IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

‘Ginny & Georgia’ star Brianne Howey doubted she could ‘pull off’ Season 2 twist

When Howey learned what her character was going to do this season, she was shocked: "I did not know how I would be able to justify this."
Brianne Howey as Georgia in season 2 of "Ginny & Georgia."
Brianne Howey as Georgia Miller in season 2 of Netflix's "Ginny & Georgia."Netflix
/ Source: TODAY

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Season Two of “Ginny & Georgia.” 

In Season Two of “Ginny & Georgia,” Georgia Miller decides to finally fess up to her children. She has secrets — a lot of them.

The mother of two, played by Brianne Howey, opens up to Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and Austin (Diesel La Torraca) about her murderous past, bringing them closer following a major rift. Ginny and Austin later convince their mom to be honest with fiancé Paul (Scott Porter) and fully trust him before they tie the knot. 

Georgia comes clean about multiple crimes, but she keeps one to herself. During a jaw-dropping scene in Season Two, Georgia smothers Tom, Cynthia’s (Sabrina Grdevich) comatose husband, to death with a pillow. 

In an interview with, Howey says she was just as shocked as the viewers to learn that Georgia added another person to her kill list.

The 33-year-old actor says that after reading the script, she “did not know how or if I would be able to justify this or pull it off.”

Following a discussion with writer and producer Sarah Lampert and showrunnner Debra J. Fisher, Howey had a change of heart. 

Below, she explains Georgia’s thought process during the chilling scene to She also breaks down Georgia’s journey with Ginny throughout Season Two and reveals what she thinks Georgia will do if the show is renewed for a third season.

In Season 1, Georgia is rarely not put together, from her outfits to hair and perfect smile. We see that facade crack this season. How was it exploring a new side to the character?

I loved getting to explore this other layer of Georgia. We’ve never seen her so broken, even though she lets her pride get in the way and won’t admit that she is having these more vulnerable feelings regarding her children running away from her. It allows us to have a lot more to play with on set.

What is it about Gil that makes Georgia more fearful compared to other people who have confronted her?  

Georgia knows what Gil is fully capable of and that terrifies her. She’s used to being able to manipulate everyone in her life and stay at least a few steps ahead of them — and Gil is someone she can’t control. Gil is a little bit of a wildcard because Georgia also learned many of her tactics from Gil. I think that’s where their dynamic is really interesting. A lot of the cards Georgia plays she learned from him. The fact that now he’s back in the picture is really unpredictable for her.

Diesel La Torraca as Austin Miller andAaron Ashmore as Gil in episode 205 of "Ginny & Georgia."
Diesel La Torraca as Austin Miller andAaron Ashmore as Gil in episode 205 of "Ginny & Georgia."Netflix

How would you describe Georgia's different connections with Paul, Joe and Zion? 

All of these relationships are so nuanced and dynamic! I think Zion (Nathan Mitchell) is her first, true love. Paul is her protector. Joe (Raymond Ablack) is one of her best friends.

Nathan Mitchell as Zion, Raymond Ablack as Joe and Scott Porter as Paul Randolph in "Ginny & Georgia."
Nathan Mitchell as Zion, Raymond Ablack as Joe and Scott Porter as Paul Randolph in "Ginny & Georgia." / Netflix

Were you surprised that Georgia has remembered Joe this entire time? 

No, because in Season One, Georgia calls him Joe at the diner. They play it off like it’s the name tag, but I’ve always felt Georgia was just messing with him. Georgia absolutely knows who Joe is. But she has enough plates spinning in the air at one time and just has not been able to fully indulge in the Joe situation yet.

Which side of Georgia do you enjoy playing the most? 

Definitely the mom part. I think Ginny and Austin are her pride and joy. There’re her reasons for living and Georgia says they’re her future. I think they bring out the best in Georgia in my opinion.

She has such a sweet bond with Ginny and Austin. How did you develop that connection with the actors so quickly? 

Despite the time between (filming) Season One and Season Two, it was shockingly easy to jump right back into character. I would say almost for everyone (it’s) because the relationships from Season One are so strong (and) the bonds are so strong. Ginny and Georgia characters have such a rich history that there’s so much to play off of, so many layers to keep in mind. There’s never a dull second between them because the noise between them is so loud. It’s just so rich. 

On a personal level, I love Antonia so much. I would do anything for her. I feel so grateful that we naturally jived and had chemistry. I have four younger siblings and she kind of falls right in the middle of their ages. So, it wasn’t that big of a leap for me to love and adore her. And not to mention she’s an incredibly talented actress who makes taking risks in the moment feel much safer because we do have this love, respect and safety net between us. 

