Ann Dowd is known for ferocious characters, including recent turns on “The Leftovers” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But TNT’s “Good Behavior” is giving her something different to play with: a saucy FBI agent who knows how to enjoy the finer things in life.
“I’m not offered roles often like this,” Dowd said. “The fact that I would have eyelashes and makeup and pretty hair and a manicure — I’d never been considered in that way — to tell you what that meant to me. I’m always thinking, ‘You gotta lose 50 pounds, no one’s going to consider you for this or that.’ And then this role came along, and on top of it all, she’s funny. I was taken by the hand in the best way to find this character.”
Dowd plays eccentric FBI Agent Rhonda Lashever, who’s been chasing assassin Javier (Juan Diego Botto) for years. In Sunday’s upcoming episode, “I Think It’s a Sign,” Lashever finally has Javier and thief/con artist Letty Raines (Michelle Dockery) in custody. From there, they go on a wild journey, including a stormy night at the Holiday Inn Express.
Agent Lashever first appeared in the final two episodes of Season 1. But Dowd was so compelling in the role that executive producer Chad Hodge retroactively shot a few extra scenes to insert her into an earlier episode.
“I love her because of how complex she is and how odd,” Dowd said of the character. “I love how peculiar she is and how much of herself she is and does not care what others think of her.”
The duo recently spoke with IndieWire’s TURN IT ON to discuss Dowd’s breakout role on the show, and how Hodge lucked into having the Emmy winner on his show. Listen below!
Dowd has gone from steadily working actress to front-and-center in recent years, thanks to several breakout roles. Not only was Dowd Emmy-nominated for both “The Leftovers” and “Handmaid’s Tale” this year, but she won the best drama supporting actress trophy for the latter.
“I don’t think I will ever forget this feeling as long as I live,” she said. “When they said my name, I couldn’t believe it. What comes up so quickly and with such force is the gratitude you feel. That is the overwhelming feeling that this is actually happening and you want to thank people from the bottom of your heart and soul.”
Cheering extra hard while watching at home was Hodge, who knew he had Dowd as a secret weapon for his show.
“My feeling was overwhelming joy and happiness for Ann,” he said, jokingly adding, “My second reaction was twirling my mustache that I had her.”
Hodge said he and Dowd regularly text (“She has great texting game,” he says), and he marvels at how polar opposite the actress is from the intense and brutal characters she’s known for.
“Any time you turn around, Ann is talking to some person about them, never about her,” Hodge said. “Asking questions, remembering last week that they talked about a sick family member. Ann is an incredibly motherly, caring person, the nicest, most compassionate person I may have ever met, who plays characters that are mostly opposite that.”
IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now on TV — no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.
Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week.
Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.