'The Strain' Star Previews "Intense" Torture Scenes: Dutch Is "Pushed to the Max"

"It’s pretty much torture on every level," Ruta Gedmintas tells THR.
Courtesy of FX Networks

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of The Strain, "The Assassin." ]

Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) is going to be one angry vampire worshiper in the final few episodes of FX's The Strain. With the bullet Eph (Corey Stoll) and Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) intended for Palmer instead hitting his girlfriend, Coco Marshand (Lizzie Brocheré) Palmer was forced to make a new deal with Eichorst (Richard Sammel): either the Master save Coco's life with his essence or he was officially out. 

While the Master did save her in the end -- forcing Palmer to reveal his true self to his love for the first time -- it wasn't before Eph was captured by police and Dutch was escorted to a mysterious cell. As viewers saw in the final few moments of the episode, that cell just so happens to be in Eichorst's White Room of Pain. Needless to say, things aren't looking very good for a battered and chained up Dutch heading into next week's episode. 

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Gedmintas to get the scoop on filming what will inevitably be some gruesome torture scenes and to find out what could possibly happen next.

Knowing that Dutch isn't a character from the books, do you worry about her shelf life?

There hasn't been any definitive conversation about that, but every time I get a script I’m waiting to see how long she survives. Right now it’s open-ended until it’s not. I can’t really say more than that.

Has having the love triangle this season helped you to further define her as a character?

I've been learning that her tenacious nature is not intended. She’s realizing what effects she can have on people and with this love triangle, she’s starting to take responsibility and realize that her actions really hurt people that she cares about. In this post-apocalyptic world, priorities are different. It’s given me a lot to think about.

How have you found the fan reaction?

Via the medium of Twitter, everyone’s been really supportive; they seem to think Dutch is a nice addition to group, which is good for me to hear. It doesn’t seem that it’s taken anything away from the books, just added an extra storyline. Kevin [Durant] said to me as well that it’s been interesting to him to have something to play with that’s not just about the fight.

Did part of her want to get caught during that assassination attempt in order to extract herself from the triangle?

I don’t think she wants an exit because she has that thing where pain almost feels real and tangible. So feeling that means she’s alive and still of this world and it’s not all about complete survival. But she’s not yet matured enough in her emotions and her mind to know what to do. So she’s pretty scared about it. I don’t think fear is an emotion that’s usual to Dutch. Having a bit of time out behind bars is kind of a nice thing for her.

There was a glimpse at the end of the episode of what's to come -- how physical did those scenes in the White Room get?

It was really physical, I had quite a lot of bruises by the end of it. I think we spent a good two-and-a-half, three weeks filming those scenes. They were really intense and I hope they will be fun to watch. Or at least fun for the audience to watch. Maybe not for me or my parents. It was really great to film those scenes. There was a lot of physical stuff and emotional stuff.

So all kinds of torture, too?

It’s pretty much torture on every level. As much torture as you can give a person is what happens in the next episode.

Did those scenes impact you emotionally?

That White Room is creepy enough in itself. When you’re in there, and with the situation that Dutch was placed in, it’s all there. It was hard to not feel it. Coming out of those scenes after cut, there were always a few minutes of, "OK. I’m actually alright right now." There would be times after filming that Richard and I would have to go to a pub and have some ice cream and beer to prove that we actually like each other.

Is there anything else that you can tease about what's to come?

The next episode is one where you get to see Dutch's limits pushed to the max. It shows just how far people are willing to go to help and to survive. It’s complete high stakes; everything is to the max and brutal. I've seen quite a lot while doing ADR and it is quite, quite insane. [Executive producer] Carlton Cuse said to me it feels like a real horror movie episode. Hopefully fans will like it. 

The Strain airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on FX. 

Do you think Dutch will make it out alive? Sound off in the comments below. 

Twitter: @amber_dowling

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