Antonia Gentry as Ginny in episode 202 of "Ginny & Georgia."
Antonia Gentry as Ginny in episode 202 of "Ginny & Georgia."Netflix

In Episode 7, Ginny says her mom does not respect her boundaries and that Georgia does not understand what it means to be Black. Why was that an important conversation to have this season? 

One of the beautiful things about getting to be an actor is our responsibility to be empathetic and showcase humanity. Whether we like it or not, there are plenty of social and cultural blinders that are part of that. The only way to grow is to acknowledge it.

Some of her emotional intelligence, she has to learn from Ginny.

Brianne Howey on Ginny and Georgia's relationship

I’m grateful we got to have these conversation starters in Season Two. For Georgia, it’s a jumping off point for her to have some self-awareness about something she was completely in the dark about.

Georgia's never had the luxury of going to therapy or having the time to self reflect and be introspective. She has a very limited toolbox and has been on the run, reimagining (and) redefining her identity every day of her life since she was a child. All Georgia knows is survival mode. The downside of that is some of her emotional intelligence, she has to learn from Ginny. She didn’t come into this world with that.

What was your favorite scene or the scene you were anticipating filming the most from Season 2?

I was excited and anxious to do the car scene in Episode Three and the Christmas episode reveal of Ginny’s self-harm because I knew they were such important moments for our characters. I felt this weight of responsibility. I didn’t want to let our characters down. I didn’t want to let the writers down. I didn’t want to let the audience down. So I had this pit in my stomach. But it was an exciting feeling and a motivating feeling to make sure that I tried to give it my all and pay these characters the respect that they deserve because they’re written so beautifully. We’d be nowhere without our writers.

It was also incredibly intimidating, though, and we’re probably using a lot of real life emotion in that moment. The anxiety and the nerves definitely play into those major scenes that have all this really specific nuance about mental health. (I’m) very grateful to have the support of Mental Health America. They helped us a lot throughout the season.

Georgia has a pattern of killing men to protect her children, but Tom marks the first time she kills someone for a friend. What was your reaction when you read the script? 

I was pretty shocked. That was not something I knew about in advance. There was a different plan in mind and then I had a meeting with the creator and showrunner, Sarah and Deb. We sat down and they told us Georgia’s character arc and my mind was just blown. I did not know how or if I would be able to justify this or pull it off.

For Georgia, Cynthia rescinding Gil’s rental application to live in Wellsbury is the greatest act of protection and sacrifice. That is a feeling Georgia has never experienced and all she really wants.

She felt that Cynthia was looking out for her and protecting her. As Georgia says in the car scene with Ginny, "That the hand doesn’t stop on a thigh. I spent my whole life wishing my mom would stop that hand." (Cynthia is) someone stopping that hand for her. In Georgie’s mind, (she’s thinking), "How can she repay this woman who stopped that hand, kept her safe and her whole family safe?" For Georgia, it was to put her family out of their misery.

Also, Georgia understands the importance of how children view their fathers. One of the other devastating aspects of this season was Georgia realizing she can’t keep hiding who Gil truly is from Austin no matter how much she wants to keep him in the dark. She just can’t. I think she feels for Cynthia and her son, that they have to witness this very, very slow, painful death of her husband and father.

Georgia’s decision to protect Cynthia and tell Austin and Ginny her secrets lead to the final moments of Episode 10 where she is arrested for Tom’s murder. Do you think her choices welcomed Ginny and Austin into her traumatic life? 

Given Georgia's upbringing, she’s comparing this to sexual assault, trauma, grief, falling through the cracks of society and not really having any adult or parental figure to look up to or pave the way for her.

Compared to that, I think she does feel that she has spared them a traumatic life. At the same time, it also isn’t lost on Georgia that Austin just shot his father and that she realizes how traumatic that is for him. And it’s beginning to resonate with Georgia what a traumatic life Ginny has been leading once she realizes that she is self harming. Georgia’s coming to the realization she hasn’t shielded them as much as she wanted to.

Diesel La Torraca as Austin Miller in episode 210 of "Ginny & Georgia."Netflix

The last we see of Georgia is her taking mugshot photos after her arrest. How do you think she is feeling at the end of Season 2 leading into a potential third season? 

I think in the exact moment we leave Georgia, her mind is spinning. I think she is incredibly traumatized. Peak trauma because her house of cards has completely come falling down — and with a spotlight on her. This couldn’t have happened in a more public way. Most of the time when the cards start falling down, it’s privately at home and Georgia can mend it. Bu, this is very public and Georgia doesn’t have a plan ready to go, which is also rare for her. But if I know Georgia, she’s never fallen short so far. Georgia is quick. I have no doubt she will start to form a plan.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.