Last summer, astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) thought she’d saved humanity from certain doom, but of course that’s not the case or else there wouldn’t be a Season 2 for “Extant,” Berry’s first foray into network television, which returns tonight. So what has Berry learned from finishing her freshmanyear on TV?
“It is a whole lot of work. I mean, I’ve never worked so hard in my life as last year,” Berry says. “And I was nursing — my baby was 3 months old — so I was doing drive-by nursings every two hours — I would go into my trailer, nurse for 10 minutes and off I was — and I was in over my head with the amount of scenes we shoot in a day, the things I had to memorize.”
Needless to say, Season 2 was a much smoother experience. “This year, without having the baby nursing, is indelibly better than last year,” she says. “But it was an awakening last year. I’m thought, ‘I’m going to go into TV, be at home with my family.’ I didn’t see my family and I never worked harder in my life. So hats off to everybody who does television, because it’s a grind.”
When Oscar-winner Berry signed up for the show last year, it was big news — despite her being far from the first big-screen star to make the transition. But Berry insists there was no hesitation in her decision. “Not in this day and age. Maybe 10 years ago I would have had to have caused a pause. But the best things, in my opinion, are on television,” she says. “As artists, we want to share what we do with the world and this is a really good medium to do that in because the best things are on TV now, in my humble opinion.”
“Extant” features Halle Berry’s character grappling with having a robot son, Ethan, who ended up relegated to the cloud at the end of Season 1. Recent upgrades in Berry’s own life have changed how she approaches that on-screen relationship this season. “Now that I have a son, I really do see the difference in relationship, from having a little girl and having a boy and the special relationship that mothers and sons have,” she says. “I’m happy in our show this year that there is Ethan and I get to continue to explore what that relationship might be with a twist, because he is a robot. Does he take the place of a real child? well, that’s something that our show is going to explore throughout how many seasons we’re lucky enough to go. That’s the burning question, can a robot have humanity? Can they love? Can they have a human exchange?”
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter:@nedrick