Mary McCormack discusses women’s roles in Heels Season 2, interview

Mary McCormack (“Willie Day”), Stephen Amell ("Jack Spade”), and Duke Davis Roberts (“Big Jim Kitchen”) in Heels season 2. Image courtesy Daniel Delgado, Heels © 2022 Starz Entertainment, LLC
Mary McCormack (“Willie Day”), Stephen Amell ("Jack Spade”), and Duke Davis Roberts (“Big Jim Kitchen”) in Heels season 2. Image courtesy Daniel Delgado, Heels © 2022 Starz Entertainment, LLC /

At the end of Heels Season 1, fans of the Duffy Wrestling League saw a woman wrestler climb the ladder to secure the coveted title belt. While it remains to be seen if that triumph turns the tide, Mary McCormack, who plays Willie, believes that Heels Season 2 will have many changes to the DWL. Putting women in the spotlight might be just one of them.

While the DWL wrestlers in the ring hear all the applause, those moments would not happen without Willie’s guiding hand. Although she might have once been a valet, the reality is that her role has transformed into more than just a supportive woman amping up the crowd. Combining her knowledge, encouragement, and clever business sense, this character has more layers that viewers will discover in Heels Season 2.

During a pre-strike press junket interview, Mary McCormack discussed Heels Season 2, her role, and whether or not she would ever jump into the ring herself. Although Jack and Ace Spade might be battling their father’s legacy, Willie has to navigate the past, present, and future in order for the town’s passion to keep the lights on.

Mary McCormack Heels Season 2
Mary McCormack (“Willie Day”), Stephen Amell (“Jack Spade”), and Duke Davis Roberts (“Big Jim Kitchen”) in Heels season 2. Image courtesy Daniel Delgado, Heels © 2022 Starz Entertainment, LLC /

With Crystal rising to the top at the end of Season 1, many people are wondering whether a woman could hold the belt, whether will there be a women’s division, or will the ladies be delegated back to valet status. When asked, McCormack shared her thoughts on the women’s characters getting their moment in the spotlight.

“I think that it is definitely a trend this season and the DWL starts a women’s division. Through sort of an organic way, Crystal ends up with the belt in the end of season one. We have to find a way to sustain that. But, how does that go forward? You know that she can’t go through every guy and beat them up every week and she can’t be beaten up every week. It’s a natural progression that we have to invite more women in.”

“For Willie, who probably always wanted to wrestle more than anything, who wanted to be in the ring her whole life, got as close as she could being a valet. I think for her it is a huge moment, a huge opportunity where she is able to sort of live out some of her dreams through Crystal, who is almost like a younger version of herself.”

While the ring puts the character in the spotlight, there is something to be said about the influence of the valet. When asked about the underlying power that women in wrestling have in any of their roles, McCormack commented, “there’s always more power. It is probably a good observation that women’s roles have more power than what they realize.”

Although the women might be the foundation of the DWL’s success, the relationship between Willie and Crystal is not always smooth sailing. While the veteran does not want the rookie to make the same mistakes, the rookie needs to set her own path.

When asked about the relationship between Willie and Crystal, McCormack commented, “I think that some of those scenes where she is seen as harsh with Crystal, it is actually tough love. I think that she is coaching her. But, I think her deep need for Crystal not to mess it up is Willie’s own desperation for this to work. She missed out on those drinks, missed out on that itch getting scratched. So, now’s her chance. I think Willie’s mostly tough love but there might be a teeny bit of jealousy, too.”

Even if there might be a little hidden longing, McCormack does not think that Wilie is focusing on regrets. She said, “it just wasn’t available to her. It’s more of a sadness than a regret. I think that she did everything that she could do. She was a valet and that’s what you could do in Duffy. Duffy didn’t have a women’s division, it was too tiny with no resources. When she was coming up, she did everything that could be done and she stayed in that world. She’s managing. Willie eats, breathes, and lives wrestling. There may be a sadness, but never in the ring.”

Speaking of the ring, would McCormack step into the ring, herself? Her response was a clear no. She mentioned that she is risk-averse and would not attempt wrestling.

But, McCormack has become a fan of sports entertainment. McCormack said, “I’m not going to matches, but I’ve certainly fallen in love with the world and the people who love it. It’s hard not to love it. It is very similar to theater. The live performance aspect makes it hard not to get involved.”

Mary McCormack plays Willie on Heels Season 2. Episodes air Friday nights on STARZ and can be streamed on the STARZ app.

This interview was completed during a press junket held prior to the start of the current SAG-AFTRA strike. 

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