'The Expanse': Naomi and Marco Actors on 'Heart-breaking' Abandonment Of Son Filip

The Expanse Season 6 has begun airing on Amazon Prime Video, with episodes being released on a weekly basis from Friday, December 10.

The sci-fi show's final season will round off its characters' stories, with particular focus being given to Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) and Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), and their fraught relationship with their son Filip (Jasai Chase Owens).

Naomi abandoned Filip when he was still a baby, leaving him with Marco who had hid him from her completely. Mother and son reunite in Season 5, but by then it's too late as Filip has become a radical just like his father.

Tipper and Alexander spoke to Newsweek ahead of the release of Season 6, and reflected on their characters' struggle with their onscreen son.

A unique take on motherhood

Tipper calls Naomi's struggle with her guilt over abandoning her child "heart-breaking" to portray, saying her Season 6 storyline "ripped [her] apart" but she felt it was an interesting way of examining motherhood.

"This whole arc with her son, and the choices that she's had to make, have been so heart-breaking," Tipper admitted. "So it kind of ripped me apart in ways.

"But, also, I feel quite honoured to be trusted with this kind of material, because I think it's actually quite a unique take on motherhood that we don't see, or is talked about much, having to choose between yourself or motherhood, your own kind of mental wellbeing or your kid?

"And what does that look like? What does that cost you? You know, going forward who do you become after that? How do you pick the pieces up?

"And, so, just kind of always constantly exploring these really difficult aspects of motherhood through her journey? It's been quite an honour for me, because I don't have children myself so I don't really know kind of what that feels like."

Teasing the difficult decisions Naomi may be forced to make in the final batch of episodes, she added: "I think Season 6 is like, again, it's just another one of those kind of awful decisions, does she choose the greater good? Or does she choose herself?

"Does she choose him? Should he pay for his choices, even though he's a child? You know, again, all these really huge moral questions that we kind of muddy, and kind of present you with an option [that] isn't good or bad either way, I think.

"And that's kind of the crux of what makes The Expanse so compelling and this character struggles with that."

Fathers and sons

Alexander gave a similarly philosophical explanation of Marco's side of the relationship, saying the villain and his son "exist in dysfunction" because Filip is constantly trying to win his father's approval, while Marco simply doesn't know how to express his love.

The actor said meeting Chase Owens for the first time was a "visceral experience" because he "felt very much like 50% me and 50% Dominique."

He added: "That was [my] first physical visceral reaction to him, and then we've actually bonded, like, I love this human being. We're in touch and he's such a sweet person.

"So, to have the love and the connection as the possibility of what could be as the foundation, but, really, then to exist in the dysfunction of not being able to connect constantly, which is, I think, something that we have in our society, archetypally, between fathers and sons was heart-breaking.

"It was really hard for me to feel all that was in the way because I could tell that Marco, in every instance, wanted nothing but to be connecting with him but he did not have the tools, which is something that we feel intergenerationally with our parents or grandparents sometimes.

"Like there isn't the words for it, or there isn't the emotional intelligence to address an issue and so it's left to the side. So, I really tapped into all that nasty, unspoiled, unspoken family stuff that we all have, my family have that, and to find that dysfunction.

"And, honestly, to sit in it made me want to do all the healing in the world to never have that with my future children.

"But that's how I figured it out, creating that gap between the love that I actually had for this actor, the human being, and all the ways, all the things that can get in the way, especially the ego, for that real connection. And so the experience was was tough. It was not easy to sit in that."

The Expanse Season 6 airs weekly every Friday on Prime Video.

The Expanse Season 6
Jasai Chase Owens, Keon Alexander and Dominique Tipper as Filip Inaros, Marco Inaros, and Naomi Nagata in "The Expanse" Season 6. Alexander and Tipper spoke with Newsweek about their characters' struggle to bond with their son Filip. Amazon Studios