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Shanola Hampton Says There Are More Twists on Found That Will "Mess" with Audiences

Actress Shanola Hampton explained the twisted relationship at the heart of Found will leave everyone guessing. 

By Tara Bennett

The final moments of the Found premiere, where it's revealed that missing persons crusader Gabi Mosely (Shanola Hampton) is keeping her former abductor, Sir (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), locked up in a soundproof basement room and compelling him to help her solve kidnapping cases, was meant to elicits gasps from the audience.

How to Watch

Watch Found on NBC and Peacock.

And so, too, is the very twisted relationship between Gabi and Sir throughout the season. There's a visual power dynamic inversion, with Gabi holding the keys to Sir's freedom entirely in her hands. But it gets much more disconcerting when it comes to how they mentally tangle with one another, conjuring up shades of the dynamic between The Silence of Lamb's Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). 

"I think that's a fair comparison," Found star Shanola Hampton said to NBC Insider in an interview conducted during the summer before the SAG-AFTRA strike. 

Shanola Hampton on Found's Central Relationship

In their daily confrontations, audiences are going through a journey that is fraught with painful memories, Hampton said. After all, the pair have history going back to her kidnapping at Sir's hands when Gabi was just 16 years old. 

"The battles that they have, they're very contentious," she said of their verbal sparring. "But it's also a battle of her knowing in the back of her mind that what she's doing is not right. There is no real justification for kidnapping someone who kidnapped you, right? However, there is some sort of justice that the audience feels, and Gabi feels. It's just a ping pong in the head; it messes you up." 

Teen Gabi looking up at Sir and smiling while outside.

Hampton did her own research about extended kidnapping victims to help her prepare for the role, noting the traumatic relationships formed between captor and victim helped shed light on the complex bound Found explores between Gabi and Sir. 

RELATED: Will Gabi Find Romance on Found? Why Sir Throws a Wrench in Her Love Life

"They're really able to manipulate your mind," Hampton said of kidnappers. "And they're really able to isolate you from other people. But there's also a weird connection that happens because it's just the two of you. We wouldn't be able to understand it because we haven't gone through something that traumatic. But you would imagine that you don't really know what that relationship is, and that's what happens in this series."

Hampton added that the gray area that develops between Gabi and Sir is what makes Found "so good" and challenging."

"There's this thin line between love and hate," she said of their bond.

Gabi Mosely squats on the ground while talking to Sir in found episode 4

"You ask: Why she looking at him like that? Is she gonna? They're not?" the actress said as she acted like a viewer reacting to their screen. "You do that the entire series. And I don't even think we satisfy what the answer is, which is even more beautiful. Because that is life, right? We don't get this little cookie-cutter bow at the end as to what relationships are, or what that feeling was. It's all mixed up, and that's what makes those scenes between Gabi and Sir so great because they are layered with hatred and love and a respect for the mind."

It's only going to get messier as the show goes on, Hampton said.

"They do [this] well together, so it messes with everybody," she said of their questionable chemistry with unquestionably successful results. "The audience will be messed with. The characters are messed with, and that takes us into Season 2."

See how their twisted arrangement works on Foundairing Tuesdays on NBC and streaming the next day on Peacock.