EXCLUSIVE: ‘Copper’ Stars Ato Essandoh and Tessa Thompson Talk Season 2, Facing Tough Times
BBC America

Looking for a gritty, dirty, sexy TV show to watch this summer? Copper is exactly that according to co-stars Ato Essandoh and Tessa Thompson. Playing married couple Matthew and Sara Freeman, Essandoh and Thompson are excited for the second season of the BBC America series.

Copper shines light on a 1860s New York City filled with rouges and harlots. But with every group of the corrupt come the saviors. Alongside his war buddies, Detective Kevin Corcoran and Robert Morehouse, Matthew Freeman is one of the good guys. Freeman is an African-American physician working between Five Points and Uptown while devoted to his wife Sara Freeman and her well being. As unlikely as a Black doctor seems in the post-Antebellum era, Essandoh assures ESSENCE.com that his role isn’t based off of fiction.

“I didn’t think, unfortunately because the history of our country, that was actually possible,” explains Essandoh, “so when I looked it up myself, the producer told me that there were six [black] physicians in New York.” Essandoh bases his character off of one of these doctors who operated on both Black and white patients.

In the second season, viewers see the Freemans’ relationship form even more as they face more challenges to their marriage.

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“We both wanted to make sure that in these two people that you saw their goodness and sort of how regal they are and incredible they are in the context of period,” says Thompson, “but also that they’re a married couple like any other married couple that bickers and has problems.”

Season two also brings newcomers aboard, like Alfre Woodard as Sara’s mother. “What she brought to the show just elevated it,” says Thompson. Woodard transitions from a life of slavery to a life of freedom in the episodes to come.

“It’s a much sexier season, the stakes are a lot higher, like with last season violence is there. I think it makes for a really exciting season,” says Thompson.

Season 2 of Copper starts this Sunday, June 23 at 10pm EST on BBC America.