How Penn Badgley and You Influenced Season 2 of The Flight Attendant

The second season of The Flight Attendant challenged its cast to go deeper than ever. In this E! News exclusive, find out why one actor turned to Penn Badgley’s Netflix hit for inspiration.

By Daniel Trainor Apr 21, 2022 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Griffin Matthews' GROSSEST Meals on The Flight Attendant

When work has you stumped, why not call upon a fictional serial killer for help?

In season two of The Flight Attendant, Griffin Matthews, who plays flight attendant/undercover CIA agent Shane, was asked to do a lot of his acting over the phone, often with Kaley Cuoco, who plays his on-again, off-again friend Cassie. 

Turns out phoning it in is not as easy as it looks.

"It is so hard," Griffin told E! News. "That was part of the difference this season. I had to do so many phone calls and you feel like you're naked because normally you're relying on your co-stars to say funny things! Acting is reacting. When you don't have anyone to react to, you feel like you're out there very, very naked."

So, what's an actor to do?

Griffin, who admitted to being a huge fan of You, the Netflix drama starring Penn Badgley as menacing killer Joe Goldberg, had some useful help right on set.

The Flight Attendant: Everything to Know About Season 2

"One of our directors, Silver Tree, is a producer on You," Griffin revealed. "There were so many phone calls on You this season and I said ‘What did you guys do?' and she said sometimes she'd sit at the foot of the camera and just talk. It's wild to do them because they look effortless if they're well done."

Silver directed five episodes of season two of The Flight Attendant and has directed eight episodes of You.

Griffin used Silver's advice and experience, while also employing some other techniques of varying technological degrees.

"There would be a little radio in my ear so I was hearing a recording of Kaley or one of the other characters," Griffin told E!. "I was trying to say the line in the time that the recording is going. Or, right off screen, there's another actress standing by and she's yelling lines at me and I can't look that direction. It was so crazy."

HBO Max; Netflix

While much of their interaction in season two happens off-screen, Griffin and Kaley are very good friends in real life. They used that bond to bring realistic conversations—especially about Kaley's character's alcoholism—to the screen.

"Kaley and I had a lot of conversations off screen talking about what we wanted to reveal," Griffin said. "We do a lot of improv between the two of us. As we get into more of the drama of the season, we started to have conversations about what we wanted to reveal inside of the friendship. It's not just fun and games, it's not just light and feathery. When your friend is actually struggling with alcoholism, we gotta have some real talk, you know?"

Watch Griffin—both on the phone and off!—when the first two episodes of The Flight Attendant's second season drop April 21 on HBO Max.

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