When Cassie Shore woke up on Tiny Pretty Things, she wasn’t this nice, fragile person. After being pushed by rival dancer Delia, Cassie spent months fighting for her life in a coma. She’s back and ready to fight for her place at the Archer School of Ballet. She kickstarted her return by accusing Bette of pushing her off the roof, knowing full well it was Bette’s sister, Delia.
HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Anna Maiche about the complexities of Cassie Shore. Anna admitted she was “shocked” by how “ruthless” Cassie could be but believes it’s all stemming for a “place of insecurity.” Even though she broke his heart, Anna truly thinks Cassie has a real love for Nabil. She also revealed her hopes for season 2, which includes exploring much more of Cassie’s “depth.” The series is now streaming on Netflix.
First and foremost, there are a ton of great characters in the series. But what was it about Cassie that really stood out to you?
Anna Maiche: Well, Cassie is interesting because, I mean, I had an injury that forced me to stop dancing, so I related to that part of Cassie. Not that she’s forced to stop dancing, but just the fact that her future’s totally rocked by this fall that happens in the beginning. So I related to that a lot. I think that her drive… I mean, she probably goes about things differently than I would. She’s maybe a little harsher than I am, but she’s very, very driven. I love that about her.
So many of your co-stars have a lot of background in dance that we get to see over the course of the season. What is your background with dance?
Anna Maiche: I started in Cuba when I was four, which gave me a great understanding of ballet at a really young age because it’s a huge part of their culture. And then I kept dancing for 16 years, and I kind of traveled around the States with ballet. I got accepted into a company, and right before starting with that company, I fell and had to have surgery. And that was the end of my career.
At first, we don’t know if Cassie’s alive or dead. But then she’s hospitalized and her fate’s up in the air. With a lot of shows, especially spoiler-heavy shows like this, the writers don’t even tell the actor what happens to them. Did you know Cassie’s fate from the beginning?
Anna Maiche: I did. We have our contracts that we sign and all of that, so I needed to know how many episodes I was in and all that. There are technicalities behind it. But the showrunner also called me right before I boarded my plane, and he was like, let me talk to you about Cassie. He kind of told me from start to finish what was going to happen with her. That was really nice because from episode 1 to 8, I’m not really playing Cassie. In all of these dreams that people are having, I’m playing their ideas of who Cassie is, or who Cassie is in their mind in relation to them. So I never really got to explore her until the end of the season once all of my other castmates were so well-practiced in their characters and really knew them like the back of their hand. I didn’t know Cassie at all. So that was interesting, but it was nice to have that to look forward to from the beginning.
She does take quite a turn at the end. Were you surprised by that reveal? The line that I always keep coming back to is, “I get it. Sleeping Beauty wakes up, and it turns out she’s a b*tch.”
Anna Maiche: That’s my favorite line. I love that line. During the table read, everyone started laughing. It was really cool. I was shocked at just how ruthless she is because Michael [McLennan], the showrunner, told me that she was going to be a little harsh when she woke up. Just so you know, she’s not this victim. All these things that the characters have been saying about her… I mean, Brennan [Clost], who plays Shane, Shane will not stop talking about how horrible Cassie was. All these people have horrible things to say about her, but every time you see her she’s bruised up in a hospital bed in a coma. So, of course, you have empathy and you feel sorry for her. But I feel like that goes away pretty quickly. It kind of went away for me too when I read just how brutal she is.
What is her endgame at the end of the season? She accused Bette of pushing her, so what do you think her endgame is now?
Anna Maiche: Her endgame is to have power. She just wants to be back in the school and on top. That’s going to take, of course, a lot of hard work and dedication on her end, but it also is going to take getting some people out. There isn’t an open bed in the dorm for her right now. Neveah took her place, and now she’s awake. So whose place is she going to take? I think that’s kind of what she’s trying to figure out. But I have no idea where that’s going to go. I really don’t know what’s going to happen.
