Exclusive interview: Dermot Mulroney talks ‘Hanna’ Season 3

dermot mulroney hanna

Dermot Mulroney has been a regular presence on our screens since the late 1980s, but the actor has gotten busier than ever over the last couple of years, racking up as many credits as humanly possible.

Since the beginning of 2020, he’s shown up in trashy Netflix favorite Deadly Illusions, romantic drama Hard Luck Love Song, fantasy thriller The Blazing World, and instant cult favorite Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher, while he’s got countless more on the way including Christmas Is Canceled, Umma, Agent Game, The Virgin of Highland Park, Breakwater, Along for the Ride, The Cow, and The Inhabitant.

On top of that, Mulroney returns to the small screen as the nefarious John Carmichael in Season 3 of Amazon’s Hanna, which has the CIA suit at the helm of the UTRAX program in a very interesting position, after the events of the Season 2 finale saw him roped into doing the bidding of Mireille Enos’ Marissa Weigler against his will.

Ahead of the third and final run of episodes arriving on November 24, We Got This Covered had the chance to speak to Mulroney about his constantly jam-packed schedule, how Carmichael’s journey in Season 3 completely changes the direction of his character, and whether he wishes he’d gotten more action scenes, which you can check out below.

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We’ll start by talking about how busy you’ve been; Deadly Illusions was the number one movie on Netflix, The Chickasaw Rancher has been playing very well on Netflix, you’ve shot Agent Game and Along for the Ride, you’ve joined Breakwater and Section Eight, and now we’re here talking about Hanna Season 3. So, have you slept at any point at all during the last twelve to eighteen months?

Dermot Mulroney: Man, I sleep like a baby! And when you put it that way, and… yeah, I’m gonna rest again tonight know that there’s that much coming out. Thank you for mentioning The Chickasaw Rancher! And tell me more, how do you know that’s doing well on Netflix? I’m so thrilled, especially since it’s Native American Heritage Month.

It’s reached the Top 10, and it’s been trending on both Twitter and Reddit. People are talking about it.

Dermot Mulroney: Fantastic! I’m so thrilled to hear that news. That is a movie made out of love. And I’m super proud of my involvement in it. Thanks for bringing that up.

No problem. Circling back to Hanna; shows like Hanna, which are about spies and espionage, they always need somebody in a suit barking orders. Without diving too far into spoiler territory, it must have been exciting to discover where Carmichael was headed this year?

Dermont Mulroney: Yes, indeed. I think I was more of a suit barking orders last season. But, if you remember in the last moment of Season 2, Hanna shoots me, Marissa Weigler says, “You’re working for me now”. And that starts his Season 3, about three… four days later. Carmichael, nothing different about him except an egregious wound to the arm, except the tables have been turned 180 degrees, he’s not in control anymore. He’s being told what to do.

His job is to get as much information about the status of UTRAX’s new assassins, what that program is, and feed it to the people that used to be on his side. I’m already spinning the twists here! But that’s how [creator] David Farr’s mind works. And so I found myself with a great, wonderful task this season to turn Carmichael over and look at him from the other side, and see what happens. And what you see is that he goes pretty rogue, and quite desperate. And that’s when the sh*t hits the fan, basically.

That must have been interesting for you as an actor, because he’s essentially being put on a redemption arc against his will, which is something you don’t see very often?

Dermot Mulroney: Yes, exactly. And it’s so obvious, and yet so subtle. I don’t know… the way that the Hanna world is, it’s almost more important what’s not said as what is, what’s not written. And so in the beginning of Season 3, Carmichael is basically all the way shut down. But he gets drawn in and drawn out, and winds up fighting for his own life against his own creations, right?

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The best villains are the ones who fully believe that they’re doing the right thing. Would you say that’s true of Carmichael in Season 2, even though it was a single incident on a personal level that set everything in motion that’s coming to a head in Season 3?

Dermot Mulroney: Yes, I think he’s his own worst enemy, but his biggest supporter all at the same time. Like, anyone who has a touch of maybe too much ego is in Carmichael’s situation. I think in the heart of things, they’ll usually find themselves misjudging the situation, and he does. Drastically. Of course, he makes that mistake that leads to Marissa really having him under her thumb.

And then Season 3 begins with him working against his own best interests and it really gets, you know, dark corners, people looking around the walls. I mean, it really honors the original spy genre where the good guy who has to act like the bad guy, or vice versa, and all of them working against each other. It’s really great intrigue this season. Heightened action and even more heart, ultimately it’s a really strong set of shows.

Your scenes in particular with Ray Liotta, they’ve got that classic 1970s guys in a smoky room sort of vibe. How was that working opposite somebody like Ray?

Dermot Mulroney: That was such a high point for me. I mean, I was already well challenged with Esmé Creed-Miles and Mireille Enos, and super satisfied with our task last year. And really, I knew there was a character out there, but I didn’t know who was going to play it until shortly beforehand. So the reveal for me that it was Ray Liotta was really amazing, to get to do… I think it ultimately amounts to one scene.

Well, you know, Hanna has all these storylines that are taking place at the same time, but it’s when they cross that it gets really intriguing, and that’s true for this scene. As in any scene in the Hanna world. Because we thought Carmichael was the top dog running this whole show, and then it’s revealed; zoom out a little bit, and it’s a much bigger program. And it really… the base purpose of UTRAX is fully defined, and it’s super disturbing, which makes it super intriguing, you know? For a spy show.

Carmichael is active in the story on both a physical and mental level, but do you ever get to see what Esmé and Mireille are doing and go, ‘I wish I got to do those super intense action scenes’?

Dermot Mulroney: No, no, I’ll take whatever! This job, and all my jobs, whatever it requires. I’m thrilled to be there. I knew what they were up to, that super hard work. And I just knew the both of them were so physically prepared for these roles. For, you know; fighting, shooting, running, all done beautifully safely. And, you know, Carmichael finds himself held against his will. But, if you know the scene I’m referring to, he probes deeply in order to escape himself. In fact, I thought that actor was a stuntman!

So, I learned at the end of the day that he was not a stuntman and he was just an actor, so I hope he’s okay! But Carmichael gets out of that pickle, only to fall into a few more before the credits, so he is definitely now on the run. He’s on the street. He’s armed and he’s desperate. It really plays great for somebody that, we were lulled into thinking as you said, he’s the man behind the curtain, right? But he’s out on the streets in this season, so it gets really exciting.

That concludes our interview with Dermot Mulroney. The third and final season of Hanna comes to Prime Video on Wednesday, November 24, and you can check out our interview with co-star Ray Liotta here.