One of last year’s most surprising new comedies, USA’s Sirens has found itself in an interesting place. Landing just enough of an audience to warrant a second season order, the goal of the new run is to grow the show in places it has yet to mature. During a recent trip to the series’ Chicago set, we had a chance to speak with stars Michael Mosley, Kevin Daniels, Kevin Bigley, Josh Segarra, Jessica McNamme and Kevin Dunn about growth, on-set chemistry and candy.
“Oh, we hate each other,” jokingly began star Kevin Daniels when asked how the season was going so far, continuing, “it’s actually been gowing great. The scripts are really funny, we’ve got a bunch of new characters.” “Yeah, the world’s really building out,” elaborated Michael Mosley, “we have a hospital now. We have new people coming in-,” to which Daniels quickly rebutted, “I think it’s gonna be really interesting to see how Brian’s love life unfolds,” adding, “and Hank’s love life!” “It takes a front seat,” explained Kevin Bigley to the comment, “it takes a front seat in some ways. Bob and Denis really do justice to the sexual relationships,” of course this immediately caused the three actors to break out into laughter.
When asked if there’s ever been pushback from USA concerning the show’s content, Mosley explained, “if they do [pushback], they do it to our bosses and it never trickles down to us. We get scripts and they don’t change a lot. So we’ve been pretty lucky.” Daniel’s continued, “it’s cool. I think this year they found a way with the scripts to kind of blend the brand a little bit. I feel like the show’s kind of grown up. We still have a bunch of dick jokes, but we have scenes like a scene at a prom-” “I take a girl to a prom,” humorously explained Bigley, derailing the conversation, but with enough information to understand Daniels was referring to the show’s blend of more emotional stories, one of which we were allowed to see shot on set.
“This episode we’re working on right now,” began Mosley, “is probably as serious as we’ve gotten. We’re all kind of hovering around a hospital bed really worried about someone, and it’s about as serious as we’ve [ever been]. Bob and Denis have this thing, it was something like, ‘if you give people cake every day, they’re gonna start to hate cake.’ So I think they’re really good about just throwing a grenade into the middle of it. If we get into a rhythm, they’ll kind of smash you out of it which I think’s been fun because we never know what the script’s gonna look like.” “Going off of that,” added Bigley, “it’s kind of the way a lot of these calls happen right after a comedic moment, which I think is the smartest way to do any kind of drama, violence, anything you’re gonna do that takes a serious turn, that’s how it happens in real life. It’s very unexpected. So I think our show’s really good about that, and I think we’ve gotten better at it this year.”
However it’s not just the three leads that praise the show, as co-star Josh Segarra explained. “That character’s based off my little brother,” actor stated regarding the creation of Billy, “my little brother says some s**t where I’m like, ‘Danny, to you know what you’re talking about, bro?’ So I grew up with it. I’d shot a pilot with [Apostle] a couple years ago that didn’t go, and when this part came along on Sirens, it was lucky because I’d just worked with them. So it started as a character I’ve just always done because I’ve always imitated my brother, I wish there was more to it than that. But the writing is there. The writing’s what makes it easy. Like sometimes you get caught up in trying to make things funny when they’re already funny. The commas are there for a reason, the periods are there for a reason, so they’ve written Billy [in a way where] they know where my comedy sits. It’s kind of exciting.”
“When I met Denis, I think it’s why we got a long, we both have foul mouths,” began actress Jessica McNamee on Theresa’s crass nature, “It’s probably not something to be proud of, but I kind of am. There’s certainly that element to her, where she can be kind of crass, and that’s definitely an element of [Leary] that shines through her.” The actress added when asked about her favorite moment of season two so far, “we were just shooting a scene where Mike and I couldn’t keep it together. It’s always really funny, but also terrifying because I was like, ‘I’m not gonna be able to get through this scene, I’m gonna ruin the day for everyone.’ [But] the more you try and think about it, the worse it gets because you know what’s coming up.” However, those moments won’t stop McNamee from keeping her character “tough,” explaining, “I think she is tough. I think there’s also an element of, she’s kind of the voice of reason. She’s the most level headed. I just think she’s really grounded and level-headed, and that’s kind of why they all like having her around, because [the rest of the characters] can be so absurd and dramatic at times.”
“No, not when I’m here anyway,” actor Bill Nunn jokingly stated when asked if anyone was allowed to sit in the chair he frequents on the series. However, the actor was quick to dive into business, and when asked if he offers advice to his younger counter-parts off camera the way Cash does on the series, he stated, “not unsolicited. I’ve learned about that over the years, but if someone wanted some advice, I’m glad to do it.” But the actor was not without his good sense of humor, like when asked if he’s grown fond of Twix since the series began. “No. Originally it was Twizzlers, and I’m actually more of a Twizzler guy, in real life I’m a Dots guy, so I would have been goin’ for Dots over Twix.” Nunn cheekily added, “it was almost a deal breaker.”
“I don’t know,” the actor began when asked if he sees Cash taking on a more active role in the season, perhaps in the form of an episode putting him in the forefront, “if that happens, that’ll be fine. If not, the show’s about these three young guys, and I’m happy to be a satellite. I’ve never really been the nucleus in a lot of stuff I’ve done, and that’s fine with me. I don’t even really particularly care about having a bunch of lines, as long as I’m in it, you’re gonna know that I was there. I’m kind of strange that way.”
Sirens returns for its second season Tuesday, January 27th at 10/9c on USA.