Carrie Preston
“Claws” star Carrie Preston offered an explanation behind Polly’s compulsive lying on the new TNT drama. Pictured: Preston attends the premiere of TNT’s “Claws” at Harmony Gold Theatre on June 1, 2017 in Los Angeles. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

“Claws” star Carrie Preston said that Polly’s habitual lying on the new TNT drama is a coping mechanism that helps her forget her painful past.

“Although we haven’t gone into the specifics of her past, the past that I created for her has her coming from some very sad and damaged places,” Preston said in a recent interview with TV Insider. “She’s trying to reinvent herself. She’s curating herself all the time in order to survive and create a better life for herself.”

And because Polly is a con artist, she can easily notice if someone is not being true. “Polly is incredibly gifted at recognizing people’s vulnerabilities, and their faults, and their lies,” said Preston of her character, before pointing out that Polly has known that “Virginia (Karrueche Tran) is up to no good” since meeting her for the first time.

READ: Is “Claws” getting renewed for Season 2?

Although Polly has already served jail time because of her pathological lying, Desna (Niecy Nash) doesn’t judge all of her delusions. “Desna takes us under her wing and allows us to be who we are, even when we flip, and we start to fall,” Preston said of how Desna treats her nail salon employees Polly, Jennifer (Jenn Lyon), Quiet Ann (Judy Reyes) and Virginia. “She’s the one who catches us. I think we all depend on her for that. In turn, we all have her back, as well.”

In a separate interview with Variety, Preston explained that Polly’s enigmatic persona was what had drawn her to the role. “Well, as you’ve probably noticed from Elsbeth Tascioni (Preston’s character on ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘The Good Fight’), I like to play characters that are unpredictable and mysterious — and have one thing going on, on the surface, and a totally different thing going on underneath.” Preston said. “Polly, obviously, is no different. As matter-of-fact, she’s probably the most layered character that I’ve ever played. People don’t really know what to believe. She is someone who is creating a lot of fiction for herself and for the world.”

“Claws” next episode, titled “Self-Portrait,” airs on Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. EDT. Read the synopsis for the Season 1, episode 6 below:

“The ladies go to their fancy new salon for the first time, but they aren't met with the kindness of strangers. Also, the women decide to compete in a nail-design battle; Virginia seeks life’s finer things; and Jennifer discovers an agonizing secret.”