By Madeline Ricchiuto
Banshee will be returning for its fourth and final season in 2016 on Cinemax. Talking about the series impending end were co-creator Jonathan Tropper, and cast members Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Matt Servitto, Frankie Faison, and Eliza Dushku.
Right off the bat, Tropper wanted fans to know that the writers never planned for Banshee to be a long show, that they did not want to be "kind of a bullsh*t show" because the premise does become a little harder to believe every season. The stars also agreed that going out on season four is doing so on a high note.
However, they were all sad to see the end of the show and pitched their ideas for sequels and spin-offs.
Season 4 picks up with the consequences of Season 3. Most of the characters got rather beaten up during last season, but it's unlikely that there will actually be any downtime in a show like Banshee.
The first trailer for Season Four premiered tonight at the panel. It is a mess of action sequences and little else. Though a horse, a chainsaw, explosions, pills, and a flamethrower are all involved.
The rest of the panel followed as a Q&A between moderator Andy Greenwald and the cast.
Greenwald: "Ivanna, do you prefer having to act getting your heart broken, or punched in the face?"
Milicevic: "It depends on the day. I love me a good fight scene. I love being physical, I love the drama."
Greenwald: "Frankie, the second best thing was seeing Sugar come out behind the bar and show us all what he's made of."
Faison: "I don't know if you know this, but I am 105 years old, so any temperature controlled environment I love… It is enjoyable, everyone has to get their licks in."
Greenwald: "For anyone else in the cast, was it good to see Frankie hurting at the craft services table after that?"
Starr: "Anytime you see Frank limping is a good time."
Greenwald: "Eliza, what can you tell us about Veronica Dawson?"
Dushku: "She is an FBI profiler, but she does what she wants… She has tones of a character that I used to play, Faith from Buffy."
Tropper: "We never called anyone else. We wrote the character knowing who we had. [Veronica Dawson] may be a little bit like an older version of Faith."
Dushku: "She has a closet full of skeletons. She is a nut like everyone else on this show."
Greenwald: "Eliza, when did your jaw drop first?"
Dushku: "My favorite part of joining the show was how many people in my life are die-hard fans. I've become a die-hard fanshee since having these people in my life."
At this point in the panel, the cast warned against looking for spoilers, insisting that you really do need to watch season four yourself. "It's a ride unlike any other" said Servitto. Details were all very vague, but the show does apparently take a "hard right" at some point mid-season and drag everyone along with it.
"We want to preserve the experience for you," Tropper said. He then launched into an anecdote about having Darth Vader's identity in The Empire Strikes Back spoiled for him, which may actually explain something about why Banshee is such a violent show. Faison was the only panelist who was all aboard the spoiler train, however, the fans were not. So, no spoilers for us today.
"It was only a matter of time." Tropper said about the presence of a serial killer in Season Four.
"By the way, serial killing is only a misdemeanor in Banshee" Starr joked, as half the characters on the show could count as serial killers if anyone was determined enough to make that case.
Greenwald: "What were you hoping for this season, Anthony?"
Starr: "I didn't know what to expect, because every time I thought I knew where the show was going, I was wrong. So I've learned not to guess."
Greenwald: "We've heard a lot about how different it is to do fight scenes on Banshee, and Eliza we know you've done fight scenes on other shows so what is it like learning to do combat the Banshee way?"
Dushku: "They have classes and rehearsals and hook you up with a personal trainer, so if you show up and look bad, it's your fault. We really get to play things out. We have awesome stunt doubles, but they love to have the actors in there and nail stuff. I'm into that sh*t."
Greenwald: "Frankie, were the Sugar-Job scenes as fun to play as they are to watch?"
Faison: "He is a fantastic young actor. It was a match made in heaven. I delighted at getting to play any scenes together. That's actually the way we banter back and forth. The Job stuff was fascinating and I'm glad that you guys liked us."
Greenwald: "Jonathan, what can you tell us about the location or the survival of Job"
Tropper: "We know that Job was spirited away by the hacker Leo, and he is wanted by a lot of people, but we don't know where he is. This frustrates Lucas a lot because he needs Job to find Job."
Greenwald: "Banshee may not be for anyone, but it is for them. Who are the Banshee fans you have interacted with?"
Milicevic: "I have had young girls come up to me crying about how strong the women are and that they've taken up martial arts because of Kerry. So that's women."
Servitto: "I always feel like, in every office there is that one guy who tells everyone, you gotta watch Banshee. This show gets a lot of marketing and promotion but new viewers come in really by word of mouth."
The Q&A was, at this point, opened up to the audience.
Q: "I'm hoping you won't take too long to bring Job back, because if it's just wasted time trying to get Job back."
Servitto: "You know we already finished filming it, right?"
Q: "Is there one character that you think would have a good spin-off? Because I have four words for you: Clay Burton American Ronan."
Tropper: "We've thought of a number of characters for spin-offs, but no. These characters all exist together it would would be weird to do them separately."
Q: "Is there anyone you regret killing?"
Tropper: "Brock was supposed to die at the end of season one. We're really glad we did not go through with that one. Also, it would have been nice to keep the albino around a bit longer."
Q: "What was your worst injury while filming?"
Starr: "Day one, I got six stitches in my lip from a fight scene that went wrong. I should have known then because it continued like that. Then I did something to my wrist that needed stitches."
Dushku: "I broke my ribs on True Lies when I was twelve. We go back to work broken. We're badass."
Servitto: "Mattie [Matthew Rauch] did that whole fight in Season Three with an injured ankle."
Tropper: "He injured that ankle before filming by stepping in a ditch."
Q: "Have you ever wanted to be your character, like a fantasy?"
Starr: "I think so, but I also have to look at my physicality and not fight big people, I'd loose."
Milicevic: "After having all that fight training, I started to have a sort of swagger. But I don't think I really could fight."
Faison: "I trained Season One. And I did feel invincible, but I got over that real quick. But for a moment you do go with that fantasy."
Q: "Is there any character you wanted to tell more about, like maybe Burton?"
Tropper: "We have had a lot of stories we wanted to tell, but we had to service the larger story. But I can tell you in Season Four you do learn a lot more about Burton."
Q: "What do you all bring to the characters to bring the intensity on a personal level?"
Servitto: "We shoot really fast. It feels like we're making a gonzo independent film every seven-to-ten days. We don't have a lot of time. There is this sense of being in a lifeboat together."
Faison: "I think that a great deal of credit has to go to the writers of the show."
Starr: "We're all a bit nuts."
Milicevic: "But everyone is a bit nuts."
Q: "What was the most difficult departure from the show?"
Milicevic: "All of them. We feel like we're in a war together so to lose anyone…"
Star: "I really miss Chayton. We bonded and then to have to shoot off his head, it was hard."
Banshee returns to Cinemax in Jan. 29, 2016.