Suburgatory starts its third season on ABC tonight. SheKnows recently caught up by phone with Jane Levy, who plays Tessa, and she had some wonderful insight to share about her character, her relationship with her father, George (Jeremy Sisto) and what to expect from the beginning of the season.
At the end of Season 2, Tessa had broken up with her boyfriend Ryan and had a huge falling out with George over his relationship with Dallas (Cheryl Hines) and Dalia (Carly Chaikin). The opening scene of Season 3 finds Tessa once again abandoned by her mother Alex (Malin Akerman). "What's nice is that instead of it ruining her, she realizes once again how great her dad is and how much she loves him and what a great team they are," Levy shared.
For a series that is usually so humorous, it's extremely emotional when Tessa realizes Alex has gone. Although there are no tears, it's not difficult to imagine they may have been lurking nearby. "It was such a sharp change for somebody to make," Levy tried to explain, "or maybe it wasn't even change, but it was such an unexpected reaction to come back and immediately understand and immediately be happy that it's her dad."
Levy said it was a difficult scene for her to do and that she needed a lot of validation from the director to get it right. She didn't need to worry; the emotion is heavy and it's beautiful. Levy also shared that the scene as we see it was not in the script. Sisto decided to do it the day of filming. "I think he originally only had a couple lines like, 'Tessa, this is what she does,' or something like that, but he kept talking and with this nervous but extreme loving and nurturing energy where you see what a good dad he is."
It's a true testament to how well the two actors know their characters and each other that they were able to pull off such a beautiful scene without needing written words to guide them.
Together, George and Tessa make a pact to stick together more than they had in the past. They want to "walk amongst them but not become them," Levy laughed, before admitting that although they try, even given their best efforts they will eventually fail.
Although there is a fresh start, Dallas will remain in Tessa's life. Ryan (Parker Young) is gone, but Levy said that's a decision Tessa will continue to regret throughout the season because deep down she really misses him.
It's not all beautiful scenes or regret in Tessa's life this season. She's going take a walk on the wild side when she joins a knitting circle with four women over the age of 90 because she realizes what an old boring curmudgeon she is. She's just going to enjoy it! "I'm just going to be an old lady and knit and watch Wheel of Fortune all day long while everybody else has young love and exciting lives," Levy teased.
Be sure to tune in tonight for the season three premiere of Suburgatory at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.
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