Talia Balsam Discusses Dallas’s New Outlook on Life
By Marissa Blanchard
The actor reacts to Episode 5’s big reveal, and her character’s dynamic friendship with Frances.
HBO: How has Dallas changed from Season 1 to Season 2?
Talia Balsam: She’s trying to make better choices. Dallas was rightfully angry in Season 1, but now her son is leaving home and she’s entering another part of life. She wants to meet people — the right person. But it’s not solely about meeting people; it’s about making your life as full as possible. There’s room to make mistakes now. She’s moving into a less emotional point in her life and becoming more steady.
HBO: Dallas had a messy beginning and end to her fling with Tony. What did you think of their brief relationship?
Talia Balsam: Last season she she thought — right or wrong — it would just be a one-off night. Dean Winters (who plays Tony Silvercreek) is fantastic, and I loved the weirdness between Tony and Dallas, but the relationship is totally inappropriate and it’s not right for her or for Frances, so she had to do the right thing for her friend and end it.
HBO: Dallas helps Frances get on a dating app in “Ohio.” Does Frances need some encouragement to put herself back out there?
Talia Balsam: Dallas wants the best for Frances; they’re at a similar point in their lives. Frances may not feel ready to get back into dating, and it’s hard with children, so she helps welcome her to the new world of dating: “Here’s what I learned as a person not as a therapist, here’s a new world and I think that I can help you a bit.
HBO: What was your reaction to the reveal that Jackie was Dallas’ patient?
Talia Balsam: I thought it was fantastic. It was a great reveal and another way of testing her relationship with Frances. She has too much knowledge about Robert to continue treating Jackie, it would just be unethical. As a friend she goes to spy, but as a therapist she can’t — she really has to draw the line. Dallas would totally tell Frances about her ex’s new girlfriend, but she doesn’t want to lose her license.
HBO: Dallas isn’t afraid to be honest with Frances, especially after she sleeps with Robert. What do you think of Dallas’ tough love approach?
Talia Balsam: What was clear to me was that Dallas wasn’t interested in judging her. These things happen and it’s more about Frances’ process and trying to help her. Dallas isn’t a perfect person by any means, and it’s a mutual relationship in that way. They can feel betrayed and then forgive, and that’s what’s interesting about the relationship — it’s a process; it evolves.