Desean Terry plays Daniel Henderson in the acclaimed and award-winning Apple Original drama The Morning Show. Season two premiered Friday, September 17 on Apple TV+ and new episodes are released weekly, every Friday.
Picking up after the explosive events of season one, season two finds The Morning Show team emerging from the wreckage of Alex (Aniston) and Bradley’s (Witherspoon) actions, to a new UBA and a world in flux, where identity is everything and the chasm between who we present as and who we really are comes into play.
I spoke with the actor about coming back for season two, handling the COVID storyline, the importance of representation on screen, his excitement about the new season, and much more. Keep reading to find out everything we discussed!
First off, I want to ask you how it felt getting to return for a second season and what you were most excited about?
Desean Terry: I was very excited to return for a second season and I also think that it’s exciting because the first season, the show was just sort of in a vault and I didn’t get to see the show before it aired. So I was watching in real time, sort of like what this show is. I was watching in real time, all the way up to episode ten and when I saw, I was like, “Oh my god, this is a show.” So it was really cool to then come back to shoot a second season because now, you get a sense of the flavor, you get a sense of what it is, and so it was really exciting to play in the pond and figure out “well, how are we going to recreate the excitement that we had in the first season?”
The season one finale had an explosive ending, can you give me a preview of where we pick up and what fans can expect from the new season?
So we end, of course, at that sort of very high point with Alex and Bradley blowing up the network. We come back in right there. I mean, as soon as I watched the episodes and I saw like the first place, my anxiety started rising. Then we do a little bit of a reset and we start at the top of the year, where it’s pre-COVID, right? And my character, Daniel, is the first character to start talking about COVID. He recognizes, as the serious journalist that he is, he recognizes the importance of dealing with COVID. Then we continue down a journey, a season that begins to talk about all the things that we have been experiencing this past year. So I think it might be additionally vulnerable for audiences because we’re now talking about COVID, racism, homophobia, cancel culture, and all of this fabric with us dealing with a pandemic that is about to completely change the way that we engage. So it’s a pretty, I think, resonant and fascinating dialogue.
I really did love seeing your character pushing for the COVID story and I was curious, for you as an actor, what was that like to sort of deal with that storyline with everything going on in the real world?
Well, I really resonate with Daniel’s story, I resonate with the things that he is fighting for, as a character. They are things that I have fought for in my own life, right? I think representation matters, I think we need to see more Black and brown faces in the media. I think we have to keep pushing it and remind. One of the interesting things about it is that we always talk about the majority and minorities, which are not even the best words to describe it, right? People of color, internationally, are the majority. So they are the global majority and what’s fascinating though, is then that experience of feeling as an outsider in your workspace, in this sort of very capitalist society, is something that most of the population can resonate with. So, it’s really great and exciting to really talk about those things.
What does it mean to you to help give that representation to viewers?
Well, first of all, it’s a privilege. I feel honored that the hard work that I’ve put in does pay off. There were times when very much so like Daniel I did not necessarily know or feel how the door was gonna open but as both determined people, you just keep pushing and keep striving. There’s a part of it that feels like very privileged, but then there’s a such a greater calling for it that the work also feels just necessary. It feels necessary because even today, I am not just doing the work for me, but I’m doing the work for the people who are going to come after me, like I freaking love the outlet The Nerds of Color so that we’re having representation in all spectrums, right? We are not just the archetypes or the media types that you have blasted people of color to be and so even in that cool intersection and specificity of nerds of color, right? So yeah, I just think it’s really important so that more people feel seen and it gives people permission. Saying that this is what I am, gives you the audience permission to be, and to let you know that there’s nothing wrong in being that.
How are you feeling about putting your work on this season out there?
Oh, honestly, I’m just excited. We shot for like a year and a half, then I feel like it’s been a few months since we finished shooting. So now, I’m just really excited. I’m excited about it because we created this thing, during a pandemic, we reflected the signs of the time as much as we could and there were some things that were in our control, there were some things that were not in our control, and I feel like what we’ve created hopefully, will just feel human because honestly we were living through something pretty extraordinary when doing it. I hope that that influences and is reflective in the storytelling, that it’s something from a unique moment in time.
Lastly, if you could create your own tagline for either your character or season two, what would you make it?
The tagline for Daniel Henderson… I feel like Daniel is always on the side, like just really judgmental. And so, I feel like I can see Daniel’s tagline being something like his judgy eyes, that would be the tagline. Just like “Really? That’s what you did?”