The first season of SundanceTV’s East Texas-set crime drama Hap and Leonard has already featured a couple of double-crosses and several killings as its characters first tried to retrieve, and then fell out over, a fortune in stolen cash. But that was all just a warm-up to tonight’s penultimate episode of the six-part Joe R. Lansdale adaptation, according to Christina Hendricks, who plays the show’s waitress-femme fatale, Trudy.
“I guess I would say the fifth episode is where the s— hits the fan,” says the Mad Men star. “This brings us all — the entire motley crew — back to Leonard’s house. Trudy has hidden the money herself, and will not give up any information, so there is a strength in her that we didn’t know she had before.”
Trudy’s mettle will be tested by actor Jimmi Simpson’s psychotic baddie Soldier. “Jimmi is amazing,” Hendricks says. “He does such a brilliant job of being scary. He really is terrifying in how off-kilter he is — he’s just playing this walking time bomb. You really don’t know what’s going to happen next with him. He terrified me!”
Hendricks says the episode — which also stars James Purefoy and Michael Kenneth Williams as our titular heroes — brought up a lot of memories when she eventually saw it. “When you do something like the scenes that we were doing, they’re so emotional that you really are just throwing yourself into it,” she explains. “So much physically is happening to you, and so much is happening so quickly that, in a way, it’s almost a dream or a whirlwind. And within all that chaos, there’s also incredible technical aspects that just have to be spot-on or someone gets hurt. It’s just a lot to think about. So, it’s a little bit like having an out-of-body experience to go back and see it.”
The fifth episode of Hap and Leonard screens Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET. You can see the previous four shows at the official Sundance TV website. And you can watch a teaser for tonight’s episode and a tense scene involving Hendricks and Simpson, above.