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‘Our Flag Means Demise’ Star Con O’Neill Addresses Izzy’s Ending: ‘I Cherished Taking part in Him’

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Our Flag Means Death Season 2 Episode 8 “Mermen.”]

Our Flag Means Death bid one necessary member of the crew farewell within the Season 2 finale: Izzy Palms (Con O’Neill) died by the hands of pathetic pirate-wannabe Prince Ricky (Erroll Shand).

Ranging from a spot of trauma and struggling, Izzy defies the percentages to beat his ache and embrace new prospects as Season 2 unfolds. He realized some helpful classes about himself alongside the way in which, and viewers had been handled to a number of nice moments with the character as his journey reached its unhappy, however becoming conclusion.

Because the SAG-AFTRA strike ran by means of Season 2’s run, actors had been unable to advertise the present, however that lately modified after the union struck a take care of AMPTP. Because the promotion ban was lifted, TV Insider has been lucky sufficient to meet up with O’Neill to debate Izzy’s stunning ending. Trying again on his run because the initially antagonistic first mate to Taika Waititi‘s Blackbeard, O’Neill opens up about Izzy’s arc, making ready for that musical second in drag, his hope for a attainable return if the present’s picked up for Season 3, and rather more.

(Credit score: Nicola Dove/Max)

We mentioned goodbye to Izzy this season. What was your preliminary response to studying his destiny, and the way did you put together for his dying?

Con O’Neill: You already know what, I’ve been round a very long time, and going by means of these first few scripts and seeing which method the arc was going, it didn’t shock me. I used to be upset as a result of I cherished enjoying him, however on the similar time, I feel David is aware of what he’s doing, and we’re all right here due to David Jenkins, initially. So I obtained it. I made him pay for dinner, however I obtained it nonetheless. After which it was only a matter of honoring what they’d written. And so they stored stunning me each episode. He stored giving me stuff that took my breath away and challenged me enormously. And yeah, should you’re going to exit, exit like that.

What message would you wish to share with followers who’re nonetheless combating Izzy’s loss?

That’s an enormous ask, isn’t it? I’d say that I’ve nothing however love, respect, and religion in David Jenkins. Belief him. He is aware of what he’s doing. None of this was taken calmly. Belief David Jenkins.

While you had been making ready for Izzy’s ending, which scene felt like an even bigger send-off — that epic monologue delivered to Ricky or his closing phrases to Ed aboard the Revenge?

I keep in mind the day we filmed what turned out to be a eulogy… We shot it a number of instances, after which Fernando [Frias], who was directing that episode, advised we do yet another take and to “let the guard down,” was his phrase. And I didn’t know the guard was up, however that’s the take they used. And there’s an ad-lib in that take as properly, which I received’t let you know what it’s, which one it’s. However I assumed the profound second can be the dying. I didn’t perceive on the time that the profound second was the speech. I knew the speech was good. I knew they’d written one thing extraordinary. As a result of they performed with the narrative a bit within the edit, I didn’t know the place it was going to play essentially within the closing edit. However yeah, it’s principally written and Fernando gave me the important thing to get the place we went to. So thanks, Fernando.

Con O'Neill in 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2

(Credit score: Nicola Dove/Max)

You point out ad-libbing. Was there any scene or second you bought to improvise or loved improvising this season?

I can’t keep in mind. There was loads this season. That one within the eulogy speech is as a result of I see it being performed in every single place on a regular basis in the meanwhile. So I hear that loads. There was much more understanding of character on this season. Ninety-nine p.c of ad-libs don’t get in. The factor that’s not usually mentioned about our present is it’s f**king fantastically written. And we do numerous takes, and so long as we get what’s written down earlier than we do every other enjoying round, then we’ve completed our job as a result of our writers are distinctive. And the enjoyment as an actor — I’m a theater actor from method again — is whenever you see a few of this writing. It’s simply good.

You discuss being a theater performer. Have been you thrilled to tackle Izzy’s musical second in drag? I used to be informed you realized the French model and English model of “La Vie En Rose” for the episode.

