After being renewed for Season 4 by FX, Snowfall continues to round out its third season on the network. In the seventh episode of the season, directed by Alonso Alvarez-Barreda and written by Justin Hillina, Andre is forced to ask for Franklin’s help, Julia proposes a new plan to Teddy and Gustavo clears the way for his own vision.
Ahead of this week’s episode, Gail Bean, who portrays Wanda, spoke with Shadow And Act about the episode, John Singleton, Atlanta and more.
Let’s preview this week’s episode! What can you tell us about it?
Franklin (Damson Idris) will finally experience what Leon (Isaiah John) is going through, but his denial keeps him from believing the truth, even when he sees it with his own eyes. Melody (Reign Edwards) and Wanda become the best of friends. What’s not to love about Wanda? You’d be her friend too! Maybe college girl Mel is just the positive influence Wanda needs in her life to get clean. Also, huge shoutout to Alonso Alvarez for directing the hell out of episode 7! It’s my favorite of the entire season!
What are some similarities and differences between you and Wanda?
We emit a genuine and authentic light that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s specific to me, but I made sure to instill that in Wanda. We [both] live in the moment. I applaud the writers of Snowfall for implementing that character trait in Wanda’s storyline. When angry, we’re angry. But once that moment has passed, it’s all good. [As far as] differences, that’s easy. I, Gail Bean, would never try drugs. I don’t even smoke and recently I quit drinking. Although Wanda’s drug use didn’t come from trying it, she got in the cook house and back in the day, we didn’t realize how addictive crack was nor that just cooking it without a mask or touching it with bare hands could get you hooked. Wanda fell victim to crack by happenstance. Wanda and I both are super sweet but when we bring the savage out, you’re dealing with a completely different person. However, I’d never cross somebody I was once cool with. Wanda set Leon up and left Mel for dead, that’s a level of darkness I refuse to tap into.
How do you think the death of John Singleton changed the show behind-the-scenes?
We’re used to John always being there, giving notes, being hype about the takes, spilling the fates of our characters. He always said, “you can’t tell nobody I told you this,” then he’d spill it! If you sat with John long enough, he’d tell you exactly what’s going to happen because he was that excited about Snowfall and where it was headed. He had this precise outlook for the show because it was real life. This is the era he grew up in, the Los Angeles he saw erupt. John’s death made us all reflect on his life. We had to preserve his legacy. Behind the scenes it was glum. The day he was pronounced dead, I remember we were shooting Episode 7. We took a moment of silence then all agreed to go harder for him, hence #ForJohn. The show has changed BTS for the better. It means more to us all. We’re a family, we’ve been through a loss and we have this responsibility to John now, to carry forth what he started. He set us all up. [In] Season 3, Snowfall got blacker, not just in front of the camera but behind as well. John put everyone in place as if he knew one day he’d be absent so he wanted to make sure the story got told from his perspective.
What can we expect out of the remainder of the season?
The raw gritty truth of how crack cocaine affected LA in the ’80s. The drug game was the snowball that everybody got swept up in one way or another. You can expect to find out how every move one person makes affects us all and that our fates are predetermined. No matter what you do or how far you go, you can’t get away from your purpose. Some of us were always just meant to be pawns in the destruction of a society. You will also see what would’ve been if Franklin never entered the crack game. That’s mind-blowing to see an alternate universe and how one decision has a ripple effect on others.
Atlanta just got renewed! Thoughts on Nadine resurfacing?
I know right! I was super excited when I found out. Atlanta, for the city, about the city, in the city! That’s a win-win! Ok so, Donald Glover told me like 5x, “we gotta have you back.” I couldn’t really tell if he was joking or not, but I mean, he said it multiple times. It’s gotta be serious, right? I told my bestie, “if he says it again, I’m going to tell him to put it in writing so I know it’s real.” I could see Nadine resurfacing in one aspect or another. We got a glimpse of Van’s inner circle, and as a black female, it felt good to see that dynamic on TV. The entire Champagne Papi episode gave me life! Flashbacks to nights that I can’t remember with my girls who I’ll never forget. I’d also be down to explore Nadine and Darius. Is there history between the two or did we witness the beginning of something beautiful? Hopefully, we’ll find out in Season 3 of Atlanta!
Snowfall airs new episodes Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.