Maura Tierney’s television credits include fan favorites like NewsRadio, ER, Rescue Me and The Good Wife, but her most recent turn as Helen Solloway in SHOWTIME®‘s The Affair has viewers on absolute pins and needles. With Season 3 kicking off tonight, we wanted to share the inside scoop with fellow fans to find out just how Helen is going to make it through the trials and tribulations of a brand new season—with a new relationship, and her past nipping at her heels. Read our exclusive interview with Tierney below, and make sure to watch The Affair every Sunday at 10/9c on SHOWTIME®.
Last year we saw different points of views for each character. Can you talk about what is true, and what is not true in Season 3—and can we believe anybody?
I think Season 3 will be the same as Seasons 1 and 2, and I think it’s all true. When people ask the question “what’s the truth?”or “what’s the true version?” I think they’re all true! I think all the characters believe that the way they remember things is truthful, because everybody does remember things differently. So that’s what I believe now, and what I’ve sort of always believed. I think Season 3 for Helen will be sort of be about figuring how to negotiate a new relationship, and that will be a challenge.
So what is Helen up to this season?
Well, in Season 2 Helen stopped taking money from her parents, so she has to actually earn a living. I think the store she had sort of broke even. It was more like a—I won’t say vanity project, but now she sells real estate. I think she’s good at it, but that’s another area where she’s not completely honest. I think she’s not a very honest business woman—she just needs to get the job and sell the house. So I think there are all these levels when it comes to Helen’s lack of honesty.
What’s the biggest challenge of playing Helen this season? Because she’s certainly morally conflicted.
I think the biggest challenge this season—and I’m sure the writers will handle it, but it will be—how does a person deal with guilt? Especially a person who basically was a good, decent person who did a very indecent thing. How does that play out? I think what’s going to happen is that the character sort of becomes obsessed with Noah, her ex-husband. Like, in feeling that he can somehow be her salvation. So her love for him turns a little bit into… kind of an obsession.