Ragdoll Stars Lucy Hale, Thalissa Teixeira, and Henry Lloyd-Hughes Have Formed a Mutual Admiration Society

We had a chance to talk with the stars of Ragdoll in preparation for the thrilling premiere, which drops today on AMC+.

Ragdoll stars Henry Lloyd-Hughes as DS Nathan Rose, Lucy Hale as DC Lake Edmunds, and Thalissa Teixeira as DI Emily Baxter star, and we have an early Ragdoll review so that you can catch up on what's ahead.

For now, settle back and get to know Ragdoll's engaging trio of leads in our interview, which was laced with laughter from start to finish. Make sure you lean into the humor to get immersed fully in the discussion.

Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Thalissa Teixeira, and Lucy Hall of Ragdoll

Carissa: Starting with you, Henry, can you tell me what attracted you to Ragdoll?

Henry: I had worked with Freddy [Syborn] many, many years ago when he was a younger man. He's still a very young man, and I said to him then, he writes characters how I think, and maybe that reveals more about me and how deranged I am. But he has just got this amazing way of capturing characters. And I had basically been stalking his career ever since.

Then I worked with Sid Gentle doing The Durrells and then, after that, Killing Eve. So that was another piece in the jigsaw, and all of the characters in this piece just lept right off the page for me. I was gripped by not only the fact that it was a hard-bitten detective thriller but also that it had this rye, sardonic humor that was laced alongside quite a deeply macabre and horrifying twisty-turny tale.

So that was the combination that got me hooked, and the chance to take Freddy's vision and do it on an even bigger scale was just a dream gig for me.

Henry Lloyd-Hughes Publicity Shot

Lucy: Yeah, basically what Henry said. All of that aside, the writing was amazing. The characters, the dynamics between the characters, the humor, the balance between the humor, and, sort of, the terror, gore, and horror of it all made it really unique to me. But I guess, just in general, I love this genre.

I'm the first person to watch these types of shows. I would watch the show if I weren't a part of it, but to actually get the opportunity to be a part of something like this was just very creatively exciting for me because this is something I've always sort of written in the journal, kind of had manifested, wanting to be a part of something like this.

So I definitely jumped at the opportunity, but it makes for an entertaining show, obviously, because of the psychological thriller element, the whodunnit element. B

ut I think that what makes it really interesting is the characters and that they're really human, and they're flawed, and you root for them, and I guess that's it, but also tagging along to what Henry said so perfectly.

Lucy Hale Publicity Shot

Thalissa: Yeah, they've said it very eloquently. The first few lines that I wrote of Baxter's was to do with a trip to Legoland that Rose's character also to come and the original scene that actually didn't make it to the final cut of the script that I read when I first got the job.

They were in a theme park, and she was having a horrible time because she doesn't like children, and she wanted to have a cigarette, and she didn't really want to be babysitting. She would much rather be solving crimes.

So I just loved the humor and the backstory. I just thought she was a brilliantly written character. Freddy manages to write women also in a very beautiful way. They're very strong, but they also show their sensitivities, and I think also straying away from this kind of strong woman trope that we often see with these like detectives.

Yes, they're phenomenally capable of doing their job, but they also have what Lucy was saying, like, a heart and a sensitivity, which, I think, was just really brilliant. And you're watching all these layers when you're allowed to see through their very hard exterior sometimes. So she was smarter than me, faster than me, could drive better than me.

Thalissa Teixeira of Ragdoll

Carissa: Your driving was great, Thalissa. You did great.

Thalissa: I did almost kill Lucy Hale at one point. And I looked terrified because this is really scary driving US's most expensive actress. The character was just phenomenal, but also, working with these two was once that had been completely locked down. I just thought it was going to be really phenomenal.

Carissa: And Thalissa, sticking with you, and then going on to Henry kind of piggybacking off of this. Your characters have a very interesting friendship and working relationship. Can you talk a little bit about what it was like to film that? And you mentioned the humor, as well. And I think a lot of that comes from your characters.

Thalissa: I'm very lucky that it was Henry also that was in that role. We even worked together beforehand.

Henry Lloyd-Hughes of Ragdoll

Henry: I was texting her saying, "I'm auditioning for this role. And I know that you've got the other part," and she was being so cool. Like, "cool, good luck with that. Good luck with that, buddy." And I was like, "I got the job." She then said, "oh, I was playing it cool because I didn't want to get my hopes up." And I was like, "wow."

Thalissa: No, genuinely, because also, everything was changing so much because of lockdown. I didn't know. Some people were being cast, people not being cast. It was just a lot was going on.

But when I got a text from Henry saying, "it could be you and me, baby," I was like, this is going to be too good. So I just have to just keep a job, but come on. I said other stuff that was also very useful.

Henry: No, she was very helpful. You were incredibly helpful.

Ragdoll's Trio of Detectives

Thalissa: Yeah. But I think with Baxter and Rose, the friendship they rely on to survive in this absolutely hectic career that they have is vital.

And I think, much to Rose's detriment, I think Baxter allows him to continue on in the case. Cause he probably, as a result of his mental health, should have probably had a little bit more help than what she's giving him.

But I think he comes to realize that she is reliant on him, and she shows her vulnerability to Rose a lot more than anyone else. I think we talked earlier about how the characters are all tied and knotted together because they're the only people who witnessed the same horrific things.

So they can only really talk to each other. Their social life is limited by who would want to hear about what goes on on their Monday mornings, basically.

But I thought the way that Henry is the absolute, phenomenal, generous, so is Lucy. Acting with them is easy. You don't have to really do much. You don't have to do anything; you could practically just sit back and listen to them.

