Satisfaction: Stephanie Szostak Interprets Grace, Teases Season 2

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There still lies before us plenty of time before Satisfaction Season 2 premieres on USA Network, so we've decided to make the waiting a little easier.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with series star, Stephanie Szostak, who plays Grace Truman, the lonely and misunderstood housewife whose affair with a male prostitute was discovered after her husband had a breakdown/epiphany at work.

In excerpts from our conversation below, she shares with us her thoughts on how Grace wound up where she did, why she made some rather tragic decisions and what sexy and provocative material is in store for us in Season 2. 

Stephanie Szostak - Satisfaction

How is it that Grace could lose her confidence along the way when she is beautiful and appears to have a supportive husband who allows her to do what she wants to do, to the point that she would start an affair with a gigolo?

You know I think what someone looks like has nothing to do with how they feel inside. That was the reason I absolutely loved the pilot, because that's something everyone can relate to, how you can lose yourself. You spend many years trying to do the right thing and racing for things you think you need, material things, the beautiful house and cars and clothes, and you forget how to connect to yourself and what really makes you happy.

I mean, happiness is something we all – you know, there are thousands of books written about it. And a lot of times, I think Grace went looking for happiness in the wrong places, and she also ended up living someone else's life. She thought she was aligned with what she was supposed to do and what society dictates, but she wasn't aware of who she was and what she wanted, and all of a sudden, it came out. It overflowed and she couldn't take it anymore.

Her and her husband never fought...she doesn't have this connection with her daughter...and when she's with her girlfriends she discusses characters in books and she suddenly realizes, oh my God, when I was 20 years old, I felt alive inside, I felt excited about what tomorrow was going to be like. And now she knows what tomorrow is going to be like, and she can't take it anymore.

I understand what you're staying, you have everything to be happy about, how dare you not be happy? [laughs] But that's the danger of modern society. The dangers you can run into, the dangers of conformity and the race for materialism...and the feeling of being alive.

There's also the fear of losing what you have. You know, the fear that if Grace had said something and Neil had said, well, you've done it so long, why are you bringing it up now? Was it worth it to lose her comfortable home in search of that chance at happiness?

Right! And I think she did try, after that night the club when she had a few drinks, and she tells her husband, let's go out. She throws her drink at this woman, and she feels like herself, and she's trying to tell him, I haven't felt this alive, and he says I have no idea what this means, let's just go home.

I think a big theme of Season 1 is all the characters lie because they think the truth will end their world and they try to protect each other through lies.

In Satisfaction Season 1, we got to see a lot more of Neil's journey up front and we saw kind of an expressionist version of Grace's journey. Will we get a better picture of her journey in Satisfaction Season 2?

That's the big difference between Season 1 and Season 2. We're actually going to see a lot of her journey. At the beginning, a lot is going to come out in the open. The characters are going to be reinvigorated by the truth for the first time. This season is going to be a lot more provocative and sexier, and because everything comes out in the open, there's going to be a lot of twists and surprises. It's going to be high energy.

Let's talk a bit more about Season 1. What did you think about Grace's decision to go back and relapse with Simon and dip her toes back into those waters?

Of course it's not the right choice, and it's not the intellectual choice or reasonable choice to do, but the fascinating thing about affairs is that they can be like a drug, and she is searching for feelings. That's the next thing, Simon brings her a feeling of being herself through her sexuality and being herself in a way that she's never been with her husband.

After the argument with Mateo's parents, when Grace went to her room and started packing, was she running away from something or running to something?

She was definitely running away. She was running away from not knowing what was to come and the only thing she could think of what to run away. When Neil comes and puts the clothes back on, and again no words, but in a way says I forgive you, or I love you. He was saying I don't know what's going to happen, but stay home. That was the most loving gesture.

Do you think there's a chance that a relationship with a gigolo like Simon could ever morph into real love?

I think that Grace is definitely confused about what she feels for Simon, and I think that's what's shown in the episode with Mateo's parents, when she goes into this daydreaming thing when she imagines something with Simon, it could have been what she wants, but it's not, and my interpretation of it was when she let them stop, she realized, no I don't want that and she turned and saw Neil there in the living room. She would not want that, but Simon does make her feel good and she does confuse that with love, yeah. Still, she never ceases to love her husband. Ever.

Do you think there is any chance that this post modern look at love could work if they explored it while they remained together?

Well, I will say that they are pushing their marriage, in Season 2, to places they never even imagined would be possible. It also explores the difference between monogamy and fidelity. Is there a difference, is there not? Can there be fidelity without monogamy? That's not at all what the whole season is, that's even more the second part, but yeah.

So is that the concept of holding your heart versus your body kind of a thing?


What's your favorite quality in Grace?

Her heart. She's a very loving person. She's getting her heart in the right place, even if her choices are not necessarily the best choices. She doesn't settle, but at the same time she makes awful choices, putting her family at risk. I'm not saying that's okay, but her heart is in the right place.

We saw on Twitter a shot of the pool and some blood and Annika at a music festival. What can you tell us?

Annika is going to be exploring a darker side of herself.

How will Annika's relationship with her parents change as a result of everything going on?

Annika is going through an independent phase, and there is going to be a little distance that will allow parents and child to each go through what they need to separately. But there are consequences to everything.

Is there anything you can tease about the upcoming season?

You know, I just tweeted a picture today that, ah, that will make you wonder what is coming up. It's with Adriana. What I will say is it's been really fun to do Season 2. Grace has really come out of her shell and is embracing the shadow side of herself.

If you missed any of the amazing series, you have plenty of time to catch up when you watch Satisfaction online via TV Fanatic. Don't miss it!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Satisfaction Quotes

I don't know what to say because I hate this job. None of what I do really matters. I don't even get to see what I'm trading on a daily basis, it's just numbers on a screen. It's not real. We don't contribute anything to the world in any meaningful way. We just hoard money, and I always thought you were an asshole for making that a virtue.


I think the problem is I need to feel more right now, not less.