After the recent premiere of the adaptation of Stephen King’s scary hard-boiled detective novel, “Mr. Mercedes,” USA Today interviewed Holland Taylor about her funny and provocative role in the show.

Holland Taylor and her provocative character Ida Silver

Emmy-award winning Taylor has appeared in more than 100 TV shows over her 50 year career, including “The Practice,” and she also appeared in “Legally Blond” with Reese Witherspoons. She is now appearing in the TV adaptation of King’s terrifying novel, “Mr. Mercedes,” which is gaining much attention since its gripping premiere episode.

In the new show, Holland plays the role of the provocative Ida Silver, neighbor to the lead character, Bill Hodges (played by Brendan Gleeson). The interviewer tells Taylor he has read the original book trilogy and that her character adds a “lightness” to what is otherwise a very dark story. Taylor explained it was David Kelly’s decision to include her character because he felt that when the story went from the “page to the stage .. or the screen” it would become so dark he needed a character who was “dependently human” and light, so he added her character Ida to the series.

She stressed that the character was not included in the original novel.

Silver adds a lightness after the first gruesome scene

The introduction of Ida’s character in the first episode came at the right time, as the opening scene of "Mr. Mercedes" was so gruesome and bloody, with a Mercedes car driven by Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) plowing into people queuing at a job fair.

This was followed by the equally scary video message the killer sends Bill Hodges.

Taylor went on to stress how dark the show is, and that she doesn’t like that darkness, although others do enjoy it. She finds the story incredibly scary and that she might not watch the whole thing.

While discussing the first scene, Taylor stressed that the scariness was emphasized by the fact that viewers met the characters involved in the brutal massacre.

She said right at the start viewers are introduced to two characters, which are never seen again in the show, but you are grabbed by those characters and interested in them. Taylor said that when the terror happened, people would be “infinitely more affected” by it through knowing those characters.

Holland compares Ida to her character in ‘The Practice’

Talking of her “brutal” honesty in the show, an interviewer says he likes Taylor’s “in your face” character – Ida tries to provocatively seduce the retired detective in very brash ways – she was asked if she had to channel that, or was it part of her own character. Holland smiled and said she has played a similar role before for David Kelly, which she said was probably why he picked her for the “Mr.

Mercedes” role. That role was a judge in “The Practice,” who was a very frank and “sexually active” woman in her middle years. She added that while she herself is way past that now, her character in the new show is still making passes at people.

Taylor was then asked if there was anything she hadn’t done during her career that she had always wanted to do. She said in her 50 years of acting, she had never played a death scene. However speaking of “Mr. Mercedes” she said anyone that gets close to the Bill Hodges character is definitely putting themselves “in jeopardy.” Whether that was a spoiler to upcoming episodes is currently unknown.


Mercedes" can be seen on Audience Network Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and, as King himself noted on Twitter, fans can watch the first two episodes for free.

Enjoy the full USA Today interview with Taylor below below.