Just a warning that this article contains spoilers for seasons one and two of Dead to Me.
If Linda Cardellini has learned one thing from her role on the hit Netflix show Dead to Me it’s that she would be a terrible murderer.
“Oh God no, I couldn’t do the cover-up because my face always gives me away,” she told Mamamia with a laugh. “My face always tells the truth and it’s the main thing Judy and I have in common. But unlike Judy, I have way too much anxiety. I would give myself up so quickly.”
Season two of Dead to Me, which has been aptly labeled a ‘traumedy’, follows Linda’s Judy Hale and Christina Applegate’s Jen Harding as they deal with the cover-up of Judy’s ex-fiancé Steve Wood’s death, and the arrival of his semi-identical twin brother Ben (both played by James Marsden).
A storyline that’s as anxiety-inducing as it is hilarious.
The 44-year-old actress first rose to prominence in 1999 via the cult teen drama Freaks and Geeks and went on to star in movies such as Legally Blonde, Brokeback Mountain, the Avengers franchise and The Curse of La Llorona while also keeping one foot firmly planted in the world of TV with roles in Mad Men and Bloodline.
Listen to Linda Cardellini and Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik talk all things Dead to Me on The Spill.
Despite a packed work schedule, Linda said yes to Dead to Me without really knowing what the show would become. This was partly because she wanted to continue a working relationship with producer Jessica Elbaum but mainly due to Judy’s big reveal in season one that she killed Jen’s husband.
Without that secret to play on this time around, she admits she was nervous about how season two would unfold for Judy.
“The thing that was really different for me this time around is that the whole first season was about Judy having a secret, first from the audience and then from Jen,” Linda explained to Mamamia.
“So once that secret was exposed at the end of season one I really wondered what would be next for Judy because I’d been able to play this delicious secret the whole first season. So this time going into it I was thinking ‘Oh God, what am I going to do?’ then (showrunner and creator) Liz Feldman came up with more than I could ever imagine.”
One of the new additions to the cast was Natalie Morales as Judy’s new love interest Michelle, a character introduced by Liz Feldman because she thought it was important to have a same-sex relationship play out on screen the way a straight relationship would. Without having to explain why two people were attracted to each other.
However, before fans get too invested in the love story of Judy and Michelle, it’s important to note that Linda sadly doesn’t believe there is a happily ever after in their future.
“When Judy meets Michelle, she breathes a new life into her,” Linda said. “For a moment you get to see this bit of levity and lightness in Judy, it’s a look at what her life could be like if she wasn’t tied down in so much trauma and murder.
“The sad thing about Judy is that when something good comes along, relationship-wise, it just doesn’t last long for her. She’s still really mourning the toxic relationship she had with Steve. She can’t ever be herself.”