HBO's 'Industry' Star Myha'la Herrold On Season 1 Ending: 'Everything Is Flipped'
Photo Credit: HBO
Interviews , Television

HBO's 'Industry' Star Myha'la Herrold On Season 1 Ending: 'Everything Is Flipped'

HBO’s buzzy finance drama series, Industry, continues to make waves. Although the whole season is available to stream on HBO Max (no spoilers here), the final two episodes of the season will air on HBO Monday night.

Myha’la Herrold told Shadow and Act that the way the show (which has been renewed for season 2 at the premium cabler) ends will trigger a lot of emotions for viewers.

“This plays into this conversation of expectations of a person just by looking at them,” said Herrold.” I think the viewer will be surprised. You’ve learned so much about these characters in these five-six episodes you’ve seen, and you’re going to be making expectations of how they move beyond and you will be surprised, shocked, disappointed, excited… I mean, everything’s going to be flipped on its head once you get to the end of this, which is the other thing that makes me so excited because like, you know, there’s people like, ‘I’m rooting for so-and-so,’ I bet you, by the end of it, they’re going to be like, ‘Oh no, I don’t know I’m so confused!’ So I would say just expect to be surprised.”

Herrold also talked about learning and digesting all of banking, finance and trading jargon that is used in the show.

“I knew nothing. Absolutely nothing,” she joked. “And when first read the script, I was like, ‘Dang, I’m so confused.’ But I have literally never been more stressed, which to me is a testament to good writing. As a person who has no idea what’s happening but can like connect emotionally, there was a huge learning curve. But what I figured out very quickly was that I’m no really going to know about this world. Like it takes a person who knows math and I’m just not, I’m just not that.  I too was doing a basic Google search to try to figure out, like in proximity, what the heck I was talking about. But we had a couple of consultants on the show who made themselves available to us all the time. So when there were pretty intricate situations that we needed to know how to react to, they were there for us, which was great. But now, people are like, so are you like doing your own trading now? And I just am like, simply not. And I never will. I don’t want to lose all my money [laughs].”

Harper also goes through a lot of microaggressions (and blatant racism and sexism), a lot of what Herrold says is comparable to her own experiences in real life.

The writes, when they met me, they were like, it’s so fantastic the life you’re bringing to this, it’s like you know exactly who this person is. And I was like, yes, because I am her like. I’m mixed. I’m a Black American woman who is leaving school and entering the business world, the world in which I am an adult in business. And it happens to be acting. It’s creative, but it’s still me trying to climb this imaginary ladder as a person who oftentimes compared to my peers, enters the room with less privileges or less advantages. So, similarly to Harper minus the lying and scheming [laughs], I like have had to build up this kind of thick skin and brash confidence because I find that there’s an expectation already of me before I enter a room. What I have to do is prove everyone wrong before I even open my mouth.”

Similarly, Herrold thinks she and Harper share similar thought processes on legacy, something the actress believes is a keystone of what we think success looks like as Black people.

“As Black folks, like we know that we have to be 10 times better than anybody else we’re competing against to even have an opportunity to compete. I totally understood how Harper felt like, “I have to make this work. I have to prove myself because I know I’m capable, but I have so much more to lose.” And I identified with that. I come from pretty humble beginnings and my life is my work. I live to be able to do what I do because I love it. And like, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to live without it…now not so much because I have been blessed with this opportunity, but it definitely felt at times like a life or death situation. Like if I don’t make this work, I don’t have anything. I can’t fall back on something else. I can’t fall back on ‘Oh well, my family’s got this.’ I’m not trying to fall back on that. I’m also not trying to fall back and give them that responsibility. I want to be responsible for myself and Harper does that too.”

“There’s so much more responsibility for us just to represent that as a people, which is something I think a lot of other people don’t feel,” she said. “They might feel responsible for just themselves. But I can imagine somewhere in the back of Harper’s mind, like she’s very much like ‘My own successes is mine and I don’t answer to anyone and I’m not responsible for anyone. But like, there is a thought somewhere it’s like, ‘I don’t want to add to that conversation because it’s not true.’ So I really identified with that with Harper a lot.”

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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