The Knockturnal sat down with WGN’s Outsiders stars Ryan Hurst, David Morse, Christina Jackson and Kyle Gallner to talk about Season 2. Created by Peter Mattei, this gritty drama set in the fictional town of Blackburg, Kentucky explores the delicate balance of small town life and the Farrell clan’s struggle for control and power in the hills of Appalachia.
OJ Williams: Season 2! You’re alive!
David Morse: Supposedly.
OJ: Were you surprised by that season finale where it all went down?
Morse: Well, you know, there was right from the beginning of the first season there was talk about what’s going to happen with Big Foster at the end of the season. As we went along, we sort of made some decisions about whether he should really go or not and I’m sitting here so.
Ryan Hurst: Yeah, the fact of the matter of is that they said from the very beginning “look, Big Foster dies at the end of this season” and the entire cast was unified in saying “no.”
OJ: Lil Foster, Season 1, he’s very passive but still wants that leadership. Now that G’Win has it, is he okay with that? Does he want to be at the top? What do you think your character is going for this Season 2?
Hurst: I think he’s been sort of disillusioned by you know, the love of his life shacking up with his father. These two people that he was just looking to please his entire life and now he’s sort of removed himself and began to think for himself for probably the very first time in his whole life.
OJ: We saw some clips of Season 2 and what’s to come. You end up in a little bit of trouble. Talk about that a little, not giving it away. And is your character is interested in possibly joining the real world and leaving his family behind?
Hurst: Well, he gets charged with sort of finding his father’s body and that sort of leads him down the mountain, and he runs into some trouble with some townspeople down there. What transpires after that is he sort of becomes isolated from his family for the very first time and is sort of there completely all alone. Sort of a, you know, stranger in a strange land. It’s a great place for him to kind of figure out who he is but also he’s petrified.
OJ: In the beginning of Season 2 we see you in a situation like something out of a scary movie. What’s going on? Do you know where you are at all?
Morse: When —
Hurst: Do you know where you are, David?
Hurst: It’s me! David it’s me!
Morse: Who are you? No, he doesn’t know where he is. Completely he does not know where he is. He’s in a kind of hell. That’s all he knows. When he opens his eyes, he has been to the edge of death and he’s in hell.
OJ: You think your character has revenge on his mind and on his face?
Morse: I don’t think he has revenge, no. I think he only has one thing on his mind and it’s getting back to two people that he loves. One right there (points to Hurst) and G’Win. And I think that is all that’s in his mind.
OJ: You guys have the weirdest father-son dynamic relationship on TV. Is that safe to say? I think so.
OJ: Was that part of the excitement when you first read the script, knowing that was going to happen between two of you? Is that part of what attracted you to the role?
Hurst: A lot of it was, you know, cultivated by David and I working together. It was sort of written very sort of—I wouldn’t say plainly—but there was simplified versions of each of the characters. Originally, you know, Little was purely essentially a whipping boy to Big and Big was very just thuggish. But as we sort of crafted these things they became much more intimate and sort of complex. Which, you know, I think we got the right message across to the audience which is like “oh, this is screwed up.”
Morse: And we don’t want it to be. You know, we would like it to be different. We want something better for him, we want this guy to figure something out and not do it. It’s much better. If he was just a creep, you’d want him dead.
OJ: You want him dead but luckily we all wanted him back.
OJ Williams: Sasil! Did you guys expect to be—like you guys have a name!
Kyle Gallner: Yeah.
Christina Jackson: Did I expect it? No, but we figured out pretty early on when the show aired that once Episode 5 hit that we were probably going to have to come up with a relationship name.
Gallner: Yeah we were texting, we were like “wow people like this, people are kind of into us.” And it was the realization of like, wait until they see us naked.
Gallner: It’s going to blow up!
Jackson: It was like we need a relationship name—Sasil! And so we came up with it in the text message.
Gallner: Christina dropped it. Christina dropped the bomb.
Jackson: I came up with the name and then Ang, who was in costumes, she tweeted it and people were like—
Gallner: There it is.
Jackson: I was like Ang, not yet! But yeah it tagged on and I did not expect it. I’ve never been part of a fandom before. I’ve never been the subject of a fandom like this before so it’s been very interesting.
OJ: If you go on YouTube there’s a lot of Sasil dedication videos.
Jackson: I’m not trying to rat nobody out. Yes. They post all of our clips together. They’re like music videos. They put like words and stuff.
Gallner: I haven’t looked that up.
Jackson: Oh, I’ll send them to you. I got you.
OJ: Season 1 you guys had of course a very tumultuous relationship but also very loving. Season 2 give us a sneak up on where this Sasil’s going.
Jackson: Tumultuous times three. This is not—we are out of the honeymoon phase. It is real.
Gallner: It’s real life now.
Jackson: It’s very real life.
Gallner: It’s big boy and big girl decisions that are happening.
Jackson: Yes. And Season 2 is trying to make it work and trying to figure out is it worth working. Can we really be together? Should we be together? It’s all of these things.
Gallner: Do we actually love each other? Like what is this? You know, it’s all the questions you have to ask yourself.
OJ: Yeah obviously.
Jackson: You said obviously we love each other?
OJ: Yeah. Obviously, come on! It’s just real. Season 1 surprisingly race wasn’t really a big topic or issue that came up, which was great because it focused more on the love story. Season 2, do we see more of that addressed?
Jackson: Not with our storyline.
Gallner: Yeah, no not really with us. Our storyline, it branches out. You know, my character has to branch out and do some other stuff. But when it comes to me and Sally-Ann, our storyline is really like figuring our stuff out. What we’re doing and how we’re going to handle this. So there’s actually not a whole lot of room for that.
Jackson: Because in the grand scheme of things that’s a very minor—it’s like okay like we get it, I’m black and he’s white. That’s really not important. It’s how does this work out? How do we? Do we? Do you? Should we? It’s a lot of that going on.
Gallner: Can we?
Jackson: Yeah. There’s so much more stuff going on than race.
Gallner: I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point, maybe not this season or maybe another season if something happened, or like if it was touched on a bit more. But this season is definitely focused much more on do we, should we, can we.
Jackson: Yeah, the people.