Madeleine Martin Dissects Californication: Season Two

Madeleine Martin and Becca Moody share their thoughts on the upcoming DVD release and September's third season premiere

Californication: The Second Season is set to hit DVD on August 25th, arriving just in time for viewers to get caught up with the exploits of writer Hank Moody ( David Duchovny) before Showtime premieres its third season on September 27th. Madeleine Martin plays Becca Moody on the series, starring as Hank's young daughter, the only person that can ground him in any sense of reality while living and struggling in Los Angeles, California. Season Two of this award winning series is full of exciting moments and big surprises, some of which tip the line of decency and good taste. Martin recently stopped by for a chat about her upcoming DVD, as well as the upcoming new season. Here is what she had to say:

What aspects of Californication: The Second Season did you find most shocking, having watched it as both a cast member and an audience member?

Madeleine Martin: I didn't watch all of it. I only watched my scenes. My parents TIVO it, and I fast-forward through the show. Its true, I don't watch much of the show other than own my part.

Being so young, is Californication a show you're really not allowed to watch just yet?

Madeleine Martin: I think I will watch all of our upcoming season three episodes. Yeah. I think I choose not to watch it.

What scenes do you think will resonate most with new fans just coming into the show on DVD, who haven't had a chance to see Season Two when it first aired on Showtime?

Madeleine Martin: It was pretty hard for Becca to see her father in jail. Those moments are pretty dramatic. That happens in the second episode of Season Two. Then there's that scene in the season finale where Hank and I are watching the planes fly overhead. The low flying planes are pretty impactful. I keep thinking about the new scenes in season three. Season Two seems so far away. I do like the boyfriend storyline from last season. The scenes with Becca and Damien are pretty great.

Bold|Once the series hits Showtime, is it hard to keep some of the secrets and surprises away from fans that won't be able to see it until it comes to DVD?

Madeleine Martin: No. People will ask what's happening, and I am able to tell them without giving it all away.

How do you feel Becca has changed from Season One to Season Two, and how do you see her growing throughout Season Three?

Madeleine Martin: In the first season, Becca experienced the break-up of her family. And she would sympathize with Hank, because Karen was allowing another man to fracture their happy home. In Season Two, Becca started to sympathize more with her mother, because Hank would sometimes hurt her. Now, in Season Three, Becca is fourteen at a time when most girls are dependant on their mothers. Karen is in New York. She is pursuing a job, so Becca feels that absence and rejection. She discovers that she was an unwanted child, and she has become insecure about her parents love for her. So she is acting out a lot this season.

The relationship between Hank and Becca is really important to the show. How has that relationship changed over the years? Do you think it's possibly for Becca to stay happy throughout Season Three?

Madeleine Martin: The first couple of seasons, Hank and Becca were very close. Becca idolized her father. Now, in Season Three, she sees his bad side, and all of his flaws. She starts acting out. David and me had a lot of fighting scenes. They were actually heated arguments. I was a little worried that my relationship on set would be different with him. He, of course, kept things from getting too heated. In one scene, he used the Ifart. Have you heard of that?

No, I haven't.

Madeleine Martin: It's really funny. The Iphone comes with this application called Ifart. It makes farting noises. David would use it constantly throughout the season. He wouldn't tell anybody he had it. We'd all be prepared to do a scene, and he would pull up in his car. We would all try to get the scene done, and he would whip out his Ifart.

Hank's decisions in the Season Two finale really seemed to be based on his relationship with Becca. How do you think that will upend or undo the bond between you this season?

Madeleine Martin: They are very similar in temperament, Becca and Hank. They both keep things wrapped up inside until there's a big explosion. And there is a pretty good explosion in Season Three. I think its because they are so close. They fight a lot. She always says, "I hate you, Ralph." Every time she says, "I hate you!" She is vying for attention, because she actually loves him.

You are playing pretty close to the age of your character. Many times on a show like this, they will have an actor that is much older than what is being portrayed on screen. How does that affect the way you play your character? And do the writers ever come to you asking for advice?

Madeleine Martin: The writers do talk to me a lot off the set. Sometimes the things I say, or the music I am listening to, does end up in the show. Becca likes the same things I like. But Becca has a much harder life than I do. When I'm playing her, I tend to sympathize with her. I will substitute my own experiences for hers. That's the way you have to play it. It's like the scene in Season Two. My father is in jail. Obviously, I have never seen my real father in jail. When I was doing that scene, I imagined what it would have been like to visit my older brother in jail. Let me note, he's never been in jail. But it was easier for me to envision my brother in jail than my frosty, professor father.

