8 Questions with Hap and Leonard: Mucho Mojo‘s Tiffany Mack (Florida Grange)
Florida Grange (Tiffany Mack), a lawyer who assists Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael K. Williams) when they find themselves in a whole heap of trouble, is one of several new characters the mismatched crime-solvers meet on HAP AND LEONARD: MUCHO MOJO.
We spoke with Tiffany Mack about playing a lawyer in East Texas, working with Purefoy and Williams, and what she would order at the Armadillo Diner. (Hint: it’s definitely something fried.)
Q: What do you think Florida’s first impression was of Hap Collins?
A: I don’t think she has too much of an initial impression of Hap at the police station. I think her focus is more on Leonard, who she has a relationship with already, and wanting him to be free of the questioning from the detectives.
Q: Is advising clients not to urinate on their neighbor’s head just another day on the job for Florida Grange? Or is Leonard a special case?
A: I think it’s a little more out there. And certainly it’s a little more personal because of her relationship with Leonard and her connection to the town. I do think that Leonard is exactly the type of person she went to law school to ultimately be able to protect.
Q: How was it working with Michael K. Williams and James Purefoy?
A: They’re amazing. It was a huge learning experience to get to work with them. Every day getting to experience new things, and see different approaches towards the work. They’re both very giving and kind and a lot of fun to work with.
Q: Were you familiar with the show and the Hap and Leonard book series?
A: I got up to speed to where [this season is] in [Joe] Lansdale’s storyline. I read the first two books and binge-watched the first season.
Q: Things are pretty tense this season between the cops and the local community. Has the criminal justice system changed much in terms of race since the ’80s when “Mucho Mojo” is set?
A: I would say the themes of this season are extremely topical. I’m from Tulsa, Okla. originally, which is famous for the Tulsa race riots. With everything we’re dealing with right now, there’s a lot of propaganda going on with people we should be able to trust. It creates an “us vs. them” mentality.
Q: Did you do any research into playing a lawyer in the South?
A: I did research about East Texas and trying to pinpoint dialect [wise] where we were. Being from the South, I know there’s a lot of stereotypes about accents. I’m asked all the time, “Are you sure you’re from Oklahoma? You don’t have an accent.” We don’t all have accents and there are varying degrees of them. [Florida] doesn’t have too much lawyer jargon, so I didn’t feel like I needed to study for a bar exam or anything.
Q: Since this season is called “Mucho Mojo,” what would you say Florida’s mojo is?
A: I definitely think she has some mojo. I think “mojo” implies mysticism and there’s something about it you can’t quite pinpoint, whether it’s good mojo or bad mojo. But I really like her. I think she’s got a lot of fire to her.
Q: What would you order at the Armadillo diner?
A: Between Florida and I, one of things we most have in common is that we’re both Southern broads who want a hearty meal covered in hot sauce. Something fried for sure. Anytime I go home [to Tulsa], I want to beeline to the places I love to get the worst food that’s really hard to come by in LA. Fried vegetables that you dip in ranch is a really big thing in Oklahoma. Fried green beans, fried pickles. I definitely would order ribs, which is Florida’s usual — a plate of ribs and fries. Pretty much anything terrible for you. [Laughs]