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Goliath’s Diana Hopper Talks Working with Billy Bob Thornton, Season 2 of Amazon Series

Amazon’s Goliath returns for Season 2 starting Friday, June 15. In Season 1, washed-up lawyer Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton) agrees to take on a wrongful death suit against his former law firm, led by Donald Cooperman (William Hurt) and ex-wife Michelle (Maria Bello).

Goliath Season 2

For Season 2, not much time has passed since the Season 1 finale from 2016, but there are new cast members. Billy is back to drinking at the bar, when his favorite bartender Oscar Suarez (Lou Diamond Phillips) asks him for a favor: to work on a case, as his son is wrongfully accused of murder. Meanwhile, Los Angeles mayoral candidate Marisol Silva’s (Ana de la Reguera) involvement in the Suarez case could jeopardize her chance of election, with associate Tom Wyatt (Mark Duplass) urging her to distance herself from the case in order to further his own causes.

I caught up with Diana Hopper, who plays Denise, Billy’s teenage daughter on the show. For as irresponsible as Billy can be, Denise is often like the parent.

Diana Hopper on Season 2 of Goliath

Diana Hopper
Photo: Eric Fischer

What is it like to work opposite Billy Bob Thornton? He seems to have great chemistry with everyone he shares screen time with (including you!).

Thank you! Billy is, not surprisingly, very easy to act across from. He elevates a scene. I, personally, enjoy working with him tremendously because he keeps the scene grounded but isn’t afraid to take it to new places or try new things either.

Billy is surrounded by women on the show, but Denise may be the most important one. Other than being his daughter, why is she the most important?

 

A father-daughter bond is sacred, there is no denying that. However, I would say they’re all important. Because all the women in Billy’s life are so different; they all have a different lesson to teach him.

Do you ever feel like you’re on your own separate show since you don’t get to be part of the legal action?

Denise becomes more involved in Billy’s work life between seasons 1 and 2. In Season 1, it could sometimes feel separate, but Denise was separate to the rest of his life. So it worked for me as a character. Season 2 is less like that.

Denise is obsessed with Marisol Silva. What is it about her that she’s drawn to?

I think Denise is seeking a strong female bond in the second season. She and her mom have drifted apart, and there’s just a strength and independence to Marisol Silva she can’t help but admire. Plus, she seems like a good fit for Billy, and Denise always wants what’s best for her dad.

Do you think Denise might follow in her parents’ footsteps? Could we ever see Denise in the courtroom at some point?

I definitely think so. She’s a smart girl with a lot of the same qualities that Billy has, and I think she’d make a fantastic lawyer.

The overall storyline might be about justice and the law, but what do you think your storyline with your father is about?

What Denise is always trying to stress to Billy is the value of communication and commitment. To be a parent is complex in many ways but sometimes, be it physically or emotionally, it’s about just showing up.

 

Goliath is streaming on Amazon Prime, with Season 2 starting Friday, June 15.