Frankie FaisonFrom the creator of “True Blood,” “Banshee” stars Antony Starr as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania, where he continues his criminal activities, even as he’s hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier. Season 2 of the Cinemax show kicked off this month and The Source had the opportunity to interview one of the show’s stars Frankie Faison.

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What do you feel your role is in the series? You seemed to be the one that kept the balance between characters.

That was my feeling exactly, too. I feel sort of grounding towards center. In the middle of all the chaos, you have to have the center. That is sort of the role Sugar Bates serves. It’s a presence that sort of informs them about their consequences. He’s been in lots of these places. They don’t know exactly where they are going in making some hard decisions. He is wiser and older and he can see and he can help them and guide them in the right direction but you can lead the horse to the water but the horse may not drink it.

BansheeTell me more about the friendship between Sugar Bates and Lucas Hood?
It’s a very interesting friendship. All his life he has had a relationship with the Proctor character and that relationship has been a little bit uneven because he’s beholding to Proctor, but with Lucas it is a fresh start , they both start in the same place and it is a true friendship because they treat each other with respect as to where they come from and where they are going. Sugar also feels like a father mentoring the son. Sugar has been down a lot of roads, so has Lucas, but Lucas would land on his head ten times before he realizes he should do something a little different next time, where Sugar lands on his head three times and then he says ok that is enough. There is only so much. I know my boundaries with him and he knows his boundaries with me. There is a true friendship and that is why he chooses Lucas over Proctor which you learn about more as the episodes progress this year because you see that he has to choose between two sides. Sugar feels if he is on Luca’s side he can control the danger better.
Do you have a favorite scene?
Everything that I shoot is my favorite in the bar. Whenever we get a chance to talk to each other is favorite for me. All of this stuff evolves into one big bar scene because you notice most of my stuff is in the bar. One of my favorite scenes is where the son of the real sheriff of Banshee gets a lesson with the knife. You get  to see a different element of Sugar and and also the element of loyalty and love for the Lucas Hood character. He really loves him, and he loves him because he knows that Lukas in spite of all things that he does has a good heart, good spirit and good soul. That would be a favorite from this season because he gets a chance to stand up and speak out for what he believes. We don’t get to see him do that that often. Usually he is pretty mild mannered, but this scene was much more proactive. He would not allow anything to happen to his man.

Most characters have big fight scenes, do you have any coming up since your character is an ex boxer?

There is a little fight scene coming up in the bar, but I am not doing a one on one come back not this season, not like last season. I think there will be some more of that in store for us in the next season because I am becoming much more involved in the  active part of Lucas’s operation and theft. When you do that, you put yourself in the line much more. You put yourself in the harm’s way and in order to do that you have to fight sometimes.
How was it working with the cast? Did you inspire each other, steal each other ideas, give each other ideas?
All of the above.  It’s a very talented group of people, everyone respected each other and of course there are times of disagreements and all, but people listen to each other, they take from each other and it was a very collaborative way of working. If the people didn’t have the talent, then it would be hard to respect each other, but we all worked collaboratively together to make this an amazing project and it wasn’t an easy project so everyone had to be on top of their game.
Have you ever been to an Amish town, did you know much about the culture?

I have, but not like this. I am learning so much more about it. We live in New Jersey, so we drive through Pennsylvania a lot, Maryland but never had much interaction unless maybe in their gift shops. So it is thrilling to see that element of that community revealed to us and to the audience at large. It’s unusual, not too much on TV is like that.

Are you working on any projects right now?
I have been doing a lot of episodic roles, guest stars, I did an episode in “Elementary”, “Unforgettable”  I’ve been doing some theater readings, some small film projects. I keep busy.
What were some of your favorite movies this season?
I liked the film “Philomena” and I really enjoyed that. I just saw the film “Nebraska” a few nights ago, which I really loved. It is my kind of movie. I like kind of quiet low key stories. I am not a big commercial film guy, but I see them on and off. “Nebraska” and “Philomena” both moved me very much. Most definitely I am more into indie movies, I am all over it.
Catch “Banshee” on Fridays at 10 PM ET.
– Tijana Ibrahimovic