When she was in her coma, so much happened. That’s what Bette says to her, that you’re not going to ruin this, what we’ve established while you were sleeping, you’re not going to win this time. Cassie says, “I already have.” I feel like that was a weighted comment. I feel like there was a lot more than just, “I accused you of pushing me.” I feel like she has a little bit more meat behind those words.
Anna Maiche: Well, what she tells Neveah in the hospital room is that she knows. She remembers everything that people told her. There have probably been things that… you saw Bette visit her, June, Neveah, and Nabil. All those people told her things that maybe the audience didn’t see, so I think that Cassie now just has all of the secrets that she’s ready to use against people.
Do you think Cassie is redeemable? Do you think there’s a lot more to her than we just don’t know? Or do you think she’s just ruthless to the core?
Anna Maiche: No, I think she’s definitely redeemable. I think that in all of her harsh moments, the hospital scene with Nabil and with Ramon, there’s a reason behind everything she does. It comes from fear or insecurity or just the fact that her whole world has been rocked. So right now, she doesn’t know if her career as a dancer is over. She doesn’t want anyone to hurt the people she loves, and Ramon clearly threatened to do so. So all of her kind of ruthless actions come from a deep place of insecurity. I think that in the coming seasons, you’ll probably get to see the softer side of her.
There’s a reason why Nabil was so in love with her. There has to be something there that isn’t all bad.
Anna Maiche: I mean, you see it even when she has that scene with Nabil. Every moment he turns around, her heart is breaking, and then he turns back and she stiffens up, and then he turns around and her heart breaks. So you get to see a tiny glimpse of it in that moment when Ramon makes her feels so fragile. But, it’s just like Bette right? She really had some harsh moments, but when you see her with her mother, you can’t help but understand where she’s coming from.
I feel like they have a lot of very similar characteristics whether they like to admit it or not. Obviously, Cassie says she’s got scores to settle, and she’s starting to settle those. Do you think there’s anyone who is safe from her scores to settle?
Anna Maiche: I think probably Nabil is safe. Well, I don’t know because now he started this new fling with someone else, and I know that is a source of pain for her. I truly believe that her breaking up with Nabil was not something she wanted to do, so I think she’s going to be very hurt. I think it’s hard to say right now because we don’t really know her relationship with people. We know that her and Shane have bad blood from what he said. We obviously have seen her and Bette, but we don’t really know what her relationship is with Caleb. We don’t know what her relationship is with Torri. We don’t know. Well, we know her relationship with Delia and with Oren. I mean, that’s her buddy. That’s her partner who she was kind of on the rise with, so now that he’s found someone new that he loves partnering with, I don’t know. I don’t know if she’ll come for them.
I did want to bring up was the Paris element. There’s a lot that was said about Paris and what happened in Paris. Especially with Ramon, there was that photo. Is that something you would like to maybe dive a little bit more into just because I feel like that summer and that time built the framework for how it all came crashing down with Cassie’s fall.
Anna Maiche: I am curious to explore that. I’m curious to know also just what went down with Cassie and Ramon, but I think that Cassie and Nabil do really love each other. It’s hard for me to accept that she could have done something with Ramon. And then it’s also bizarre when Ramon is having that lunch with Delia and she confronts him and he’s like, “Yeah, it was Paris.” Just like, it was Paris?! I found a little interesting. He wasn’t denying that anything happened, so I wonder with all of that just how close Delia and Cassie became.
Is there anything else that you would like to touch on in a potential season 2 with Cassie?
Anna Maiche: I mean, I’d like to see a lot more of her vulnerability. I know that that’s coming because we see that with all of the characters. We got to understand all of their things, but with Cassie, I wonder where it’s coming from. I wonder what her trigger is? If it’s Ramon, well, he’s out of the picture. So now what is it? If it’s the career, well, just work really hard and get there. What is it that makes her kind of have this vicious exterior? I don’t know if we’re going to touch on that, but I think we are, and I hope that she can kind of show the audience that she’s got a lot more depth to her.