Well before the SAG-AFTRA strike, we had the opportunity to talk with some talent in anticipation of Heels Season 2.
Today, we’re sharing part of our conversation with Alison Luff, who plays Staci Spade on the show.
As wife to the Duffy Wrestling League air and current owner, Jack Spade, Staci finds herself grappling with decades’ worth of secrets threatening her family’s livelihood in the new season.
In this conversation, Alison teases what to expect between Staci and Jack as they take a breather from their marriage and how Staci will butt heads with Willie about the many DWL secrets hidden in plain sight, ripe for Staci to uncover.
Enjoy the first portion of our full conversation below!
So how exciting is it to have this season finally shown? I mean, it’s been so long.
Oh, I’m so happy. I mean, I joke that while we were filming it, we were just like, “Can we just release it right now?” And we were so excited. We were so excited to have a Season 2.
We were so excited to share it with fans. And this season, it explores these characters so much deeper. And, yeah, it was long-awaited, and I am ready for it to air.
Yeah. I agree. It’s a notch above Heels Season 1, for sure.
Oh, awesome. Thank you. Yeah, I think so, too.
I really enjoyed it.
So tell me what’s going on between Staci and Jack as the season begins.
I always described Staci as the queen of accountability, and she is still holding his feet to the flame, so to speak. And she’s not living at their house right now, she’s staying with a friend. She hasn’t moved out, she hasn’t left him. She’s just staying at a friend’s, giving him space.
When she left, she had her big rodeo moment that she had to prepare for and do, and he had the fair. So she just thought, “Hey, it’s best, let’s just take some space, focus on what we need to focus on, and get it done, and we’ll talk back when we’re not running so hot.” And I think that was a smart thing to do.
I think every relationship should have discord. It should have healthy discord and healthy confrontation. And Staci and Jack were always really good at discord and confrontation and discussing things. And in Season 1, we saw that the communication started to get a bit muddy.
He started to fib, he started to lie a bit, and that’s something that she just wasn’t going to tolerate because it’s a slippery slope, and you give an inch, people will take a mile with that. And she just wasn’t willing to compromise with that.
So throughout Heels Season 2, we see them navigate that and navigate how to communicate, how to trust one another, and also how to show each other grace in the moments that they’re not showing up 100% for their partner.
Yeah, that’s a good way to put it. Staci is a lot more involved with the DWL this season, which gives you a meatier storyline. What was it like getting to be a part of the gang and hanging out at the dome all the time?
Oh, that was so fun just because I was around my friends all the time, and I love doing scenes with Stephen, but it gave me an opportunity to do more with other people as well. And I think it’s really cool for Staci because she wanted a job. She wanted something to keep her busy while Thomas was at school.
And I think something that she learned was, “Hey, this is going to be in our life. This is important to you, which means it’s important to me. And if this is going to be our family business, our family’s got to come first. But our family business means it can really affect our family. So I want some say in it.” And she does that.
She takes matters into her own hands, and she’s someone who does not shy away from a situation. So she wants all the nitty-gritty details of the past because knowledge is power in her mind.
And sure, you can pull the covers off of some things, and it can be really crappy. But she knows, “Okay, well, at least if I see our situations and our problems, then I can figure out a plan on how to fix them.”
And that gives Staci and Willie some really good scenes together, as Willie is holding the secrets that Staci is trying to uncover. What was it like playing those scenes?
I mean, doing anything with Mary McCormack is such a dream and such a learning tool because she’s so freaking awesome. But something I really enjoyed was just magnifying their different strengths and their similarities. I mean, these are two very different women who probably judge each other a little bit.
I think that they are both very, very strong-willed in different ways. But they also have a lot of similarities. There’s a softness about Staci that I don’t think Willie necessarily has anymore. However, there is a grit to Willie and a no-nonsense style about her that also dwells within Staci.
I mean, they have that really in common. And they’re two women that get what they want in the end because they’re not scared of how to go about getting it. And so that was really, really cool to explore.
And I think it was cool to explore these two really, really strong women who probably come into things judging each other a little bit when really they have a lot more in common than they think, I think.
And Willie was pretty much telling Staci to be careful what you wish for because the more you know, the more you’re going to have to carry that burden. Do you think that Staci has any idea how deep the well of secrets goes?
I think Staci knew something was up, which is why she was pressing. She’s not somebody who is just asking for answers. And then when she gets them, is like, well, I don’t want to deal with that, which is, I think, what Willie thought about her.
She said there are two kinds of women in the world, some that just emit vapors and let people handle things for them. She says this right after Staci’s on a ladder, grouting a window. So clearly, she doesn’t just let people do things for her. And then there are women that take care of things, like me.
And, sure, Willie takes care of things, but they take care of things in a different way. Staci demands these answers, and I think the reason she presses so hard was that she has an instinct that something isn’t right, and I know that something’s not right. And her instincts are strong; that is one of her superpowers.
And so she gets the answers she wants. Does she like the answers? No. Do they scare the crap out of her? Absolutely.
But she’s going to face them head-on, and maybe she’ll learn a bit about herself and learn that, “Oh, things aren’t always as pleasant. You can’t always play by the rules as much as you thought you could when your family’s at stake.”
Because, above all else, she’s going to protect your family. She’s a mama bear.
And there are scenes where I was like, just stop digging. They don’t need you to dig right now. But Staci keeps digging. The reason why it works is because of your performance.
How did you ensure that she was going to be going at it like a bear but not come across as a bear? If that makes sense.
Oh, well, thanks. Because it’s all done with good intentions, she’s not digging to cause problems, she’s digging to solve the problems because she knows [there’s an opportunity] to change their lives, and it’s going to be everything that they wish for.
But she’s also a smart enough woman to know you can’t come with baggage. People aren’t going to want you with baggage. And again, she’s somebody that is not going to shy away and take the easy way out because it usually won’t last.
She’s someone that is everlasting, that wants something substantial that will last. So I try to just do that with her, and it’s all about intention.
She’s not trying to come and stir the pot, cause problems, or stress people out. She’s not trying to blame it on anyone. She’s just trying to help.
And her way of helping is being like, “Nobody wants to deal with this issue, and it’s an issue. So it’s got to be taken care of because it’s going to come back sooner or later. And it’s what killed my father-in-law.”
Hopefully, that was enough to ignite your fire for Heels Season 2 without giving too much away. There is so much on the horizon, and as the season continues, we’ll share more of our conversation when we can discuss things freely.
For now, be sure to tune into Heels on Friday. It drops on the Starz streaming platform at midnight and on linear at 10/9c on Starz.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.