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‘Snowpiercer’ Star Jennifer Connelly on Whether Melanie Can Be Redeemed

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen Jennifer Connelly‘s morally ambiguous character, Melanie Cavill, aboard Snowpiercer.

The train’s head engineer has been on a perilous journey to a remote research station, where she’s hoping to collect data that proves Earth is beginning to warm after seven years of an ice age that has decimated humanity. In the March 1 episode, the futuristic thriller reveals what she’s been up to out there on her own.

Connelly (above) considers the episode a return to Melanie’s original purpose. “Her goal was to survive long enough to outlast the freeze and restart life on Earth,” the Oscar winner says. “She never intended to be in the position she found herself in — being in charge of the train. Taking on that role, she buried so much of herself.”

Flashbacks detail how the partnership between Melanie and sinister genius Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) deteriorated in the days leading up to Snowpiercer’s departure. “She came under his tutelage at a pretty young age,” Connelly says. “It’s a deep and complicated relationship. But she was able to see his cruelty clearly and really understands how dangerous he is.”

(Credit: TNT/David Bukach)

Fighting hunger and hallucinations, Melanie also remembers how — to rid herself of Wilford — she was forced to leave behind her daughter, Alex (Rowan Blanchard), as well. “The guilt and the shame that went along with that are all resurfacing,” Connelly says. But as she comes to terms with her past, she may also redeem herself and find hope for the future.

Snowpiercer, Mondays,9/8c, TNT

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