On April 5, WGN America will premiere the second season of its horror-drama Salem. Set in 17th century colonial Massachusetts, Salem brings you the real story behind the infamous witch trials. In Salem, witches are real, and they’re behind it all. We were on the Louisiana set of the show recently and had an opportunity to speak on camera with some of the main castmembers.
Shane West plays John Alden, who at the end of last season was on the verge of death after being attacked by Salem’s militia (being accused of witchcraft will have that effect). When we pick up with him this season, he’s alive (spoiler alert) and filled with a newfound hatred for witches... and that includes his former lover Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery).
Also involved in a complicated relationship with Mary is Tituba; played by Ashley Madekwe, Tituba can be a close ally or a bitter rival. The status of their “friendship” will often change every few episodes, but no matter which way the wind is blowing, Tituba and Mary are inextricably tied together.
I spoke to West and Madekwe about where we find their characters at the beginning of this season, the common bond that links them and what is coming next for the show.
In this second video, I speak to affable Salem-ites Seth Gabel and Tamzin Merchant. Cotton Mather (Gabel) had a rough go of it at the end of Season One. He killed his own crazed father (after being fooled by Mary Sibley) and thus found himself once again struggling with his faith and conscience. In Season Two, Cotton has begun to try to pick up the pieces in a new town, but there’s no doubt that events beyond his control will force him to return to the scene of his crime.
Merchant's Anne Hale is also dealing with the ramifications of killing her father (yes, a lot of that going around), having been revealed the awful truth about herself in the Season One finale: that she’s a witch capable of frightening power. How she’ll rectify that - will she use her new knowledge for good or evil? - makes up the arc of her character this season.
Stay tuned, because tomorrow we'll have even more castmembers from Salem talk up the new season. And head over HERE to see our interviews with Salem creators Adam Simon and Brannon Braga!