Published: Sunday, 06 August 2023 13:43 | Written by Jamie Ruby
Recently, the second season of Heels premiered on Starz. The series is about the men and women who dream of making it big in their world of small-town pro wrestling. The story follows two brothers, and rivals, Jack (Stephen Amell) and Ace Spade (Alexander Ludwig), in a small Georgian community, who own a wrestling promotion. In the latest episode, Ace took off to find himself. In the upcoming all-new episode airing on Friday, when Jack leaves to find his brother, he leaves Willie Day (Mary McCormack) in charge, giving her the opportunity to write scripts and start developing a Woman’s Division with Crystal (Kelli Berglund). The actress recently spoke with SciFi Vision about Willie’s new responsibilities, what about her character’s journey surprised her, how she most connects with the character, and more.
Watch the full interview or read the transcript below and be sure to check out all-new episodes, weekly on Starz.
***This interview took place prior the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike***
SCIFI VISION: First, can you just tease where Willie’s going this season, just sort of tease what your your character journey is? MARY McCORMACK:I mean, Willie continues to be the sort of managerial brains of the operation, and especially with the brothers continuing their rivalry slash emotional journey, she's often the one sort of going, “Okay, how do we just get through the next hour?” So, that continues, but also, her journey with Crystal continues. Crystal ends the first season as champ. Then, the question is, how do we sustain that? I mean, she can't continue to just beat up tons of men [laughs], but we can't have her being beaten up by tons of men. So, it's sort of a pickle. Then, at one point in the season, Jack has to go away and find Ace, and I'm left in charge; Billy is left in charge. She's actually, for the first time in her life, getting to book matches and write scripts and is getting to use that side of her brain, which is I think the part of her that made her fall in love with wrestling in the first place. I mean, I think she wanted to wrestle and never got that opportunity. So, yeah, a big thrust of her journey this season is watching her as a mentor for Crystal, but also sort of starting the women's division of their promotion.
Let me ask you, just out of curiosity, how much did you know about wrestling before you started working on the show? Because I knew nothing until I started watching this pretty much.
I did not know a lot. I knew a little, but not a lot, and now I know a lot more. I mean, I grew up in New Jersey, [and] my brother watched wrestling, so I knew a little bit just from having it on, but not not enough.
All right, I just curious. So, what surprised you about where your character is now compared to when you first took the role? Is there anything that really you didn't expect? Or did they kind of tell you back then where she was headed?
No, I mean, not so much. And I don't know if they knew, and I like that part about television, actually. I mean, when you when you do a movie or a play, you know exactly where you are and where you're going and where you're going to end up. With television, you know, you might find out you're the killer in episode three. So, I love that part of this medium. One of the things I love about how they've written Willie is that she's very together in some ways, super together in some ways, and I'm a little bit of a hot mess as well, which I think is wonderful, because I think often, especially in a show that populated by a lot of men, I think sometimes women characters have to be sort of like, the mommy or the moral center, and Willie's like a bit of a drunk and she smokes too much; she drinks too much. She's in a lot of pain, in some ways. I don't know that she probably is the best wife and mother. So, I appreciate that. I appreciate the way they wrote that, because I think in the world women are more complex, and I love that.
What part of her do you connect with the most then, because obviously, I'm guessing, she's probably not a lot like you.
Not in that way. So, I have three daughters, and I hope I hope I'm doing a better job. [laughs] Although I have my days. Probably the thing I relate the most to, and I think most women can probably relate to this, is working in a world filled with a lot of men and managing their moods. I think women have not been afforded the same luxury of just having a feeling and then sharing it. Most women have scars on their tongues from biting their tongue all day; we don't share every thought and need.