Karolina Wydra on Polish Torture Expertise and Playing Sex Dungeon Vanna White

By Diana Band

Ever since Violet Mazurski laid claim to Jason Stackhouse in Season 6, Truebies knew they were in for a wild ride. HBO.com caught up with Wydra to discuss Violet’s complicated past, whether Jason could have ever made it out of their relationship unscathed, and her own devious and dark side. 

Well, that escalated quickly. This episode, “Almost Home,” proved that you really don’t want to get on Violet’s bad side.

That’s very true. [Laughs.] 

Why didn’t she just kill Jason and Jessica when she first discovered them cheating? Why did Violet set up this elaborate revenge?

I think at first she wanted to give him a chance. That scene in “Karma” -- when he comes home and she’s trying to seduce him in a very sweet way -- that was her way of giving him a chance to explain himself. But the final nail in the coffin for Violet is when Jessica calls and Jason leaves to go be with her. 

I was wondering if that seduction was a trap or if Violet really would have forgiven him.

I think she would have. Violet has a very strong belief system. She’s 800-years-old, she’s Catholic, and she lives by a very extreme, specific code. Fidelity is something that’s very important to her. As she’s faithful to Jason, she expects the same thing from him in return. If he would have manned-up and come clean, I think she would have let his infidelity go.

What if he had manned-up in the beginning and just broken it off with her, would she have let him go? 

[Laughs.] Probably not.

Of all the men Violet could have, why Jason Stackhouse?

She’s lived a long time and has had many powerful men over the years, and she’d normally never go for someone like Jason. She’s been with princes, aristocratic people -- the most powerful men in the world. She’s trying something new with Jason.

So she’s slumming it.

Kind of, yes. You see how she lives in the last few episodes. You see her house and her décor and you get an idea of the kind of woman that she is. Violet is trying to be a part of Jason’s world, and she so doesn’t fit into that world. What I love about their relationship is that they’re such an odd couple but there’s still a connection -- there’s something there.

In her speech to him, she talks about bringing great men to their knees, compares herself to Cleopatra and Helen of Troy. So why stay with Jason if she could have the most powerful men in the world?

I think it’s the purity of his soul. He’s just a regular dude. She’s always had to earn her status, but not with Jason. She’s obviously been with incredibly powerful men -- you have to work at that. That doesn’t come for free, it comes at a price. With Jason, she gets a simple life. 

Do you think that’s how she ended up in Bon Temps -- the search for a simple life? She seems a little too cosmopolitan for such a small town.

She’s giving it a try. I don’t believe that she’d be able to stick around for a really long time, but she’s trying. Jason made her that perfect, beautiful cubby in his basement, but to maintain that kind of lifestyle for an extended period of time? If things had worked out between them, I could see Violet making Jason move to her palace.

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Speaking of her palace, I wish we’d gotten to see more of it, and earlier. 

The house we used was just mind-blowing. It’s this place in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighborhood that looks cute but normal from the outside, but you walk in and it’s like a museum. It’s a whole other world. Every room has taxidermy and crazy furniture. It was actually owned by nuns for a long time -- it was a place for runaway pregnant girls back in the day. 

It’s deeply ironic that it once belonged to nuns, given the events that unfold in there.

[Laughs.] I know! It’s pretty brilliant.

What was your reaction when you read the script for this episode for the first time? It’s pretty nuts.

Um… [Laughs.] Well, Kate [Barnow, writer on “Almost Home”] warned me: “You’re going to have a big monologue; I want Violet to have an epic death. If Violet’s got to die, we want to try to make it as epic as possible.” You never want to die, though. It’s not just about saying goodbye to the show -- in a way it becomes personal!

I really appreciated and loved the monologue that Kate wrote. It gave you an insight into who this woman is. She’s going to torture them not just for torture’s sake, but to teach them what real revenge is like; you get punished when you cross someone. You really understand where Violet came from and what she had to endure. Kate actually asked me what kind of torture devices we should get, so I went online and looked for Polish torture devices. It was so fun! The chair that Noah [Matthews, who plays Wade Cleary] is in, normally, you would sit on these pointy, metallic things that would break into your skin. The torture devices in those days were just brutal. 

I love that you had a hand in some of the set dressing.

It was fun, but maybe I had too much fun. [Laughs.]

What’s been your favorite part of playing Violet? From misunderstood outsider to villain to Jason’s girlfriend -- there’s been a lot to this role.

For all those reasons you’ve just named. It’s as fun to play a villain and as it is to play Violet’s softer, seductress side. Not to mention being a kind of Vanna White: “Welcome to my dildo dungeon. Dildos over there, nipple clamps on the bedside table…” And working with Ryan Kwanten has been such a dream. He’s such a free-spirited actor and he comes up with such brilliant things. It’s really exciting to work with someone who keeps you on your toes and makes you want to be a better actor. 

Violet’s survived for 800 years. How do you feel about her getting taken out by Hoyt Fortenberry?

I did not want Hoyt to take me out! If anyone was going to take Violet out, I really wanted it to be Jason, but he was tied up at the moment. You can’t f*ck with Bon Temps. It’s one of those places that’s really special, where all of the people get saved. Even Russell Edgington got his!