To slip into character, Lana Parrilla created a playlist (“Rita’s Rhythms”) of music from the era. Opposite: Allison Tolman as Alma


go, and the more repressed women were, the more interesting it is to see the inner workings of their lives. And I thought it was really interesting to see what that looked like in the ’60s. LP: I was born in the ’70s, so I remember going through the ’80s. The fashion was completely outrageous! And I feel like there was more freedom for women than what had gone through the ’60s and ’70s. But from a personal standpoint, I also really loved people in my life who died from AIDS, I have actively been involved with the AIDS Walk in New York and in L.A., and spoken out to support that com- munity. So that’s another reason why I was so attracted to Simone’s storyline. Unlike the previous season, this one takes place in 1949. What was it like going back in time? AT: Just the most fun! In addition to the

getting to watch her become somebody, and what that entailed and what the con- sequences were of that journey—that was really what drew me to Alma. LP: I’ve often played controversial char- acters that you hate but end up loving. They are very misunderstood. When you first meet Rita, you’re like, this is the queen bitch; she runs the show. But you have to always explore how a power- ful person became this way. You realize that she’s been a victim of so many cir- cumstances in her life, and that is what caused her to be the way she is. But she is a redeemable character. The first season of WWK was a multi- era affair: 1963 with Beth Ann (Ginnifer Goodwin), 1984 with Simone (Lucy Liu), and present day with Taylor (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). Which time period was your favorite to watch? AT: I think the further back in time you

of artists, so being creative is, like, my style: Designing, painting, and stuff like that is a lot of fun for me. And I recorded a song! What intrigued you most about Why Women Kill ? Why did you sign on? AT: [ WWK creator] Marc Cherry’s height- ened style is unlike anything I’ve ever done, certainly on camera. My back- ground is in theater and improv, and it seemed like those were going to translate well for this project. I just wanted to give it a shot and I’ve had so, so much fun. LP: I’ve never done comedy on this level, like Mark Cherry’s dark comedy. What you see is not what you get there, you know. There are so many layers to these characters and they’re not so black and white. AT: I love the idea of telling a story of a woman who felt invincible, and then

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