Motherland: Fort Salem is one of the best shows on TV, period. And even thought it’s only had one season, in that time alone it’s garnered a fanbase that is dedicated and invested in the world created by this Freeform original. At the heart of this show are the witches Raelle, Abigail, and Tally. Each are as different as can be but they end up finding family in each other in season one and that continues into season two.
We got a chance to speak with Raelle’s Taylor Hickson, Abigail’s Ashley Nicole Williams, and Tally’s Jessica Sutton about their characters, where they go in season two of the hit series, and what it was like being back in the Motherland: Fort Salem world.
Like her cast mates, Hickson was glad to be back during a time that was uncertain and where were productions all over had stopped, “In a time like this, we’re so grateful, so appreciative. I think maybe at the time we came back to shoot, I think about 30% of productions were coming back so we were part of a very small group that was fortunate enough to have the funding and proper organization to keep us safe at work.”
Williams continued that train of thought by saying, “I feel like also we were just really excited to see each other because we hadn’t seen each other in so long. And we really couldn’t kick this thing off in person for season one because of the pandemic. So we were finally able to grasp onto each other and feed off of each others energies. But yeah, we’re so grateful to be able to work during this time.”
And Sutton completed this circle of thought by saying, “It felt like a lifeline. I was back in South Africa in total lockdown, not expecting to work in any kind of immediate future. Just felt so uncertain. So it was surreal. I just remember getting the call, saying it was a go, and crying with these guys.”
Coming into season 2, the gang has all new challenges to face. But one thing is for certain, their individual journeys will make them grow in unexpected and game changing ways while still remaining the unit they were in season one of Motherland: Fort Salem.
Raelle Collar in particular is going through a lot. As Hickson explained, “She’s making a lot of discoveries and the gravity and the weight that it holds and it what it means for her relationship with Abigail. It’s put a lot of pressure between them for many different reasons and we can probably share a little more about that in later episodes. But I think she’s really grateful to be able to direct her focus in a different place.”
Why is that? Because of the losses she has experienced along the way, the latest being of the woman she loves, Scylla. “She’s officially lost the two women she’s ever loved and given that much of herself to. And it’s really sore for her.” And without Abigail and Tally’s support, she would crumble. “She feels like [Abigail and Tally] are the only people she can unconditionally lean on and that see her and will stand by her, no matter the wrongs or rights she takes. So I think she’s just figuring this out just like any young woman in their late teens is.”
Abigail Bellweather, the one helping keep Raelle grounded and played by Williams, is going through the complete opposite of Raelle in that everyone she loves is within reach. She thought she’d never see her mother or Adil again. “So when she sees the two people that she loves, it’s a sign of relief. Like, “Oh, I’m back. I’m home.” But I feel like there’s this sense of pressure because she wants to be important and she wants to have value in this army and to herself.”
Which makes sense because it’s Abigail we’re talking about here. “So with all these new powers…it’s kind of navigating, “How can I be of use? And how can someone see me as special?” I think that’s her biggest thing right now is being special and I’m going to spoil something if I don’t stop talking.”
Sutton’s Tally Craven rounds off this interview with a raw performance that honestly makes her shine above the rest, and I hate picking favorites. Her character’s connection to General Alder was something she did by choice. And when given the opportunity to reverse what she did, it left her open to repercussions none of us saw coming. Sutton made it very clear that she wouldn’t be able to do any of it if not for her acting partners.
When speaking of her costars she said, “I had developed such a bond with these goddesses [Ashley and Taylor] who were my witches on camera but offscreen like family.” Same thing could be said for the actor that plays General Alder, “With Lyne Renée where Tally has to give her life. It kind of comes into looking into your costars eyes and offering them your life. It’s a funky frequency, whatever this acting thing is. And it’s beautiful and it is intense and raw.”
At the end of the day, who is it all thanks to? Sutton makes it’s clear by saying, “It’s thanks to the fans. These incredible fans. They have given us such love and support. The fact that we get a chapter two is because of them. And we just hope to reward their patience between seasons with a bigger, better, darker season. Get ready.”
And in the words of Williams, “Here are some wild twists and turns and I feel like if you think you can guess the end of our show, you cannot. Period.”
Motherland: Fort Salem airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on Freeform.