‘Under the Bridge’: Dusty Actor Breaks Down That Devastating Train Scene in Episode 6

“Acting is a really strange job,” Aiyana Goodfellow tells TheWrap

Aiyana Goodfellow as Dusty on "Under the Bridge"
Aiyana Goodfellow as Dusty on "Under the Bridge". (CREDIT: Darko Sikman/Hulu)

This story contains spoilers for Episode 6 of “Under the Bridge”

Aiyana Goodfellow, who plays troubled teenager Dusty in Hulu’s limited series “Under the Bridge,” spoke to TheWrap about the character’s complicated sense of loyalty in this week’s episode.

Dusty is friends with Jo (Chloe Guidry) and Kelly (Izzy G.), who also live or spend time at the Seven Oaks foster house in Victoria, B.C. But when Reena (Vritika Gupta) joins their orbit, it’s clear that Dusty has far more in common with the newcomer than the reigning mean girls of Seven Oaks.

In Episode 6, Jo and Kelly try to shift blame for Reena’s murder to Warren G. (Javon Walton). They also realize that Dusty, who knows that Kelly is primarily responsible for Reena’s death, might rat them out to the authorities.

The three girls make a plan to flee to Mexico, but Dusty doesn’t realize that the other two are planning to kill her, whether with rat poison or by talking her into committing suicide on the train tracks.

TheWrap spoke to the singer and actor about Dusty’s harrowing episode, as well as starring in Prime Video’s “The Outlaws” and Netflix movie “I Used to Be Famous.”

Izzy G, Chloe Guidry and Aiyana Goodfellow in "Under the Bridge"
Izzy G, Chloe Guidry and Aiyana Goodfellow in “Under the Bridge” (CREDIT: Hulu)

TheWrap: Dusty is really on her own here, when she finally realizes that Jo and Kelly are plotting against her because she actually cared about Reena. Why does she side with Jo and Kelly as long as she does?

Aiyana Goodfellow: I read a book a long time ago called “The Politics of Trauma,” and it outlined three things that every human being needs and it completely changed the way in which I see the world. It says we need safety, belonging and dignity.

For me, this journey is about her deciding between prioritizing belonging with Reena [before the murder], and safety with Jo and Kelly. I think that’s really what her struggle is about. I think figuring out who and what you stand for, and who and what you want to stand by is a universal experience.

How hard was it to film the scene where Jo talks Dusty into letting the train hit her?

I find a level of satisfaction and freedom in portraying moments in the character’s journey that require a kind of emotional upheaval. Acting is a really strange job. It’s the only job where you can have a panic attack and a mental breakdown in front of your colleagues and people will be like, “Oh, that’s a great take.” So it was quite strange.

And of course, you’ve got the technical details of any scene because it wasn’t a real train crossing. So there’s just like a bunch of dudes next to me with massive fans while I’m trying to be in this really emotionally deep moment.

Although Jo changes her mind at the last minute and pulls Dusty to safety, she can see that Kelly really did want her dead. And she realizes she can’t trust either one of them.

I think that her trust with these characters has been wavering for a while. I think that’s what makes her indecisiveness regarding who and what she’s going to stand for so compelling and difficult to witness. But also in that moment, Dusty is so in her head about her own intentions and her own, honestly, willingness to die in that moment, that she might not really be considering it.

My favorite scene is when Dusty and Reena are coming up with a Jo and Kelly diss track. Was that fun? Did you freestyle that?

That was actually really fun. We, myself and Vritika Gupta who plays Reena, auditioned with raps and on the way to the audition, I was writing some extra bits on my phone, which I quickly learned and then performed. Then it ended up getting into the actual script, which is really cool. Yeah, definitely a really fun scene.

Did you read up on what really happened to Reena?

I sort of read the book (by Rebecca Godfrey, who is played in the show by Riley Keough). I didn’t want to be too mired by the real events, because Dusty is an amalgamation of various characters. And although “Under the Bridge” is based on true events, it’s obviously not a complete retelling. 

It was kind of fun to approach the character from a human rather than an analytical perspective. I think the show itself really questions a sense of reality, in terms of both its structure as it flashes back between different time periods, but also in the characters themselves. It’s kind of questioning how people can responsibly tell stories and investigate events like this.

And I think it also questions the audience, because we’re all watching it with our own stereotypes and narratives. So how do we decide what truth is, what reality is and what the real events are?

New episodes of “Under the Bridge” premiere Wednesdays on Hulu.

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