It remains to be seen whether Kim was completely sincere and has reached some sort of boiling point. Is this a new side of her, or a side of her that’s always been there that she’s been suppressing? It’s a very magnified version of when we get defensive when people think they know us and we’re like: “You don’t know me. I’m sick of everyone telling me who I am.” That great scene with Howard Hamlin, also in the finale, where she blows up — there is something about her continually being put in a box, and told what she is and what she isn’t, that she doesn’t like.
On top of that, she can see that she’s going to lose the relationship. Jimmy is trying to say, “It’s too dangerous,” throughout those scenes by the end. She’s trying to say, “These are my choices.” And it’s sort of sad, but she’s also kind of owning the idea of, “I say if I’m ruining me.” Nobody’s sullying her. Nobody is making choices for her. She’s here, eyes wide open. I don’t know where we’ll go next as far as, is she baiting him, or daring him to imagine that he doesn’t know her? Or is she telling a truth that she’s never said out loud before?
Like “Breaking Bad,” the show incorporates incredibly creative camera work — shots inside vending machines or drainpipes, scenes shot from dramatic angles. Is the complex cinematography ever difficult to work with or within?
One thing that was making me laugh were the scenes [in Episode 9] where Kim is pacing, when Jimmy is in the desert and she’s terrified for him. [Thomas Schnauz, who wrote and directed the episode] really wanted to shoot with the fish coming across the lens, and every time the fish would go to the other side of the tank. And you had 100 people who were all trying to be very delicate, because you can’t tap on it and we don’t want to upset the fish by putting a big scoop in there. People were trying to say delicately, “Maybe put his food flakes on the left side …” and the second they said, “Action!” and I tried to walk — and I’m supposed to be close to tears — the fish would be like, “[expletive] all of you” and go back. [Laughs.]
In some scenes Kim is wound so tightly that her eyes are the only clues to how she’s feeling. How difficult is that to pull off, from a performance standpoint?
Kim’s greatest confidant in many scenes is the audience. Obviously she doesn’t know she’s in a TV show, but choosing not to speak, choosing not to let other people know what I’m thinking in the physical room — early on, I had so much of that, and the audience went on this ride with me. It reminds me of being onstage doing theater, when you have passages or scenes where you can feel the audience breathing with you. You can sit on a chair and stare straight out, and if you’ve taken them on the ride and you’ve built the car solid enough that they understand the world they’re in and the story that’s happening, they’ll sit with you.