For the criminal manicurists of TNT's Claws, it's one step forward and two steps backward.
The black comedy, which has been renewed for a second season, wrapped its wild first season on a bittersweet note with Desna (Niecy Nash), Polly (Carrie Preston), Quiet Ann (Judy Reyes), Virginia (Karrueche Tran) and Jennifer (Jenn Lyon) ending up right where they started. Though their dreams of opening up a fancy new salon have been put on hold, they're sticking together and bracing for whatever their new mafia bosses throw their way.
While we wait to see what lies ahead for the fierce fivesome, TV Guide spoke to Preston about that shocking finale and her hopes for Season 2.
How would you describe Polly's journey throughout the season?
Preston: In the first episode, she's just gotten out of jail so she's definitely feeling PTSD from all of that...and very vulnerable and scared that she's not gonna be able to get her life back on track. I got to go from that to being back in the crew, being a major part of the operation and trying to stay on the straight and narrow but [thinking about] the grift. She can't help it. She's an identity thief. Not just in stealing people's money but she also steals people's identities and their personalities. So it's a fun character to play. Now, I think at the end of this season, she's probably stealing the identity of a mother. I don't know if she's gonna be very good at it but Polly's pretty good at everything that she chooses to imitate. It's all facades with her.
How much of the real Polly have we seen so far?
Preston: I like to think the real Polly comes out when she's most vulnerable. I think we saw glimpses of her in episode 4 [after Polly tried to get back in with Sally]. Sally (Gina Torres) rejects her and she's got this moment with Desna where she talks about "I don't know if I can do this anymore" and I think that's when we really see her. But very quickly, she puts the facade back on. She's much more comfortable wearing a mask than taking it off.
Do they all regret going back under the control of the mafia?
Preston: I think they all made it very clear they would rather do that than advance without Desna. It's all or nothing. And so, I think they'll continue to rally around each other and get each other through whatever challenges lie ahead with that kind of pressure from the mafia. And I'm hoping we see more of that in Season 2.
How does it feel to be a part of a show with such diverse female characters?
Preseton: Sadly, it's a new feeling. My whole career, it's always having to play second fiddle to the men and having to fight for diversity and casting and having to fight for...When I say diversity, not just racially. I mean agewise, shapewise, sizewise, the way someone looks....all of that stuff. We're in a world now where I think we're allowing more of what the world looks like into what television looks like and I think that's very exciting. It's about time but it's also honored that we're right there on the front lines in that representation.
What would you like to see in Season 2?
Preston: I would love to see even more backstories [for] all of us women in the crew because we've only just scratched the surface there.
Claws is expected to return for Season 2 in 2018.