Inside Good Behavior Season Two with Creator Chad Hodge
October 10, 2017
The wigs are back! TNT’s Good Behavior returns on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 10 p.m. ET for season two. The show stars Michelle Dockery, also known as Lady Mary to all you Downton Abbey fans, and Juan Diego Botto. If you haven’t seen it, get busy and start binging on season one. We had the chance to interview Good Behavior creator and showrunner, Chad Hodge who gave us a tease about what’s to come in season two and an inside look at how the series went from book to TV series.
At the end of last season, Letty, Jacob and Javier drove down the road, seemingly down the road of happiness except for that faint siren we hear at the end. Give us a fun tease about how season two starts.
When we return to Letty in the first episode of season two, we see her trying to live the life she’s always dreamed of. She’s with Javier and Jacob, and both she and Javier are trying very hard to be something that we know they’re really not. And of course, they can’t do it, because, she’s a thief, and he’s a hitman. At first, they’re not telling each other, but that doesn’t work out too well. Then there’s Jacob. He’s not a baby. He see’s things.
Are we going to see a sibling reunion for Javier? That was such a painful, amazing episode.
Yeah, I know, so intense. The Javier family dinner was so crazy last season. I really love that episode, and I love the chemistry between Javier and his sister.
And she’s Juan's real sister. They're just so amazing together, so I wanted to bring her back and that story. His story of trying to reunite with his sister and reconnect with even one member of his family is a big part of season two. So yes, there will be a sibling reunion. However, it's a huge struggle, and she's not okay with the fact that he's a hit man.
You and Blake Crouch (writer of the Good Behavior short stories) have had some real successes together. First Wayward Pines (Fox) and now this. When did that start?
Years ago, a feature film producer who wanted to get in the TV business and do a TV show together sent me an advanced reader copy of Blake’s new book, Wayward Pines. I read it in one day and loved it so much that I just wrote it as a spec script. I didn't know Blake before that. I had never adapted a book for TV and assumed that any relationship between an author and a writer adapting their work for the screen would be, not necessarily bad, but just not necessarily close. He was just so cool about everything and understood immediately that they were two different art forms, and we became really good friends.
After the first season of Wayward Pines, we decided we wanted to do something else together. He said I should read these short stories that he wrote about a woman named “Lefty.” I read three stories about her, and I was blown away by this character and really wanted to turn it into a series. I used the first short story as the jumping off point to create Good Behavior.
Is Javier even a character in the books?
No. The first short story, called “The Pain of Others” is of when she's in the hotel and stealing from the rooms and ends up in this closet overhearing a man hiring another man to kill his wife, which is the story in the pilot. I added Javier. That central relationship and how they wind up together is the main thrust of what Good Behavior is. I use the character that he created and then the story from the first book as a jumping-off point.
In an interview with Variety, you said, “part of being a showrunner is hiring all the best people and getting out of their way.” How do you find the best people? What do you look for when you're looking for them?
You can’t possibly do everyone else’s job. I think that a lot of showrunners try to do that, or they want control over everything. I’m the exact opposite. I have plenty to do without having to also be the production designer. I say to hire the people that are smarter than you and better than you, make you look good and make the show look good.
Take Curt Beech who was the production designer on the pilot and the rest of the first season, is such a genius. At a certain point, and it did not take long, I would just show up to the set and be just blown away. I wouldn't even tell him what to do.
We have a whole manifesto of our rules for the show, what we call “poetic noirs,” our sort of tone, and we have all this. Of course, we all talk about that a lot. Then, when you have someone like Curt or our amazing composer or many of our directors, you set them free. Go do your brilliant work, then I reap the benefits.
You’ve worked with a bunch of different studios and networks. What’s your experience working with TNT?
It's been so creative and freeing working at TNT, from the beginning with the pilot. With season one, Sarah Aubrey just brought this script in, and she wanted it to be part of the new foundation of TNT. She and Kevin (Reilly) were just so passionate about the script and about the show. We literally shot the scripts that I wrote with Blake. I don't think we changed anything, maybe a few things here and there, but the spec script that we sent to them is the exact pilot that we shot with very little change.
Sometimes you have to hear networks notes from people and figure out how to deal with them. I just think of Sarah, Sam and Adrienne, which is our creative team, as my day-to-day creative team and as total partners. Getting on the phone with them about anything, whether it's a script or a cut or music or whatever, is always like an extension of the writer’s room, an extension of my creative team on the production and post-side. I really want to know what they think and what their thoughts are, because they’re just smart. They make things better.
Last two questions, easy stuff. What are you reading these days, and/or, what do you recommend? This is assuming that you have time between scenes as you shoot in Wilmington to read a book.
I know, one of the saddest things about this job is I don’t have a ton of time to read, but I am right now. I’m starting to read a book called Savages by Don Winslow, because Sarah Aubrey recommended it.
The Turner Book Club.
Best career advice or best advice you’ve ever received?
That’s a big one. I think the answer is, “don't eat lunch and work all at the same time.”