Dominique Tipper, Steven Strait Interview

A woman with short hair is sitting, looking sad, and a man in a black shirt is standing behind her, looking worried.

Flashback: A tense but tender moment between Naomi (Dominic Tepper) and Holden (Stephen Strait) at the start of Season 5.
picture: Amazon Studios

Extension started in The sixth and final season Last week on Amazon Prime, and if you’re like us, you’re a little worried about the crew Rosinanti. Stuck in a seemingly hopeless war, And yet I endured so much To get to this point, they are all nervous. But as always Extension, there is reason to hope that good intentions will prevail – especially with resilient heroes like Captain James Holden (Stephen Strait) and Naomi Nagata Dominic Tepper leads the charge.

lately breadth Press Day, io9 chatted via video chat with Strait and Tipper about their exhausting characters, how they evolved over the course of six seasons, and what they think will be the enduring takeaway from the final season of Extension.

Cheryl Eddy, io9: How would you describe the state of mind that Naomi and Holden are in when we catch up with them in Season 6?

Dominic Tipper: I think Naomi suffers from severe PTSD. She’s reeling from what she went through in Season 5, her role in Alex’s death, Sean’s death, and the fallout from what happened with her son – and after that they’re in the midst of a war. The crew is all exhausted, and we fly around the solar system to kill the Belters, which also tears Naomi apart. I just think there is a deep state of physical and emotional exhaustion. I also think she’s very uncomfortable and kinda angry about Amos bringing Clarissa on board – but she’s also someone I think Naomi plays with Target Training, and gets a lot of the brunt of her frustration about the whole thing.

Stephen Strait: Early in the season, Holden is worn out – I think that’s her best word. As you know, more than half a year has passed since this war. Nothing seemed to happen, there was no noticeable movement for all the pain these people went through. And it really burdens a family Rosinanti in a very deep way. For Holden, he’s trying desperately to get his family together on the ship. He has the weight of making some kind of progress in a war that seems endless and out of reach. And also, always having the elemental molecule in the back of his mind, knowing just how awful the possibility of that would be unleashed.

He’s just under tremendous pressure. And I wanted to show that, not only absorbing the constant doubt of “Am I enough for this moment? Am I the leader I need to be for this moment? Will I be finished in this moment?” but also physically. I lost a little weight before the start of the season; I wanted him to look emaciated as if he hadn’t slept or been eating. It brings it all together, but not very well. Each in their own way has reached the end of their rope.

io9: However, amid all this chaos, somehow, the bond between Naomi and Holden is still very strong. What do you think of their relationship that makes this possible?

tipper: I believe that any relationship that lasts requires choice, choice for that person day in and day out, no matter how hard it is, no matter where you differ, finding common ground. I think there is a profound maturity of their relationship at this point. And I also think with what Naomi went through in season five, she’s reassured that if she wants to be with anyone or anywhere, she’s with Holden. So, I think we found them at this point: They’re very happy to be together, even under these really terrible circumstances and in the heat of war. They boat each other, and carry each other. He’s really learned, in particular, how to best deal with it, which is, I think, and they’re leaning on each other through this whole thing. I think it’s a really nice version of them. She’s been pretty solid all season long, which is great.

Strait: I agree. I think this year really shows how much they depend on each other to get through these things. And I think the responsibility to Holden to her, to the family, to the overall environment becomes very, very important in the decisions he makes during the season. There is only a level of respect and love that will allow them to get through all of this. I’ve always seen them as two people holding each other in the middle of a storm. They have found a way to keep each other grounded while all this chaos continues.

Holden (Stephen Strait) looks more emaciated than usual in a scene from Season 6.

Holden (Stephen Strait) looks more emaciated than usual in a scene from Season 6.
picture: Amazon Studios

io9: Looking back to season one and up until now, how do you think Naomi and Holden have evolved as characters?

tipper: I really think Season 5 was definitive in a way that Naomi needed to explore. I think a lot of what she was running away from in season one and how we got to find her in Canterbury And what she went through is eliminated in season five. She’s developed a lot, and actually has a lot of closure by season six, in terms of her relationship with her mom and her relationship with her son, as well as her baby daddy. She’s come a long way on so many different levels, and Season 5 has been very important in exploring what she was like in her past, and how it affected her in the four seasons before that. It was a cruel and brutal development, but an important one. And I think we found her in a good place to understand Who is she, where did she come from, and what did she do.

Strait: I think Holden — as an actor, I know how rare it is to be able to play such a vast arc over so many years, with the kind of writing that we have. It starts in a completely different place than where it ends, And along the way he always had his moral and ethical core. Acts from it instinctively, for good or for evil. And I think it was a really beautiful exploration of finding his strength through his humility, by growing through his mistakes and stumbles and failures over the years.

I’ve really had the pleasure of exploring a different kind of heroism than we often see in these kinds of stories – one that relies more on empathy and concern for the people around it. [rather] Then victory, even if that’s the ultimate goal of things… I’m really proud of it at the end of the series for kind of decisions [he makes] And the man who becomes. It was a messy way to get there. Holden has spoiled a lot over the years, but to be able to play the realistic evolution of a man and a leader under those circumstances, who was not just born with the ability to do so, was incredible as an actor…it was a fun and complex thing to play.

Better together.

Better together.
picture: Amazon Studios

io9: Without getting into spoilers, of course, what’s the overarching theme of Season 6?

tipper: I believe that it is the parts that complete the whole, and that each person contributes even in the smallest way gives the desired result. We see this kind of collective contribution in small bits throughout the series’ journey that culminates in this score working for so many different people. It is definitely a reflection on the small contributions and how they pay off in the end. I don’t know the correct title for this topic, but I think it’s like soup, good soup, vegetable soup of good little business. [Laughs]

Strait: If one of the themes stands out to me, it is the exploration of family and what that means and how it affects these characters personally and how it also affects the overall picture. In many ways, the events big and small this season are family problems. I think it’s a really interesting exploration of that and a really subtle way of looking at those complications with sensitivity and care – which, you know, just speaks to the level of our writing that we’ve always been privileged to have.

Extension It airs Friday on Amazon Prime. We will have a lot breadth Coming out on io9, so stay tuned!

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