Henry Lloyd-Hughes as DS Nathan Rose

Henry: Just as you said, piggyback on what Thalissa said. We like, so early on in the thing, obviously it helped that we had worked together before, but I said to Thalissa, and I'm sure she was kind enough to say it back as well, that I just completely trusted all of her instincts.

We didn't have much in the way of rehearsal because of COVID. The backlog of projects means that when things come together, you end up feeling like you're slightly being fired out of a cannon towards shooting something.

But as soon as we started, I got exactly what Thalissa was doing. I completely sensed her take on the character and trusted all of her instincts, which freed me up to really feel like I could just go completely with my instincts as well.

So I think that we were sympathetic to each other's choices there. And obviously, I extend that to Lucy as equally as well. It's a very complicated dynamic. They can't live with each other, and they can't live without each other.

Ragdoll Poster

They need each other desperately yet also create a certain amount of toxicity for themselves in enabling certain things within each other. So they do an incredibly hard job, and that has taken tolls on both of them, respectively.

We see this fractured codependency throughout the series where they lean on each other, and in many ways, much like the case is, Rose has everything weirdly hinged on that. I'm sure he feels like the relationship with Baxter is the only thing and the only person that he hasn't pushed away.

So the only thing he hasn't totally bent or messed up, probably, if he was being honest. So, therefore, whatever that shape-shifting form of their dynamic in their relationship is, it's hugely important to what goes on inside his head.

Carissa: Lucy, a couple of questions for you, kind of piggybacking off of each other again. The first is that this is a role for you that your fans will see you in an entirely different light than you've played before, which is interesting.

Lucy Hale of Ragdoll

You're also a part of a UK production, and then your character is also kind of an outsider coming into this already established relationship. Can you talk a little bit about all three of those things and how your experience affected your character's portrayal?

Lucy: Yeah, it's really interesting because there are so many parallels between the three things you said. I'm in this new chapter of my career. This is always something I've wanted to do like I said earlier. And then I'm literally picking up my life, going to a whole new country where I didn't know anyone, didn't know what to expect, didn't know the city.

Luckily, Thalissa and Henry were very kind, took me under their wing, and made me feel very comfortable. But there was the element of, "holy shit, I'm really scared. I'm really nervous."

So my character, obviously, is a fish out of water. She's the new kid on the block, wants to prove herself, wants to prove that she's supposed to be there. She wants to succeed. She wants to do the right thing.

But also, just as Lucy, the actor coming into this new experience, I wanted to prove that I was supposed to be there. I was so nervous that first day. I don't know about you guys, but I will always have imposter syndrome. I'm like well, that's it, recast, fired, out the door. There will always be that.

Thalissa Teixeira as DI Emily Baxter

Henry: You couldn't tell at all. I know I'm betraying my age here, but I was not necessarily entirely clued up with the entire past history of Pretty Little Liars. And I was meeting you just as an incredibly hard-working and like uber professional, hard as nails, always on it, super prepared.

To me, you weren't a fish out of water. You were to the manor born. It just seemed to me like you've been making British television your whole life, or specifically, this type of show. So if that answers your question, Carissa. I don't want to answer on Lucy's behalf.

Thalissa: It's unreal. I've honestly never seen anyone look so awake at five in the morning. And I know she woke up much earlier than the car picked her up. And I learned so much from the professionalism.

And also, Lucy has made a lot of phenomenally hard-working shows. So she goaded me to keep going also because I've never seen an actress with such stamina. It was just like doing a marathon every day. It was amazing.

Lucy Hale as DC Lake Edmunds

Lucy: You guys are amazing. I was so grateful for the experience because I wanted to do something different in my career. And this was like exceeded all my expectations. So, thanks, guys.

Thalissa: Edmonds might be a prissy little liar.

Lucy: Oh boy. You only get one of those; you only ever get to say that once.

Thalissa: I'm never going to say it again. That was the only time I am going to.

Henry: I can't believe that hasn't come out yet today. We've been working on this since March, and it's today that that's coming out.

The Scene of the Crime

Carissa: And that's a phrase that would have fit well on the show; you could just slip it in there too.

Henry: I would have said, "she's a bit Katy Keene," and look to the right down the lens.

Lucy: See what I got to deal with, Carissa?

Carissa: Absolutely; that's fun. It sounds like you guys had a great time on set.

Lucy: We really did.

Carissa: Also, the show is very grizzly. There are some pretty gnarly-looking scenes that you're around while filming. Is that primarily special effects, or were you milling about with what's happening? What's that like?

Thalissa: I don't think we could have possibly ever just milled about. It was a hardcore sprint of a day.

Henry: And you were wondering, Carissa, whether it was added in post.

DS Nathan Rose is Too Close for Comfort

Carissa: I just wonder how much of it you experienced, and you were acting around versus coming in after.

Henry: No, it was all real.

Carissa: Did that ever affect you? How was it playing against such intense crimes and yet keeping up that level of humor, relationships, and everything else that makes the show, the show?

Thalissa: It was useful because we've spoken about our first experience of meeting the Ragdoll quite a lot. And I'll admit that I found that very distressing. It was a day that had been building up. We'll say it wasn't one of our first days of filming. We filmed that quite late on in the first block of shooting.

So luckily, we got to know each other. We also got to know each other's needs and support each other in the perfect way. But these characters use humor as a way of maintaining their morale throughout their working days.

And I suppose we had to do the same thing on set. It was very useful to have that firsthand, seeing the grotesque aspects, the phenomenal work, and that the makeup artists and the props department put in was just absolutely extraordinary.

So it made acting a lot easier because my stomach was turning, and I had to keep a straight face, and I can hear Lucy and Henry have a phenomenal sense of humor.

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Ragdoll premiere today only on AMC+.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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