I’d like to say I taught myself, however no, I don’t converse French in any respect to my disgrace, however my companion does, and I’ve a buddy known as Jenna Russell, who’s simply performed Edith Piaf within the West Finish. So between the 2 of them, they taught me tips on how to [sing the song in French]. And it was simply excruciating for each of them… how I bastardized the French language. And bless him, Samba [Schutte] as properly was even there once we had been doing the lip sync to the recording. Samba was kneeling down, out the shot telling me if my mouth was doing the unsuitable form for a few of [it]. I imply, it was that excessive, however we obtained there by the pores and skin of our tooth. Nevertheless it’s humorous should you’d requested me for a music for Izzy, I’d by no means in 1,000,000 years have considered “La Vie En Rose.” Now I couldn’t consider any music that fits him higher.

What was the method like getting to seek out Izzy’s drag look? As a result of it doesn’t really feel like he’s embodying a personality, however somewhat an extension of himself.

Quite a bit, to be trustworthy. Nancy [Hennah] first talked to me about it. The drag was on, it was off, it was on, it was off, it was on. It was off. After which once we obtained near filming, the drag was on once more, and I simply didn’t need it to be a comedy. Not that she ever advised it was, however there have been variations of the concepts for the drag which had been so excessive that it felt like a parody. And I didn’t need it to be a parody.

Con O'Neill and Rhys Darby in 'Our Flag Means Death' Season 2

(Credit score: Nicola Dove/Max)

Right here’s an unique for you. When Kristian [Nairn] and I shot the scene the place I found Wee John doing his make-up, there was one take of the scene the place we ended up wanting within the mirror collectively, and I heard myself say, “Make me fairly.” And as mild as that sounds, it had a profound impact on me as a result of I immediately realized that that half in [Izzy] that had by no means been introduced earlier than was eager to announce himself and to be fairly whereas he was doing it.

And that grew to become actually necessary to me once we had been designing the look. And between Nancy, our good make-up designer, and Deb [Watson], my make-up artist, they got here up with that look, which I feel actually honors Izzy as a personality, but in addition made him fairly. It had a profound impact on me once I had myself say these phrases. I feel it’s most likely the primary time Izzy has ever mentioned the phrase fairly — and it was about himself. I imply, how pretty is that?

Izzy went by means of one other transformation earlier this season together with his peg leg. Was changing into the brand new “unicorn” of the Revenge very important for his character growth this season?

Yeah, I’ve been fascinated about this loads immediately as a result of I’ve been requested numerous questions round this theme. And what I feel is gorgeous about Izzy’s arc or Izzy’s redemption is we don’t change who he was. It’s a model of who he was, who’s now feeling gratitude and acceptance. And we will discuss in regards to the closet, whether or not it’s an emotional closet or a sexual closet. He comes out of the closet this season, figuratively and visibly, and each queer particular person has that story. They’re all totally different variations of the story, however the reduction of the approaching out course of, it’s life-changing. That’s what Izzy does on this season, is he comes out and it’s had a profound impact on the viewers. So lots of them have already themselves or wish to, or have to, they usually let him, our writers let him. It’s pretty.

David had said following the finale that there’s no Our Flag Means Demise with out Izzy. Would you come again for a 3rd season if requested? In spite of everything, that is the type of present the place a personality can flip right into a seagull, so certainly there’s room for a ghost.

That’s a dialog you must have with David. David is the boss on all of this, and I do know David all the time wished a Season 3. I’d be heartbroken for the present if he didn’t get a Season 3 as a result of it deserves it. It’s an necessary present. If Izzy’s concerned, and if he isn’t, I nonetheless assume it’s a very necessary present and it needs to be given its send-off season.

On a extra light-hearted closing be aware, we obtained to see Izzy work together extra with Stede as a mentor. What was it like getting to construct that dynamic with Rhys in Season 2?

I cherished it. Have you learnt what? Rhys was good within the first season, however within the second season, he simply discovered some further confidence and he actually stepped up. He’s f**king good within the second season, and dealing with him on these scenes, it was a pleasure. It was an absolute pleasure as a result of he’s f**king landed so fantastically. And to be current with him in his newfound religion and confidence… it was joyful, and I feel he’s superior.

Our Flag Means Demise, Seasons 1-2, Streaming now, Max

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