Snowpiercer's Diggs and McGuinness On How They Adapt and Survive

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If TNT's Snowpiercer has any couple that could be described as star-crossed or ill-fated, it would have to be Josie Wellstead and Andre Layton as portrayed by Katie McGuinness and Daveed Diggs, respectively.

The Tailie leaders are an effective and united team throughout Snowpiercer Season 1's revolution, taking significant risks for each other and the cause with Josie seemingly making the ultimate sacrifice when Melanie Cavill fatally freezes her while interrogating her.

But even the cold can't keep them apart. Josie survives and is reunited with Andre, only to discover that he is expecting a baby with Zarah. Their love is true, but obstacles abound.

Andre and Josie - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 1

When TNT's Snowpiercer first premiered in 2020, it was the capstone on a monster journey of development stretching back to 2017.

Both Diggs and McGuinness were signed to the project from the very beginning. Speaking with the actors via Zoom, TV Fanatic asked if there were any significant changes to Andre or Josie between the original pilot and the premiere that aired.

McGuinness feels that Josie remained close to identical between the two scripts.

"I'm just the same. My character stayed very similar to the original pilot. I didn't get to know much more beyond that original pilot, so I don't know what that would've turned into."

Josie - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 1

Diggs doesn't believe his character or Layton's role were affected much either by the production's pivot.

"Layton is different but similar. I was one of the people whose role was pretty consistent in terms of what he does."

Fascinatingly, Diggs couldn't have predicted that he would be actively shooting the show for just as long (potentially longer) than it was stuck in pre-production.

"This was the first TV deal that I had ever signed, really, so I didn't know what I was doing. I had no idea it would run [this] long. I was very new in the game when we started this."

Solving a Mystery - Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 4

Josie's resurrection and experimental augmentation throughout Snowpiercer Season 2 was one of the series's most shocking and satisfying developments.

Pulled from the brink of death and initially looking at a life filled with physical pain and handicapped by the loss of her hand, she becomes almost super-human under the hands of the Drs. Headwood and has her hand replaced, Luke-Skywalker-like, with a functional prosthetic.

What are McGuinness's thoughts on Josie's evolution?

"She can't get more bad-ass, and I love it. It's been such a fun complication to have her get these new superpowers and cold resistance because there's something really thrilling and adrenalizing about it. There's almost an addictive quality to it.

"[There's also] the fact she can be the first person to go outside and help in a different and meaningful way.

Josie and Bob - Snowpiercer Season 2 Episode 8

"But everything has its shadow side, and things don't always work as well as she hopes."

One of those things is her relationship with Andre. They managed to steal one night of happiness on Snowpiercer Season 1 Episode 6, but nothing's gone their way since.

The greatest complication arrives on Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 5, "A New Life," when Zarah gives birth to her and Layton's daughter, Liana. Where does this leave Layton and Josie?

Diggs recognizes that Andre is inextricably conflicted. "The stakes are pretty clear. They love each other, but Layton's having a baby with somebody else [whom] he also cares about very much.

"What I think they do pretty admirably is try to make a lot of space for the other one's feelings, but that's also a kind of a complication. They are also just lying about their own feelings a lot of the time."

A Pause in the Action - Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1

On "A New Life," we also see Josie and Ben take comfort in each other, seeing as they can't be with the people they love. How does this reflect Josie's state of mind regarding her relationship with Andre?

McGuinness believes Josie's come to depend on the foundation of her and Layton's original partnership to see her through.

"Because of the way they started out at the back of the Tail and being comrades in arms, she's kind of flicked her brain into being back in that place, trying to realign her feeling to be more on that track.

"But we can't squash our feelings down forever, and stuff understandably comes out."

Josie's Message - Snowpiercer Season 3 Episode 1

Aside from the personal turmoil going on, Andre and Josie have their hands full getting the train to a potential site warming enough for the passengers of Snowpiercer to disembark and finally return to living on land.

Layton's inspired by his near-death vision and has staked everything on the site Melanie's data points to on the horn of Africa, where he hopes his daughter can grow up far from the train and Wilford's world.

Josie's desperate to put her cold-resistant abilities to use, helping set up a colony and build a future for humanity.

So, it's kind of a given, but the question begs to be asked.

If they had to choose between continuing to live aboard Snowpiercer and settling New Eden, what do Diggs and McGuinness believe their characters would decide?

Diggs and McGuinness - Snowpiercer

Diggs pauses a moment to think, "Oh, Eden, I think."

McGuinness has no hesitation at all. "Eden."

TNT's Snowpiercer rolls out new episodes every Monday at 9/8c, and TV Fanatic has episodic reviews ready for you as soon as the credits drop! Check back here and tell us what hit you hardest and where you think they'll go next!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Snowpiercer Quotes

It's easy to fight when you've never been hurt before. Until it happens, you're invincible. But with every fight, there's a risk. And sometimes, you're sidelined. The road to recovery is long, endless when it's not clear if you can recover. Some days, I lose sight of who I am, but I can't forget what my mission is.... I have to keep the hope alive that I can still make a difference. If not, then what was coming back from the dead for? I count the days and pray to be whole again, back with my people on Snowpiercer, one thousand and thirty-four cars long.

Josie

Resistance is never futile but Wilford's train is a fortress to class. Maybe it is perpetual.

Old Ivan