Home Entertainment Will Trent’s Sonja Sohn Discusses Amanda’s Past and Repairing Her Relationship with...

Will Trent’s Sonja Sohn Discusses Amanda’s Past and Repairing Her Relationship with Will and Faith


Amanda Wagner’s centric was brutal to watch, and Sonja Sohn shined in this episode.

After watching Will Trent Season 2 Episode 5, it made perfect sense why Amanda was so silent and strong. She was attacked on the job in the 90s and had to hide it to get ahead in her career. Her past came back to haunt her yet again.

TV Fanatic chatted with Sonja Sohn about Amanda’s past, how those secrets affect things with Will and Faith, and what other character-centric episodes were coming. Check out the interview below.

Hi Sonja. So, this episode showed Amanda’s strength. How much did you know about Amanda’s backstory going into the series?

I did not know anything about Amanda’s backstory, except that she had this connection to Will from the past, and she’d been keeping tabs on him. That’s the only thing I knew about her. Just after the pilot, I learned that she wanted to adopt Will in the past, but I didn’t know the details or anything.

So that’s the only backstory I had about Amanda going into this. Other than that, she came up through the GB I at the APD. I also knew everything in the books. There was a lot of published information out there.

Do you think Amanda’s story will resonate with other females, predominantly female cops?

I hope so, especially for females of a certain age and cops of a certain age. It’s generational.

It touched me mainly that it played now since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Oh, really? I did not realize that. Okay, so thank you for that. I’m going to have to do something with that. That makes sense. Maybe they knew.

That had to be a challenging story to do.

Well, I’m an actor, so, as an actor, it looked like rich material. There’s a challenge to that. But honestly, this is what I got into the business for. So, when I saw the episode, I was pretty pleased and excited to dive in.

Do you think that Will and Faith will reconcile with Amanda’s decision to frame Chuck Murray for drugs since she couldn’t get him for rape?

That’s a great question because I think they reconciled to a degree.

For some reason, I feel that this thread of losing respect for Amanda or the awareness that Amanda is also human is essential. There’s a compassionate lens, and there’s this loss of respect and this awareness that she’s human.

Which one of those do they want to lean into? I think that will be revealed in the future. I don’t know how that’s going to reveal itself.w

Yes, I imagine it had to be hard because, in some ways, they see her as their boss, and in other ways, they see her as a family member.

Amanda’s relationship with Will is already fragile. So, how will she get past all of the secrets that have been coming out lately?

In the end, Will finds that compassion for her. Will’s got the neurodiversity of expression in his emotions, and Ramon does an excellent job of handling that unwieldy element.

It’s challenging for an actor to deal with because we have to feel connections between characters no matter what they’re dealing with. I think that Will and Amanda find a place of congruency in the end, and he eventually gets that. You see that when she’s about to turn herself in.

It’s a little more complicated with Faith because that character is younger and has a more profound history with Amanda.

Amanda has been in her life since she was a little girl and is almost like a second mother. This character is fully present in, in a different way, with their emotions and history.

Faith’s mom had recently been ousted from the department and forced to retire. So, this is much heavier for Faith. I don’t believe it’s completely resolved for her at the end of this episode. I think there’s more of a journey here, and I’m curious to see what it would be.

Yes. I’m curious to see where that will go. Are we going to see Evelyn again this season?

That’s something that I can’t talk about.

I just wondered. I was curious whether we would see Evelyn in this episode because we usually see both the younger Amanda and the younger Evelyn when we go to the past.

That’s an excellent point. I never thought about that. Like Evelyn did not come into comfort Amanda. Amanda was out there on her own.

You had to have Amanda between a rock and a hard place for her to break down and give all that information. In a way, maybe she couldn’t have Evelyn helping keep her secrets.

This was a fascinating arc for Amanda. It just showed her strength. It was. Was it very realistic of the times of cops showing her vulnerability?

You keep saying it showed her strength; I believe her resilience shone through. I love that you see that.

