'Mare of Easttown' Star Mackenzie Lansing Dishes on Her Unlikable Character Ahead of Finale (Exclusive)

Mare of Easttown, HBO's hit limited drama, will air its finale Sunday night, finally giving fans the answers they've been craving for weeks. Ahead of the big finale, series actress Mackenzie Lansing, who plays the wildly unlikable Brianna Del Rasso, spoke exclusively with PopCulture.com to dish on her character and talk about what it was like working on the fan-favorite series. As fans know, Brianna is dating Dylan Hinchey (Jack Mulhern), the ex-boyfriend of murdered teen mom Erin McMenamin (Cailee Spaeny).

In the first episode of Mare of Easttown, Brianna earns her bully title by treating Erin with merciless cruelty. These actions made her a strong suspect in Erin's death early on and sparked many strong feelings from fans. This reaction is something that Lansing fully understands and harbors no resentment against those who find Brianna completely unlikable. "You're not supposed to like her," Lansing said, then adding that she's not even mad at people who still "don't like" Brianna "after she has a change of heart."

Lansing relates to this, saying, "I get it, and I have feelings about characters like that, too." It should be noted that Lansing could not be more different from Brianna, proving that she is an actor of high-caliber talent. She's immeasurably kind, friendly, and charismatic, and yet she portrays Brianna, who is unpleasant at best, with seamless skill.

While the hate for her character is certainly palpable among fans of the show, Lansing feels that it's a "good thing" Brianna is "getting reactions" because "that's what you want out of a character." The actress also clarified that she doesn't take the heat meant for Brianna "personally at all" because she knows that when viewers express their frustration, "they're talking about it as the character." Lansing added, "I'm just glad people are enjoying the show and getting so involved in it," then revealed she's taken to social media to make light of the hate for Brianna. "I made a whole thing out of responding to the mean tweets, in a jokey kind of way, that I've been getting on Twitter."

Lansing shared how she brought Brianna to life, revealing that she borrowed a lot from personal experience. "I thought a lot about people that I knew in my small town who were that girl," she said, "who were very sort of loud mouth and outspoken." Lansing added, "I grew up in France, but in a blue-collar town and how there's a very particular aspect to that. Even in the style." Recalling when she auditioned for Brianna, Lansing said she remembers wearing "big hoop earrings and some really tacky hoodie. And I was like, 'Yeah, this is how she dresses.'"


Finally, Lansing offered her perspective on paying "problematic" characters, saying, "You're doing a disservice to the writing and to supporting the people who are 'good characters.' And if you don't view this as a whole person, a fully rounded person and try to bring humanity to them and kind of justify what they're doing in your own head, even when they're doing horrible things because that's going to make it more authentic." Fans can catch the Mare of Easttown finale when it airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.