How much leeway do the writers give you and your character? Do you just come in and do what is on the page, or do you have a hand in shaping Becca's destiny?

Madeleine Martin: This season I do say some of my own lines. This is the first season I have been comfortable with improvising. David always improvises. The first two seasons, I wasn't comfortable with it. I came from a theater where I had to stick to the script. But I started to branch out and do some improvising. It was fun.

Would you say that David was a teacher in that way? Did he show you how to improvise on the set?

Madeleine Martin: Yeah. David is great. He is like a Jedi actor when it comes to improvising. He is amazing. I learned a lot about the art from him.

Do you ever get a little jealous of the other actors when you see some of the storylines they get to play out from episode to episode?

Madeleine Martin: This season, Embeth Davidtz played my best friend's mother. She had such a great storyline. And she was an amazing actress. We both played drunk in the same scene. And I loved watching her play drunk. I learned a lot from her.

I am always interested in learning how an actor decides to play drunk on screen. How did you create that for yourself?

Madeleine Martin: I have never been drunk. I watched the movie Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Did you see that? Beth's friend is drunk in it. That actress really made me laugh. I really tried to imitate that. I loved that scene in the port authority with the turkey sandwich. I thought that was so funny.

You mentioned Becca's boyfriend Damien. Does he return this season, and do you think what we see happen between them in Season Two is going to help shape some of Becca's upcoming romantic entanglements?

Madeleine Martin: I think Becca will certainly make a lot of wrong decisions in the boyfriend department. Especially because of how Hank treats women. Damien isn't in Season Three. They have broken up, and she has a best friend instead. That is more fun, because she has an accomplice in her crazy adventures.

Having a best friend usually leads to a romantic subplot. Is that the case?

Madeleine Martin: Yeah, this girl is a bit older than Becca. She belongs to a perfect family, which Becca really wants. The girl lives in a nice house, with a nice family. Becca doesn't see that there is actually a crack in the facade of this ivy-covered mansion.

It's a girl best friend. I thought it was a guy.

Madeleine Martin: No, it's a girl. She is a lot more mature and reckless than Becca. And the girl ends up leading Becca down the wrong road.

Californication flirts with a lot of taboo subjects. Is this easing itself into a Lesbian relationship between two teenagers? Or is this simply a platonic relationship?

Madeleine Martin: We thought we were heading down that road, but it didn't take that turn. It is actually a platonic, best friend girls looking for boys sort of relationship.

And what eventually happens is that you two go out looking for boys, and some major trouble occurs.

Madeleine Martin: Yes. (laughs)

As a teenager, how do you think this show has changed certain perceptions concerning the norm. Do you think it has opened people's minds a little bit, especially with some of its taboo subjects?

Madeleine Martin: I think that's what everyone wants, but I don't know if it really does. I don't think people are really fazed by what they see on TV and in films. I don't know. It's not for me to say.

Since it premiered, there has been a lot of backlash regarding the show's content. Especially with its explicit nature. Do you ever see the writers taking some of that backlash and using it to their advantage to advance the storylines?

Madeleine Martin: They're never disappointed with the backlash. Which surprises me. I don't know if they like it. But I do know that they like it when people talk about the show.

Do you ever hear people talk about the show outside of the crew you work with? And how do you let that affect your character?

Madeleine Martin: My friends don't watch the show, and I don't follow ratings. I don't pay attention to any of that. I don't hear about it. My part is so different than the rest of the show. My part is just about the relationship between Hank and Becca.

What is one of your favorite scenes from Season Two?

Madeleine Martin: I love the season finale montage from Season Two, between Hank and Becca. Karen has left, and we are just sitting on this porch by the water watching these low flying planes. It was really fun to shoot. We had to sit there for three hours. We were just talking. And the planes were getting really close. It was scary, but I loved it because it was so real.

What do you hope for Becca in the future?

Madeleine Martin: I don't know how long this series will go for. It looks like we will do a fourth season. I would really like Becca to run away, and go to New York. I think that would be a lot of fun.

Californication: The Second Season hits store shelves on August 25th, 2009. Californication Season Three premieres on Showtime this September 27th.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange