Over the last six seasons Snowfall has taken us on an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows as we’ve watched our favorite characters grow into kingpins, junkies, killers and millionaires.
We spoke with two of our Snowfall faves, Gail Bean and Isaiah John following this season’s third episode, where Wanda and Leon wed on a Ghanaian beach. The pair gave us their insight on the show coming to an end, the shifting character dynamics, and some advice on how fans should prepare for what’s coming next.
When asked about the show coming to an end after six seasons, Isaiah John said only one word seemed fitting.
“Bittersweet,” John told BOSSIP. It’s great to feel like something you are part of that is amazing like Snowfall we get to come to an end on a high note but it’s like ‘damn it’s really over.’
“I think it’s still surreal that we were part of something so large and so important to the culture,” Gail Bean added. “It’s still surreal but I’m pretty sure that during the finale I think am going to cry.”
Over the years we’ve watched Wanda battle, then overcome crack addiction. She and Leon have also had their ups and downs as a couple, but as last episode showed us, they are now stronger than ever — a must considering they’ve returned from Ghana to find their city more treacherous than ever.
“The beauty is this time is a little different because Wanda isn’t alone,” Gail Bean told BOSSIP about Wanda returning with Leon to the projects where crack is more readily available than ever. She does have Leon as her strength and her guide and he knows, these are things to look out for. In the beginning, we didn’t know the effects of crack and how easily it was to be influenced. Wanda does have Leon to continue to check on her as her husband. Leon knows there are some things that Wanda will have to do on her own but he’ll always be there to catch her when she stumbles, but he’s not going to let her fall.”
Sadly, episode 603 showed a less-than-happy reunion between Wanda and her grandmother, who no longer trusts her enough to let her into her home because of the abuse and robbery she suffered when Wanda was in the throes of addiction.
“The grandma scene was hard,” Bean told BOSSIP. “It was hard for Wanda. It was hard for me. Both of my grandmothers have passed. So even being able to see that moment and have someone who really really helped Wanda get through a lot. Sometimes we feel we’ve gotten so far from our past and then we’re faced right back at it and then to be faced with someone we truly love and faced with things that we don’t remember when Wanda was high. She just wasn’t in her right mind or didn’t care. She’s proud of herself. She’s a new woman. She’s gone to Africa, she’s a wife. She isn’t even able to sit with her and tell her I’m married I have a new man who loves me, I’m no longer on the rock. There are all these things you want to say and then to get face to face with that person and not even be able to have that conversation it was very heartbreaking to watch and heartbreaking to go through.”
Isaiah John’s character Leon has also transformed incredibly over the seasons and is no longer involved with the drug trade and instead motivated to help his community however he can.
“I feel like with this character I was able to grow with my character,” John told BOSSIP. “I booked Snowfall when I was 20 years old and now I’m 27. When I booked Snowfall Leon was a kid and now he’s not. It’s crazy how art imitates life. I’ve had the pleasure of being able to pull from my real life over these seasons because when Leon was going through changes as a man I was going through changes as a man. It was really real and I feel like that’s why people were able to connect with how I portrayed this character. I’m bringing real emotion, and real perspective from my life to this character and sharing it with the world so I’ve had that on my side while I was working these six seasons.”
John told BOSSIP that he was able to collaborate with the writers and producers of the show on his character’s transformation and added that the show is one where nearly every actor has the privilege of offering their own thoughts about where their character arc is headed.
“The change for Leon started in Season 4 after he accidentally shot Skully’s daughter,” John told BOSSIP. “The writers on Snowfall, Dave Andron and Walter Mosely, and the whole amazing group of writers for the show, before they stamp a new trajectory for characters on the show they have conversations with the actors and want to know what we thought the character would want to do or the choices the character would make. We don’t have the final say, but it lets us know as actors we do have a voice. Sometimes our insight is better because we’re on the battlefield as the characters. The collaboration is definitely there when it comes to the writers and actors on Snowfall. “
We also spoke with Bean and John about the social media debate over whether or not Louie is the biggest villain on the show.
“The biggest villain to me is Teddy, the government,” Isaiah John told us. “We gotta remember why we even created the show. If it wasn’t for that component, the conversation would be completely different about L.A. in the ’80s. For sure Teddy is the biggest villain, but in our own right, everyone is a villain because we all have a hand in contributing to what’s going on in the neighborhood. We’re all little villains in doing what we do but Teddy is the biggest villain.”
“I definitely agree,” Gail Bean chimed in. “In the foundation of how we got here it is the government, it is Teddy. Now I’m not going to lie, Louie is the face that drew 1,000 guns. For sure. She got bodies bodies bodies, but it didn’t start with her. Louie has been reactive. She is a reaction of the situation the government put her in. In the end, Teddy is the villain and I’ve been wanting him dead since Season 1.”
Before ending the conversation we asked Gail Bean and Isaiah John if there was anything they could tell fans to help them prepare for the rest of the final season.
“Look forward to getting your heart broken, that’s my two cents,” Isaiah John said forebodingly.”
“More bodies will fall, unfortunately,” Gail Bean added. “Tell everybody they’ve attended a wedding, they will attend a funeral.”
A new episode of Snowfall airs tonight on FX before landing on Hulu tomorrow.