Was it very realistic for female black cops at that time?

From what I understand, it was. If you read Karin’s books, it’s very eye-opening.

It is. It’ll be a real eye-opening case when people see it tonight.

It adds some depth to Amanda. I’m really into cheerleading middle-aged women right now, so I hope it shows what it has taken for women of this generation to get to the positions that they’re in now that they’re holding.

And yes, you fall from the pedestal, crack, and get little chips here and there, but you’re still standing, trying to do good work and care for people. And that’s what Amanda’s trying to do. That’s why I enjoy playing with her and why I understand her.

Absolutely. Did you get to work with Sydney Park, the younger Amanda?

I don’t, because she’s the younger Amanda. She’s me in all those scenes. She’s fantastic, though. She’s a talented actor who gives all of herself to those scenes.

It’s an uncanny casting to me. I’m Korean and Black, she’s Korean and Black, and I’ve never played a Korean Black character in my career.

Not that this character is that. But to find another, a younger version, she’s just bringing it. I have a lot of respect for her work, and I adore her. Unfortunately, we probably won’t ever work together unless we do some side-by-side mirror thing, but we tend to do those on different days.

But yes, the resemblance is uncanny. She makes a beautiful younger version of you. They cast younger versions of your counterparts quite well.

They did a great job. It’s such a great production. Everyone is bringing such a high level of excellence to their jobs.

It is. Why do you think Will Trent is different than other procedurals?

Because the show is about the cops, it’s not just about the cases. It’s as much about the cops as it is about the cases. And generally, these shows are about the cases.

The cases tend to trigger issues that the cops are dealing with at the law enforcement. I shouldn’t say cops because everybody’s not a cop, but the problems that the characters are dealing with.

Every episode is almost like a different show. It’s fascinating. There are other episodes I know that are coming up behind this one. And in every episode, you have in common that there’s Will, and there are these cases.

There are two cases, and there’s Will. However, when you look at each episode, depending on the tone of the case, the episode can feel very different. We can have lighter episodes, and there’s another episode behind this one; it’s heavy, but if there’s an opportunity to bring fun to some episodes, we try.

This one happens to be particularly heavy because of the subject matter. So, there you go. You’ve got one that’s heavily dramatic.  We go to different worlds in every episode.

The law enforcement world is the same. But you go into other worlds, and different characters’ issues can be triggered based on the cases.

I think you covered this, but are you enjoying that Will Trent Season 2 is dipping more into the character-centric arcs?

Yes, I am. The show’s first season is about establishing who the characters are at their base level.

Since it’s called Will Trent, we have to develop the main character and then the show’s structure. I feel these writers are doing something very different with this procedure, which I haven’t seen before.

After setting the show’s tone and characters, you get to start weaving and exploring. And I think that’s what happens this season. We’re cooking with gas, and every principal character has a story arc featured in the episodes that take you into their world.

I’m excited about my episode and what’s to come because I’m looking at the other characters that get to play and show you the rest of their worlds. Sort of. Amanda’s kicking it off.

I’ve been loving this season.

Faith and Ormewood are coming behind me with their little moments

We’ve already seen some of Michael’s home life, so I can’t wait to see what’s coming.

It’s a fun show. It is. It’s like it’s heavy enough. It has enough heart. The cases are cases that stand for something. I’m not just on a network police procedural. I’m on a network police procedural that has heart.

With this episode and the rest of the season, I’m starting to see that the writers and the showrunners are trying to make sure that the cases are meaningful.

They’re plugging into issues and aspects of current problems that we as a society are dealing with, like trauma and how neurodiverse people operate in a world that’s not built for them.

It’s the sexual abuse, the sexual trauma. I can’t speak on this because I don’t know the stats, but the sexual trauma that women encounter in this world is not talked about enough or illustrated enough.

Women in law enforcement. They are dealing with that in their career paths and bringing it to the world.

Will Trent airs at 8/7c on ABC on Tuesdays and streams on Hulu the next day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.

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