'The Purge' star Amanda Warren on Jane's "strong moral compass" and finding justification in her actions
Amanda’s character Jane is the first domino in ‘The Purge’ setting off the series of events by hiring a purge hitman to do her dirty work.
Since the first ‘The Purge’ movie in 2013, stories about a dystopian future where all crime is made legal once a year have regaled and thrilled us. Now, with a 10-episode series on ‘The Purge,’ USA Network is fully exploring the various ways in which this limited edition of legalized crime impacts various individuals, the choices they make and the events leading up to these decisions in a way the 90-minute movies were not able to.
Amanda Warren, who plays Jane Barbour in ‘The Purge,’ is a big fan of the movies and it shows in the way she talks about her confidence in the show's ability to develop the backstories for the characters. “With 10 hours you are going to tap into something from the past just as sort of justification and reasoning if we are going to come through. So, I knew that it will be fleshed out a little bit more and that there would definitely be better character development,” she tells Meaww.
As a fan of this universe, Amanda says she jumped at the opportunity to read for her role and felt like she had a short hand at it. Moreover, she was confident about what the show is going to be, relating, “I really didn't know what to expect because this is something the franchise has really done, which is, dig really deep as to character development. 90 minutes doesn't allow that to really happen with a big story like this. Whereas, on television it does. So, I really never knew what to expect so I didn't have any expectations. It was an eye-opening experience.”
Amanda’s character Jane is the first domino in ‘The Purge’ setting off the series of events by hiring a purge hitman to do her dirty work. However, Amanda believes that her character, an Ivy League-educated woman in her 30s, much like herself, has a strong moral compass. She is “very present” and "only wants what's best for any situation and for the majority of people that is within her community.” She also believes that since the law allows it, Jane is justified in doing what she does.
“What prompted her to do that is that it is part of the law of the country and what is allowed during the night. So, I think that because it is within the boundaries of what is legal and what lawmakers seem to be just, she kind of embraces that reasoning or excuse behind what she is doing,” says Amanda, adding, “But I think what is also more important is that she is very aware of what she is capable of, and her incapability to commit such a crime on this night is not exactly lost on her, so she hires someone who is qualified to do it.”
Her Ivy League education and her white-collar financial profession keeps her very much removed from the realities of this blood holiday and she is acutely aware of that. Says Amanda, “She knows that it is not in her flesh to execute such an action.”
Then again, her humanity comes into play and it makes her say “No, this is wrong.” “The human decency comes into play where if she sees a justification behind what is right and what is just then in this moment, she sees that what she has put into motion is unjust with what goes on between Alison and Adam. She goes back to try and reverse what she has put into motion,” says Amanda.
Jane’s innate ability to look out for the best interests in people and her desire to make things right, is where Amanda sees herself the most connecting to her character. She elaborates, “I am always the one to look out for the best interests of everyone. I mean I don't see myself - if this were a real - law doing anything like that, including hiring someone to do my so-called dirty work, but I can understand trying to make things right and I think that she does that a lot throughout the season.”
In fact, Jane, Amanda, believes, is also very similar to her ‘The Leftover’ character Lucy, who in turn is very close to who she is as a person. “They want to get everything done. They are real workhorses and incredibly focused, determined and strong women and so am I and I think that that is definitely the overlap between those two women and myself,” says the brilliantly talented woman.
The season finale of ‘The Purge’ titled ‘A Nation Reborn,’ will air at 10 |9 c Tuesday, November 6.