‘It’s Dark, It’s Wild & It’s Crazy’: Danielle Macdonald on Season 2 of ‘The Tourist’

The Tourist

Prepare to experience deja vu in the return of “The Tourist” as Season 2 sees Irishman Elliot Stanley (Jamie Dornan) and Aussie cop Helen (Danielle Macdonald) returning to uncover the mysteries of Elliot’s murky past. 

Despite the change in setting, the plot unfolds to explore Elliot’s forgotten past, unveiling secrets and introducing a family feud that adds an extra layer of intrigue to the series. As the countdown to the new season begins, viewers can anticipate another binge-worthy instalment that retains the familiar elements from the first season. 

In Season 1 of “The Tourist”, “Fifty Shades of Grey” actor Jamie Dornan uprooted his family from the UK as they headed to Australia to shoot on location in the outback. The upcoming season sees a significant shift as the action moves to Ireland, this time placing Helen’s character on foreign soil. Aussie actress Danielle Macdonald spoke exclusively to Variety Australia about her experience filming away from home. “Ireland is really, really beautiful,” Danielle gushed. “It’s a fun place to film because the crews are really funny and good; they know exactly what they’re doing. They are so experienced because so much is filmed out there. I didn’t even realise just how much big stuff has been filmed in Ireland. The crews are really on it, and they’re just really good people. It’s a good time because they keep everything light,” she said. 

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“The hardest thing we had to deal with were weather challenges. When they say four seasons in one day, I thought it might be a little bit of a joke when I got there. One day – I’m not even kidding – it snowed, and then it was sunny to the point where we had to take our jackets off. It rained, obviously, and it was grey. I was just thinking how did this happen in the space of one filming day. It was crazy to try to capture that and make it look the same on screen. But at the end of the day, that’s not the biggest issue you can face, so that’s a great thing.”

Asked what attracted her to the role of Helen, Danielle replied, “The writers have a very specific writing style. It’s funny, it’s dark, it’s wild, and it’s crazy. It was a world I wanted to be a part of.” 

Viewers can expect many twists and turns in Season 2. One major shakeup is that Helen and Elliot are now in a relationship. Upon asking Danielle how their relationship has evolved in Season 2, Helen replies, “They’re in a relationship right from the beginning of Season 2. So there is a sense that that is very different from Season 1, which was them finding each other and having chemistry, and now they’ve really picked up, and a bit of time has passed, and they’re in a full-blown relationship now. So [in Season 2], it’s them kind of figuring out how to handle the new information that comes their way as they go on. But yeah, he’s her person, you know? So, there’s that.”

Speaking with Danielle, it’s clear that she was equally excited as fans upon hearing the show would be renewed for another season. She tells me, “We’d heard they kind of wanted a Season 2, but it was only ever meant to be a mini-series – it was never meant to have another season. A little while later, I was chatting with the writers, and they were like, ‘I kind of miss this world,’ and I was like, ‘Me too, it’s been really fun.’ Then, a month later, they emailed me saying that they wrote a pilot for Season 2. And I was like, great, give it to me now.”

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In the gripping, multi-award-winning initial series of “The Tourist”, viewers are thrust into an enigmatic tale. The compelling series features Irishman Elliot as a man awakening in hospital after a near-fatal car crash in the Australian outback. He finds himself stranded in a foreign land with a severe case of amnesia. Things only get more complicated when pursuers emerge, intent on killing him. Constable Helen Chambers (Danielle Macdonald) plays an outback cop thrust into Elliot’s life as she helps him uncover the secrets of his dark past. Over the space of the show, Elliot and Helen’s dynamic evolves amid a complex web of crime and betrayal. 

In Season 2, a year has elapsed since their escapades in the Australian outback. The new setting is Dublin, where Jamie Dornan and Danielle Macdonald resume their roles as Elliot and Helen. Together, they embark on a journey to help Elliot reconnect with his roots in hopes of piecing together the missing pieces of the puzzle.

True to form, their plans take an unexpected turn as they become entangled in the perilous whirlwind of Elliot’s past life. As Elliot grapples with his internal struggles, Helen is left to navigate the aftermath of a larger mystery, compelling both characters to confront adversaries, both familiar and unfamiliar. 

Season 2 introduces a compelling array of new characters, including Detective Ruairi Slater (Conor MacNeil), Niamh Cassidy (Olwen Fouere) and the McDonnell family – Donal (Diarmaid Murtagh), Orla (Nessa Matthews), Fergal (Mark McKenna) and Frank (Francis Magee) bringing fresh dynamics to the unfolding narrative. 

The brand new season of the Stan Original Series “The Tourist” premieres January 2024. Every episode of season 1 is now streaming, only on Stan.