After two seasons of red herrings, tampered evidence, and infinite amounts of wool sweaters, Rosie Larsen’s killer was finally revealed on last night’s season finale of The Killing. Read our Q&A with the guilty party, after the cut—but beware, major spoilers follow!
While everyone from the Seattle mayor to a casino manager were suspected, the killer turned out to be closer to home. In a last-minute twist, the killer was revealed to be Rosie’s doting Aunt Terry, who casually sent the car containing her niece to the bottom of a lake. In a series full of heartbreaking moments, few scenes topped Terry, played by Jamie Anne Allman, confessing that she sent her niece to her death, and then tearfully defending herself because she didn’t know it was Rosie trapped in the trunk. We spoke to Allman after the finale about what it was like to find out Terry was the killer and how she dealt with the fan backlash to the season one finale.
ELLE: What was it like when you got the call that Terry was the killer?
Jamie Anne Allman: I got a call from [executive producer] Veena Sud right before the table read of episode 13. I had commented in interviews before like, ‘I hope it’s me. It would be fun to play as an actor and everything.’ But when it came down to it, and I got the call from Veena, I started to cry. I was just upset. I was upset for Terry… I just felt bad for her.
ELLE: Did you ever suspect that Terry was the murderer before? She played such a maternal role in the house, it seemed pretty unlikely.
JAA: There was a moment where I thought I could be the killer. It was an episode, where I found [Rosie’s brother] Tommy in the trunk of a car and they asked me on set, ‘Okay, I want you to really shake Tommy. You’re really upset with him.’ I was like ’Why would I shake him so much?’ Then later on after I thought about it I was like, ‘Oh, if I am the killer? It would be like a flashback for me.’ That was a moment for me where I didn’t know, but I thought, ‘Well, this is [interesting].’
ELLE: What was it like on set when it finally came out that you were the killer? Were people placing bets on set?
JAA: There was a ballot box that had gone around of people’s opinions of who killed Rosie Larsen, but I don’t know who won. I never did put ballot in, I thought that it would be cheating. But the day of the table read it was very intense. It was like, ‘Okay, this is it… we all have the answers now.’ It was very fulfilling.
ELLE: After the end of the first season, a lot of fans were up in arms because they thought the killer would be revealed and when the season ended, it was kind of back to the drawing board. How did that affect you as a cast member?
JAA: For me, being an audience member, I [understood] why certain people would want to know who the killer is. Because even I felt I like, ‘What? Oh man I want to know so bad!’ [But] I wasn’t going to let all the backlash take away from the fact that I’m grateful to be a part of this project that has amazing actors and that. I personally had a great experience.
ELLE: Terry’s confession was a really powerful scene. What was it like for you to shoot that?
JAA: It’s interesting because [they] told me the day before around eight o’clock: ‘By the way, you’re going to shoot that scene tomorrow, our schedule got mixed up.’ I was like, ‘What? I’m shooting that scene tomorrow? You’re kidding.’ I was like, ‘Oh no.’ I got really nervous… If I didn’t nail it, then it just wouldn’t have worked. Shooting it was amazing because of [director] Patty Jenkins. It was like playing on the playground. She really set the tone for freedom… I probably did [the scene] forty times full out, and then I had a headache the whole day the next day.
ELLE: Why do you think people have such a strong reaction to this show?
JAA: I don’t want to compare to other shows. I can just say for myself, I’m really excited because I think when people see that Terry is involved, they’re going to understand—hopefully—why she did what she did. They’re going to have [some] heart for a killer.