Tonight on the Bull season 2 finale, Marissa Morgan found herself facing a tough choice. Realizing that her life totally revolves around working alongside Dr. Bull and not having anything for herself, she decided to tender her resignation. However, in the midst of trying to free Elliott Miles she has a change of heart and decided to destroy the resignation letter … all before Bull suffers a heart attack in the closing minutes.
So what went into Marissa’s decision to stay with Bull, and did she know on some level that something profound could happen to him? In the second part of our finale interview with Geneva Carr, (you can read the first part of our interview here) the actress talks about recording that beautiful monologue where she narrates the resignation letter, plus Marissa’s mindset and whether or not she knows anything about season 3.
CarterMatt: You had this really beautiful monologue in the finale reading the resignation letter. What did you tap into while playing that?
Geneva Carr: It’s funny that you’re talking about that monologue. We did the scene in the therapist office — those, from this past episode and the finale, we shot in one day together. They were really intense. That monologue was so well-written. When [showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron] first wrote that monologue I started sobbing. I had to read it several times to catch my breath because Marissa is so much more in control than I am.
We recorded that monologue in the hallway between the lunchroom and the set in a corner with our sound guy; we were going to do it in the studio, but Glenn said ‘just read it. We’ll talk about it later.’ I had been saying afterwards ‘when are we going to do that?’ because no one had contacted me … I think it was so well written that I was just able to tap into what it was in the moment. There’s something about the show this season that everybody had this feeling of connection. That was just a scratch tape and if you responded to that I’m so happy because I loved the writing. I was so nervous about going in the studio, but we never did (laughs).
He got what he needed!
I guess so! It’s really amazing how [Glenn] listens to what everybody does and he writes for every actor. Everyone is so natural because he’s tapped into something that they have — not that they are that person, but it’s something that they give.
Michael [Weatherly] and I talk to each other after every single episode airs to talk each other down about what happened and what we like, and he’s always educating me. We were talking about the last episode and how, Danny, Cable, Chunk and Benny, are so naturally in tune with what these characters are feeling, there is this symbiotic thing that’s happening that’s so lovely. Whether you have one scene or two scene or ten scenes — as an actor you’re always like ‘how many lines do I have’ (laughs), but we all fit and we all have a place. There’s a glance that Danny will give or a gesture that Chunk had in this past episode that says so much about who he is and how he fits in. Ironically, Cable, the real actress [Annabelle Attanasio], doesn’t really know about technology, but you believe that she is this millennial godsend.
What do you think it was that caused Marissa to rip up her resignation? Was it her realizing that TAC is her family, and even though she is going through therapy, this is just something she can’t let go of?
The scene before I rip it up, we’re all together and we’re watching Bull figure out the case. You see everyone leave and I’m this tiny person in a big office. I think that’s when I realize that I’m going to stay because he’s my friend and we’re a part of a bigger picture. I realize I cannot turn my back on Bull because he’s going to need me for what happens next.
When you do anything that’s a group activity, when you know you have to take one for the team it becomes bigger than your needs. That’s when she realizes it. Bull’s on a bigger journey and season 3 it’s going to tell us a lot about him. Marissa decides she’s not leaving. He needs her. As much as she loves the team, I think it’s her commitment to that friendship, that she is going to see him through what the next steps are.
There’s something very interesting in what you just said. Even though she couldn’t predict a heart attack was coming, do you think she knew on some level something could happen to him? She’s seen what he’s going through and knows he probably needs her.
I think it’s that thing that happens in life — you don’t know why you are forced to make that decision. Marissa doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Regardless of if Marissa knew or not, she realizes that his need is bigger than her need, but it’s not in a controlling kind of way. The bigger picture is that this man is going through something so deep and she can’t turn her back on him. We have those moments in life where you don’t know why your friend really needs you, but you show up and find out later. I’ve had that happen in my own life. There’s something in the universe that causes you to reach out to them. Is it God? Is it the universe? Is it how we feel for each other? It’s all of those things that happen that you can’t explain.
I think this is why television is so profound — it reflects what life is. I’ve always loved television. I made it to Broadway and did all of those things, but my dream was to be on television because you watch as a family. You watch in your house. You’re invited into people’s homes. People respond to television shows based on what’s happening in their lives and the relationship that Marissa and Bull have, a lot of people have that. We are working with a team where we are depending on each other. When Cable left this season, there were a lot of conflicting views. Marissa was not on board; I loved her, but I thought she made a huge mistake. The fact that everybody had an opinion on that, is what I love about television. It reflects people and a show taps into it when people feel like they know those people. I feel like you can only do that when you’re being honest.
How much do you know about what’s coming up next? Has Glenn started to give you hints?
Michael and I love to discuss this because he’s a big dreamer, but the truth is we have no idea. All I know is I’m back (laughs). I’m always in tears that I’ll never come back. Season 3 is happening. We’ve all put hints out there, but the truth is that Glenn and his writers make magic. When I know that writers have paid attention to us, I trust where it’s going to go. We have had so many interesting episodes and I feel like they know who we are. They know who we are as people as characters. I think it’s going to be really unpredictable. Michael and I joke about what’s going to happen, but it’s going to be a big surprise.
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