Charisma Carpenter on 'The Lying Game' Season 2: It Gets 'Real Juicy, Real Fast'

When the mysterious Jordan comes into town, it "creates a real hornet's nest, and it really stirs things up," the actress told THR.
Felicia Graham/ABC Family
"The Lying Game"

What is Rebecca up to now?

ABC Family's teen soap The Lying Game kicks off season two following the return of Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday -- and picks up the stories that were left dangling (Alec's murder charge and the Sutton-Rebecca team-up) within minutes of the premiere.

"She has a definite agenda," executive producer Chuck Pratt Jr. recently told The Hollywood Reporter, "and we’ll find out right away that being a mother is [something] she feels she was deprived of being, so she’s going to exact her revenge."

STORY: 'Lying Game' Boss on Season Two: Rebecca's Motives, Love Shifts and a 'Shocking' Finale

Charisma Carpenter chatted with THR about her character's secret connection with the newest addition in town, playing a role in the damaged Ted-Kristin marriage and a pivotal scene between Rebecca and Emma in the coming season.

The Hollywood Reporter: We learn a lot of things about Rebecca in the season premiere.

Charisma Carpenter: We do learn a lot of things, don't we?

THR: For one thing, she may have ties to the new guy in town, Jordan (Ryan Rottman). How does he factor into Rebecca's story this season?

Carpenter: It creates a real hornet's nest, and it really stirs things up with the kids. He becomes the center of a lot of attention, and it creates waves among the kids, male and female. With relation to Rebecca, she does her darndest to manage the situation and to manipulate it so that it obviously benefits her. (Pratt Jr. offered this nugget to THR: "Is he an ally of Rebecca? Is he another foot soldier in her quest for revenge? Or is he innocent in all of this like all these other people are?")

THR: Rebecca is always scheming. What does she have up her sleeve?

Carpenter: She wants what she wants when she wants it and she actually says that when she's giving her daughter advice: You just don't give up. You have to go for what you want. We get to see her work that statement day in and day out in her relationships, whether it's with Kristin (Helen Slater) or Ted (Andy Buckley) or Alec (Adrian Pasdar), and then you get to see her mentor that philosophy with her girls.

STORY: 'Lying Game' Boss Reveals Big Death in Season Two

THR: Will more conflict arise in the Kristin-Ted situation?

Carpenter: Oh, yeah. That gets real juicy, real fast. There is an unexpected turn that takes place, and then it leaves it wide open for Rebecca. Kristin messes up, and it's like, "Yes!" for Rebecca. She sees the opening, and she goes in for the kill.

THR: Speaking of juicy relationships, the Rebecca-Alec dynamic seems to be headed toward an interesting direction with Alec locked up.

Carpenter: There is a lot that goes on with Alec; it has less to do with Rebecca and Alec than I was expecting. The season starts with an awesome cat-and-mouse game between the two of them. He suspects he was set up by her, she thinks he's trying to kill her -- yet they're living under the same roof trying to outwit each other. I really want to explore more of that, because I think it's exciting. It builds tension. The mess-up by Kristin takes us right out of it and into that storyline, so we never really get to play, as I would have liked personally; I would have liked to have played the Mr. & Mrs. Smith storyline longer, but you won't be disappointed with the direction it does end up going.

THR: At the end of the day, who do you think Rebecca is best suited for: Alec, Ted or someone else?

Carpenter: I think she should run away with a 20-year-old. [Laughs.] It's interesting, because Ted and Alec are both right for her for different reasons. Alec is right for her because of who Rebecca has evolved to be now -- she wasn't always this person -- and we know what made her this way. In the first season, we talked about the metamorphosis that took place for Rebecca; she doesn't even physically resemble who she was when she was younger, when something traumatic happened at the hands of Ted and Alec. We never find out what that is, which I hope we can flesh out in the future. Ted takes her back to a place of love and groundedness, even though her motive to get that love is sociopathic. We know there is a good person deep, deep inside, because we see her with her daughters. But Alec is fun to be with. There's some repressed sexual tension there.

THR: They represent two halves of a whole, one could surmise?

Carpenter: Then I guess introduce a third love interest? [Laughs.]

THR: Can you highlight one scene from the upcoming season that viewers should be on the lookout for?

Carpenter: I have no idea how it's going to turn out, but it was very powerful to film. It's a scene between Emma (Alexandra Chando) and Rebecca. For me, it was fear of how it was going to turn out. It was a scary scene to go into because it's heavy. I did feel on the day [of filming] that I delivered, but I'm wondering when it comes down to the editing, what will the final cut look like? I'm excited to see it and simultaneously scared to see it.

The Lying Game premieres season two 9 p.m. Monday on ABC Family.

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