Canadian actress Charlotte Sullivan landed her first role as an extra in a Liza Minnelli music video. Since then, she has starred in numerous projects including How to Deal, Defendor, The Colony, Smallville, and The Kennedys. However, Sullivan is most known for her role as Gale Peck on the Canadian drama Rookie Blue. Peck is tough, strong, and determined, with a touch of vulnerability and loneliness. In this exclusive interview, Sullivan described Gale as a “goofball” and said she has a lot of changes ahead.
Q: How did you get involved with Rookie Blue?
Sullivan: My experience was unique. I didn’t believe that I could play a police officer. So, it wasn’t that I was turning down the job opportunity, because I was dying to do it. But, I thought they were making a mistake. I would never believe me as a cop. I am not athletic and I have noodle arms. I am certainly not the first person you think of as an intimidating police officer, so I told them “No, you guys are nuts. I am so not right for this.” So, I said no a couple of times and Dave Wellington, our executive producer and director, said, “You don’t understand, you are supposed to look like you have no bloody clue what you are doing and because of that you are perfect for it.” But I was very, very insecure.
Q: Did you go into the audition for Gale or for someone else?
Sullivan: No, they said I could choose. I said, “Gale is so stupid, I am reading Traci.” They told me I was perfect for Gale and I was like “What! No.” I originally tried to rebel against playing this character. At this point, it is so funny to think that this wasn’t right for me because I am so madly in love with the character I get to play. She’s really fun, although I know she is not the most liked, but she is so bizarre and you can’t really define her. She is just such a weirdo.
Q: It’s funny that you should say that. In season one you feel Gale is going to be the mean girl. However, as you go through the seasons, Gale is such a lovable character. How do you feel playing someone that can come off as a mean person but has become so likable?
Sullivan: Well, I think if you are just playing the “mean girl,” which I have done a lot of in my work, it’s kind of redundant to constantly play that note. So you have to give something of yourself. The thing with our show is you have to be careful. Whatever you say, the writers overhear you and it will end up in the show. They are implementing parts of ourselves. Like Missy [Peregrym] and [her character] Andy both over analyze everything. I am telling you right now [character] Chris and [actor] Travis [Milne] are one and the same. Everyone has a piece of themselves in their characters and that is because the writers are talented and they just basically started writing for us. There is one line I said in season one, and I can’t tell you because I am not allowed to, but I said it in season one and its now coming true in season four.
“I want my cast mates to be proud.”
Q: Your character has gone through so much. You have been kidnapped, faced your kidnapper, and had an emotional break up with Nick (Peter Mooney). Now we are seeing Gale on deeper levels.
Sullivan: Well, that’s the thing. The [show's creators] made such a bold choice last season [when] Jerry (Noam Jenkins) died. The reason Jerry died was because he was saving me. To kill off someone people like so much is such a bold move on their part and it changes the dynamic now between me and Traci (Enuka Okuma). Gale could never be mean to Traci ever again. She is indebted to her. So that changes things. I love what they have done with my character this season. It hasn’t come out yet, but it’s very, very cool.
Q: You seem so fun and happy, how is it transforming into Gale?
Sullivan: I think that’s where my insecurity comes in. You want to do a good job. It goes back to season one where I didn’t think I was good enough. A little part of that helps fuel you artistically. Not a lot because that would be detrimental to your work. My cast is just so amazing, like Matt Gordon is one of my favorite actors on the planet. He is such an incredible actor. You want to watch the actor and you want to feel approved. It would be so nice to like approval but not need it. You just want to make your cast mates proud.
Want to hear more from Charlotte Sullivan? Listen to our full interview below and see her on Rookie Blue, Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.
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