While Upload‘s Nathan and Nora drive the action, it’s Nora’s co-worker Aleesha and her charge Luke who steal just about every scene they’re in. The duo are the anti-Nathan and Nora, driving each other up the wall yet they also belong together in a strange way. The newly released second season doesn’t change that dynamic at all.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, he is still a pain in Aleesha’s ass,” Zainab Johnson laughed when asked about the second season. “Now though, it’s a bit more purposeful. It’s a bit more intentional. In season 1 Luke was just kind of doing Luke and not really thinking ‘Oh, I’m trying to piss off Aleesha.’ It just so happened that him doing him created a problem for her job. But in season 2, he is very intentional about getting my attention, annoying me, and pissing me off.”
That’s a change of pace for Kevin Bigley, who’s often played the straight man in previous roles, most notably as one of the stars of USA’s Sirens. He’s used to playing off everyone else’s shenanigans, so what is it like for him to now get a role where he’s the one perpetuating the shenanigans?
“Compared to something like Sirens, I’m a little bit on my own. Compared to having to balance those two guys [Sirens co-stars Michael Mosley and Kevin Daniels], be amongst that little three-piece ensemble,” he explained. “Luke’s kind of very self-involved, going and running around, doing his own thing and creating chaos. I get these different buddy systems that are really cool—Aleesha and then I have Nathan. And at one point, we have another three piece that’s me, Nathan and Ingrid. There’s some really interesting pairs that are happening here. And I really relish the opportunity to be as ridiculous as Luke is.”
Both he and Zainab have excellent comedic timing and no shortage of material to work with between their own sensibilities of what’s funny and the writing of Greg Daniels (The Office, King of the Hill). So has there ever been a moment so funny that one or both of them have broken?
“There’s an episode where there’s a tennis game and we have to play tennis. They gave us a little lesson, and Z said she’s got it figured out,” Kevin recalled. “At one point they go, ‘Hey, just shoot that tennis ball right back.’ And she spiked this thing so hard and it went right at our cameraman. So it wasn’t necessarily a joke as much as it was just something that was just so ridiculous.”
“I was trying to sell it,” Zainab laughed. “I was so terrible, ad I was so afraid. My goal in the scene was to not end up in the Reddit conversation…and so when I hit it, I’m trying to just make it believable. But here’s where it was so funny for me—our camera guy Andrew, he was so good. The ball came right to him at full speed, and it’s [a handheld camera], and he stays in the scene. He doesn’t stop filming!”
Upload Season 2 is now streaming on Prime Video.
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