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Rectify’s Aden Young and Bruce McKinnon Preview Season 3 [Exclusive] 


Warning: Spoilers Ahead

What I love about this show is the slow, measured pace of things. Ray McKinnon takes his time. He’s invited us into this family where we can see the warts and all of everyone’s situation. At the heart of it we have Daniel Holden, who was convicted of a crime he may or may not have committed. Will we ever know the truth of it? That’s not the point. The point is to see how Daniel’s conviction and subsequent sentence not only impacted Daniel, but how it changed the lives of his family and so many other people in the town of Paulie.

At the end of Season 3, Daniel confessed — again.

Despite the odd, sometimes contradictory account of his role in Hanna’s death, his plea deal goes through. But what does that mean? After fighting so hard for so many years to clear his name, what will Amantha do now? How will Janet and the rest of the family prepare for Daniel’s banishment? Is this case finally closed or will the discovery of George Melton’s corpse raise new and troubling questions about the night Hanna Dean was killed?

I had the chance to talk exclusively with Aden Young and Bruce McKinnon about the changes we can expect to see in Daniel and those around him as they all try to come to terms with Daniel’s second confession and what that means for all of their futures.

TV GOODNESS: Aden, your relationships are changing with quite a few characters. I’m specifically thinking about Amantha, Teddy and Ted Sr. Can you talk about that?

Aden Young: “His relationship with Amantha has always been one where she’s fought so thickheadedly and sacrificed so much to secure his innocence and freedom and, also, to wipe the stigma of the crime from the family forever. She believes that’s done when he’s released.

Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/AMC
Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/AMC

Of course, life doesn’t work in such black and white ways and Daniel doesn’t react the way that she expects him to. So, that relationship begins to have a terrible strain, especially when Daniel confess again, to killing Hanna in order to secure any freedom that he can to escape another death penalty. That shifts their relationship forever.

Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/AMC
Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/AMC

It becomes very difficult, because the reality of Daniel’s interaction with Teddy Jr., that very much was an earthquake that we’re still feeling the— we’e not even at the aftershocks yet, we’re still in the earthquake. Teddy’s going through a period of change. You’ve taken a character who Clayne [Crawford] plays quite masterfully, an almost two-dimensional character, and suddenly you get to see who is this man beneath that. What’s hiding inside him? What fears is he carrying? What life does he have? And that is all being challenged by the assault. That is something Teddy will have to confront and that’s something we’ll see in Season 3. That confrontation will have to come to the forefront and Teddy will have to deal with all the weight of what’s happened because of that.

Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/AMC
Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/AMC

That, of course, relates to Daniel’s relationship now within the home, within his family. Ted Sr. is at the top of. He’s tried desperately to care for and love three sons and a daughter.

Bruce is so wonderful. He cares so much about each of the characters. He was talking to Senator [Foulkes in season one], I think. Ray [McKinnon] came up and said, ‘No. You need to say my son and Janet’s son.’ And Bruce got really hot under the collar and I certainly understand where he’s coming from. He said, ‘No. They’re both my sons.’ And it felt hard for him to delineate between Janet’s and his own.

Bruce’s process as an actor, you can understand how much that would mean to the character to suddenly be confronted that one of your own has assaulted one of her own. And what do I do and the anger I would feel and the betrayal and the humiliation and the love and the hatred all at once? How is he going to deal with that? What effect will that have on his own relationship with Teddy Jr., who very much brings his feelings to the forefront in any regard? [He’s] now so devastated by this earthquake that anything’s possible. It’s an intriguing study of human interaction, isn’t it?”

TV GOODNESS: Bruce, I love that Ted Sr. is described as a steady presence, but things are changing. Can you talk about what your character is going through this season? I love that we’re seeing a new side of you.

Bruce McKinnon: “Thank you. For me as an actor, this journey has been interesting too. On the surface, he seems like a simple guy. He’s black and white, the way he deals with things. But a lot of times with those people, there’s a lot of complications underneath.

That was interesting and a little slippery to get my hands on. Initially Ted Sr., to me, was unconditional love guy, what’s good for all concerned. Do the right thing. Be compassionate. Don’t belittle people. Just really try to follow his own journey through life and hold to it steadfastly.

As the episodes have progressed all that has been challenging him and he’s starting to make some judgements himself without going through what he normally would do, [which] would be to check everything before doing anything that would effect others beside himself. He’s starting to crack a little bit.

Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/AMC
Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/AMC

At first, he always believed that Daniel was innocent. He’s known Daniel since Daniel was a little kid. People don’t realize this in his backstory. I used to work for Lester down at the tire store, for Daniel’s father. So obviously I knew Daniel. Daniel came in, I’m sure, and I knew Janet. Of course, Lester passed away during Daniel’s sentence because of emotional and financial stress. I became involved with the family. Even though it’s not my store. I work there. It is my store, but I don’t really own it. Daniel and Janet [do] as well as my house.

But it’s always been unconditional love for this young man that is my wife’s son and that is also my son. When this Cain and Abel thing happened, it just tore my heart apart. How do you tell somebody you love that you never want to see them again? He’s questioning his own beliefs and his own ideas. I’ve said it before to other people, before this was a solid thing to hold onto. Circle the wagons, protect the family. Now he’s trying to hold on to smoke and it’s just going through his fingers.”

TV GOODNESS: There’s drama in all his kid’s lives. Can you talk about that?

Bruce: “He doesn’t know what to do now. He’s trying to make the right decisions. He doesn’t know the answers anymore. He feels like he’s walking on thin ice or he’s wading out into deep water that he’s never swum before. It’s scary, it’s frustrating and, again, it breaks his heart.

Photo Credit: Daniel McFadden/AMC
Photo Credit: Daniel McFadden/AMC

Teddy’s always been kind of special. Teddy’s always spoken from his own sense of truth. He’s not a mean guy. In fact, one thing that’s cool about the show is that there’s not really any good/bad guy stuff going on with us. Everybody’s coming from their own sense of truth, their own beliefs, and so that’s what makes the show. I’m a fan as well. I can’t wait to see the first episode of the third season. I haven’t seen it yet. I’m a little jealous of you. [Laughs]. I was in it. I know the scripts, but also it all kind of blends in together. We immerse ourselves. You come out of there almost in a dream state.

But with all this crumbling that’s happened within the family walls it’s almost like he’s trying to patch this wall over here, another crack comes, he runs over there to patch that, that crack happens. It’s like the dyke is breaking. He doesn’t know what to do. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know where to turn.”

Edited for space and content.

In the season 3 premiere “Hoorah,” Daniel Holden is, once again, a convicted murderer. As Janet tries to wrangle the family together for one last family supper, Amantha retreats to a bar with Jon Stern. They feel like they’ve failed Daniel, but both are determined to move on. Unable to reach Tawney, Ted Jr. is reluctant to see his parents and relieved when she hasn’t been in touch with Daniel either. Concerned about his violent impulses, Ted Sr. confronts Daniel and suggests a different living arrangement. Determined to move on despite lingering questions about Daniel’s confession, DA Person is unpleasantly surprised when Sheriff Daggett informs her George Melton’s body has turned up.

A Done Deal:

Nobody to Worry About:

Teddy Against Daniel:

Season 3 of Rectify premieres Thursday, July 9th at 10/9c on Sundance TV.

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