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Fort Wayne's Molly Hagan Previews Season Two of Walker on the CW

Last January, when the new Walker television series debuted on the CW, its popularity earned a second season renewal almost immediately. There was also an order for five additional episodes for season one. A reimagining of the Chuck Norris series rather than a reboot, the first season focused on the murder of Cordell Walker’s wife, the mother of his two teenage children. Walker’s devoted and spirited mother is played by Molly Hagan, who grew up in Fort Wayne and graduated from Wayne High School. She promises this season, which premieres on Thursday, October 28, will have plenty of suspense, and she looks forward to working with her new costar, Paula Marshall.

“Paula is coming in as my nemesis this year,” Hagan said. “There’s a family feud, a real Hatfields and McCoys kind of thing, with these old neighbors. I’m really having fun playing opposite Paula in these scenes.”

The fact that the show has even been possible during a pandemic might seem surprising to some. It has been for Hagan.

“I was cast a week before the shutdown, and I thought ‘Oh my God, I got cast on a show!’ Then the shutdown came a week later, and I thought ‘Well, it’s not going to happen.’ I have worst-case-scenario-itis, and I was sure that was it. And it did push back production for about six months, but we were eventually able to get started.”

Part of the delay was that series star Jared Padalecki had to wrap production on his previous series Supernatural. Then there were certain protocols (members of the cast and crew are tested for COVID three times a week) which put a new wrinkle into the situation. A veteran of television and film, this experience has been different for Hagan in ways other than handling a unique medical complication on set.

Molly Hagan

“This is my first time [as a regular] on a drama series,” she said. “Every other series I’ve done has been comedy, either four-camera comedy or one-camera comedy. The hours are different, but this production company does an incredible job keeping the hours down. It takes eight days to film each episode so it’s been radically different than my other series work.”

The experience has been ideal for her in many other ways too, particularly since she spends so much time in Austin, Texas where the show is shot, far from her home in Los Angeles.

“Since I’m not the lead, I don’t have to work everyday,” she said. “It’s really a dream job because I can be prepared and just show up on the set. And this Austin crew has worked together so much that it really is a family and responded so well to all of us.”

One disadvantage to the COVID aspect of shooting the series is that Hagan is somewhat limited in her opportunities to explore the city.

“People ask me what I think of Austin, but I really haven’t been able to experience it. I owe it to the cast and crew to avoid situations that might cause a problem. Even though I’m vaccinated, I still don’t want to expose anyone. It’s pretty, I know, because I drive around. And the people at the grocery store seem very nice. But I haven’t been going anywhere really.”

While she may not be able to create a community for herself in Austin, Hagan has found a happy one on the Walker set. That was her immediate response when asked her favorite part of this experience.

“The camaraderie with the crew and the cast has been really fun. I think because we started in COVID and started meeting each other on Zoom and have this cast text thread, it allowed us to really get to know each other. And I think coming during this time, we were all hungry for community. I haven’t experienced anything like this on other shows.”

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