‘The Tourist’ Star Danielle Macdonald Previews ‘Bonkers’ Season 2: ‘We Unknowingly Opened Pandora’s Box’

The new-to-Netflix series sees Elliot and Helen getting mixed up with an Irish crime family

Danielle Macdonald in Season 2 of "The Tourist"
Danielle Macdonald in Season 2 of "The Tourist" (Credit: Netflix)

For Season 2, “The Tourist” takes amnesiac Elliot (Jamie Dornan) and former Aussie policewoman Helen (Danielle Macdonald) to Ireland in search of his long-lost family, a decision they quickly regret as they are flung from one violent encounter into another.

Ahead of the Feb. 28 premiere on Netflix, Macdonald told TheWrap that her character has “unknowingly opened up Pandora’s Box” in trying to find out the truth about Elliot’s past. She also promised that the Irish-set second season is “bonkers.”

The series originally aired in England and Australia, later streaming on HBO Max in the U.S. It is now finding a broader audience thanks to its new home on Netflix. Season 1 of the series — in which Dornan’s injured Irishman awakens in a hospital bed in the Australian Outback with no idea of who he is or how he got there — premiered Feb. 1 on the streamer.

Macdonald is otherwise best known for her breakout role in Netflix’s “Dumplin” opposite Jennifer Aniston, as well as “Bird Box” on the streamer with Sandra Bullock and Peacock’s “Poker Face” with Natasha Lyonne. Catch our interview below.

Now that the series is on Netflix, are you hearing from people who are just discovering the show?
I’m working in Australia right now and I have a bunch of friends in America saying, “Oh, I’ve seen this.” It’s great that it’s finding a life there. It’s really cool that this weird, quirky Australian/British story can also hit there.

The second season is even more of a roller coaster as they try to find out more about Elliot’s family.
Helen is still curious about who Elliot is. She got this really shocking news about him at the end of Season 1, and it didn’t seem like something she could get over. And then they go off and they’re living in this fantasy world [traveling the globe], but there’s a nagging thought of, “What is his past, though?” There is also an element of wanting to explore who he is that’s encouraged by Helen. 

So yeah, they unknowingly opened Pandora’s box in Season 2. And the moment they do, they’re trying to close it. But once it’s opened, you’ve got to go through the whole ride. And yeah, it’s bonkers. Season 2 is definitely even more wild than Season 1. 

And then to complicate things, Helen’s old boyfriend Ethan (Greg Larsen) shows up in Ireland in the most Ethan-like way.
He really does. In Season 1, your job is to despise him, but in a really, really comedic way. And in Season 2, there’s almost a strange, I wouldn’t fully say sympathy, but slight sympathy for him. Because he’s trying. I’m not saying he’s doing a great job of it, but he’s trying.

The dynamics really shift in Season 2. Everyone’s going through something new. Helen’s at her wit’s end because everything’s falling apart. And she’s on unstable ground for the first time. 

She’s definitely out of her element in Ireland.
In Season 1, she’s on her home turf. She’s the only person that doesn’t have a secret and she’s the moral compass. And in Season 2, everyone’s just thrown for a loop. She’s in a foreign place, the person she loves is yanked out from underneath her. So she’s on a totally different path and it’s a really different story — which is fun as an actor.

I wonder if one of the reasons Helen really wants to find out more about Elliott’s past is because she misses being a police officer and doing detective work?
Absolutely. She can’t let things go. She likes puzzles. She likes figuring things out. She always has to peel back the layers. 

She isn’t always making the best decisions in Season 2.
Sometimes when I read the script, I’d be thinking, “You are going into a very stupid situation right now, Helen.” If you think about it, she’s in a relationship with someone that initially kidnapped her. She doesn’t exactly see things in the way that other people would. She’s very black or white with her decision-making. But that’s the interesting thing about Season 2. She sees there’s shades of gray. And she really has to delve through that which is uncomfortable for her.

Season 1 of “The Tourist” is now streaming on Netflix. All six episodes of Season 2 premiere Feb. 28.

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