July 08, 2014 3:33pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
'The Bridge' Season 2: 'The Body Count is High'
As FX's The Bridge ventures into darker territory in its second season, castmembers are admittedly concerned.
"Every time I read a script, I tell my children to say a prayer and I cover my eyes," said Johnny Dowers of his constant fear of seeing his Detective Tim Cooper killed off, adding: "The body count is high this season."
PHOTOS On The Set of 'The Bridge'
The increase in bloody murders comes with showrunner Elwood Reid's decision to transform the Peabody-winning drama from a procedural to more of a character-driven mystery. In doing so, the show's second season will also deviate from the Danish series Broen from which it originated. Without the latter as a roadmap, the actors joke that their fates are that much more uncertain.
"At least then I would have been able to count down the episodes I had left," said Emily Rios, who plays journalist Adriana Mendez. For the Breaking Bad alum, losing fellow castmembers has been the hardest part of the season. "You get to the table read and the people that are getting killed off are like, 'Did you read?' What do you say to them?" she added, noting the real-life consequences of decisions made in the writers' room. "It's not that somebody is just getting killed off; they're losing their job."
Star Diane Kruger has embraced the changes afoot for the series. "In season one, you always have to give a lot of information about each person so that people know them," said the German-born actress who plays a El Paso police detective with Asperger's Syndrome. "The great thing about a second season is that all of that has already been given, and now you can really dig deep into character work, and it's been much more interesting to really play out the darkness and the deepness of these characters."
Largely responsible for the season's elevated death tally is the entrance of a new, unpredictable character played by Franka Potente. "With a crazy person, the sky is the limit," she said of her season-long arc. "If someone is insane, you can do a lot of things with it."
Still, Shine America executive Carolyn Bernstein maintains that the sinister tone is ultimately warranted: "The violence and the bloodshed and the darkness of the show is well-earned because it's authentic to the lawless place the show is set."
She added: "It's a setting that allows us to push characters from a morality perspective and a behavioral perspective to the very limits of human behavior and still feel authentic to the world."
Season two of The Bridge premieres Wednesday, July 9, on FX.