Bex Taylor-Klaus talks Bullet’s big twist on “The Killing”

Caution: If you aren’t caught up on The Killing, spoilers ahead!

After Season 2 of The Killing wrapped up the murder of Rosie Larson, viewers were wondering how the show could make us keep caring for another season and a whole new case. But with Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman still signed on to reprise their roles as Detectives Sarah Linden and Steven Holder, there was a reason to hope it was going to be good. What wasn’t so expected was the beloved character of Bullet, as played by Bex Taylor-Klaus.

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Boarding school dropout turned street kid Bullet was a tough tomboy with an unrequited crush on her friend Lyric and a desire to protect the girls who sold sex on the street. When her friend Kallie went missing, she was relentless in finding out any information she could on her whereabouts and how they could connect to the recent murders of young homeless women, even if it means dealing with the Seattle Police Department.

Bullet’s relationship with Holder was never easy but it was fun to watch when they were getting along enough to poke fun at each other and learn things about one another. They slowly began to trust one another until high tensions and an innocent lie in episode 8 (“Try”) thwarted it enough to change things for them forever. Last week, on episode 9, viewers learned that Bullet had been murdered, as she was found in the trunk of suspect Joe Mills’ car. It was heartbreaking to watch as Holder opened the trunk, ignoring his partner’s calls to stop, and all we could see was her “faith” tattoo on her pale limp wrist.

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“[Show creator] Veena [Sud] called  me, I believe it was halfway through filming episode four, maybe at the end of filming episode four, and we were just talking about where the character was going to be going and what was going to be happening with [her],” Bex said. “But she was kind of hinting at something and I couldn’t tell what. So I stopped and said ‘Veena, hold on just a sec. Does Bullet die?’ And it’s just silence from the other end and I hear ‘I’m so sorry sweetie.’ So I had to stop laughing at how adorable that was. I knew for a while but not since the very beginning.”

At first Bex said she wondered why it was happening.

“There was that whole ‘Oh crap! Am I just that bad at what I do that they want to kill me off so they don’t have to deal with me anymore?’ There was that panic moment but mostly it was—well at first I was numb,” Bex said. “Then the first thing I asked her was ‘Does it move the story along?’ And she said ‘Sort of, yes.’ And we kind of talked about that and how it’s gonna affect people and things. And I asked if she fought back. That’s what I cared about most. If Bullet’s gonna die, does she at least go out fighting? And she does.”

Bex said it didn’t really set in until something happened to her on the street in Vancouver, where the show is filmed.

“I saw a woman with a similar haircut—an older woman with the haircut and similar style and it made me smile at first like ‘Oh look – Bullet when she grows up.’ And then all of a sudden I was standing in the street and it hit me,” Bex said. “The realization that that’s not ever going to be what Bullet gets to do.”

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Bex said the scene in which Bullet is revealed to be dead had been shot also showing her face, but it was only shown in the director’s cut.

“It was actually really fun putting in death contacts and just laying in a trunk for a couple hours,” she said. “I think they decided not to show the face probably because it’s already sort of—well first of all, because Joel’s reactions, everything Joel did was—oh my god, the man’s genius. I don’t think anyone in the editing room wanted to pull away from Joel at that point. But that’s because he’s just so perfect. But also it could be because already from what I’ve seen just from people posting things and comments and stuff, people’s reaction from just the wrist were incredibly strong. Seeing her face might have been just crushing.”

Bex said fan reactions to Bullet’s death have been “surreal” and she’s seen many social media photos of people’s own faith tattoos on their wrists. What she doesn’t want is for viewers to be distraught and feel like they’ve lost her for good.

“I’m so incredibly pleased and not to mention shocked by the effect Bullet has had on people. It’s amazing. Some people are saying how much she’s meant to them, they’re sad she’s gone and I’m saying she’s not,” Bex said. “If she really meant that much to you, keep her alive inside of you. She’ll always be there. Keep her in your heart, whatever poeticness you’d like to put on it, whatever poetic words you want to put to it—keep her alive inside of you. She’s always be there. She always has. She’s a really strong character and strong, strong person. Even though she’s dead on the show or in the ‘real world,’ she doesn’t have to be dead inside. If she did really have an affect on you, she will always be with you.”

One of the reasons Bullet was so beloved is she’s vastly different from most characters seen on television regularly. A young lesbian who is on her own in a huge city, Bullet’s facade hides her inner-softness. She cares about her street family and wants nothing but to keep them safe, which sometimes means getting herself into dangerous situations. One person she would do anything for was her crush, Lyric, who was hopelessly in love with the older Twitch. Although Bullet and Lyric shared a kiss and some tender moments before her untimely death, Lyric ultimately chose Twitch, telling Bullet she wasn’t gay.

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“The original draft of that scene with Bullet and Lyric with the kiss—those were the sides for the original audition,” Bex said. “So I kinda always knew there was going to be a kiss. As soon as I started reading more about the character, I started getting more scripts and learning more about Bullet, I started to realize ‘This [relationship] is never going to actually happen.’ It’s going to be nice while it lasts. Episodes four and five rolled around and it was like ‘Considering she dies, it’s just not going to work.’”

Bex said the hardest scene to film emotionally was when Twitch returns to Lyric and they begin to have sex right in front of her. She runs out but starts to watch them through the window, standing in the rain.

“The hardest part was getting the emotions,” she said. “I was having so much trouble getting actual tears and I was really frustrated. It was really cold. Normal rain plus rain power so there was that distraction.”

It’s a dark show, so there aren’t happy endings expected for the most part, but Bex said Bullet is not gone for good.

“I don’t lie so when people were asking if Bullet was going to die before the end of the season and I’d say ‘Bullet’s going to be there to the very end,’ I was telling the truth. She might not be physically in every single episode through the end, but she will be there emotionally in spirit,” she said. “You saw how Holder reacted. That’s not just going to end after one episode.”

The final two episodes of Season 3 will air this Sunday and next, and Bex promised Bullet’s death won’t be in vain. As for Bex herself, she just wrapped a short she starred in alongside Jackie Emerson (Hunger Games) called I Want to Believe, from out director Aubree Bernier-Clarke.

“That was so much fun. That was great. [Jackie's] phenomenal, I love that girl, she’s amazing. The script—the whole thing is fascinating. It’s dark and twisted and beautiful. It’s not the same darkness that The Killing is but it’s not a comedy by any means. Think Black Swan. It’s a psychotic thriller and I love it.”

In the meantime, Bex said she’ll keep interacting with fans on Twitter.

“I’ll keep live tweeting if they want me to,” she said. “I have fun with it.”

Long live Bullet!

Read our recaps of The Killing here.

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