Eleanor Guthrie ended the first season of Starz’s pirate drama “Black Sails” in a bit of a bad situation. The unpredictable Captain Vane (Zach McGowan) had taken over the fort in Nassau, and her ally, Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), was away at sea in search of a possibly fictional treasure. But don’t expect life to get much easier on her, per Hannah New, who plays her.
“You find her at rock bottom at the beginning of this season. You can’t really imagine that things can get much worse. Everything’s falling apart for her. By the end of this season, you realize that the rock bottom is even deeper than you could ever have imagined.”
New says that Season 2 will be taking a more global look at the world of piracy, from policy in Europe to what it really means when the show’s various pirates succeed at their schemes. “You realize this isn’t just about gold and money, it’s about political alliances, and I think that’s why the show takes on a completely different dimension in Season 2,” says New.
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Along with that, Eleanor will face some very real danger in the form of Captain Vane, who New sees as representing the chaos to Captain Flint’s attempts at order. “She’s playing a very dangerous game with Vane, thinking that she has all the political power but not really realizing that the brawn and physical power that he has is going to prevent her making the right decisions and it’s going to prevent her from having the security she needs,” says New. “Her life is in threat throughout Season 2.”
But if what you enjoyed about Eleanor was her particular ability to ream people out, complete with plenty of choice curse words (there’s a reason this show is on Starz), don’t worry: Despite her sorrows, she still gets to have it out with people from time to time, which New says she enjoys. “I love it, I really do. A lot of fun of it is just connecting with that pure rant, connecting with wanting to let loose and let everything off your chest, and that’s what Eleanor does so well. She doesn’t hold back. She doesn’t suffer fools, and she is going to say exactly what she thinks,” says New.
One of Eleanor’s sources of conflict in the first season was the ebb and flow of her relationship with Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy), but the duo won’t be on particularly good terms this season. “Max becomes very intricately linked with Eleanor, but she becomes an arch-nemesis,” says New. She pointed to Max’s aptitude for being a businesswoman and learning how she can influence which crews go out for which prizes as a source of conflict between them. Even worse, Max makes for a difficult enemy.
“That was her closest relationship. That was the place where she could be the most vulnerable and most open,” says New. “Once that was severed, she realized how much she gave away in that relationship and maybe she underestimated Max’s ability to use that information. That’s going to be the biggest shock for Eleanor.”