All eyes are on Eric Warner (Michael Ealy) thus far on Season 2 of ABC's Secrets and Lies. But while Warner remains the prime suspect in the murder of his wife Kate (Jordana Brewster) — at least for now — the audience's focus is going to turn towards Det. Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis) in the next couple of episodes.
"The show is called Secrets and Lies. The idea is, everybody has them," Lewis tells TVGuide.com. "Even Det. Cornell has all these things she doesn't let be revealed in her family life."
In other words, according to Lewis, we're about to see the more "dysfunctional" side of the typically buttoned-up Cornell. Series creator Barbie Kligman previously told TVGuide.com that the show's perspective will switch to Cornell beginning in Episode 4.
TVGuide.com chatted with Lewis about what we can expect from the upcoming episodes, including what will be revealed about Andrea and whether the Ben Crawford case from Season 1 is still weighing on her mind.
TVGuide.com: We've seen so far that Det. Cornell is dealing with more formidable enemies this season. How is her approach to this case different than it was in Season 1?
Juliette Lewis: She's facing a very wealthy family who has connections and a lot of resources, which makes her game of chess a little bit more complicated. She still handles it in the same dogged, determined manner, but it's colorful.
How much guilt does she harbor over Ben Crawford dying in prison?
Lewis: That pain is there, but I don't think it's fully exposed. I don't think she would let anybody see that ... but yes, that is definitely a guilty conscience, and people beat her up a little bit with it in this case. You see other characters use it [against her] more than her revealing the guilt of it.
We're going to see more of the relationship between Cornell and her new colleague Ralston (Brendan Hines). What can you say about their dynamic?
Lewis: I just adore [Brendan] as an actor. The way he is next to my Cornell is really interesting, because he's really lighthearted and a little bit goofy in a way. So, that's humorous. ... And then, we learn a little bit more about what makes her so adamant about being solo, why she doesn't have a partner.
How would you describe the relationship between Cornell and her boss, Major Bryant (David James Elliott)?
Lewis: I love it. I wanted them to be having an affair, but that's not [the case]. [Cornell] respects people who are good at what they do. She respects alpha males. Not all alpha males, but her boss is definitely... You get to see that she can be a subordinate. She can work for somebody too. She's not always running the things, but when she's on the case, that's her case and she claims it. But yeah, her boss, I like seeing that dynamic because you have to see her acquiesce to somebody else's instruction, even though she might do it stubbornly.
Cornell seems convinced of Eric's guilt right away. How much of that is her instinct or conviction, and how much of it is her desperation to get this case "right" after what happened with Ben Crawford last season?
Lewis: They play Cornell a bit as a moralist, or a better word would be just a really good homicide detective. I don't think she's the shady kind, even though people like to think that sometimes, that is trying to peg someone just to be right. I think she's truly following statistics and where her best leads point her. And they switch. She starts going after different [suspects]. But yes, [she is] fixated on the husband, for sure.
What can you tease about the upcoming perspective shift in Episode 4?
Lewis: We're going to learn more about her fractured relationships and why they are so, and some of the mistakes she's made and the guilt she holds, and what haunts her. That's what's under the surface that you don't know is under the surface. I think it's very interesting. You see a very poker-faced character that seems one-dimensional on the job, which is what she needs to be to do her job well. We get to see a complete about-face in her personal life, and that was interesting to play because I'm still playing an emotionally conservative person who has a very deep emotional life. The stories that they wrote in the upcoming episodes lend themselves to explore what that pain is about. It stems from her personal life, like why she's been partnerless for a long time. We learn that. We learn what's happening with her daughter and what's happening in her relationship, and the things that they struggle with as parents.
Do you think the new information viewers learn about Cornell will change their perception of her?
Lewis: What's interesting to me, [when] we assume people have such authoritative natures or they're so dominating, [is] sometimes those very same people are not that way in other aspects of their lives, and they actually feel ineffectual or feel overwhelmed. So, the one area of her life that she knows cold, she knows what to do and she knows what she is, is being a detective. That's sort of why I took the job because when I see her, she's genderless to me. We're seeing her on the job and she's quite mysterious that way. But then when we see her in her life, she's traditional in some ways, in some female roles. Like with her husband, she's madly in love and they had a relationship of respect and admiration and great intellect, and stimulating conversations.
So that's what we're going to learn, is why she's so what she is on a case, because she's so not that in the other areas of her life, as a mother, as a wife, struggling in these other areas. The writers are going to create all this drama.
Secrets and Lies airs Sundays at 9/8c on ABC.