving from a conniving, sharp-tongued aide to mayorial candidate Darren Richmond in the show’s pilot, to a fresh-faced, determined political soldier who may have deeper, darker motivations—at least from what I’ve seen so far in this second season (no spoilers, for those who aren’t caught-up).

The Killing is a far from perfect television drama, especially when it comes to AMC, HBO, Showtime, FX standards. It has a frustrating dependence on red-herrings and leaps of faith in plot lines—something that triggered an opinionated public lambasting by certain critics after the season finale last year. Yet it’s better then most dramas on television, similar to a meal at a quality restaurant. While it may not be the best steak out there, you know what you’re getting and you know it will be damn good. However, you show up for the little things that you can’t get anywhere else—the garlic mashed potatoes, maybe the creamed spinach. That’s Ladin—he’s the garlic mashed here, making the meal.

Ladin took some time to chat with me between call times in Vancouver, where he is finishing up what appears to be an exciting (and resolution-filled) second season of The Killing.

Why do you think such a big deal was made about the final episode last year?
I was shocked, honestly. I thought there would be some people that were upset, especially from a lot of the critics who are some of the more intelligent viewers. If I was watching the show as a fan, I wouldn’t have expected to know at the end of the first season, because I wouldn’t be as inclined to tune-in the following season.

It’s worth mentioning that the Danish series, from which this version of The Killing is adapted from, had a first season of 20 episodes before the first crime was solved and American seasons only have 13. So technically, we’re only two-thirds of the way there, if we’re staying true to the original’s timeline.
Right, that definitely should be kept in mind. Maybe AMC could have marketed the show a little differently, as well. Maybe instead of billboards saying “Who Killed Rosie Larson?” it could have said something else that didn’t make some people think the case would be solved at the end of the first season. That being said, I never read anything or heard anything that said we would find out who the killer was in the first season, so it’s still a little mystifying as to why people thought that was the case.

Did the critical response at the end of last season effect how this season was written and told in any way?
I think the brass at AMC probably had to put out some fires and speed some things in the show up. I don’t think it changed the overall arc of the story though, as we’re not finding out who the killer is until the end of this second season. Clearly they’re not too rattled by the response at the end of last season.

Did you model your character Jaimie after anyone you knew from the past or any political aides you hung out with?
First, the showrunners and writers told me James Carville and George Stephanopoulos when I asked who they had in mind when they wrote him, so I started researching those two guys and their history. Most importantly though, I read How To Rig An Election by Alan Raymond, which if you’re interested in politics and don’t know much about what goes on behind the scenes is the perfect book to read. He blows the whistle on a lot of the dirt that goes down. We chatted a few times and I have used his book and advice as my main guide.

How do you keep ending up in such great shows? You recently made your first appearance on FX’s Justified, adding to your resume of fine television performances.
I think Generation Kill is one of the main reasons. It came at a good time and got a lot of attention. I met a lot of casting directors at some of the critically acclaimed cable shows that I love to watch and made it a point to be in those shows.

You’re a Texas kid. How’d you end up out here in the first place?
I knew I loved acting from a young age, man. I loved theater and loved to pretend and mess with people, which landed me in the principal’s office on a regular basis, actually. When I came out to USC for college, I figured I should try and at least make a career out of it. My senior year, I started stuffing envelopes with my headshot and resume and sending them out to agents.

Stuffing envelopes? Were the agents who responded shocked you’d even tried that approach?
That was 1996 and the only thing I knew to do was go to Samuel French, which is this famous bookstore off Sunset Boulevard and buy this big reference book that has all the names of agents and managers in it. I think I stuffed 250 envelopes with the worst headshot you’ve ever seen and a resume that had a bunch of ridiculous special skills that I definitely could not do. Somehow I got a call from this guy in the valley who was interested. Sitting in the waiting room I realized that most of his clients were probably adult film stars, but at that point it was baby steps and I built from there. Commercial work pretty much came right off the bat, so I didn’t have to work too many crappy jobs while trying to act.

What were some of the crappy jobs?
Bartending for a number of catering companies mainly, pouring coke and ginger ale at Bar Mitzvahs. Very Party Down. At one point, a buddy of mine were hired for an undercover PR campaign for Guinness, where we were paid to go to bars and buy people Guinness. Come to think of it, that’s not a really a crappy job at all—it might be a great moonlighting gig.

Morning Links: Jennifer Aniston Trades Spinsterdom for Homewrecking, LiLo’s House-Arrest Party

● Jennifer Aniston might have gone and done that “uncool” homewrecking thing that Angelina Jolie once did to her. She can get the guy, but she can never win. [Page Six] ● Selena Gomez’s headache is gone! When asked about her hospitalization at a shopping mall appearance last night, she said, “I was just very malnourished, so I was low on iron and exhausted.” If she’s not hungry and tired is she even a star? [People] ● Looks like royal hot sister Pippa Middleton has been dumped. Which means, for all you yearning blokes, that yes, she’s single. But it’s hard to imagine she’ll settle for much less than a prince, no? [Ministry of Gossip/LAT]

● Over the weekend, Lindsay Lohan threw a lovely-sounding BBQ/Kardashian-screening party on her roof, and spent most of the evening perched on some boy’s lap. She’s under house arrest and on probation, but really, living the dream. [E!] ● Tracy Morgan tried to make things better by telling Russell Simmons that, “The truth is if I had a gay son, I would love him just as much as if he was straight.” Which is maybe an apology or maybe just something his publicist made him say. [GlobalGrind] ● AMC’s up and down drama The Killing has been picked up for a second season. [AMC]