Austin Butler talks Shannara Chronicles second and final season

The Shannara Chronicles is coming to an end. But before fans say goodbye, YEM is throwing it back to this year’s New York Comic Con. Before the second season premiere, cast members of The Shannara Chronicles sat down to speak about the show’s second, and now final, season. YEM spoke with star Austin Butler about his experience filming season 2 and how his character has evolved throughout the series.

Young Entertainment Mag: There’s a year that passes inbetween the first and second season. Will fans see into Will’s grieving process in Season 2?
Austin Butler: Definitely. It’s definitely prominent in Season 2. He’s tried to get over [the events of Season 1] but when we meet him [at the beginning of season 2], he’s really trying to sort of go back to what he started as in season 1. But his head isn’t in it. He’s really dealing with the demons from his past.

YEM: What was it like shooting the action scenes? Was it easier than it was during season one?
AB: There’s a lot of cool action scenes in Season 2. I think knowing what I was getting into did make it an absolute joy last season, but this time I was doing these scenes with people that were already my friends. The trainers and the stunt people, I already knew them. So it was just nice to be back with them. I love doing all the action stuff. That’s like a little boy’s fantasy! Being in the backyard, swinging swords and jumping over trees and stuff. That was what I did as a kid, and so to get to call it a job was great.

Photo Credit: Antony Platt/AMC

YEM: How is Will different from any other character you’ve played before?
AB: I’ve never played a character in a TV show where he’s changed so much from one season to the next. That was enjoyable because it allowed a lot of room for play. Having that year between seasons, it’s so interesting to think about grief. It’s like in my life. When something happens that’s painful, you don’t just cry once and then it’s over. People are there for you for a couple months after, but then often the real painful moments are a year later or something like that. Something it’s easy to lose the humanity element in the midst of all the CGI, but whenever we find those moments, that’s what’s the most rewarding to me. When you come off set and you feel raw and you felt something truthful, that’s the thing that keeps me coming back.
YEM: You’ve played a lot of different roles as an actor. Was it different to join a show that is so much of the fantasy genre?
AB: Yeah, it’s got its own challenges that, sometimes I feel like it’s harder for me because of the fact that it’s so vast. When I watch it today, I go “Wow! I remember filming that in a parking lot with a giant green screen! And now we’re seeing the Golden Gate bridge!” It looks incredible, but I remember what it was like filming it. It’s such a good lesson every time I see it to just immerse yourself like a child when you’re on set. That amount of imagination is necessary.

Check out YEM’s social media and website for more coverage from NYCC, including an interview with Riverdale and The Shannara Chronicles star, Vanessa Morgan!